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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 705 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 2022? According to the most recent census data, Girardville 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.
The 10 Worst Small Towns In Pennsylvania For 2022
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 3)
Median Home Value: $33,200 (4th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 14.4% (23rd worst)
More on Girardville: Data
Rank Last Year: -
Median Home Value: $99,500 (158th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 32.6% (worst)
More on Briar Creek: Data
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $41,200 (7th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 20.3% (6th worst)
More on Renovo: Data
Rank Last Year: 107 (Up 103)
Median Home Value: $122,700 (254th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 27.1% (2nd worst)
More on Pocono Ranch Lands: Data
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 4)
Median Home Value: $70,700 (50th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 8.0% (132nd worst)
More on Shinglehouse: Data
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 5)
Median Home Value: $79,000 (79th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 7.1% (17worst)
More on Westfield: 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 2022
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 2016-2020 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 - 705 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:
- Aspinwall (Pop. 2,687)
- Wyncote (Pop. 3,333)
- Narberth (Pop. 4,304)
For more Pennsylvania reading, check out:
Detailed List Of The Worst Small Towns In Pennsylvania
|4||Pocono Ranch Lands||1,189|
|53||Coaldale Borough (Schuylkill County)||2,164|