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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 170 of the state's most populous cities (over 5,100 people), we came up with this list as the 10 worst places to live in the state of Pennsylvania:
What? Where are these places you wonder? And before you get all riled up and say we're picking on small town America, that's not the case.
We understand there's a lot of good in every place.
However, according to data (which doesn't measure things like beauty and 'friendly people'), there are far better options in the state for making a place home. And the worst place to live in Pennsylvania? That would be McKeesport.
Read on below to see how we crunched the numbers and see how your city fared in 2020.
For more Pennsylvania reading, check out:
- Best Places To Live In Pennsylvania
- Cheapest Places To Live In Pennsylvania
- Most Dangerous Cities In Pennsylvania
The 10 Worst Places To Live In Pennsylvania For 2020
Mckeesport takes the worst place spot on this list for a number of reasons -- below average education, income, unemployment, and student expenditure statistics.
But what gives Mckeesport its main thrust toward the top of this shameful list is its crime index -- the 12th worst in the whole state.
You might have passed through Duquesne once and probably throught it seems to be a relatively quiet, clean place.
Here's what science says about why Duquesne needs some love: The unemployment rate is nearly 13.6%, residents earn about $26,532 a year, and home prices are just over $39,600. Across the board, those are in the bottom half in the state. Not absolutely horrible, but not desirable, either.
And there simply isn't anything to do in Duquesne.
Chester, PA needs a big hug right now. The unemployment rate here is 14.8%, the median income is just above the poverty line, and the crime is the 7th highest in the state. You have a 1 in 29.5 chance of being robbed here every year.
Oh yeah, and they had 22 murders a couple of years back.
Chester is right along the Delaware river, south of Philly. Youse could find a much better place to call home.
Welcome to Johnstown, which might be one of the poorest areas in the state. Residents average $24,294 a year in combined income, which is right at the poverty line. In fact, 38.7% of Johnstown residents live below the poverty level.
Homes here go for an average of $39,700 and the unemployment rate hovers near 14.2%. According to Wikipedia, several efforts have been made over the years to fix the eroding city, including cleaning up the drug use, as the population is leaving its city limits. The city has seen a 12% decrease in population in the last 10 years.
Johnstown is located two hours east of Pittsburgh on Route 119.
Clairton has some of the same issues that the cities above have. The crime is statistically the 50th-highest in the state of Pennsylvania. And residents earn far less than it takes to live a normal life. The unemployment rank is also higher than almost every other city in the state at 15.0%.
Additionally, 29.0% of the population lives below the poverty line.
When you're looking at the worst places you could live in Pennsylvania, Darby ranks 6th worst. Let's see why.
Here in Darby, crime is the 9th highest in the state, and 1 out of 30.9 residents was robbed here according to the latest FBI numbers.
That's not the first place you think of making home, is it?
Additionally, you have a 1 in 71 chance of being the victim of a violent crime, which includes rapes, attacks or murders. That's really high.
When you look at adult education in Pennsylvania, the folks in Darby have the 29th highest drop out rate. And other factors that make Darby undesirable are the low median incomes and home prices.
The unemployment rate is the 14th highest in Pennsylvania, at 10.8%. That's actually on par with the national average, which means Pennsylvania has some hard workers.
Coatesville needs some tough love as it ranks as the 7th worst city to live in Pennsylvania for 2020.
Crime in Coatesville is the 22nd highest in the state, where 1 in 44.0 people have a chance of being the victim of a property crime, according to the latest FBI numbers.
Additionally, the income is almost dead last in Pennsylvania.
If commute time is important, Coatesville residents have the 45th longest commute of any residents on our list.
Reading needs some tough love.
Years ago, someone told me the sun never shines in Reading. That's not true, of course, but you can understand why she might say that when you analyze certain facts about Reading. Of the 170 cities considered in this ranking, Reading had the least to be proud of across the board.
Not only does Reading have Pennsylvania's 18th lowest home value rank, but it also had the 1st and 39th highest rankings in unemployment and crime respectively. Statistics like that will certainly make the sun shine a bit dimmer, and it will win you are in contention for title of "Worst City in Pennsylvania."
If you know anyone in Reading, tag them on Facebook and tell them you love them. They can probably use it right about now.
you're looking to live in Pennsylvania, Connellsville might not be the best choice as it places 9th in our ranking of the worst places to live for 2020.
Connellsville doesn't have the worst crime in the state, but it's sure up there. And when you factor in one of the lowest household incomes in the state and a sky high unemployment rate, Connellsville may not be your first choice for a vacation.
When you're looking at science and data, the city of York is the 10th worst place you can live in the state of Pennsylvania. Let's see why.
Residents who live in York, located in York County, have the 24th most crimes in the state committed against them. Factor in a much-lower income level--per resident--and homes valued around $75,200, and you've got yourself a crummy place to live. In terms of comparing it to the rest of Pennsylvania, that is.
How we determined the worst places to live in Pennsylvania for 2020
To figure out how bad a place is to live in, we only needed to know 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
We broke crime down into violent crime and property crime to give violent crime a larger weight -- if you did a simple calculation of all crimes per capita, property crimes are normally 7x more common and really bias that ranking.
Furthermore, only cities with at least 5,000 people were considered -- leaving 170 cities.
We then ranked each city from 1 to 170 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 10 worst cities in Pennsylvania. You can download the data here.
This list is a scientific analysis based on real data and is completely unbiased.
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 not a lot to do, this is an accurate list.
And in the end, Mckeesport ranks as the worst city to live in Pennsylvania for 2020.
If you're curious enough, here are the best cities to live in Pennsylvania:
- Conshohocken (Pop. 8,010)
- Bellefonte (Pop. 6,289)
- Camp Hill (Pop. 7,911)
For more Pennsylvania reading, check out:
- Best Places To Retire In Pennsylvania
- Richest Cities In Pennsylvania
- Safest Places In Pennsylvania
- Best Cities For Singles In Pennsylvania
Where Are The Worst Places To Live In Pennsylvania?