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 698 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:
- Briar Creek
- Centerville Borough (Crawford County)
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 crunched the numbers
We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using FBI crime data, the Census’s 2010-2014 American Community Survey, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 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 100 and 1,000 people, of which, there were a lot – 698 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.
Population: 153 Median Income: $27,143
Median Home Value: $81,700
Population: 358 Median Income: $23,239
Median Home Value: $59,200
Population: 170 Median Income: $38,958
Median Home Value: $56,100
Population: 482 Median Income: $30,972
Median Home Value: $42,800
5. Briar Creek
Population: 750 Median Income: $21,453
Median Home Value: $81,100
Population: 690 Median Income: $23,920
Median Home Value: $84,300
Population: 820 Median Income: $29,722
Median Home Value: $84,700
8. Centerville Borough (Crawford County)
Population: 177 Median Income: $33,750
Median Home Value: $73,500
Population: 217 Median Income: $36,000
Median Home Value: $60,000
Population: 193 Median Income: $28,750
Median Home Value: $162,500
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.
- Best: Ben Avon Heights
- 2nd Best: Thornburg
- 3rd Best: Rennerdale
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