Most Americans have never been to Pennsylvania. However, as the people who live there know, Pennsylvania is an awesome state.
But is it all roses? Definitely not. Just like any other state, Pennsylvania has its trouble spots. This article aims to determine, using science, the absolute worst small towns to live in the Keystone State. Don’t shoot the messenger, this is all using data.
After analyzing more than 634 of Pennsylvania’s smallest cities, we came up with this list as the 10 worst small towns in Pennsylvania where you’d never want to live:
So what is the worst small town to call home in Pennsylvania for 2019? According to the most recent census data, Renovo is the worst small town to live in Pennsylvania.
Of course, many of these cities would rank highly if they were in other states, since Pennsylvania has its stuff figured out.
Read on below to see how we crunched the numbers, or scroll to the bottom to see how your town ranked.
How do you decide if a place is lousy or not?
In order to rank the worst small towns to live in Pennsylvania, we had to determine what criteria people like or dislike about a place. It isn’t a stretch to assume that people like low crime, solid education, things to do and a stable economy.
So we scraped the internet for those criteria, and it spit out the answer. Like magic.
How we determined the worst small towns to live in Pennsylvania for 2019
We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using FBI crime data and the Census’s 2013-2017 American Community Survey, this is the criteria we used:
- Population Density (The lower the worse)
- Highest Unemployment Rates
- Low housing costs (meaning there’s no demand)
- Adjusted Median Income (Median income adjusted for the cost of living)
- Education (Number of high school dropouts)
- High Crime
We looked at cities with populations between 1,000 and 5,000 people, of which, there were a lot – 634 to be exact.
Additional note: We get the crime numbers from the FBI, which gets its crime numbers from the cities themselves. Dropout numbers are based on the adult population, not just the current graduation rates of teenagers.
This list is a scientific analysis based on real data and is completely unbiased.
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $42,900 (11th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 13.7% (26th worst)
More on Renovo: Data
Rank Last Year: –
Median Home Value: $85,300 (122nd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 21.5% (3rd worst)
More on Shinglehouse: Data
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 6)
Median Home Value: $77,300 (87th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 9.6% (102nd worst)
More on Black Lick: Data
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 2)
Median Home Value: $82,500 (114th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 12.4% (43rd worst)
More on Westfield: Data
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $81,500 (108th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 13.8% (24th worst)
More on Susquehanna Depot: Data
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 2)
Median Home Value: $76,900 (84th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 20.8% (5th worst)
More on Hyde: Data
Rank Last Year: 27 (Up 18)
Median Home Value: $51,100 (17th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 11.9% (51st worst)
More on New Philadelphia: Data
Rank Last Year: 13 (Up 3)
Median Home Value: $63,700 (38th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 11.5% (56th worst)
More on Marshallton: Data
There You Have It – The Worst Small Towns In Pennsylvania
If you’re analyzing teeny places in the Keystone State with the worst economic situations, where there’s high crime and there’s not a lot to do, this is an accurate list.
If you’re curious enough, here are the best small towns to live in Pennsylvania, according to science:
- Chesterbrook (Pop. 4,675)
- Narberth (Pop. 4,330)
- Seven Fields (Pop. 2,829)
For more Pennsylvania reading, check out:
- 10 Best Places To Raise A Family In Pennsylvania
- 10 Safest Places In Pennsylvania
- 10 Best Cities For Singles In Pennsylvania
- 10 Worst Places To Live In Pennsylvania
Detailed List Of The Worst Small Towns In Pennsylvania
|11||Coaldale Borough (Schuylkill County)||2,208|
|38||Oakland Cdp (Lawrence County)||1,626|
|98||Gold Key Lake||1,611|