The 10 Worst Places To Live In Pennsylvania For 2024

The worst places to live in Pennsylvania are McKeesport and Clairton for 2024 based on Friday Night Science.

Ah, the P.A. Where you’ve got two liberal bookends, and in between, some pretty rural stretches of conservatism. The only place in the country where all the sports teams have the same colors, and where the fans actually know what the heck they’re talking about.

And then there’s the food and the culture. Plus, Pittsburgh has been named as one of the best cities in the nation many times over now.

Pennsylvania might be one of the most interesting and unique states in the nation.

Is it all good in the Keystone State? Of course not. Just like every other state, PA has its least desirable spots. The purpose of this post is to use science and data to determine which places are the worst you could possibly live in if you make Pennsylvania your home.

After analyzing 174 of the state’s most populous cities (over 5,000 people), we came up with this list as the 10 worst places to live in the state of Pennsylvania:

Table Of Contents: Top Ten | Methodology | Summary | Table

The 10 Worst Places To Live In Pennsylvania For 2024

  1. McKeesport
  2. Clairton
  3. Duquesne
  4. Turtle Creek
  5. Darby
  6. Corry
  7. Collingdale
  8. Folcroft
  9. Reading
  10. McKees Rocks

Worst Places To Live In Pennsylvania Map

Where are these places, you wonder? And before you get all riled up and say we’re picking on small towns in Pennsylvania, that’s not the case.

We understand there’s a lot of good in every place. For example, the best place to live in Pennsylvania is Camp Hill.

However, according to data (which doesn’t measure things like beauty and ‘friendly people’), the state has far better options for making a place home. And the worst place to live in Pennsylvania? The worst place to live in Pennsylvania is McKeesport.

Read below to see how we crunched the numbers and how your city fared in 2024.

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

For more Pennsylvania reading, check out:

The 10 Worst Places To Live In Pennsylvania For 2024

Mckeesport, PA

Source: Wikipedia User David Wilson from Oak Park, Illinois, USA | CC BY 2.0
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 17,749
Average Home Price: $82,277
Median Income: $31,635
Unemployment Rate: 7.8%
Crime Per Capita: 0.0606
More on Mckeesport: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

About 12 miles southeast of Pittsburgh is the rundown and partly abandoned city of McKeesport. Don’t get it confused with McKees ROCKS, another terrible place outside of Pittsburgh which gets an honorable mention as a place to avoid moving to.

There’s barely a single decent home in McKeesport, and nearly every other building is a crack den or just…empty. There’s a reason people call it Disease Port.

Homes are the 7th cheapest in the entire state where you can get a place for about $82,277, although in some of these streets, you could offer $4,000 and be taken seriously. There are housing projects everywhere and ‘downtown’ if you can call it that, lacks anything desirable for most people looking for quality of life. Even the elementary schools have metal detectors in em.

And if you don’t like gangs, then you wouldn’t like McKeesport. That’s because there are rival gangs here.

It’s very poor and there’s VERY little opportunities for work. And the drive to Pittsburgh is bleak, sad and depressing.

There’s about 19,000 people here. Don’t make it 19,000 and 1.

Clairton, PA

Source: Wikipedia User Bernini123 | CC BY-SA 4.0
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Population: 6,182
Average Home Price: $135,357
Median Income: $41,301
Unemployment Rate: 10.6%
Crime Per Capita: 0.0606
More on Clairton: Data | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

Clairton had a moment of Hollywood fame in the 1970s. It served as the hometown for characters in the The Deer Hunter, which won the 1978 Best Picture Oscar. Nowadays, the community is famous for a much less impressive reason: it’s one of the worst places to live in Pennsylvania.

A rough economy weighs on the 6,182 residents, with a 10.6% unemployment rate and a median income of $41,301. Crime also sits slightly above the national average.

Located a half hour southeast of Pittsburgh, Clairton does have some good points. For instance, residents can take advantage of the nearby Dead Man’s Hollow Conservation Area.

Duquesne, PA

Source: Flickr User jmd41280 | CC BY-ND 2.0
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Population: 5,241
Average Home Price: $46,621
Median Income: $40,969
Unemployment Rate: 7.8%
Crime Per Capita: 0.0606
More on Duquesne: Data | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

Built along the west bank of the Monongahela River, Duquesne serves as a suburb of Pittsburgh. A 20-minute drive will take you to the city center. This access to a major metropolitan area provides one of the main draws for the town.

Unfortunately, there are other factors at play. That convenient location doesn’t save the community from becoming the number 3 worst location in Pennsylvania.

The 5,241 residents of Duquesne must suffer through a dismal economy, a high crime rate, and mediocre schools. The unemployment rate sits at 7.8%, while 25.8% of locals eke out a living below the poverty line.

Turtle Creek, PA

Source: Public domain
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Population: 5,087
Average Home Price: $83,897
Median Income: $42,344
Unemployment Rate: 14.5%
Crime Per Capita: 0.0606
More on Turtle Creek: Data | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

Darby, PA

Source: Public domain
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Population: 10,682
Average Home Price: $109,626
Median Income: $45,511
Unemployment Rate: 13.9%
Crime Per Capita: 0.1069
More on Darby: Data | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

Darby exists as a suburb of Philadelphia, about 20 minutes southwest of the city center. Easy access to one of the region’s major cultural centers hasn’t done much of this town of 10,682 residents. It’s considered one of the worst places to live in all of Pennsylvania.

Economic woes weigh on the population. The unemployment rate comes in at 13.9% and the median income sits at $45,511. This dismal financial situation leads to other challenges. The crime rate runs about 90% above the U.S. norm.

There are sparks of joy in Darby as well. For instance, residents can head to Bartram Park for a pleasant hike.

Corry, PA

Source: Wikipedia User Niagara | CC BY-SA 3.0
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Population: 6,209
Average Home Price: $136,071
Median Income: $44,138
Unemployment Rate: 10.5%
Crime Per Capita: 0.0283
More on Corry: Data | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

Corry, located in Erie County, Pennsylvania, is unfortunately ranked as the fourth worst place to live in the state. While it may be tempting to overlook the negative aspects, it’s important to address the issues that make Corry a less desirable place to reside. One factor that contributes to its ranking is the crime rate. Although specific statistics are unavailable, the presence of property and violent crimes is concerning for residents. This raises safety concerns and affects the overall quality of life in the area.

Additionally, Corry faces economic challenges, with a median income of $44,138 and a poverty level that ranks 156th out of all cities in Pennsylvania. The high unemployment rate of 10.5% further exacerbates the financial struggles faced by its residents. These factors contribute to a lower standard of living and limited opportunities for growth and prosperity.

While Corry may currently face challenges, it’s crucial to recognize that with concerted efforts and community involvement, positive changes can be made. By addressing the crime rate, improving job opportunities, and investing in economic development, Corry can work towards becoming a safer and more prosperous place to call home.

Collingdale, PA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 8,865
Average Home Price: $186,243
Median Income: $49,819
Unemployment Rate: 8.6%
Crime Per Capita: 0.1069
More on Collingdale: Data | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

Collingdale, a borough in Delaware County, Pennsylvania, is unfortunately ranked as one of the worst places to live in the state. While there is potential for improvement, Collingdale currently faces numerous challenges that make it a less desirable place to reside. One of the major concerns is the high crime rate, with statistics indicating an elevated level of violent and property crimes. This poses significant safety risks for the community. Additionally, Collingdale struggles with economic issues such as poverty and unemployment, contributing to a lower median income and limited opportunities for residents. However, with concerted efforts and community involvement, there is hope that Collingdale can overcome these obstacles and work towards a brighter future.

Folcroft, PA

Source: Wikipedia User US Census, Ruhrfisch | GFDL
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Population: 6,758
Average Home Price: $198,500
Median Income: $56,650
Unemployment Rate: 10.2%
Crime Per Capita: 0.1069
More on Folcroft: Data | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

Folcroft, located in Delaware County, Pennsylvania, holds the unfortunate distinction of being one of the worst places to live in the state. The borough’s high crime rate and safety concerns make it a challenging place to call home. Although Folcroft has a population of 6,738, its residents face significant crime-related issues. With limited data available on specific crime statistics, it is crucial to acknowledge that Folcroft struggles with violence and property crimes. However, it is important to note that with concerted efforts and community involvement, this situation can improve. Despite its challenges, Folcroft’s location in Delaware County offers the potential for growth and revitalization in the future.

Reading, PA

Source: Wikipedia User Flickr upload bot | CC BY-SA 2.0
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Population: 94,601
Average Home Price: $225,510
Median Income: $42,852
Unemployment Rate: 11.3%
Crime Per Capita: 0.0413
More on Reading: Data | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

Where’s our 9th worst place to move to in the state of Pennsylvania? Reading is.

About halfway between Allentown and Lancaster (lankuster) is the community of Reading. It’s bad here and getting worse here. Locals call this a ‘mad ghetto’. At one point it was the poorest city in the nation. Police officers and firefighters god bless them – hand out food here to the growing number of poverty stricken folks. It’s filled with dilapidated row homes, rodents, homeless and junkies. The amount of concentrated poverty here is only surpassed by Camden in the entire region of this country.

If you moved here, your children would on a daily basis be exposed to overdoses, gun violence, abandoned factories, slums and urban decay. The south side of Reading is the worst part of town.

Anyways, folks here are unemployed at the 11th highest rate in the state, and people have compared this to a third world country so that’s not very good at all.

Mckees Rocks, PA

Source: Wikipedia User Lee Paxton | GFDL
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Population: 5,893
Average Home Price: $170,773
Median Income: $33,958
Unemployment Rate: 15.5%
Crime Per Capita: 0.0606
More on Mckees Rocks: Data | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

McKees Rocks is built along the Ohio River, about 10 minutes from the center of Pittsburgh. The area once thrived, thanks to strong steel and railroad industries. These began fading during the second half of the 20th century and now the community ranks as the number 10 worst area in Pennsylvania.

Housing, jobs, and safety make McKees Rocks a rough area. The unemployment rate stands at 15.5% and the community suffers a 32.6% poverty rate. Meanwhile, the crime rate hovers about 160% above the national average.

Methodology: How we determined the worst places to live in Pennsylvania for 2024

To figure out the worst places to live in Pennsylvania, we used Saturday Night Science to idenift what kinds of things people like and then decide what cities have the least amount of those things.

We don’t think it’s a stretch to assume that people like the following things:

  • Good education
  • Lots of jobs
  • Low crime
  • Low poverty
  • Nice homes
  • High incomes
  • High population density (Lots of things to do)
  • Short work commutes
  • Health insurance

The data comes from the Census’s most recent American Community Survey and the FBI Uniform Crime Report.

We broke crime down into violent crime and property crime to give violent crime a more significant weight. If you did a simple calculation of all crimes per capita, property crimes are typically 7x more common and bias that ranking.

Furthermore, only cities with at least 5,000 people were considered — leaving 174 cities.

We then ranked each city from 1 to 174 for all the criteria, with a #1 ranking being the worst for the particular criteria.

Next, we averaged the rankings into one “Worst Place To Live Score.”

Finally, we ranked every city on the “Worst Place To Live Score,” with the lowest score being the worst city in Pennsylvania — McKeesport. Read on for a detailed look at the ten worst cities in Pennsylvania. This article is an opinion based on facts meant as infotainment. We updated this article for 2024. This list is our tenth time ranking the worst places to live in Pennsylvania.

Summary: Wrapping Up The Worst In Pennsylvania

If you’re looking at areas in Pennsylvania with the worst economic situations, where there’s higher than average crime and little to do, this is an accurate list.

And in the end, Mckeesport ranks as the worst city to live in Pennsylvania for 2024.

The worst cities in Pennsylvania are .

If you’re curious enough, here are the best cities to live in Pennsylvania:

  1. State College (Pop. 40,902)
  2. Collegeville (Pop. 5,172)
  3. Camp Hill (Pop. 8,133)

For more Pennsylvania reading, check out:

Worst Places To Live In Pennsylvania

Rank City Population Unemployment Rate Home Price Median Income Crime Per Capita
1 McKeesport 17,749 7.8% $82,277 $31,635 0.0606
2 Clairton 6,182 10.6% $135,357 $41,301 0.0606
3 Duquesne 5,241 7.8% $46,621 $40,969 0.0606
4 Turtle Creek 5,087 14.5% $83,897 $42,344 0.0606
5 Darby 10,682 13.9% $109,626 $45,511 0.1069
6 Corry 6,209 10.5% $136,071 $44,138 0.0283
7 Collingdale 8,865 8.6% $186,243 $49,819 0.1069
8 Folcroft 6,758 10.2% $198,500 $56,650 0.1069
9 Reading 94,601 11.3% $225,510 $42,852 0.0413
10 McKees Rocks 5,893 15.5% $170,773 $33,958 0.0606
11 Hazleton 29,671 6.9% $187,964 $39,362 0.0303
12 Chester 33,048 15.9% $91,695 $39,193 0.0541
13 York 44,782 12.0% $242,855 $42,351 0.0328
14 Philadelphia 1,593,208 8.6% $216,286 $57,537 0.0524
15 Sharon Hill 5,976 18.4% $179,059 $66,378 0.1069
16 Yeadon 12,017 7.2% $211,262 $55,667 0.1069
17 East Stroudsburg 9,345 8.1% $282,508 $60,137 0.0284
18 Allentown 125,292 9.2% $267,464 $52,449 0.0308
19 West Hazleton 5,130 5.6% $154,666 $46,856 0.0187
20 Lock Haven 8,422 7.3% $180,781 $42,930 0.0284
21 Aliquippa 9,198 8.4% $171,120 $42,601 0.0151
22 Clifton Heights 6,834 18.3% $237,541 $61,155 0.1069
23 Harrisburg 50,055 9.0% $230,686 $46,654 0.0259
24 Munhall 10,738 6.6% $133,350 $47,879 0.0606
25 Monessen 6,876 6.5% $76,947 $51,364 0.0380
26 Lebanon 26,679 10.0% $242,059 $47,160 0.0262
27 New Kensington 12,163 7.0% $157,212 $47,015 0.0380
28 White Oak 7,585 6.9% $180,169 $57,054 0.0606
29 Wilkinsburg 14,340 8.5% $144,579 $46,013 0.0435
30 Taylor 6,274 9.5% $179,329 $57,667 0.0234
31 Stroudsburg 5,897 2.8% $323,097 $58,412 0.0284
32 Jeannette 8,790 7.9% $147,052 $47,801 0.0108
33 New Castle 21,863 15.6% $131,962 $39,948 0.0125
34 Whitehall 14,909 5.0% $243,992 $77,752 0.0606
35 Ambridge 6,937 10.5% $119,539 $46,059 0.0151
36 Nanticoke 10,606 6.1% $126,228 $56,238 0.0303
37 Wilkes-Barre 44,123 8.4% $138,207 $46,597 0.0203
38 Pittston 7,601 6.8% $176,112 $44,863 0.0303
39 Oxford 5,724 4.8% $398,773 $59,989 0.0056
40 Chambersburg 21,917 4.8% $257,534 $53,493 0.0296
41 Jefferson Hills 12,296 4.0% $312,878 $108,245 0.0606
42 Erie 94,826 6.8% $168,333 $43,135 0.0283
43 California 5,328 10.2% $112,750 $46,471 0.0101
44 Scranton 76,119 5.6% $158,353 $48,776 0.0209
45 Glenolden 7,190 4.7% $224,149 $71,719 0.1069
46 Norwood 5,926 8.7% $260,832 $83,104 0.1069
47 West York 5,069 5.7% $123,017 $59,773 0.0328
48 Tamaqua 6,911 5.3% $122,511 $48,920 0.0078
49 Red Lion 6,499 0.5% $261,816 $59,503 0.0328
50 Hanover 16,411 6.9% $256,890 $60,050 0.0243
51 Butler 13,387 9.4% $229,441 $39,546 0.0247
52 Birdsboro 5,106 6.1% $294,777 $73,798 0.0413
53 Lehighton 5,279 9.4% $249,253 $59,940 0.0229
54 Bethlehem 76,555 5.6% $311,453 $62,072 0.0308
55 Uniontown 9,913 12.7% $140,796 $37,886 0.0016
56 Beaver Falls 8,934 11.5% $158,502 $39,194 0.0151
57 New Holland 5,734 2.6% $358,363 $59,553 0.0225
58 Millersville 8,426 4.1% $308,678 $65,804 0.0225
59 Titusville 5,262 7.7% $100,066 $36,071 0.0104
60 Johnstown 18,429 7.1% $92,436 $33,466 0.0098
61 Steelton 6,243 6.0% $129,713 $55,861 0.0259
62 Lancaster 57,970 7.4% $203,705 $61,014 0.0225
63 Manheim 5,028 5.8% $240,588 $75,833 0.0225
64 Coatesville 13,316 8.3% $330,916 $55,989 0.0056
65 Shamokin 6,915 8.7% $59,352 $32,753 0.0100
66 Washington 13,358 8.5% $208,813 $50,548 0.0270
67 Carbondale 8,818 6.5% $127,897 $52,681 0.0234
68 Bangor 5,172 5.6% $286,466 $51,578 0.0122
69 Sharon 13,143 7.4% $57,668 $40,089 0.0186
70 Milton 6,610 7.0% $197,505 $50,431 0.0100
71 Pittsburgh 303,843 5.7% $224,210 $60,187 0.0606
72 Ephrata 13,738 3.2% $231,736 $62,590 0.0225
73 Baldwin 21,266 3.8% $199,620 $75,139 0.0606
74 Columbia 10,203 4.2% $250,459 $50,309 0.0225
75 Tyrone 5,447 5.1% $139,813 $50,889 0.0167
76 Franklin Park 15,305 4.3% $495,135 $158,052 0.0606
77 Greensburg 14,876 6.5% $218,993 $58,001 0.0380
78 Huntingdon 6,904 3.9% $188,109 $59,364 0.0284
79 Williamsport 27,755 6.5% $185,379 $48,388 0.0214
80 Plymouth 5,771 4.3% $103,691 $46,858 0.0303
81 Pottsville 13,386 9.5% $124,594 $46,081 0.0078
82 Brookhaven 8,268 3.6% $240,312 $90,264 0.1069
83 Vandergrift 5,051 10.2% $92,656 $47,530 0.0055
84 West View 6,660 4.5% $217,210 $75,054 0.0606
85 Clearfield 5,937 8.2% $121,793 $50,485 0.0174
86 Pleasant Hills 8,456 4.6% $246,154 $88,893 0.0606
87 St. Marys 12,691 9.1% $158,992 $61,364 0.0284
88 Duryea 5,047 5.6% $173,579 $68,790 0.0303
89 Olyphant 5,372 3.9% $203,135 $60,120 0.0234
90 Altoona 43,821 6.0% $135,104 $50,435 0.0257
91 Plum 27,032 2.1% $225,948 $91,931 0.0606
92 Palmerton 5,602 1.8% $233,094 $66,358 0.0189
93 Castle Shannon 8,283 1.4% $189,973 $65,700 0.0606
94 Sayre 5,463 8.2% $174,815 $57,788 0.0104
95 Meadville 12,929 6.9% $151,988 $46,157 0.0104
96 Moosic 5,930 3.1% $210,038 $67,434 0.0234
97 Lansdowne 11,051 6.6% $252,844 $70,283 0.0278
98 Swissvale 8,588 6.6% $158,879 $56,594 0.0227
99 Swoyersville 5,021 3.6% $174,911 $64,397 0.0303
100 Exeter 5,509 2.8% $208,115 $60,463 0.0303
About Nick Johnson

Nick Johnson earned his masters in Business Administration from the Drucker School At Claremont Graduate University. He has written for 39 publications across the country and ran the media relations department at Movoto, a real estate portal based in San Francisco. He has been featured in over 500 publications as an expert in real estate and as an authority on real estate trends.

Nick's the creator of the HomeSnacks YouTube channel that now has over 260,000 subscribers and is an excellent source to learn about different parts of the country.

52 thoughts on “The 10 Worst Places To Live In Pennsylvania For 2024

  1. The facts are screwed from the get go. You’re comparing cities with different populations. I you compare a city with 20people with 6 crimes being committed of course is it going to be the worse, then a city with 30people with the same number of crimes. What you should be comparing is the nature of crimes. You can’t compare drunk and disorderly to a double homicide.

  2. Shenandoah is a filthy blighted town. Crime rate is high. Drug arrests is common. Drug traffic is from reading, pa and NYC via latino community. Average home cost is 6000.00. there are so many abandoned homes .

    Tamaqua- this is a charming town. Homes are kept up. Downtown area is busy and has businesses. They have invested a lot of money into this town.

    I know…….I live near these areas

  3. This article s a crock of you know what, nothing even mentioning Pittsburg. I’m sorry but Pittsburg should have at least made the list. Just someone’s written opinion, stats are one sided and not accurate .

    1. McKeesport, Duquesne, Johnstown, and Clairton. All of these towns surround Pittsburgh. There, you got Pittsburgh.

  4. Hi, Just a FYI not that it really matters but THAT IS NOT A PHOTO OF CORRY! I understand the rating I was born here grew up here ~ IT has just recently become quite crappy. The picture you have of it is not Corry, if you need one for you’re story I can send you one. But that is not ANY location in Corry.
    As for crime , are you taking petty crime? Not much crime here can’t remember the last time they had a murder.

  5. Yep, the great W-B area is pretty bad now. A.K.A Dodge City. Thanks to all the peeps coming in from god knows where. So if these peeps stop coming to Wilkes-Barre and “Ruining” it for everyone who has been living there maybe it could be a better place. Unbelievable what a pit it has become thanks to the all the disrespectful outsiders coming in thinking they found a place to litter,loot and commit all their crime. We have enough problems here and don’t need anymore. It is going to take many more years to fix the problems that are at hand already, Heyna!!! Lol!!!

  6. I’m not so convinced that “population density” should be given the weight it is in your numbers, as it is the metric most open to unscientific assumptions and radical interpretation. “Better= more things to do indoors” seems to be quite an associative leap, as many high-poverty/high-population-density communities across the country can attest. Urban food deserts and cultural wastelands with faltering transportation infrastructure that seem to illustrate that any such “things to do” assumption is a fallacy.

    Additionally, where boundaries are drawn matters significantly. In central PA, many towns are nestled in valleys between mountain ridges that lack development opportunities and hinder travel, making them densely-packed islands without the ability to access opportunities in adjacent resources. These “dense, but isolated” spots would be rated high for their density, despite their lack of any substantive “indoor thing to do” besides hang out at the walmart Friday nights. Yet, this community would be rated higher than one in the rolling foothills with well-planned parkland and ample infrastructure that would residents travel twice as far in half the time, allowing them to choose between hanging out at their local walmart on Friday nights or the one in the next town over…

    Finally, when I look at the numbers for a region like “Pittsburgh”, your population count suggests you’re using the MSA or CSA data. In Pittsburgh’s case, that includes several counties’ worth of data that can take considerable time to traverse, represent some of the most distressed towns in the state and some of the most affluent. Comparing that, in aggregate, seems absurd enough, but by using density as a positive metric like this, a small, rather isolated town like Lewisburg higher, as “more likely to have indoor stuff to do” than a town where you can’t go more than 90 feet in any direction without going past a bar/club/restaurant-that-mostly-serves-alcohol sporting “Stillers” jerseys in the windows?”

  7. You are trying to compare apples and oranges. I live in the Rhone section of Nanticoke, and have for several years now. We still get together in the winter and help each other shovel snow, sit on the porch and have a chat with a neighbor, and wave a friendly hello when you see folk on the street. You assume that if there’s not a ton of things to do entertainment-wise indoors that this counts against us. We in the rural areas don’t need a club and a meal at some fancy restaurant to have fun. How about a picnic at the park with your neighbors, where the kids can play together in the fresh air (gasp!) unplugged from video games. Family hiking, swimming, biking, cross country skiing, there things shouldn’t count against us. I would rather live here where I can take my dog for a walk around the block at 2 am if I want without having to worry about being mugged, thanks. If I want to go to a huge museum, I have a car, and I drive there, but I can’t wait to get back to the small town I call home.

  8. I grew up in Corry and go back anytime I can. That #7 picture isn’t Corry either we don’t have the streets painted on the road.

    1. How dumb can you get? The street notations on the roadway are from Google maps images. They aren’t “painted” on the street. I use to have to travel to Corry as I had an account there, it is as bad as they say. The home town I grew up in in PA is depressing, the jobs have been exported to China and Mexico, the middle class has been decimated, drugs and crime are rampant, it’s not the Beaver Cleaver neighborhood I grew up in. I’m sure for those that stayed the changes are more gradual, but step away for 10-20 years and come back and it can be morbidly depressing. I have relatives still in PA, they wouldn’t think of moving, they think the door will shut behind them and they won’t be able to get back. News Flash- We have things called airplanes and airports, you can be just about anywhere in the U.S in 4-5 hours, and actually get back. There is a huge awesome country out there with lots of great places to visit or live at.

  9. it’s a real shame xenophobia isn’t measured for places because then you get the double whammy of horrible adaptation to post industrial economy + “it’s those brown peoples’ fault”

  10. Crime rates are skewed in places with a large amount of commercial development. That is the case for Dickson City. It does not have a large population, but it does have a great deal of commercial development. When the crimes are divided by the residents, it appears to have a high rate. However, most of that crime is probably in the shopping centers, etc., and not committed against local residents.

  11. I agree that Tamaqua does not deserve to be on the list.

    I’m also not convinced that the Hazelton Area has the 3rd worst school district in the state.

  12. So, in the PA version of this list, population density is a good thing. In the NJ, population density is a bad thing. Keep your story straight!

  13. Lived in Lebanon, Pa. I lived in Philadelphia. I now live in Clearfield, PA. I will tell you that you are all wet with your evaluations. Most of the unemployment problems you cite are due to the demise of heavy industries and the governmental murder of the anthracite and soft coal mining industry. Sorry premise rejected, your urban prejudices are showing.

  14. I would personally like to scrutinize the author and this article. Science and data used to compile this list is laughable. There appear to be no real guidelines or perspective with regards to population, size of municipality nor true fact dogging.
    Tamaqua alone offers all TAHS graduates two free years of continued education. That fact alone skews the education dynamic.
    Furthermore, Tamaqua borough is not the line qualifier for the school district, as it also takes in students from West Penn, Schuylkill, Walker and Rush Township. Those areas have larger lot sizes and represent contributing incomes, quality of life and community sponsorship.
    I find this article to be vastly weakened by the comment science and data used. I also regret losing the 20 mins. In reading and replying, as I will never recoup those.
    Shame, shame.

  15. Tsk. So many people bothered by the fact that they’re told their home city is a pit? Let’s face it; the smtartest move is to leave Pennsylvania as soon as someone is of age.

    Instead of complaining about it, maybe if there were more things for younger generations to actually DO around the towns, they wouldn’t have to turn to getting enjoyment through destroying the area. It was an issue when I was growing up, and now, this is the result after multiple generations. If any — any — of the areas mentioned above were to embrace change rather than desperately hang on to a bygone era of “better times” and look to the future, this wouldn’t be a complete reality.

    It’s a pretty sad state when the biggest conversation on this list is about getting the “right” pictures or who has a Sheetz closest to them! For god sake, let it go. Grow, dammit! Stop living in the boomtown years; they’re gone. Over. Ended. Kaput.

    The state is dead or dying; don’t drag down several generations with it, as well.

    1. Agree completely, the only “industry” left is political corruption. I left 30 years ago for better opportunities and found them. No State Income tax, lower cost of living, paid $1.24 for gas a few months ago. I haven’t had a front end alignment for 30 years and my cars don’t rust out, not to mention enduring long, cold and snowy winters. There are many great places to live in this county, I don’t get the myopic view that you can’t leave home. When I left PA I decided if I didn’t like it where I was going, the highways go in both directions in the country (yes…it’s true) so I could point the car north and hit the gas if I didn’t like it. Not sure why people are afraid to try something new or find better places to exist.

  16. Interesting, but woefully incomplete.
    It is nice to see the Pittsburgh area fares well, but there are many municipalities missing particularly in the suburbs, like Allison Park, McCandless, Richland, Pine, etc.
    Are we to assume that they are good, bad, or somewhere in the middle?
    Try again.

  17. Really? I would put Centralia at the top of the list! Underground coal mine fire spewing toxic gases, and causing most of the town’s residents to evacuate? Almost literally hell on earth!

  18. Heh…

    I live in the Parsons section of Wilkes-Barre, and I totally disagree with this list. Wilkes-Barre at number four? Please. It should be at number one or two. It’s a rotting cesspool of drugs, corruption, and violence. There’s no way Nanticoke beats Wilkes-Barre – all the murders, stabbings, and shootings alone make this a much worse place to be.

  19. Over the years the one consistent thing that I have always heard from anyone who has visited my former hometown of Johnstown, PA is, “oh my God, Johnstown is soooooo damn depressing.” It’s like no other description is available. One size fits all I guess.

  20. Yeah well you take a bunch of these coal mining towns and people with low incomes and then you see people like Hillary Clinton wanting to give socialism a new try where do you think all these new state prisons are located in the old dilapidated towns

  21. Johnstown should be #1. at least in new castle you have brand new highway infrastructure to get you to other areas for jobs. johnstown doesnt have anything

  22. I hate to pick on any one town. Most of Pennsylvania, as someone mentioned previously, has been left to die off as major corporations have moved out, the coal industry is on its death bed–looks that way–and even our own politicians have forgotten those who live in small town Pennsylvania. When I think back to what once was–because I don’t see any salvation. One city in Western Pennsylvania’s Mercer County
    looks as if a bomb was dropped and just allowed to continue to rot. Politicians who continually line there own pockets with tax money just don’t care. I could go on and on.

  23. I am totally shocked Lansford and Coaldale are not on the list. Lansford has many abandon buildings. Hardly any stores. As well as Coaldale .

  24. Why are we discussing the “worst” cities in any state. There is poverty and crime everywhere. No need to embarrass the residents who live there. Am I missing something?

  25. “Corry, PA is an isolated place along Route 6 near the New York state line.”

    Poor research! Taking bare stats at face value tells one little about an area’s features.

    Corry is right on Route 6 as you at least did mention and Downtown Corry is less than one mile off Route 6. Corry is a very historic area geographically and economically with rich history dating back to 1861.

    Given that Route 6 is a major east-west historic corridor, Corry is hardly isolated. In fact, stats show that Corry is in fact within 500 miles of approximately half the population of the US and there is an International airport within 45 minutes of Corry.

    There is so much more to Corry that I don’t have time to go into here. I suggest people spend some time researching Corry online as it is worth a visit for anyone passing by on Route 6.

  26. I left outside of Allentown in 96- burbs outside of Phila and ccity and mainline and bucks Cnty nice – everything else is pensyltucky

    1. Do not move to PA !!! I moved away after highschool lived a wonderful life being away. Came back to PA after death in family and been here for last 6 mnths and I’m so depressed. The people are no it all cocky and cut throat in the workplace. They show 0 respect. It is well appealing. As for the atmosphere and the weather well I’m ready to move back to New Jersey, or back down south to the coastal areas. Before any PA residents start sharing at the mouth think again I’m a bucks county naitive. PA is a disgrace.

      1. Politicans on the state and local levels have raped and pillaged our communities and our citizens for years. Shame!! Same!! Shame!!

      2. I’m a former PA resident (lived there for ~30 years). I moved to a completely different state in a much more urban area, and I cannot describe to you how beneficial this change has been for me. The only good things I can really say about Pennsylvania are that it’s a beautiful state, and that it has many amazing historical sites and state parks/forests.

        Having lived there for as long as I did – in a very, very rural area – I learned quickly that most of the people I interacted with are closed-minded and judgmental. Yes, there are people like that everywhere, but with the isolation that is well-accepted with living rurally, you face dealing with people like this day in and day out. It has been so much more relieving to live in an urban area. Although this state is still a Red state, people here are, as a whole, much more open-minded, willing to think about your opinions instead of telling you that you’re flat out wrong if you disagree with them, etc.

        I love some things about PA. But I’m so glad that I moved. I hope to never move back.

  27. All of these cities keep voting democrat hoping to get free stuff, instead they get drugs, illegal aliens and corrupt politicians.

  28. Why do you have a Google Maps screenshot of Oakland, CA at 0:26 in your video? I mean, the Tribune Tavern building in the background is a dead giveaway.

  29. I lived in Shenandoah my whole life and, like other towns around us, the inner city has found us. You can not control who moves into your community. Every community has a right to be destroyed. It cant all be safe and predominantly white like my town was in the 1980s.

    Industry has been exported and poverty has been imported. One day, your town will be on this list

  30. I’m sorry but Philadelphia definitely should have been on that list if Darby and reading was cause the murder rate and homeless rate is at a all time high.The unemployment rate is very high. The property value is high as well.The education is horrible.The drug problem is outta control. I feel like you should be based on facts. I moved from Philadelphia to Johnstown pa. I got more help here in Johnstown then I ever got living in Philadelphia for 28 years.For it to be a big city it’s very poor as well.

  31. I look forward to your list ,as my birth city where I continue to live usually ranks high on worse place to live ,while ranking high on Forbes best place to raise a family .This year it appears Wilkes barre pa was negated from all list .What does this mean ? Is it being concidered for ultimate place to live in pa ???

  32. I would like to hear some amazing things about Pennsylvania. I’ve been researching places to live and PA was ranking pretty high on the list I’ve compiled for retirement purposes! It depends on what one calls good…but darn it, PA sounds like it’s ALL bad! Doesn’t someone have a sales pitch?

    1. I moved from Western PA to Ohio 12 years ago and miss it everyday. There are so many wonderful people who live in there. Every town in every state has drug problems and theft. There are lots of great towns. You have to visit the towns and talk to the people who actually live there. Yes there are lots of towns which I would not go into but that could be said of every state in the United States.

  33. Pennsylvania is a giant suckhole. Pittsburgh & Philly? Nasty, dirty, dangerous cities. Fracking has ruined all of the rural areas. Go hiking in the ‘pennsylvania wilds’ and enjoy tripping over countless, abandoned & uncapped frack-wells. If you’re real lucky, you’ll catch Lyme disease & the many co-infections spread by the plum-island ticks. Most of us here have Lyme. Seriously. There are no health freedoms. Try finding a natural health practitioner. Into anything that is even slightly unusual? It ain’t here.The pollution is God-awful in these rural, oil refinery towns. We USED to enjoy camping/hiking before all of the water & land became so polluted. Erie, Pa is HIGHLY polluted with the lake so polluted by glyphosate, it’s killing the dogs who swim in it. There are many many bars with hardened & nasty patrons who hate their own lives and also will hate you. Lived back here for 13 years and am desperately trying to find a way OUT again. The only jobs available are minimum wage or factory jobs that are torturous. The rents are high & gas at the pumps, the highest in the US. If you’re considering moving to PA, think again. These aren’t just people complaining. I could go on forever with reasons why, not to move here. Save yourselves. DON’T move to Pennsylvania.

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