Harrisburg, Lancaster, Pittsburgh all named on best places to live list

By Kelly Leighton | April 26, 2019 | 2 min. read

Pennsylvania cities nabbed three spots on U.S. World and Report’s Best Places to Live top 50 list.

Harrisburg came in 44th, followed by Lancaster in 48th and Pittsburgh in 50th, according to U.S. News and World Report’s 2019 125 Best Places to Live in the USA. The report considered the value of the place, its desirability, job market and quality of life while ranking the cities.

Harrisburg scored 6.7 out of 10 overall, gaining the most points in the quality of life category, at 6.9 percent. The housing market and cost of living are both considered very affordable. The median home price is just over $160,000, more than $50,000 below the national median. The average annual salary is just under $50,000. With a population of just over half of a million, the median age is 40, which is younger than the median age in comparable cities. Harrisburg offers many outdoor opportunities, entertainment options and historical features.

Lancaster, which has a comparable, but slightly smaller population than Harrisburg, also scored 6.7 out of 10 on the chart, with a high quality of life score at 7.7. Home prices in Lancaster are still affordable, with a median cost of $196,025, while the average annual salary is $44,760. Lancaster has a large population of Amish and Mennonite communities, with a median age of just over 39. In Lancaster, there are plenty of things to do for outdoor enthusiasts, as well as easy travel to other metropolises.

Pittsburgh also scored a 6.7 on the scale, ranking highest in the value category at 8.2. With a population of just over 2 million people, Pittsburgh offers very affordable housing for such a large city. The median home price is $140,855, nearly $90,000 under the median national home price. The average annual salary is $48,580, making homeownership an option for many residents. The median age in the city is 43, and is predicted to go lower, thanks to more job opportunities. Pittsburgh offers many public transportation options, sports, entertainment, culture and art.

Other Pennsylvania cities to make the list include Reading (84th), York (87th), Allentown (93rd), Scranton (98th) and Philadelphia (102nd).

Austin, Denver, Colorado Springs, Fayetteville and Des Moines were the top five cities to live in the country this year.

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