Moving to Pennsylvania A Complete Relocation Guide 2021

This is a complete guide for Moving to Pennsylvania.
Get all the information you need to know about moving to Pennsylvania

Are you contemplating moving to Pennsylvania?

Pennsylvania is home to millions of acres of farmlands, flourishing forests, and rolling hills. The Key Stone state is famous for being the snack food capital of the world and the U.S. Declaration of Independence.

Pennsylvania has the largest rural population in America and the highest number of licensed hunters. The state also leads the rest of the country in several productions including mushrooms, sausage, pretzel bakeries, meat packing plants, potato chips, and lots more.

Pennsylvania is also home to about 50 Fortune 500 companies and more than 50,000 farms making it a great place for entrepreneurs and startups.

If all these sound like what you'll like to be a part of, moving to Pennsylvania could be a great idea. We've compiled all the key information you should know about moving to Pennsylvania to help you decide if moving to the state is right for you or not.

Let's get started.

Is moving to Pennsylvania right for you?

Since you're mulling over moving to Pennsylvania, we've compiled all the key information you need to know about the state before making up your mind.

moving to pennsylvania

Top 10 Reasons to move to Pennsylvania

The low crime rate in Pennsylvania makes the state a suitable choice for many families. But there's more. Here's a simple list of the top 10 reasons to move to Pennsylvania:

  • Low cost of living

    The cost of living in Pennsylvania is low when you compare it with states like New York, California, and Illinois. The overall cost of living is 10.5% less than the national average. Housing costs, healthcare, and transportation cost less in Pennsylvania.

  • Low income tax

    Pennsylvania levies an income tax of 3.07%, which is the lowest among many US states. In addition, retirees are excluded from paying tax for all their retirement income which makes the state the best choice to spend the senior years.

  • Low crime rate

    If you are in Pennsylvania, your chances of becoming a crime victim are extremely low. The state continues to have lower crime rates than the rest of the country, and its safest cities report fewer than five crimes per 1,000 people on average. Many recent studies even state that Pennsylvania has cities with even 0 violent crimes which proves how safe the state is. The property crime in the state is 33% lower than the national average.

  • High home affordability rates

    In Pennsylvania, the median gross rent is $951, which is less than the national average rent of $1,097. You can get a studio apartment for $700 a month and a 1-bedroom apartment for $807 a month. A 4-bedroom apartment would cost $1,407, which is much cheaper than the national average rent of $1,791.

    If you have a plan to buy a home, you need to have $237,742 in the account on average. Pennsylvania home values have gone up 16.1% over the past year. This means a home will be a good future investment.

  • Cheaper home and apartment rentals

    In Pennsylvania, it is cheaper to rent a home or apartment than in many states, including New York, Washington, and California. While you can rent a studio for $700, a 1-bedroom apartment is available for approximately $807. You can get a 2-bedroom apartment for approximately $999 and a 2-bedroom apartment for approximately $1,272 in Pennsylvania.

  • Natural disasters aren't common

    While living in Pennsylvania, you have a low risk of being a victim of natural disasters. Tropical storms, slow storms, heavy floods, tornadoes, earthquakes, and landslides rarely happen in Pennsylvania and even when they occur, the impact would be less devastating than in many other states. However, wildfire is a major concern but authorities state that 99% of the wildfires in the state are caused by humans.

  • Enjoy all four seasons

    Pennsylvania experiences a highly diverse climate due to geographic features. Winters are too cold with significant snowfall and summers are too hot and humid. The state also witnesses heavy rainfall causing annual flooding, majorly in the Western portion.

  • Good education system

    Pennsylvania ranks high in education. There are 500 public school districts, thousands of private schools, and over 100 private institutions of higher education. Above 85% of the residents have completed high school and more than 26% hold a bachelor’s degree. Pennsylvania boasts of top-notch colleges and schools

  • Enjoy several kinds of sports

    Philadelphia has a strong sports culture. Though football is the most popular sport in Pennsylvania, baseball, ice hockey, basketball, and soccer also have a high fan following.

    Motorsports, golf, and horse racing also attract massive crowds in Pennsylvania.

    The state is home to eight teams from the five major American professional sports leagues.

    • Philadelphia 76ers
    • Philadelphia Eagles
    • Philadelphia Flyers
    • Philadelphia Phillies
    • Philadelphia Union
    • Pittsburgh Pirates
    • Pittsburgh Penguins
    • Pittsburgh Steelers
  • It's close to New York

    One of the best things about living in Pennsylvania is its closeness to New York. A 4-hour drive will take you to New York, which is about 200 miles away from Pennsylvania.

pennsylvania pros and cons

What's the Pros and Cons of Living in Pennsylvania

While considering moving to Pennsylvania or not, it's important to mull over the pros and cons of living in the state. We've handpicked the key pros and cons of living in Pennsylvania to help you make an informed decision.

Pros of living in Pennsylvania Cons of living in Pennsylvania
You'll enjoy hunting in PennsylvaniaNuclear sirens are often tested and you'll have to get used to the noise
If you love snow, living in Pennsylvania will be a great choiceYou'll be paying tolls in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania has some of the best pizzas in the countryYou'll have to deal with high property taxes
Small towns and communities with services within reachCommuters to DC and NYC causes terrible traffic
Pennsylvania is home to a wide variety of culturesThe job market in Pennsylvania is competitive
Pennsylvania smorgasbord buffet is one of a kind in the worldIt's hard to find liquor to buy anywhere
Pennsylvania has lots of prestigious schools at all levelsPennsylvania has a wide range of different accents
Pennsylvania's night sky is breathtakingHeavy traffic in major cities
You can access almost every service within a walking distance
Pennsylvania has a mix of warm and cold weather making it suitable for everyone
Some goods are exempted from tax in Pennsylvania. These include textbooks, clothing, computer services, electricity, gas, coal and firewood etc.
place in pennsylvania

What are the best places to live in Pennsylvania?

Since homes are affordable across Pennsylvania, there are so many great places to live in the state. We've made a list of the 10 best places to live in Pennsylvania considering their median home value, population, and unemployment rate.

Place Population Median Home Value Unemployment Rate
Camp Hill7,911$212,9003.8%
Bellefonte6,289$182,6003.3%
Swarthmore6,304$$410,1005.8%
Conshohocken5,170$325,7004.1%
Lititz9,288$189,2003.9%
Fox Chapel5,331$622,6004.8%
Franklin Park14,448$327,2004.3%
Ridley Park7,035$204,4003.8%
Wyomissing10,452$240,5003.7%
Collegeville5,170$325,7004.1%
cost of living in pennsylvania

What's the cost of living in Pennsylvania?

The cost of living in Pennsylvania is one of the key things to consider before moving to the state. The cost of living in Pennsylvania is lower than the U.S. average and rated 92.5. The U.S. average is 100. This means living in Pennsylvania is more affordable than the U.S. average.

How much does it cost to rent a home in Pennsylvania?

If you're considering renting a home before or after moving to Pennsylvania, we have all the key data about the state's rental market here.

  • Less than 30% of Pennsylvania's residents are renters
  • Up to 1.7% of homes and apartments in Pennsylvania are open to rent
  • Average cost of a studio Apartment is $700. The U.S. average is $821
  • Average cost of a 1 Bedroom is $807. The U.S. average is $930
  • Average cost of a 2 Bedroom is $999. The U.S. average is $1,148
  • Average cost of a 3 Bedroom is $1272. The U.S. average is $1,537
  • Average cost of a 4 Bedroom is $ $1407. The U.S. average is $1791

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How affordable are homes in Pennsylvania?

More than 70% of Pennsylvania residents are homeowners, partly because of the state's low housing costs. You may decide to buy a home if you're moving to Pennsylvania. Below is a simple analysis of the state's housing market:

  • The median home value in Pennsylvania is $198,377
  • Pennsylvania home values have increased by 4.0% over the past year
  • Pennsylvania's home value is predicted to fall by 1.7% in the next year
  • The median list price per square foot in Pennsylvania is $133
  • The median price of homes currently listed in Pennsylvania is $210,000
  • Pennsylvania median price of homes that sold is $180,800
  • The median rent price in Pennsylvania is $1,350
  • In Pennsylvania 2.2 homes are foreclosed (per 10,000). The U.S. average is 1.2
  • 9.3% of Pennsylvania homeowners are underwater on their mortgage
jobs in pennsylvania

How is the job market in Pennsylvania?

Before making up your mind about moving to Pennsylvania, chances are you'll be interested in the state's job market. To help you make an informed decision, we've collected various data about the state's job market using data from various reliable sources. Take a look.

What's the median salary in Pennsylvania?

How much will you most likely earn if you move to Pennsylvania?

Your income is part of what will determine if you can live in Pennsylvania conveniently or not considering the cost of living in the state. We've collected data from the U.S. Census Bureau to give you accurate information about Pennsylvania's median salary.

  • Pennsylvania's median household income is $59,445
  • Pennsylvania's average household income is $81,549
  • Pennsylvania's Per Capita income is $32,889
  • Pennsylvania's High-Income Households are 6.0% (making over 200,000 annually)
  • The average hourly job pay in Pennsylvania is $30 per hour

What are the Largest companies to work for in Pennsylvania

While mulling over moving to Pennsylvania, odds are you may need to get a new job if you decide to move to the state. The single biggest non-government employer in Pennsylvania is Walmart, while the biggest government employer is University of Pittsburgh Medical center which employs over 80,000 people.

Below is a list of the top 10 largest company to work for in Pennsylvania:

  • Walmart
  • Aramark
  • Comcast
  • Keystone Foods
  • Universal Health Services
  • Genesis Health Care
  • Alcoa
  • University of Pittsburgh Medical Center
  • Rite Aid
  • The PNC Financial Services Group

What's the Top Career Options in Pennsylvania

Similar to several other states across the country, some experts are in higher demand than others in Pennsylvania. If you're considering starting a new career after moving to Pennsylvania, Here's a list of the top career options in the state:

  • Interpreter And Translator
  • Occupational Therapy Assistant
  • Physical Therapist Assistant
  • Physical Therapy Aide
  • Nurse Practitioner
  • Operations Analyst
  • Home Health Aid
  • Physical Therapist
  • Biomedical Engineer
  • Web Developer

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What are the biggest industries in Pennsylvania?

Pennsylvania's economy is driven by many industries. The state is home to 50 Fortune 500 companies and over 50,000 farms alongside several other companies. These are the top five largest industries in Pennsylvania:

  • Agriculture
  • Manufacturing
  • Mining
  • Tourism
  • Service

What's the Top 10 best employers in Pennsylvania

There are thousands of great entrepreneurs and other employers in Pennsylvania. While it's impossible to list every great employer in the state, we've selected ten from various industries. This will give you an idea of the best employers in Pennsylvania. The following companies are the 10 best employers in Pennsylvania, according to Zippia:

  • Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP
  • Giant Eagle
  • Endo International plc
  • Aqua America
  • Vanguard Group
  • Air Products and Chemicals
  • CSL Behring
  • NC Financial Services Group, Inc
  • Radian Group Inc
  • Reed Smith LLP

What's Pennsylvania's Unemployment Rate

The unemployment rate in Pennsylvania is slightly higher than the national average. Here's a simple analysis of the state's job market:

  • Pennsylvania has an unemployment rate of 4.3%. National average is 3.9%
  • Pennsylvania's job market has increased by 0.4% over the last year
  • 10 years future job growth is predicted to hit 25.3%. National average is 33.5%
taxes in pennsylvania

How are taxes like in Pennsylvania?

Will you be paying more or less in taxes if you move to Pennsylvania? If you're considering moving to Pennsylvania, this is one of the key questions you'll most likely ask. Here you'll find the most important information you need about Pennsylvania taxes.

  • Pennsylvania state income tax is 3.70% flat rate
  • Pennsylvania local income tax is 0% to 3.87%
  • Sales tax in Pennsylvania is 6% to 8%
  • Pennsylvania average effective property tax rate is 1.58%
  • Pennsylvania gas tax is 58.7 cents per gallon
  • Pennsylvania diesel tax is 75.2 cents per gallon
pennsylvania

What is Pennsylvania most known for?

Pennsylvania is known for so many things and for various reasons. We've selected the key things the state is mostly known for including historical events, landmarks, food, and more.

  • The Declaration of Independence

    The US Declaration of Independence was announced at the Second Continental Congress held at Pennsylvania State House on May 10, 1775. The building was later renamed Independence Hall and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

  • Snack food capital of the world

    Pennsylvania’s dairy and livestock production has contributed to making agribusiness one of the prominent industries in the state and transforming it into a hub of snack food and confectioneries. Pennsylvania homes the most number of food manufacturing units in the state and some of the major brands with headquarters and units here include:

    • Aramark
    • Dietz & Watson
    • Heinz
    • Herr's
    • Hershey’s
    • Just Born
    • Martin's Potato Chips
    • Musselman's
    • Philly Pretzel Factory
    • Sheetz
    • Utz
    • Snyder’s of Hanover

  • The Liberty Bell, at the Independence Hall

    The Liberty Bell is an iconic symbol of American independence and is now located across the street in the Liberty Bell Center in Independence National Historical Park. The bell that was once placed in Independence Hall has an inscription: "Proclaim Liberty Throughout All the Land Unto All the Inhabitants thereof". It is believed to have rung while reading the United States Declaration of Independence but there is no proof for it.

  • Pennsylvania is the top mushroom grower in the U.S.

    Pennsylvania is the largest producer of mushrooms in the US, the state alone growing 68% of the total mushrooms in the country. Chester County in Pennsylvania alone has more than 50 family-owned commercial mushroom farms operating within 25 miles.

  • Pennsylvania is home to Philadelphia, a former U.S. capital city

    Many people do not remember that Philadelphia, the largest city in Pennsylvania, was once the national capital of the US. Post the adoption of the United States Declaration of Independence in 1776, the city was a major center of political activities and served as the temporary capital between 1790 and 1800 while Washington, D.C., was being built.

  • Amish America

    Pennsylvania is home to the largest Amish settlement in the world and as per the 2020 statistics, 81,500 Amish people live in the state. The Amish community migrated here in the 18th century and primarily speak Pennsylvania German.

  • Chocolate Capital of USA

    Pennsylvania is a major dairy and livestock producer in the country and this contributed to big chocolate and snack companies having factories here. The US chocolate industry is centered in Hershey, a town in Pennsylvania where Mars, Godiva, and Wilbur Chocolate Factory have units.

    Some of the popular chocolate companies in Pennsylvania include:

    • The Hershey Company
    • Blumenthal Brothers Chocolate Company
    • D. L. Clark Company
    • Eclat Chocolate
    • Frankford Candy & Chocolate Company
    • Gertrude Hawk Chocolates
    • Shane Confectionery
    • Just Born
    • Whitman's

  • Cheesesteak Sandwich

    Cheesesteak sandwich has roots in Philadelphia, where it was developed in the early 20th century by combining frizzled beef, onions, and cheese in a small loaf of bread. Soon it got popular across the country and is now available in multiple variations, such as chicken cheesesteak, mushroom cheesesteak, cheesesteak hoagie, vegan cheesesteak, and steak Milano.

  • One of the original thirteen colonies of America.

    Pennsylvania is one of the thirteen original founding states of the United States that declared independence and war with the Kingdom of Great Britain on July 4, 1776. The declaration was announced at the Pennsylvania State House which later led to the establishment of the United States of America.

  • Gettysburg National Military Park Museum

    This is a museum dedicated to the American Civil War and displays artifacts including cannons, firearms, and uniforms. Established in 2008, the museum is run by Gettysburg National Military Park, which protects the landscape of the 1863 Battle of Gettysburg. There are also guided tours to the battlefield and Eisenhower National Historic Site.

schools in pennsylvania

What are the best Schools & Universities in Pennsylvania

Whether you're moving to Pennsylvania with school-age kids or you're interested in schooling in the state, you'll find a number of prestigious schools.

We've collated a list of the best schools in Pennsylvania to help you get started.

What are the best elementary schools in Pennsylvania?

  • Butler El School
    Central Bucks School District,Public, K-6 | 824 students

  • Warwick El School
    Central Bucks School District, Public, K-6 | 552 students

  • Dallastown El School
    Dallastown Area School District, Public, K-3 | 175 students

  • Jeffery Primary School
    Shaler Area School District,Public, K-3 | 170 students

  • Streams El School
    Upper Saint Clair School District, Public, K-4 | 503 students

Best Middle Schools in Pennsylvania

  • Fort Couch Middle School
    Upper Saint Clair School District, Public, 7-8 | 637 students

  • Spring-Ford Ms 7th Grade Center
    Spring-Ford Area School District, Public, 7 | 611 students

  • Penn Alexander School
    Philadelphia City School District, Public, K-8 | 576 students

  • Avonworth Middle School
    Avonworth School District, Public, 6-8 | 241 students

  • Independence Middle School
    Bethel Park School District, Public, 7-8 | 639 students

Best High Schools in Pennsylvania

  • Central Bucks High School-East
    Central Bucks School District, Public, 10-12 | 1533 students

  • Fairview High School
    Fairview School District, Public, 9-12 | 517 students

  • Fox Chapel Area High School
    Fox Chapel Area School District, Public, 9-12 | 1347 students

  • Upper Saint Clair High School
    Upper Saint Clair School District, Public, 9-12 | 1398 students

  • Abington Heights High School
    Abington Heights School District, Public, 9-12 | 1048 students

Best Colleges and Universities in Pennsylvania

  • University of Pennsylvania

  • Carnegie Mellon University

  • Haverford College

  • Swarthmore College

  • Lehigh University

  • Bucknell University

  • Bryn Mawr College

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