Pennsylvania is a landlocked state traversing the Northeastern, Mid-Atlantic, and Appalachian regions of the United States. It is commonly referred to as the Keystone state for both economic and geographic reasons. Pennsylvania is rich in history and is home to plenty of historic landmarks.
What makes this US worth moving to is its low cost of living. According to the Best Places, the cost of living index in Pennsylvania is 92.5, way less than the national average. Moreover, it boasts 22 Fortune 500 companies, making Pennsylvania a land of opportunities. This US state is an idyllic destination for those who love enjoying the beauty of the outdoors and professional sports without costing a fortune.
Looking forward to moving to Pennsylvania but are unsure where to start? The relocation guide will walk you through all the important aspects that you should know to get moving in the right direction.
Is Pennsylvania a good place to live?
Yes, absolutely. Pennsylvania is a beautiful US state filled with ample work opportunities and outdoor fun. This place is rich in early American history and thus entices history buffs from far and wide. When it comes to living in Pennsylvania, you will find different options for every price point and personality.
The Keystone State is extremely affordable to settle in. The cost of living in this US state is way less than the country’s average, making it an ideal option for retirees. There is no shortage of affordable places to live in Pennsylvania. Moreover, this state boasts an outstanding education system and is jam-packed with world-renowned colleges and universities.
Wellness is a way of life in Pennsylvania. The rural areas in the state offer plenty of space to spread out and get fresh air. Residents can enjoy several outdoor activities every weekend.
Looking forward to living in Pennsylvania? Here is the rundown of the quick facts about the US state that you must be aware of before making a transition.
- The highest salary in Pennsylvania is $456,833 per year.
- This US state has the highest Amish population in the world after Ohio.
- It is considered the mushroom capital of the world and harvests more than one million pounds of mushroom every year.
- The average effective property tax rate in Pennsylvania is around 1.58%, way more than the national average.
- The country’s oldest golf course is located in Pennsylvania.
- It is the first out of 50 US states to list their website URL on a license plate.
- Pennsylvania is one of the least expensive states in the country to live in.
- Hershey, PA, is the chocolate capital of the US.
- The first piano in America was designed in Pennsylvania in 1775.
If you are thinking about moving to Pennsylvania, get ready to enjoy welcoming people, beautiful landscape, affordable cost of living, and retirement-friendly environment. However, it is advised to learn about the expenses you need to pay while making a move.
The cost of moving to Pennsylvania includes lots of factors, such as the total distance between the source and the destination, the volume of containers, the total number of items you wish to carry, and the moving company.
Since expenses can quickly add up during relocation, it is important to use a professional moving company that is both reliable and affordable. The average cost to move to Pennsylvania is around $2,318 but there are several factors that impact the exact figures.
How much does it cost to move to Pennsylvania? Check the cost of moving to Pennsylvania here.
|Median Home Price||$234,800||$291,700|
Pennsylvania is downright beautiful and offers scenic landscape, peaceful vibes, and a calm aura. Moreover, it has a low cost of living and you won’t have to break your budget to live here comfortably. Check the more details about living in Pennsylvania here.
Relocating to Pennsylvania is no less than bliss as this US state is home to plenty of job opportunities, excellent healthcare, and world-class education. Moreover, it is a retirement-friendly state with a low cost of living and various tax advantages.
Pennsylvania is a place where Fortune 500 companies thrive and startups grow. Residents here can enjoy delicious food, art and culture, and professional sports at a surprisingly affordable price point.
It is good to have a better idea about the cost of living in Pennsylvania before making a move.
|City||Cost of living for a single person (without rent)||Cost of living for a family of four (without rent)|
Thinking of relocating? Learn about living in Pennsylvania pros and cons here.
|The state sales tax doesn’t apply to every purchase.||It is a landlocked state with no beaches and mountains.|
|Pennsylvania is the perfect place for hunting.||High property taxes might trouble the residents.|
|It is a melting pot of different cultures.||The state has some unusual liquor laws.|
|This state is home to various historic landmarks and offers plenty of outdoor activities.||It has heavy traffic congestion.|
|Excellent healthcare||Cold winters|
|It has a low cost of living.|
Is Pennsylvania expensive to live in? No. Living in Pennsylvania is less expensive than in other US states. It has the 20th highest overall cost of living. According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, goods and services in Pennsylvania are 2.5% less than the national average.
How much do you need to live in Pennsylvania? The living wage calculation for Pennsylvania is mentioned in the table below.
|Wages||1 Adult (working)||2 Adults (1 working)||2 Adults (Both Working)|
Is living in Pennsylvania worth it? Yes, absolutely. Pennsylvania is a retirement-friendly state as it has a low cost of living and offers several tax advantages to retirees.
It is essential to learn about the taxation system in Pennsylvania before moving there. The Keystone State is listed among the top 5 states with the highest tax rates in the US. Scroll down the page to know more about the taxation system in Pennsylvania.
The state levies a flat state income tax rate of 3.07% which means that your filing status and income level will not affect the taxes you will pay. Pennsylvania is one of the eight states in the country that imposes a flat income tax rate. Out of those eight, this state has the lowest rate.
Check the current tax rates in Pennsylvania here.
|Individual Income Tax Rate||3.07%|
|State and Local Tax Burden||10.2%|
|Corporate Income Tax||9.99%|
|State Sales Tax||6%|
|Average local sales tax||0.34%|
|Property tax paid as a percentage of owner-occupied housing value||1.51%|
Many states in the US have annual sales tax holidays and Pennsylvania is one of them. It is the time during which certain items in the state can be purchased sales tax-free. Some of the items are school supplies, sports equipment, clothing, energy-efficient appliances, and more.
Are taxes high in Pennsylvania? Yes. A recent study claims that Pennsylvania is counted amongst the top five states with the highest tax rates in the country.
Is Pennsylvania a tax-friendly state? Pennsylvania is tax-friendly only for retirees and offers several tax advantages to them. It is one of the only two states in the country that does not levy any tax on pension income.
What is excluded from a tax-friendly weekend? The items excluded from the tax-free weekend are school instruction material of $20 or less, clothing items with a purchase price of $125 or less, laptops and tablets priced up to $500 or less, sports equipment costing $150 or less, and school supplies of $50 or less.
Getting a residency permit in Pennsylvania is a simple and straightforward process. All you need to fulfill some requirements and you’ll be good to go. Moving to Pennsylvania and looking forward to the state’s residency? Keep scrolling the page and find out how to become a PA resident and what exactly is needed to apply for a residency.
If you are new to the state and want to become a resident of PA, follow the steps mentioned below and get a residency permit with ease.
- Submit your request, along with the necessary documents.
- Surrender your out-of-state residency.
- Pay the required fee and you are good to go.
An individual needs to be physically present in Pennsylvania for a minimum of 184 days (or parts of 184 days) to become a PA resident. Additionally, they also need to maintain a permanent abode in the Keystone State at any point in time during the tax year to apply for PA residency.
How do you prove residence in PA? There are several documents that prove your residency in PA, such as
- A PA vehicle registration card
- Auto insurance card
- Tax records
- A utility bill showing your name and address
- Valid PA’s driver license or photo ID card
- Lease agreements, or mortgage documents
- A W-2 form
How long does it take to become a Pennsylvania resident? Anyone can be considered a PA resident if he or she is physically present in the state for at least 184 days or have a permanent home in PA during the tax year.
Planning to move to Pennsylvania? Learn about the laws imposed in the state to avoid any last-minute mess. We have compiled both general and weird laws in Pennsylvania before relocating to this state.
The law of Pennsylvania comprises different levels, including Statutory, Constitutional, Regulatory, and Case Law. The state’s Consolidated Statues form the general statutory law. Pennsylvania’s legal system is based on common law, which is interpreted by case law. All statutes, regulations, and ordinances are subject to judicial review.
Some of the general laws in Pennsylvania are:
- LGBT community might face discrimination in the state.
- All wines and liquor stores will be run by the state only.
- A valid license is required to carry a firearm in a vehicle or during a state of emergency.
Here’s the list of weird laws in Pennsylvania that you should know before moving to the Keystone state.
- It is illegal to discharge a firearm at a wedding in Pennsylvania.
- You cannot sing in a bathtub while living in Pennsylvania.
- No more than 16 women may live together under one roof in this state.
- It is illegal to catch a fish with your bare hands in Pennsylvania.
- Women in Morrisville, PA must not wear makeup without a permit.
- You cannot eat peanuts while walking backward in front of the Barnstormers Auditorium during a performance in Ridley Park.
- It is illegal to bring your mule or donkey onto a trolley car with you in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
- One cannot sleep on the top of the refrigerator outdoors in Pennsylvania.
What is illegal in Pennsylvania? There are plenty of things that are illegal in Pennsylvania such as you cannot sign in the bathtub, you cannot become a Governor if you have participated in a duel, you cannot sell vehicles on Sunday, and more.
The housing market is an integral thing to consider before relocating to a new destination. If you are thinking about moving to Pennsylvania, learn about the housing market and the average house value in the Keystone state here.
The state’s home values have seen a hike and gone up 15.3% over the past year. The typical home value in Pennsylvania is about $246,873. This price includes the middle price tier of homes and is adjusted according to the demands.
The housing market in Pennsylvania is currently seeing higher prices and swift sales. It is booming for more than a year as housing sales have been on fire after the ban was lifted in May 2020. The expected number of homes and apartments in the state is 5,132,329. The average market rent is $1,346 per month. Different types of homes are available to select from, including Single-Family, Townhomes, Small Apartment Buildings, Apartment Complexes, Mobile Homes, and others.
The average house price in major cities in Pennsylvania is mentioned below. Learn about the home value city-wise and relocate to the destination that suits your budget.
|City||Average Home Value|
What is the average cost of a house in Pennsylvania? The average housing cost in Pennsylvania is $246,873. However, the value might vary based on the demand and supply.
Will house prices go down in 2022? Yes, it might be possible. The housing value in Pennsylvania which went up by 11.3% in 2020 is expected to slow down by 4.4% in 2022. Sellers can still count on the houses and the market is moving more favorably toward buyers. While the median home value is expected to start slow, no housing crash is still predicted.
Pennsylvania boasts one of the fastest-growing job markets in the country. This state is known as a land of work opportunities and thus attracts people from far and wide. Scroll down the page to understand Pennsylvania’s job market in a bit more detail.
The Keystone State is home to 21 Fortune 500 companies and plenty of startups. The job market of this state is built on the solid foundation of major corporations and established industries. However, the collaborative business culture and affordable cost of living makes this state an ideal destination for startups and entrepreneurs as well.
Pennsylvania is also a tech hotspot and its prowess in domains like manufacturing and robotics continues to grow. A recent program named Ben Franklin Technology Partners has created more than 148,000 additional jobs while contributing more than $25 billion to the state’s economy.
Check the highest paying jobs in Pennsylvania with their average salary here.
|Job Title||Average Salary|
|Consultant and Sales Representative||$196,000|
|Chief Executive Officer||$142,000|
|Vice President Worldwide Sales||$138,000|
|Global Vice President of Sales||$136,000|
|Acute care Physician||$121,000|
|Vice President of Research and Development||$122,000|
|Chief Executive Officer||$108,000|
|Senior Director of Information Technology||$116,000|
|Industrial Truck Driver||$106,000|
What is the unemployment rate in Pennsylvania right now? The unemployment rate of Pennsylvania is 5.70%. Learn more about the unemployment rate in the table mentioned below.
|Last Month value||6%|
|Change from last month||-5%|
|Value from 1 year ago||7.10%|
|Change from 1 year ago||-19.72%|
Is Pennsylvania a good place for work? Yes, absolutely. Pennsylvania is home to plenty of job opportunities, making it an excellent place for work.
What is the most common job in Pennsylvania? According to a study conducted by Business Insider, survey Researcher is the most common job in Pennsylvania.
What is the average annual wage in Pennsylvania? The average annual wage for a typical job in Pennsylvania is $57,871 per year. The average hourly wage in Keystone State is 49 USD.
Pennsylvania boasts an excellent healthcare facility and is ranked #18 in terms of healthcare with a score of 59.93. Additionally, the state stands at #8th position when it comes to health care access. Learn more about the healthcare landscape before living in Pennsylvania.
The healthcare in Pennsylvania is progressive in nature, making it better than most of the US states. It is experiencing changes to its health care delivery and payment systems as the state expands Medicaid and provides new coverage options through the federal health insurance marketplace.
The Medicaid Program is launched to offer free or low-cost health services to the eligible needy people living in the state. To become eligible for this program, you must a resident of Pennsylvania/ a US citizen whose financial condition would be characterized as low income or very low income. You can apply for the Medicaid program if your maximum income level is $17,131 per year.
In the rest of the cases, you need to purchase private health insurance plans to get healthcare coverage in Pennsylvania.
Choosing health insurance is one of the major decisions you can make to protect you and your family’s health and well-being. Pennsylvania offers several health insurance options to get you covered and the right option depends on your needs and budget.
While living in Pennsylvania, you must have to opt for either state-owned or private health insurance plans to access the healthcare services. The public insurance plans are available at a cheap price but cover a little less. However, the private insurance schemes are a bit expensive but offer protection against most medical issues.
The cheapest monthly health insurance in Pennsylvania starts at as low as $151 per person. Twelve insurers are currently offering health insurance exchange, namely:
- Capital Advantage Assurance
- Highmark, INC.
- Geisinger Health Plan
- Highmark Benefits Group
- Geisinger Quality Options
- Highmark Coverage Advantage
- UPMC Health Coverage
- UPMC Health Options
- Keystone Health Plan East
- Oscar Health
- PA Health and Wellness
Does Pennsylvania have good healthcare? Yes, absolutely. Pennsylvania’s healthcare is better than most of the US states. Moreover, it is ranked #8 in terms of health care access.
Where does Pennsylvania rank in healthcare? According to the WalletHub, Pennsylvania is ranked as the 18th best state for healthcare.
How much is health insurance in PA per month? The average cost of health insurance in Pennsylvania costs around $479 per month.
Is healthcare free in Pennsylvania? Pennsylvania offers a Medicaid program that provides free or low-cost health coverage to eligible residents.
Pennsylvania has a high school graduation rate of 90.2% and its public schools are among the best in the nation. Learn more about the education in Pennsylvania and the list of top universities here.
The state features both public and private schooling systems and residents can opt for any one of them according to their budget and choice. The public schools operate within districts and are governed by locally elected school boards and superintendents.
Around 1,763,677 students are currently enrolled in a total of 504 school districts. The state has roughly one touch for every 14 students, slightly higher than the national average of 1:16. There are several types of public schools in Pennsylvania, including intermediate, elementary, middle school, high, junior high, vocational-technical, and more.
According to US News, Pennsylvania is ranked #37 out of 50 in terms of overall education. It is ranked #50 for higher education and #17 for Pre-K-12. The state is also ranked #16 in terms of the public school system across the nation. Moreover, it is the eighth-best state across the nation for teachers, according to the WalletHub.
The higher education system of the state boasts 260 colleges and universities. Out of these, 124 are non-profit private schools, 74 are private institutions, and 62 are public institutions. There are four types of post-secondary educational institutions – Public two-year institutions, public four-year colleges, and universities, private non-profit institutions, and private for-profit institutions.
Pennsylvania higher education assistance agency is the state’s primary student aid agency that handles loan servicing and other financial assistance programs. PASSHE (Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education) is a system of 14 public universities in the state.
Check the list of top 10 colleges and schools in Pennsylvania here.
- The University of Pennsylvania
- Carnegie Mellon University
- Lehigh University
- University of Pittsburgh
- Pennsylvania State University
- Temple University
- Thomas Jefferson University
- Chatham University
- Robert Morris University
- Wilkes University
What is Pennsylvania ranked in education? According to the US News, Pennsylvania is ranked #17 for Pre-K-12 and #50 in terms of higher education.
Is Pennsylvania a good state for education? Yes. According to the WalletHub, the state is still ranked as eighth best for teachers even though the budget is continuously putting pressure on Pennsylvania’s education system.
Does Pennsylvania state have good public schools? Yes, absolutely. The state is ranked 16 in terms of public schools nationally with 26 schools ranked in the top percent and 61 schools in the top 10 percent.
The best way to get around in the Keystone state is either by foot or PHLASH bus. Scroll down the page to learn more about the transportation services before moving to Pennsylvania.
All cities in the state is very foot-traffic friendly. Streets are organized in a grid pattern and are easy to navigate. However, if you are not a pedestrian-type person, rental bikes and cabs are yet another option to go for. The state offers both on and off-road options for those looking to commute via bikes.
The state offers plenty of transportation mediums to facilitate the residents, including uber cabs, taxis, rental bikes, buses, subway trains, and more. Public transit mediums are available in every county in Pennsylvania so residents can commute from one place to another at a cheap price.
Pennsylvania is home to a convenient and extensive public transportation system. It is a budget-friendly public transit system and is really easy to navigate. The system runs throughout the state and offers several options for getting around, including buses, regional trains, subway trains, and trolleys. Using a public transportation system in Pennsylvania is way easier and affordable than renting a taxi, bike, or cab.
How do people get around in Pennsylvania? People in Pennsylvania mostly use taxis, Uber, Bus, Lyft, and more to get around in the state.
What cities in Pennsylvania have public transportation? Almost all cities in Pennsylvania have public transportation such as Philadephia, Kingston, Harrisburg, Greensburgh, Westchester, Kittanning, Allentown, and more.
How much is transportation fare in Pennsylvania? The transportation fare in Pennsylvania is $2 per bus ride through the SEPTA key card. However, the cost increases to $2.50 if you are paying cash.
Getting a license or permit is mandatory to drive your vehicle in Pennsylvania. However, the process is a little overwhelming as you have to pass the road test and provide multiple forms of identification and other documents. Learn more about getting a driving license in PA here.
A driving license is an important document to obtain in Pennsylvania. There are three types of driving licenses available in the Keystone State, namely Class C for non-commercial drivers, Class A/B for operating vehicles in excess of 26,000 pounds, Class A/B/C for commercial drivers, and Class M for driving motorcycles on public roads.
The step-by-step process to get a driver’s license in Pennsylvania is given here.
- Schedule the road test in advance.
- Bring required documents
- Pass the road test. If you fail the test, you have to wait for at least 1 day before re-attempting. Remember that you may take the road test up to 3 times only.
- Get your license via mail in 15 days.
One of the most important things to know before moving to Pennsylvania is the driver’s license requirements. Everyone who is applying for a driving license in PA will have to submit certain documents which are mentioned below.
- A completed application – form DL-180 for new drivers 18 years or older and DL-180TD for drivers under 18.
- A medical exam
- Proof of identity – US Citizens need to show original social security card and valid US passport and non-US citizens have to provide a valid passport, an SSA ineligibility letter, and original USCIS
- Proof of residency, such as tax records, lease agreements, current utility bill,s A W-2 form, mortgage documents, etc.
- Driver’s license fee
- A passing eye exam score
- A passing score on the written knowledge test
- 65 hours of driving practice
- A passing score on the Behind-the-wheel driving test
Do you need a permit if you are over 18 in PA? Yes, a learner’s permit is required to drive in PA if you are over 18 years.
How long does it take to get your license in the mail in PA? It takes 15 days to get your permanent driving license in the mail in PA. If you are under 18 and fail the road test, you have to wait for at least 7 days before your next attempt. But the wait time reduces to 1 day if you are older than 18 years and fail the road test.
How much does it cost to get a PA driver’s license? The cost to get a driver’s license in PA varies from one license type to another.
|Initial Permit and four0year license||$35.50|
|Initiate permit and Two-Year Licence (age 65+)||$25|
|Initial Motorcycle permit and Four-Year License||$45.50|
|Initial Motorcycle permit and Two-Year License (age 65+)||$35|
Are you searching for the best places to live in Pennsylvania? Here is the rundown of the ten best places in the Keystone state to settle down.
- Philadelphia – The largest city in Pennsylvania, the city of Philadephia is steeped in rich history. It is home to the famous Liberty Bell, Rocky Statue, Independence Hall, centuries-old neighborhoods, and over 90 museums.
- Pittsburgh – The beautiful city of Pittsburgh lies at the junction of three rivers in the western part of the state. According to the statistics, It is ranked 47th for violent crimes and is thus a moderately safe place to live in.
- Bethlehem – Located in the Lehigh Valley, Bethlehem is notable throughout the country for its industrial history. According to Livability.com, it is counted amongst the top 100 livable cities in the country.
- Harrisburgh – Sits peacefully on the Susquehanna River, Harrisburg is the state capital of Pennsylvania. This city is known both for its rich history and beautiful landscape.
- Allentown – A city in Eastern Pennsylvania, Allentown is famous throughout the country for its award-winning park system, IronPigs baseball team, and its rich PA Dutch history.
It is also known as the Red Rose City of Pennsylvania and is one of the oldest inland towns in the US. Lancaster is ranked as the 13th safest city in the US to live in.
Located in eastern Pennsylvania, York is known as the White Rose City of the state. It is the birthplace of the Articles of Confederation and acted as the nation’s first capital.
It is the sixth-largest city in Pennsylvania and is located in the northeastern region of the state. The low crime rate and affordable cost of living make Scranton an ideal place to live in Pennsylvania.
Erie is the state’s Flagship city and acts as a primary access point to Lake Erie, the Saint Lawrence Seaway, and the Great Lakes.
Situated in southern Pennsylvania, Reading is a very old and historic city in the state. It is known as Pretzel city owing to the plenty of local pretzel bakeries.
Planning to relocate to Pennsylvania? It is suggested to know about the culture and climate of the state first before making a move.
The US State of Pennsylvania holds strong elements of folk culture and is home to several diverse ethnic groups. The folk art of PA Dutch are pretty famous and their brightly painted designs adorn their barns.
Pennsylvania’s early history was influenced by the idealism of its founder William Penn, which makes it unique among the original thirteen colonies. The Plain People, including the Amish, the Mennonites, and other small sects have kept their traditional ways of life based on the teachings of the Bible.
PA generally experiences a humid continental climate which is characterized by wide fluctuations in seasonal temperatures, along with prevailing winds from the west. Summers in Pennsylvania are warm, humid, and wet while winters in the state are extremely cold and snowy. The temperature typically varies from 26°F to 87°F over the course of the year and is rarely below 13°F or above 94°F.
The growing season varies from nearly 200 days in the southeast to only 90 days in the north-central region of the Keystone state. An average of around 40 inches of precipitation fall in the state annually. The daily weather in the state is greatly impacted by the cyclone fronts in the westerly wind system. PA straddles two main climatic zones and Koppen climate classifications offer information about the different variables.
What are some traditions in Pennsylvania? Some common traditions in Pennsylvania are:
- Hanging a Moravian Star
- Celebrating second Christmas
- Hiding the pickle in the tree
- Welcoming the Belsnickel
- Turning the Christmas Tree upside down
Does Pennsylvania have all four seasons? Yes. The southwestern region of Pennsylvania enjoys all four seasons, including Fall, Winter, Spring, and Summer.
According to US news, Pennsylvania is ranked #40 out of 50 states in the country. It is one of the few states in the US that could do better to improve its overall ranking. This state has the 24th highest per capita income in the nation.
Here, we have mentioned the table of ranking keeping the most essential aspects that you might be looking for, including healthcare, education infrastructure, economy, crime and correction, fiscal stability, and more. Check the table carefully to learn whether moving to Pennsylvania is a worthy decision or not.
That’s all about moving to Pennsylvania guide We hope our research will help you in gaining knowledge about all essential aspects of moving to the Keystone state. We have incorporated details like the cost of living, taxation system, overall ranking, education, healthcare access, and other important details to make your transition a hassle-free process.
The two major reasons that make Pennsylvania a worthy place to settle in are its affordable cost of living and plenty of job opportunities. Moreover, the state is stepped into the rich history, making it an ideal destination for history lovers. It is claimed second in the quality of living, seventh in safety but 37 in education, and 42nd in Economy.
The state boasts an excellent public transportation network, making it easy for residents to commute from one place to another. Moreover, living in PA is way more affordable than most of the other states in the country.
So, what keeps you waiting for now? Pack your bags and relocate to Pennsylvania right away to enjoy a wonderful stay in the Keystone state.