Are you thinking of relocating but haven’t decided which state is ideal for you and your family? Unless you’re moving because of work, it can be quite difficult to choose an ideal location when there are so many great states and cities in America.
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- Home to over 13 million people, Pennsylvania is one of the most important states in the country and one of the most populous
- Downtown Philadelphia during a sunny day
Have you ever considered moving to Pennsylvania? The Keystone State is one of the most populous states in the Northeast, home to over 13 million people, which means that it is one of the most populous in the country as well. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is one of the original colonies and has a very important history.
If you want to learn more about this state, check out our complete article on moving to Pennsylvania!
Pros and Cons
While Pennsylvania is home to a few of the best hospitals and best schools in the country, that doesn’t mean that living in this state doesn’t have disadvantages. In fact, there are quite a few unappealing things about moving to Pennsylvania, and we’re going to show them below. Here are 14 pros and cons of living in Pennsylvania!
- If you’re into a country lifestyle, then you’ll love living in Pennsylvania. Approximately 25% of this state is covered in farmland and the small-town people will certainly make you feel like you’re living in the friendly South!
- A major pro about moving to Pennsylvania is that you’ll get to experience the four seasons very distinctly. Though we have to let you know that the weather in the Northeast is nothing like the weather in the South!
- Are you a big fan of nature and spending time outdoors? If that’s the case, then you’ll love living in Pennsylvania and getting to experience all of the natural attractions you can visit in this state!
- Being home to over 13 million people means that Pennsylvania is also home to several different cultures. If you’re the kind of person who loves learning new things and meeting new people, you’ll love Pennsylvania!
- As one of the original colonies, Pennsylvania has experienced quite a lot of the years. Because of that, you’ll get to visit several historic landmarks in this state and learn about the events that took place in Pennsylvania!
- While it is not anywhere near being considered one of the top states for education, Pennsylvania is still home to a few of the most prestigious universities in the country, including an Ivy League.
- Pennsylvania has a quite privileged location in the US map: depending on the city you’re living in, you’ll be near some of the major cities in the Northeast region.
- According to Pennsylvania’s residents, driving is one of the worst parts of living in this state. Due to its proximity to major cities, the traffic in Pennsylvania can be quite bothersome.
- In addition to having bad traffic, Pennsylvania also has a problem with road quality. According to data, approximately 27% of the state’s roads are in poor condition, which represents almost ten percentage points above the national average.
- While it once had one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country, Pennsylvania now ranks at #43 with an unemployment rate of 7.4, as of April 2021.
- Another downside of living in Pennsylvania is that this state has a considerably high cost of living, including high housing costs. The average home price in Pennsylvania is well above $200,000, whereas there are other states (in the Midwest, for instance) that are way more affordable.
- According to data, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania releases approximately 1,100 pounds of industrial toxins per square mile. That’s almost 200 pounds above the national average!
- Depending on where in Pennsylvania you’re moving to, public transport might be an issue. This means that you may have to consider getting a car, which is not necessarily affordable, especially when you’re a student.
- Like most other states in the Northeast, Pennsylvania’s weather can be both a good or a bad thing. While it’s mostly lovely during summer, the wintertime in this state is quite rough.
- The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has been a state since 1787 and has experienced important moments since then.
- Front view of the Independence Hall in Pennsylvania.
Did you know that Pennsylvania was only the second state to join the Union back in 1787? If you want to learn more about this and other interesting facts about the Keystone State, stay tuned — below we’ll 6 fun facts about Pennsylvania that you may not know about!
- Did you know that Hershey, Pennsylvania is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country? That’s because this location is known as the Chocolate Capital of the World, and has produced famous chocolate, including Hershey’s.
- Many people call Philadelphia the nation’s birthplace because it was in this city that both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were originally created.
- First zoo
- Pennsylvania is a state of many firsts — including being home to the very first zoo in the country, the Philadelphia Zoo, which opened in 1874 after the Civil War had ended.
- An interesting fact about Pennsylvania is that this state is home to an extremely large population of college students. This is due to the fact that this state is home to some of the best universities in the country.
- Wouldn’t it be fun to think that a relatively small town in Pennsylvania could be considered the mushroom capital of the world? Well, this is actually true — in Kennet Square mushrooms are such a big deal they even drop a giant mushroom during New Year’s Eve!
- Over the years, Pennsylvania has become almost a safe haven for the Amish people. Since 2012, this state has quickly become home to over 80,000 Amish.
Funny State Laws
Pennsylvania is the birthplace of the US Constitution, so it’s no surprise that this state has a long history with laws and such. However, it is funny to think that the Keystone State has also produced some of the craziest and most hilarious laws in the nation! Check out 5 funny laws in Pennsylvania!
- Want to
see your future?
- If you’re a fan of fortune tellers, we have some bad news for you: fortune-telling is illegal in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and you can face charges for that!
hunting…in some places!
- If you move to Pennsylvania and you enjoy hunting, there’s a very clear law: you can hunt game in cemeteries. Though it’s kind of hard to imagine why they had to create this law!
on the streets.
- Do you have a beautiful, sweet voice? Or do you sound like a screeching cat? Either way, it is illegal to sing (or even whistle) while walking through the stress of Danville, Pennsylvania!
- Are you into paintball? This is quite a fun game, isn’t it? Just so you know, moving to Pennsylvania means you’ll be forbidden from shooting people with a paintball gun if they’re not playing paintball with you. Hopefully, you actually need a law to not do this!
- Selling a
child? Not on Pennsylvania’s watch!
- You’re probably weirded out by the heading above, aren’t you? As you should! Parents are forbidden by law from selling their kids. We don’t know why this law had to be written on the books, but it has been — however, this is not even considered an actual crime, just a misdemeanor!
Weather and Climate
Remember how we mentioned that the weather in Pennsylvania can be both a good and a bad thing? We know it sounds a bit confusing but we’ll explain why: the Keystone State experiences a humid continental climate, which means that summers can be quite hot and winters very harsh. If you’re used to cold weather, you won’t enjoy the summer in Pennsylvania. If you’re used to warm and sunny weather, you’ll despise wintertime in this state.
- If you’re into nature, you’ll be pleased to know that Pennsylvania has it all — from lakes to mountains to amazingly beautiful natural water slides!
- Aerial view of the scenic Presque Isle State Park.
While Pennsylvania is mostly known for being full of major cities, like Pittsburgh and Philly, this state is also home to beautiful natural scenery, ranging from mountains to lakes to waterfalls and beautiful state parks. Here are 5 natural attractions to visit in Pennsylvania:
- Lake Erie
- Pine Creek Gorge
- Appalachian Mountains
- Meadow Run Natural Water Slide
- Worlds End State Park
- Pennsylvania’s location on the US map makes it vulnerable to different natural disasters, including floods and hurricanes.
- Bridge in Pennsylvania underwater during a flood.
Because of its location, Pennsylvania is prone to suffering from several different natural disasters. Before you move to the Keystone State, it’s important that you do some research on how you can protect yourself in the event of a disaster happening. These are the most common natural disasters that can happen in Pennsylvania:
- Winter storms
- Tropical storms
Moving Prices from Major Cities
If you’re thinking of moving to Pennsylvania, you’re probably wondering how much it is going to cost to relocate. The good news is that you can find out the estimated value of moving from any city in the US to Pennsylvania in less than five minutes. Wondering how? It’s simple: use our free moving costs calculator! Here are the moving prices to Pennsylvania from 6 major cities in the nation.
- Moving from Chicago to Pennsylvania: $1750 – $2917
- Moving from Birmingham to Pennsylvania: $1923 – $3205
- Moving from Seattle to Pennsylvania: $4506 – $7510
- Moving from Dallas to Pennsylvania: $2718 – $4530
- Moving from Newark to Pennsylvania: $813 – $1356
- Moving from Phoenix to Pennsylvania: $3885 – $6475
Housing / Real Estate
- Although it is not necessarily cheap to live in Pennsylvania, this state has an average home price that is below the national average.
- Front view of a two-story house for sale in Pennsylvania.
Because it is bordered by some of the most important states in the region, Pennsylvania is quite a privileged location. Consequently, finding affordable housing in this state can be difficult, as most houses are more expensive than similar houses in different states. According to Zillow, the average home price in Pennsylvania as of April 2021 was approximately $250,000, which is a little over $30,000 above the national average. As to renting, it is more affordable to rent a place than to buy a house in Pennsylvania — the average rent price in Pennsylvania is only $938.
Price of Living
In spite of being relatively expensive, the cost of living in Pennsylvania is still below the national average of 100. If you’re interested in moving to the Keystone State but you’re unsure how much you’ll have to spend every month, we’re here to help. Below we’ll list the estimated price of living in Pennsylvania with a family of two adults and two children!
All estimated values presented in the tables above were retrieved from the EPI’s Family Budget Calculator.
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is home to a little over 13 million people as of 2020, which represents a slight growth of 0.8 in the population since 2010. Out of the 13 million people, almost 19% are persons 65 years old and older, while more than half of the population are female persons. According to US Census Bureau, the racial distribution of Pennsylvania is the following:
- White (alone): 75.7%
- Black or African American: 12%
- Hispanic or Latino: 7.8%
- Asian (alone): 3.8%
- Two or more races: 2.1%
- The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania may rank at #37 in terms of education, but it is also home to some of the most prestigious universities of the country, including UPenn.
- Aerial view of the University of Pennsylvania campus.
Although the Keystone State is home to a few of the most prestigious universities in the country, this state ranks at #37 in terms of education, according to the US News & Report. However, most Pennsylvania residents will disagree with this ranking, especially considering the state’s NAEP Math Scores and scores in other assessment exams. Below we’ll list the top high schools and universities in Pennsylvania.
- Downington STEM Academy
- Central High School
- Julia R. Masterman Secondary School
- Hampton High School
- Pittsburgh CAPA 6-12
Colleges / Universities
- University of Pennsylvania
- Carnegie Mellon University
- University of Pittsburgh
- Lehigh University
- Pennsylvania State University
Health Care and Medical Institutions
Pennsylvania has different options of health care, including Medicare, Medicaid, and CHIP, as well as other commercial types of coverage. While this state doesn’t have the most accessible health care, eligible residents can get health care for free or at very low costs. Below we’ll list the top 5 hospitals you’ll find in Pennsylvania:
- Hospitals of the University of Pennsylvania
- UPMC Presbyterian Shadyside
- Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals
- Lancaster General Hospital
- Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center
Tourism / Attractions
- When you move to Pennsylvania, you’ll feel overwhelmed by the number of entertainment options you’ll find. Below we’ll list some places you can visit in Pennsylvania.
- Aerial view of Hersheypark in Pennsylvania.
Pennsylvania is a popular state that has a very long history. If you’re into learning more about the journey of the nation to become what it is today, you’ll find plenty of museums in Pennsylvania where you’ll get to do that. If you’re more interested in enjoying nature and exploring new places, there are also several places where you can do that in the Keystone State. Here are 5 tourist attractions to visit in Pennsylvania.
- Independence Hall
- Presque Isle State Park
- Philadelphia Museum of Art
- Gettysburg National Military Park
Top Cities in Pennsylvania
- While Pennsylvania is mostly known for being home to two major cities (Philadelphia and Pittsburgh), it is also home to other amazing cities, including Allentown and Erie.
- Downtown Allentown at night.
If you’re considering moving to Pennsylvania, we’re certain that the two cities that pop into your mind almost immediately are Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. While these are easily the most popular cities in the Keystone State, there are other cities that are just as important — and much more affordable. That’s why you need to do thorough research and consider the pros and cons of each city before you pick a destination. To help you get started, below we’ll list 5 top cities in Pennsylvania that you may want to consider!
- The largest city in Lehigh county, Allentown is home to over 120,000 people. This city is growing at an incredibly fast pace, not only in populational terms but also in economic terms. If you work in the services industry, moving to Allentown may be a good option.
- Erie is the fourth-most populous city in Pennsylvania and the largest city in the Northwest of the state. Erie is known for being an important manufacturing hub, as well as for being home to one of the most visited locations in the state, the Presque Isle State Park.
- There are many things that Reading is famous for. Home to over 88,000 people, this beautiful city is known for having several pretzel bakeries, for being featured on the popular game Monopoly, and for being a popular destination among cyclists.
- If you’ve ever watched The Office, you’ve probably heard of Scranton. This city, which is home to over 76,000 people, has a strong manufacturing-based economy, although health care is also major in Scranton.
- With a population of over 74,000 people, Bethlehem is the seventh-most populous city in Pennsylvania and was once home to one of the most important steel-producing companies on the planet.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Pennsylvania has the tenth-highest unemployment rate in the United States, with a rate of 7.4. There are approximately 6 million people currently employed in this state, as of 2020. However, the number of unemployed residents is dropping at a considerable rate as Pennsylvania’s economy gets better. Below we’ll list the top-hiring companies in Pennsylvania!
- University of Pittsburgh
- East Penn Manufacturing
- Kraft Heinz
- The Hershey Company
According to Forbes, Pennsylvania has one of the 10 largest economies in the country, with a gross state product of over $800 billion! However, there’s a low job growth rate in this state, and that Pennsylvania has a low ranking in terms of fiscal stability. The consequence of those two things is that companies tend to reconsider their decision of having headquarters in this state, which slows down the growth of its economy. These are the top industries in Pennsylvania:
- Natural gas
Things to do in Pennsylvania
- There are so many things to do in Pennsylvania that you may have a hard time choosing just one. That’s why we compiled a list of things to do in Pennsylvania below.
- Entrance plaque at the Gettysburg National Military Park.
One thing is for sure: if you move to Pennsylvania, you won’t have to worry about a lack of entertainment options. In fact, it’ll be quite the opposite; there’ll be so much to do in this state that you won’t be able to choose just a single thing. Luckily, we’ve compiled a list of 8 things to do in Pennsylvania so you don’t have to waste time doing research. Check it out:
National Military Park
- During the American Civil War, there was a battle that was very important to the course of the events, and that was the Battle of Gettysburg. Over 50,000 soldiers passed during this battle and you can visit this site in Pennsylvania!
- University campuses are often considered tourist attractions, considering how vast and beautiful they are. So why not visit the campus of one of the most prestigious universities in the country? Founded in 1740, UPenn is an Ivy League and all you have to do visit it sign up for a campus tour!
- Remember how we said that Pennsylvania is often called the “chocolate capital of the world” and it’s all thanks to the Hershey Company. This beloved company even has a theme park, which can be visited all year round!
- There’s a reason why Pennsylvania is called “the nation’s birthplace”: it’s because it was in this state that the Declaration of Independence and the original US Constitution were first written. If you’re into history, all you have to do to learn more about this is visit the Independence Hall at the Independence National Historical Park.
Isle State Park
- Have you ever heard about Lake Erie? Well, this lake has a sandy peninsula that houses the Presque Isle State Park. In this location, you can go swimming, hiking, biking, and do lots of other fun outdoor activities!
- Even if you’re not into art, you know who Andy Warhol is. This Pittsburgh-born artist is so iconic he even has an entire museum dedicated exclusively to his works — and you can visit it for $20 or less!
- Another amazing historic site you can visit in Pennsylvania is the Eastern State Penitentiary, which is now a national landmark. In addition to having innovative architecture, this prison was very important to the nation’s penitentiary system — plus it held notorious criminals, including Al Capone.
- If you’re into architecture and nature, you’re going to love Fallingwater. This house was designed by one of the most talented architects of the 20th century and is listed as a World Heritage Site!
According to Pennsylvania residents, you may have a hard time dealing with public transport, depending on where you’re moving to. In the larger cities, such as Philly and Pittsburgh, this won’t be much of a problem, obviously. But in smaller towns, such as Downingtown, it will be much harder to find public transport. Either way, we’re here to help you — here are 8 means of public transport you’ll find in Pennsylvania:
|SEPTA (Philadelphia)||One-way: $2.50|
|The E (Erie)||One-way: $1.65|
|LANTA (Lehigh and Northhampton)||One-way: $2.00|
|CAT (Harrisburg)||One-way: $1.80|
|Port Authority of Allegheny County (Pittsburgh)||One-way: $2.75|
|COLTS (Scranton)||One-way: $1.75|
|AMTRAN (Altoona)||One-way: $1.75|
|CATA (Meadville)||One-way: $1.25 – $2.00|
Crime and Safety
In terms of crime and safety, Pennsylvania is one of the top 20 safest states in the country. The crime rate in the Keystone State is below the national average of 379, at 306 incidents per 100,000 residents. In addition to that, incarceration rates in Pennsylvania are also below the average: 355/100,000, whereas the national average is 419 incarcerated residents per every 100,000 people. Here are the 5 safest cities in Pennsylvania:
- Buckingham Township
- Upper Providence Township
- Northampton Township
- State College
Acquiring a new driver’s license in Pennsylvania
- If you’re moving to Pennsylvania, one of the first things you’ll have to do is acquire a new driver’s license. Below we’ll guide you on how to do that!
- Man holding a Pennsylvania driver’s license.
Like most other states, relying exclusively on public transport may not be a good option if you’re moving to Pennsylvania. That is why it’s highly recommended that you buy a car once you relocate to this state. In that case, you’ll also need to transfer your out-of-state license to Pennsylvania — and don’t forget that you only have 60 days to do that. Here’s what you have to do to acquire a new driver’s license in Pennsylvania:
- Schedule an appointment at the nearest Driver License Center.
- Bring your current out-of-state license, one proof of identity, one proof of residency in Pennsylvania, and your Social Security card.
- Fill in the Form DL-180R.
- Take a vision test.
- Pay the required fees.
Once you do that, your new Pennsylvania driver’s license will be delivered to your home. It’s also important to mention that you cannot transfer an out-of-state learner’s permit to Pennsylvania.
Road Safety, Highways, and Routes
Approximately 27% of Pennsylvania’s roads are in poor conditions, which is almost 10% above the national average of 19.9%. In 2020, there were a little over 104,400 crashes on Pennsylvania’s roads — this number has been decreasing since 2016 when the number of car crashes in the state was almost 130,000. Most accidents that happen in Pennsylvania are caused due to distracted driving, speeding, and driving under the influence.
- Pennsylvania was the second state to join the Union, and it was the state where the Declaration of Independence. If you want to learn more about history and art in Pennsylvania, below we’ve compiled a list of museums you have to visit!
- Front view of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
We’ve mentioned multiple times before that Pennsylvania has a rich history. After having been the second state to join the union, Pennsylvania experienced a vast amount of important events through the years. And all of it is displayed on the walls of multiple museums all over the state. If you’re moving to the Keystone State, here are 7 museums you can visit in Pennsylvania:
- The State Museum of Pennsylvania
- Philadelphia Museum of Art
- Carnegie Museum of Natural History
- Reading Public Museum
- Gettysburg National Military Park Museum
- The Hershey Story Museum
- The Please Touch Museum
In the end, is moving to Pennsylvania worth it?
If you’re interested in living in an area that is historically, geographically, and culturally rich, then yes, moving to Pennsylvania is worth it. While this state’s ranks in different areas are quite low, the Keystone State is mostly considered a good place to live in. Its location near major cities on the East Coast and in the Midwest is definitely a plus, and the promising job market is also quite attractive. The cost of living in Pennsylvania is also not that expensive when compared to the national average, and finding housing may not be as hard as one would expect.
How to Move to Pennsylvania
If you’re considering moving to Pennsylvania, you’re probably aware that you can’t just pack your bags and leave. In addition to learning more about this state — which you already did by reading our comprehensive article —, there is quite a lot of preparation that goes into relocating. But don’t worry! Here are 10 tips on how to move to Pennsylvania!
- As we said, moving to Pennsylvania (or anywhere else, really) requires preparation. That’s why it’s so important to plan carefully ahead of moving. Our downloadable moving checklist is a great tool to help you prepare for the move!
- From 1 to 10, how much of a hoarder are you? Even if you’re a 1, you probably have a bunch of unnecessary items in your home. If you want to save money, get rid of those items before you move to Pennsylvania.
- Get Moving
- Another great way of saving money is by getting moving quotes from different companies. If you follow this tip, you’ll get to choose a budget-friendly and suitable mover to help you in the process of relocating to Pennsylvania. Our free moving costs calculator can help you a great deal in this process!
- Once you’re done doing research on the best prices and services, it’s time for you to book a mover. Don’t forget to do this sometime in advance, or else you may have to pay more than expected.
- Visit Your
- Not sure if Pennsylvania is ideal for you? If you have the time and the financial means, the best way of finding out the answer to this question is by visiting your new area prior to moving.
- If you’ve done your planning, booked a mover, and visited your new area, it’s time to start packing. Packing takes quite a lot of time and effort, so you might want to set aside a day or two to do this.
- A great way of finding your indispensable items (such as clothes, food, toiletries, et cetera) once you arrive at your new home is by creating an “Essentials” box, in which you’ll store all the essential items you’ll want to get your hands on as soon as you get to Pennsylvania.
- This step is less practical and more emotional. Don’t forget to set some time aside to say your farewells, especially if you’re making a cross-country move and won’t get to see your family and friends as often.
- Get Some
- Before the big day, make sure that you get some rest. Getting to your new home doesn’t mean that the hard work of moving to Pennsylvania will be done. You’ll still need to organize your new home — and you’ll probably want to be well-rested for that.
- Enjoy the
- Moving away from everything that you know, from the routine that you have, and from the people you cherish is not easy. Still, you’re about to embark on a brand new journey, so try to enjoy the move as much as you can!
Moving Services to Help You Relocate to Pennsylvania
- If you’re moving to Pennsylvania, you should be aware that there are different moving services you can hire. Read our list below to learn more about moving services to help you relocate to Pennsylvania!
- Moving company staff transporting items.
When you’re planning your move to Pennsylvania and you’re in search of movers, you’ll notice that there are plenty of services that these movers offer. Each one of their services is meant to help you relocate, and you’ll find that there are services for every need that you may have! Check out 9 moving services to help you relocate to Pennsylvania!
- Furniture transportation is probably the most common service offered by moving companies. Most times, it will be less expensive to transport your furniture to Pennsylvania than to buy new furniture once you get there.
- Unless you’re moving an office, you’ll want to hire a residential mover. They’ll help you relocate your items to Pennsylvania in no time!
- Piano players may think that moving a piano to Pennsylvania is very expensive, but it’s actually not. Well, it’s not nearly as expensive as buying a new piano, that’s for sure.
- Art and
- Art pieces and antiques require more care than furniture, thus you’ll need to hire a mover that works with fragile items transportation. The good news is that moving art and antiques to Pennsylvania is not on the pricey side at all!
- Hot Tub
- Hot tubs are becoming more popular than ever, especially among the streamer community. If you have one of those and you’re relocating, we’re here to tell you that you can move a hot tub to Pennsylvania and it’s going to be cheaper than purchasing a brand-new hot tub!
- Pool Table
- Similar to hot tubs, you can also move a pool table to Pennsylvania. In most cases, it will be cheaper to do that than to buy a new one, and that’s great.
- Did you know that you can move an office to Pennsylvania? Yes, that’s correct. If you’re your own boss and want to relocate your officewhen you move to the Keystone State, all you have to do is contact the right mover!
- Long Distance Movers
- Even though our very first tip was “plan ahead of moving”, sometimes life gets in the way and we have to change our plans. In case you have to skip your schedule and move right away, you can always look for last-minute movers to help you!