The top 25 counties to live in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania

What makes a particular county the best? Oftentimes, it’s a good mix of opportunities for fun outdoor activities and cultural attractions.

Throw in some historical sites, good schools, job opportunities, and affordable housing, and the county will most likely have happy residents.

Stacker compiled a list of the best counties to live in Pennsylvania using rankings from Niche. Niche ranks counties by a variety of factors including public schools, educational attainment, cost of living, and housing.

Many counties on the list are experiencing growth due to their job opportunities, education, or home values. Others are adored for their historic or well-designed value, or devotion to cultural opportunities. Keep reading to see if your county made the list.

#25. Columbia County

Columbia County | Ruhrfisch (talk) // Wikimedia Commons

– Population: 65,715
– Median home value: $151,700 (69% own)
– Median rent: $758 (31% rent)
– Median household income: $50,550
– Top public schools: Central Columbia Middle School (A), Central Columbia Senior High School (A), Central Columbia Elementary School (A)
– Top private schools: Columbia County Christian School (B), St. Columba Elementary School (unavailable), Bloomsburg Christian School (unavailable)
– Top places to live: Espy (A), Orange Township (A), North Centre Township (B+)

#24. Lebanon County

Lebanon County | Smallbones // Wikimedia Commons

– Population: 139,729
– Median home value: $171,300 (70% own)
– Median rent: $874 (30% rent)
– Median household income: $60,281
– Top public schools: Northside Elementary School (A), Forge Road Elementary School (A), Lingle Avenue Elementary School (A)
– Top private schools: New Covenant Christian School (B), Myerstown Mennonite School (unavailable), Fairview Mennonite School (unavailable)
– Top places to live: North Londonderry Township (A), Cleona (B+), Pleasant Hill (B+)

#23. Mercer County

Mercer County | Canva

– Population: 111,518
– Median home value: $121,100 (73% own)
– Median rent: $689 (27% rent)
– Median household income: $50,696
– Top public schools: Artman Elementary School (A), Delahunty Middle School (A), Hempfield Elementary School (A)
– Top private schools: Kennedy Catholic High School (B+), Living Word Christian School (A), Saint John Paul II Elementary School (A)
– Top places to live: Grove City (A), Pine Township (B+), South Pymatuning Township (B+)

#22. Luzerne County

Luzerne County | Canva

– Population: 317,663
– Median home value: $127,000 (68% own)
– Median rent: $785 (32% rent)
– Median household income: $53,473
– Top public schools: Wycallis Elementary School (A), Dallas Elementary School (A), Dallas Senior High School (A)
– Top private schools: Wyoming Seminary College Preparatory School (A+), MMI Preparatory School (A), Immanuel Christian School – Hazleton, PA (A)
– Top places to live: Dallas (A), Conyngham (A), Trucksville (A)

#21. Berks County

Berks County | Nicholas // Wikimedia Commons

– Population: 418,025
– Median home value: $178,700 (72% own)
– Median rent: $939 (28% rent)
– Median household income: $63,728
– Top public schools: Wyomissing Area Junior/Senior High School (A), West Reading Elementary Center (A), Shiloh Hills Elementary School (A)
– Top private schools: The King’s Academy (A), High Point Baptist Academy (B+), Blue Mountain Academy (B+)
– Top places to live: Colony Park (A+), West Reading (A), Wyomissing (A)

#20. York County

York County | Canva

– Population: 445,565
– Median home value: $177,100 (75% own)
– Median rent: $957 (25% rent)
– Median household income: $66,457
– Top public schools: Indian Rock Elementary School (A), York Suburban Senior High School (A), York Suburban Middle School (A)
– Top private schools: York Country Day School (A), Logos Academy (A), York Catholic High School (B+)
– Top places to live: Grantley (A), Valley View (A), East York (A)

#19. Washington County

Washington County | Generic1139 // Wikimedia Commons

– Population: 207,212
– Median home value: $167,900 (76% own)
– Median rent: $772 (24% rent)
– Median household income: $63,543
– Top public schools: Peters Township Middle School (A), Bower Hill Elementary School (A), Pleasant Valley Elementary School (A)
– Top private schools: First Love Christian Academy (B+), Faith Christian School (B), Tri-State Christian Academy (B)
– Top places to live: McMurray (A+), Thompsonville (A), East Washington (A)

#18. Beaver County

Beaver County | Jerrye & Roy Klotz, MD // Wikimedia Commons

– Population: 165,833
– Median home value: $141,100 (73% own)
– Median rent: $698 (27% rent)
– Median household income: $57,807
– Top public schools: Dutch Ridge Elementary School (A), Lincoln Park Performing Arts Charter School (A), Blackhawk High School (B+)
– Top private schools: Beaver County Christian School (B+), Ss. Peter & Paul School (unavailable), Our Lady of Fatima Elementary School (unavailable)
– Top places to live: Brighton Township (A), Chippewa Township (A), Beaver (A)

#17. Northampton County

Northampton County | Shuvaev // Wikimedia Commons

– Population: 302,809
– Median home value: $219,800 (71% own)
– Median rent: $1,078 (29% rent)
– Median household income: $70,471
– Top public schools: The Lehigh Valley Charter High School for the Arts (A), Wilson Borough Elementary School (A), Avona Elementary School (A)
– Top private schools: Moravian Academy (A+), Bethlehem Catholic High School (A), Notre Dame High School (A)
– Top places to live: Lower Nazareth Township (A), Forks Township (A), Lower Saucon Township (A)

#16. Westmoreland County

Westmoreland County | Canva

– Population: 352,590
– Median home value: $153,100 (77% own)
– Median rent: $721 (23% rent)
– Median household income: $60,471
– Top public schools: Newlonsburg Elementary School (A), Sunset Valley Elementary School (A), Franklin Regional Senior High School (A)
– Top private schools: The Kiski School (A+), Greensburg Central Catholic High School (A), Valley School of Ligonier (A)
– Top places to live: Murrysville (A+), North Huntingdon Township (A), Trafford (A)

#15. Union County

Union County | Ruhrfisch (talk) // Wikimedia Commons

– Population: 45,111
– Median home value: $189,500 (72% own)
– Median rent: $769 (28% rent)
– Median household income: $59,399
– Top public schools: Donald H. Eichhorn Middle School (A), Linntown Elementary School (A), Lewisburg High School (A)
– Top private schools: Shady Grove Christian School (unavailable), Morning Star Mennonite School (unavailable), Buffalo Creek Parochial School (unavailable)
– Top places to live: Lewisburg (A), Linntown (A), Mifflinburg (B)

#14. Lackawanna County

Lackawanna County | Canva

– Population: 210,652
– Median home value: $152,400 (64% own)
– Median rent: $792 (36% rent)
– Median household income: $52,821
– Top public schools: Jefferson Elementary School (A), Moscow Elementary School (A), Newton-Ransom School (A)
– Top private schools: Scranton Preparatory School (A), Holy Cross High School (B+), Triboro Christian Academy (A)
– Top places to live: Clarks Summit (A), Clarks Green (A), Chinchilla (A)

#13. Erie County

Erie County | Canva

– Population: 273,835
– Median home value: $134,100 (66% own)
– Median rent: $753 (34% rent)
– Median household income: $51,529
– Top public schools: Northwest Pennsylvania Collegiate Academy (A+), Fairview High School (A), Fairview Middle School (A)
– Top private schools: Mercyhurst Preparatory School (A), Erie First Christian Academy (A), Villa Maria Academy (B+)
– Top places to live: Washington Township (A), Fairview (A), Avonia (A)

#12. Butler County

Butler County | Mvincec // Wikimedia Commons

– Population: 186,899
– Median home value: $205,600 (76% own)
– Median rent: $869 (24% rent)
– Median household income: $70,668
– Top public schools: Mars Area Senior High School (A), Haine Middle School (A), Evans City Middle School (A)
– Top private schools: North Catholic High School (A), Portersville Christian School (B+), Butler Catholic School (A)
– Top places to live: Seven Fields (A+), Cranberry Township (A), Jackson Township (A)

#11. Lancaster County

Lancaster County | Daderot // Wikimedia Commons

– Population: 540,999
– Median home value: $209,400 (68% own)
– Median rent: $1,009 (32% rent)
– Median household income: $66,056
– Top public schools: Neff Elementary School (A), Nitrauer School (A), Schaeffer School (A)
– Top private schools: Linden Hall (A+), Lancaster Country Day School (A+), Veritas Press Scholars Academy (A+)
– Top places to live: Manheim Township (A), Landisville (A), Salunga (A)

#10. Montour County

Montour County | Smallbones // Wikimedia Commons

– Population: 18,259
– Median home value: $185,100 (67% own)
– Median rent: $721 (33% rent)
– Median household income: $58,333
– Top public schools: Danville Area Senior High School (A), Liberty-Valley Elementary School (A), Danville Area Middle School (A)
– Top private schools: St. Joseph School (unavailable), St. Cyril Preschool & Kindergarten (unavailable), Creek Side School (unavailable)
– Top places to live: Mahoning Township (A), Valley Township (A), Danville (A)

#9. Lehigh County

Lehigh County | Smallbones // Wikimedia Commons

– Population: 365,052
– Median home value: $208,200 (64% own)
– Median rent: $1,072 (36% rent)
– Median household income: $63,897
– Top public schools: Fred J. Jaindl Elementary School (A+), Springhouse Middle School (A), Cetronia Elementary School (A)
– Top private schools: Allentown Central Catholic High School (A), Salem Christian School (B+), St. Thomas More School (unavailable)
– Top places to live: Breinigsville (A), Cetronia (A), Trexlertown (A)

#8. Dauphin County

Dauphin County | Rina Pitucci // Flickr

– Population: 275,632
– Median home value: $167,900 (63% own)
– Median rent: $949 (37% rent)
– Median household income: $60,715
– Top public schools: Hershey High School (A+), Infinity Charter School (A+), Hershey Middle School (A)
– Top private schools: Covenant Christian Academy (A), Bishop McDevitt High School (A), Milton Hershey School (B+)
– Top places to live: Hershey (A), Palmdale (A), Paxtang (A)

#7. Cumberland County

Cumberland County | Canva

– Population: 249,328
– Median home value: $202,900 (70% own)
– Median rent: $991 (30% rent)
– Median household income: $71,269
– Top public schools: Silver Spring Elementary School (A), Green Ridge Elementary School (A), Good Hope Middle School (A)
– Top private schools: Harrisburg Academy (A+), Trinity High School (A), West Shore Christian Academy (A)
– Top places to live: Camp Hill (A+), Hampden Township (A+), Wormleysburg (A)

#6. Bucks County

Bucks County | Smallbones // Wikimedia Commons

– Population: 626,806
– Median home value: $330,600 (77% own)
– Median rent: $1,228 (23% rent)
– Median household income: $89,139
– Top public schools: Central Bucks High School – East (A+), Central Bucks High School – West (A+), Bucks County Montessori Charter School (A+)
– Top private schools: George School (A+), Solebury School (A+), Holy Ghost Preparatory School (A+)
– Top places to live: Woodside (A+), Newtown Grant (A+), Buckingham Township (A)

#5. Centre County

Centre County Courthouse | Nicholas // Wikimedia Commons

– Population: 161,960
– Median home value: $234,900 (62% own)
– Median rent: $1,000 (38% rent)
– Median household income: $60,403
– Top public schools: State College Area High School (A+), Radio Park Elementary School (A), Ferguson Township Elementary School (A)
– Top private schools: Saint Joseph’s Catholic Academy (A), Grace Prep High School (A), Centre County Christian Academy (B+)
– Top places to live: Houserville (A+), Boalsburg (A+), Park Forest Village (A+)

#4. Delaware County

Delaware County | Smallbones // Wikimedia Commons

– Population: 564,554
– Median home value: $244,400 (69% own)
– Median rent: $1,078 (31% rent)
– Median household income: $74,477
– Top public schools: Radnor Senior High School (A+), Strath Haven High School (A+), Radnor Middle School (A+)
– Top private schools: The Episcopal Academy (A+), The Agnes Irwin School (A+), Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy (A+)
– Top places to live: Swarthmore (A+), Radnor Township (A+), Nether Providence Township (A+)

#3. Allegheny County

Allegheny County | ESB Professional // Shutterstock

– Population: 1,221,744
– Median home value: $154,700 (64% own)
– Median rent: $890 (36% rent)
– Median household income: $61,043
– Top public schools: Fox Chapel Area High School (A+), North Allegheny High School (A+), Mt. Lebanon Senior High School (A+)
– Top private schools: Shady Side Academy (A+), Sewickley Academy (A+), Winchester Thurston School (A+)
– Top places to live: Mount Lebanon Township (A+), Aspinwall (A+), Franklin Park (A+)

#2. Chester County

Chester County | Camerafiend // Wikimedia Commons

– Population: 519,560
– Median home value: $357,100 (75% own)
– Median rent: $1,330 (25% rent)
– Median household income: $100,214
– Top public schools: Downingtown STEM Academy (A+), Conestoga Senior High School (A+), Unionville High School (A+)
– Top private schools: Westtown School (A+), Malvern Preparatory School (A+), Devon Preparatory School (A+)
– Top places to live: Chesterbrook (A+), Berwyn (A+), East Whiteland Township (A+)

#1. Montgomery County

Montgomery County | Douglas Muth // Wikimedia Commons

– Population: 823,823
– Median home value: $316,100 (72% own)
– Median rent: $1,295 (28% rent)
– Median household income: $91,546
– Top public schools: Lower Merion High School (A+), Harriton Senior High School (A+), Wissahickon Senior High School (A+)
– Top private schools: The Baldwin School (A+), The Hill School (A+), The Haverford School (A+)
– Top places to live: Penn Wynne (A+), Ardmore (A+), Narberth (A+)

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