Worst Small Towns In Pennsylvania For 2020


Using science and data, we can tell you which teeny specks in PA are the pits.

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Editor’s Note: This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. Don’t freak out we updated this article for 2020. This is our sixth time ranking the worst small places to live in Pennsylvania.

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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 663 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 2020? According to the most recent census data, Shinglehouse 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.

And if you already know about the small towns, check out the best places to live in Pennsylvania or the worst places to live in Pennsylvania.

If you're looking for something more national, check out the worst cities in America or the worst states in America.

The 10 Worst Small Towns In Pennsylvania For 2020

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 1,029
Rank Last Year: 2 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $80,700 (100th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 20.8% (2nd worst)
More on Shinglehouse:  Data

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 1,089
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $40,300 (8th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 13.8% (22nd worst)
More on Renovo:  Data

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 1,295
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $86,300 (124th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 11.1% (54th worst)
More on Westfield:  Data

Midland, PA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 3,003
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 2)
Median Home Value: $60,400 (29th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 8.7% (106th worst)
More on Midland:  Data | Photos

Shenandoah, PA

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 4,853
Rank Last Year: 5 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $29,400 (2nd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 19.4% (3rd worst)
More on Shenandoah:  Data | Photos

Ashland, PA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 2,704
Rank Last Year: 15 (Up 9)
Median Home Value: $53,300 (18th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 16.6% (8th worst)
More on Ashland:  Data | Photos

Marcus Hook, PA

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 2,393
Rank Last Year: 12 (Up 5)
Median Home Value: $79,800 (94th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 14.2% (18th worst)
More on Marcus Hook:  Data | Photos

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 1,692
Rank Last Year: 7 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $79,800 (94th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 16.1% (10th worst)
More on Susquehanna Depot:  Data

Farrell, PA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 4,722
Rank Last Year: 13 (Up 4)
Median Home Value: $60,700 (30th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 11.5% (44th worst)
More on Farrell:  Data | Photos

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 1,312
Rank Last Year: 10 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $60,100 (27th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 9.1% (93rd worst)
More on Marshallton:  Data

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 2020

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 2014-2018 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 - 663 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.

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:

  1. Newtown Grant (Pop. 3,636)
  2. Narberth (Pop. 4,350)
  3. Seven Fields (Pop. 2,791)

For more Pennsylvania reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Worst Small Towns In Pennsylvania

Rank Town Population Unemployment Rate Home Value
1 Shinglehouse 1,029 20.8% $80,700
2 Renovo 1,089 13.8% $40,300
3 Westfield 1,295 11.1% $86,300
4 Midland 3,003 8.7% $60,400
5 Shenandoah 4,853 19.4% $29,400
6 Ashland 2,704 16.6% $53,300
7 Marcus Hook 2,393 14.2% $79,800
8 Susquehanna Depot 1,692 16.1% $79,800
9 Farrell 4,722 11.5% $60,700
10 Marshallton 1,312 9.1% $60,100
11 Brownsville 2,046 12.9% $60,300
12 Hyde 1,334 9.9% $68,300
13 Republic 1,230 18.4% $66,100
14 Black Lick 1,718 8.2% $94,400
15 Edgewood 2,376 17.9% $58,300
16 Homestead 3,153 9.0% $49,700
17 Mahanoy City 4,018 13.5% $27,900
18 Coaldale Borough (Schuylkill County) 2,162 8.1% $49,300
19 Apollo 1,409 14.7% $62,500
20 West Hazleton 4,496 6.4% $68,400
21 Girardville 1,411 14.2% $30,500
22 Rankin 2,100 11.9% $45,500
23 Windsor 1,245 10.1% $110,400
24 Boswell 1,345 16.0% $76,800
25 Mount Union 2,401 13.0% $75,000
26 Reynoldsville 2,692 10.2% $70,400
27 Elkland 1,903 7.1% $78,800
28 Eddystone 2,552 8.7% $88,800
29 Hawley 1,331 13.9% $134,400
30 Dale 1,056 15.3% $31,900
31 Wilmerding 1,949 17.8% $52,400
32 St. Clair 2,891 12.8% $67,600
33 Glassport 4,391 8.7% $61,600
34 Orchard Hills 2,468 8.2% $88,000
35 Honesdale 4,308 6.8% $121,600
36 Glen Lyon 1,860 10.1% $73,600
37 Meyersdale 1,958 6.2% $81,800
38 Braddock 1,729 8.8% $31,100
39 North Braddock 4,758 9.1% $37,900
40 Saw Creek 3,757 14.0% $126,200
41 Tresckow 1,017 12.9% $91,400
42 New Philadelphia 1,021 8.1% $50,800
43 Central City 1,073 8.8% $63,800
44 Lansford 3,808 11.4% $49,000
45 Bentleyville 2,515 7.4% $117,700
46 Belle Vernon 1,016 15.9% $82,700
47 West Milton 1,458 6.2% $129,500
48 Everett 1,872 4.4% $87,000
49 Mcadoo 2,380 11.8% $67,500
50 South Connellsville 1,958 6.0% $73,700
51 Mount Pocono 3,079 11.1% $149,700
52 East Uniontown 2,540 6.8% $89,300
53 Tremont 1,801 12.4% $65,400
54 Milroy 1,504 6.9% $88,100
55 Sharpsburg 3,374 11.3% $76,500
56 Trainer 1,704 9.9% $106,200
57 Nanty-Glo 2,570 5.2% $65,900
58 Sheffield 1,211 7.7% $79,300
59 Fairchance 2,094 8.4% $90,600
60 Curwensville 2,467 11.9% $84,900
61 Kittanning 3,838 10.9% $64,900
62 Fairview-Ferndale 2,009 4.1% $68,500
63 Albion 1,571 7.2% $94,500
64 West Hamburg 1,983 11.0% $104,500
65 Coudersport 2,699 4.7% $93,400
66 Tarentum 4,441 9.7% $61,400
67 East Bangor 1,003 10.4% $155,900
68 Mountainhome 1,073 7.1% $150,300
69 Mount Oliver 3,340 11.3% $57,500
70 Donora 4,635 6.9% $57,000
71 Oakwood 2,250 8.4% $76,900
72 Versailles 1,631 9.9% $66,500
73 Northern Cambria 3,618 6.5% $65,400
74 Johnsonburg 2,353 8.3% $49,500
75 Beave 1,085 6.3% $120,600
76 Salix 1,340 8.5% $116,300
77 East Conemaugh 1,027 6.4% $35,000
78 Reynolds Heights 1,636 7.7% $97,800
79 Sykesville 1,020 5.2% $68,600
80 Hallstead 1,299 3.9% $92,900
81 West Fairview 1,335 8.9% $106,000
82 Avonmore 1,099 8.0% $76,300
83 New Eagle 2,118 7.5% $79,400
84 New Oxford 2,099 5.6% $155,800
85 Oakland Cdp (Lawrence County) 1,469 8.1% $82,600
86 Millbourne 1,287 11.4% $161,000
87 Leetsdale 1,237 4.3% $77,700
88 Forest City 2,131 8.6% $96,500
89 Maso 3,358 7.6% $84,100
90 Oliver 2,857 6.8% $81,200
91 Sandy 1,650 3.4% $99,400
92 Towanda 2,850 7.2% $132,600
93 Point Marion 1,280 6.7% $73,700
94 Lykens 1,673 3.3% $76,800
95 Patton 1,714 7.2% $71,400
96 Pleasant Hill 2,825 7.2% $105,600
97 Waymart 1,318 4.7% $141,800
98 Jim Thorpe 4,643 11.2% $146,200
99 Clymer 1,235 6.5% $69,400
100 Pymatuning Central 2,088 5.6% $96,900

How Is The Area In ?

13 thoughts on “Worst Small Towns In Pennsylvania, 2020

  1. This dude’s obviously retarded. I wonder if you decided that mathematical statistics was a great factor to use when having such a small place like Alba. I lived there and after living across the nation, I’d go back. Guess it’s just a small town feeling that people like this garbage-ass blogger will never understand.

  2. I live near springboro and this article is spot on. Except for many of the people do have jobs, only it’s illegal and called meth labs.

  3. I like Knoxville, where my Mom was born & raised, she grew up there. Also had lots of other family that lived there too. She liked growing up there. But as time went on, family moved away or passed away. Now my Mom’s buried there, same Cemetery with her family that already passed, also friends.

  4. Seriously if you knew that Allenport is actually part of several other areas out there, that are worth living in. I live in Charleroi, PA, which is 4.2 miles from Allenport, then you haven’t been in the Mid Mon Valley, and don’t know jack about this area. Get your facts straight

  5. Scranton PA ,,,,, Born and raised there ,,,, 1940 thru 1999 ,,, moved in 99 have been back just a few weeks ago ,, would never move back there …. It should be listed as the worst city to live in !!! It is so RUN DOWN ,,, The streets ,,, the homes ,, it is a MESS !!!!!!

  6. Marianna is not 45 minutes from Washington. 20 to 25 depending on where your going. Lived in Marianna for 17 years. My family is still there. And Washington isn’t the closest town, Waynesburg is only 15 minutes.
    If he got that wrong, what else did he get wrong?

  7. This blogger has a stick up his ass for small towns. Blogger probably looked at a bunch of statistics and thought he/she should just shit all over these places because why not. My point here is blogger is an asshole.

  8. Christ, I have to drive through Westover every day, that’s bad enough, I couldn’t imagine living there, maybe if I had a hot cousin or something tho….

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