Work Smart and Live Happy Here
Pennsylvania offers the perfect blend of amenities, affordability and job opportunities that create an outstanding quality of life.
Thinking about moving to Pennsylvania? Here, you’ll find thriving, family-friendly places in every corner of the state, with a standout quality of life that lets you work smart and live happy.
The Keystone State delivers several advantages, including affordability, a diverse economy with ample career opportunities and a collection of welcoming communities.
“There are many opportunities to pursue your dreams here among a community that wants to see you succeed.” – Haley Feaster
Additionally, Pennsylvania offers high-ranking health institutions and world-class higher education options – nearly 250 public and private higher education institutions award almost 194,000 credentials (certifications, associate’s and bachelor’s degrees) each year. There is also an abundance of arts, culture, and outdoor opportunities set amid some of the nation’s most scenic areas that promote an active lifestyle.
The state’s geography and topography provide ample outdoor amenities – mountains for skiing, trails for hiking and biking, and lakes and streams for all manner of watersports.
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Plenty of Choices
No matter what community you choose, you’ll find diverse housing options, says Michael McGee, CEO at the Pennsylvania Association of Realtors.
“As part of my job, I get to travel the state fairly frequently, and the charm of the communities regularly strikes me,” McGee says. “I think housing is one of the essentials for life – either an apartment or something you own – and we have a great combination of different kinds of housing. Whether it’s historic homes or new construction, the housing markets in many of these communities appeal to the very affluent and the first-time homebuyer.”
You Can Afford to Live Here
The typical home value in Pennsylvania was $263,000 in May 2022, according to Zillow, about 25% less than the U.S. typical value.
The overall cost of living is the lowest among Northeast and New England states.
“Purely from a housing inventory and affordability perspective, Pennsylvania is very competitive,” McGee says. “The average sale price varies depending on density and population. These opportunities make Pennsylvania an attractive place to live, work and play.”
Four Pennsylvania communities made Livability’s Top 100 Best Places to Live ranking in 2021 – Pittsburgh, West Chester, Bethlehem and State College – underscoring that highly livable communities can be found in every region of the state.
Pittsburgh and Bethlehem are prime examples of Pennsylvania communities that have reinvented themselves from old-line industrial cities into innovation centers where life science, artificial intelligence, autonomous vehicles and other tech-driven industries are thriving.
“Within minutes, we can be out in the country, hiking the Appalachian Trail, running along the Delaware and Lehigh rivers, biking lightly trafficked roads or just grabbing an ice cream cone from a local dairy farm.”
Jeff Dengate, Easton resident
Revitalized downtowns are drawing younger people as residents. If big-city living is your thing, there’s Philadelphia, a world-class cultural capital that doesn’t come with an out-of-this-world sticker price, especially in comparison to other East Coast markets.
“The best part is that for a major East Coast city, Philly remains incredibly affordable,” says Shannon McCool, a physical therapist who moved to Philadelphia from New York in 2015. “That allowed us to stay here with our daughter and have her experience all the wonderful things that we love about the city, too.”
Stretch Your Dollars
Pennsylvania’s accessibility to highway and rail systems is another competitive advantage that adds to the quality of life. Not only does this make it easy for residents to travel to their jobs either in state or out of state, but businesses looking to settle here have access to 13 million residents and are also just a short distance to major markets in Boston, New York and Washington, D.C.
“I’m located in Allentown, and I see a lot of migration from New York and New Jersey into this area,” says Christopher Raad, president of the Pennsylvania Association of Realtors and Broker at Harvey Z. Raad Real Estate. “There is much growth that has happened in the Lehigh Valley area – with jobs, schools, and other development projects that offer a lot of different things to do and options for families to get involved. The quality of life is great, and you’re only a short distance from metro areas.”
Plenty of Space
The Keystone State has also become a destination of choice for remote workers.
“Realtors often report folks are migrating into rural areas because they want to have more space,” Raad says. “Which has a lot to do with remote work options – they’re no longer tied to one metro area – especially as businesses continue to create their workflow plans. As a result, people are willing to move farther out from where they normally would have been.”
The state continues to invest to ensure broadband connectivity and promote economic opportunity. For example, Pennsylvania will provide $5 million through the Unserved High-Speed Broadband Funding Program (UHSB) to expand high-speed broadband service infrastructure in unserved and underserved areas.
“I was born and raised in Pennsylvania,” McGee says. “I grew up outside West Chester. At one-point, West Chester was an exurb of Philadelphia. It wasn’t much of a place to visit, but now it’s a hub with a state university. It has become one of the go-to places to visit in suburban Philadelphia.”
Get to Know Pennsylvania
Want to learn more about living and working in Pennsylvania? Check out the latest edition of Livability Pennsylvania: Work Smart, Live Happy.