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The 20 Worst Places to Live in Pennsylvania

Shinglehouse, PA

When you decide to move to a new state, it's wise to do some research on the area to get an idea about where to set down roots. In the state of Pennsylvania, some amazing cities offer a full package of amenities, employment opportunities, and affordable housing. However, some places are either dangerous or have some other factors that can make living there miserable. To give you an idea about areas to avoid, we've put together a list of the 20 worst places to live in Pennsylvania, along with the reasons why they're ranked so poorly.

Midland, PA

20. Midland, PA

According to Road Snacks report on small towns, Midland is a city with a small population of just 3,003 residents. The median home value is just $60,000 and the unemployment rate is 8.7 percent. It's tough to get a job in Midland, and it's hard to survive there. Things have gotten worse in Midland from last year as it's gone up 2 places on the list of the worst places in Pennsylvania to live.

Westfield, PA

19. Westfield, PA

Westfield is a tiny city in Pennsylvania with a population of only 1,295 residents. The median home value in the town is only $86,300, suggesting that there isn't much demand for housing because nobody really wants to live there. The unemployment rate is also disturbing at 11.1 percent. This means that more than ten percent of the population are jobless. On top of that, it's such a small place that there isn't much to do for the people who live there.

Philadelphia, PA

18. Philadelphia, PA

Philadelphia is a large metropolitan area that has a lot to offer when it comes to employment, housing, and entertainment. The amenities are top-notch. Patch reveals the reason why it's not the best place in the state to live. Although it's not the most dangerous city in the state, the crime rate is still alarmingly high. Property crime rates are a bit unsettling, but the fact that residents have a one in 110 risk of becoming the victim of a violent crime, it's reasonable to look for safer places to settle.

Pottstown, PA

17. Pottstown, PA

Pottstown is a borough in Montgomery County that has made it to the list of the twenty worst places to live in Pennsylvania. Although violent crime rates are not that high, there are other significant issues in Pottstown that might make you think twice. The town has had a disturbing increase in the number of property crimes committed in recent years. This includes theft and robberies.

Darby, PA

16. Darby, PA

Darby is a city in Delaware County, which is becoming worse for violence in recent years. Although this city has its share of positives, there is no way to get around the fact that it's a dangerous place to live. Law enforcement reports that residents of Darby experience 1.4 violent crimes per 100 persons. There are much safer places to live in Pennsylvania.

Uniontown, PA

15. Uniontown, PA

Uniontown is a small town with a population of 9,750 residents. Unless you prefer rural living, this western Pennsylvania town doesn't offer a lot to do. In addition to this, it has a high crime rate. The odds of becoming the victim of a violent crime are 1.4 in 100. It's tied with Darby in its ranking for violence. It's not worth the risk with property crimes being high to go along with the shocking violent crime statistics.

Chester, PA

14. Chester, PA

Chester is a city in Delaware County in the Philadelphia area that is close enough to provide plenty of wonderful amenities for the population. This includes job opportunities, entertainment, shopping, a variety of dining venues, and recreational opportunities. The problem with Chester is that it has a high crime rate. According to FBI reports, residents have a one in 71 chance of becoming the victim of a violent crime. The safety rating doesn't make the city a good choice for raising a family.

Johnstown, PA

13. Johnstown, PA

Johnstown is a city in Cambria County that has had an alarming increase in violent crimes in the past few years. Residents know that it's not a good idea to go out alone after dark, and they do keep their doors locked at night. The city moved up on the list of most dangerous places from the 23rd spot to number 7. The city is moving in the wrong direction when it comes to public safety.

Yeadon, PA

12. Yeadon, PA

Yeadon joins our list of cities in Delaware County to be included in the most dangerous listing. It's a bit unsettling that the residents can't feel safe in their own homes. Violent crimes are on the rise and the latest statistical reports show that you have a one in 133 likelihood of falling victim to a violent crime.

Ambridge, PA

11. Ambridge, PA

Ambridge, according to statistics from Only In Your State, is even worse when it comes to violent crime than the other cities we discussed on our list. Reports confirm that in the past year, the town of 6.679 residents experienced a surge in crime numbers with 89 reported violent crimes. There were 79 aggravated assaults, a rape, 2 murders, and 7 robberies. There were also 182 property crimes reported also. Ambridge is a small town, but it has more than its share of violent and property crimes.

Duquesne, PA

10. Duquesne, PA

Duquesne is a smaller town with 5,444 residents. It's a suburb of Pittsburgh, and the crime rates of the larger city seem to be spilling into this small hamlet. Reports of multiple aggravated assaults, murders, rapes, and robberies are enough to make you reconsider any thoughts of moving there. On top of that, the 58 violent crimes pale in comparison to the 163 property crimes committed against the locals.

McKees Rocks, PA

9. McKees Rocks, PA

McKees Rocks is also a smaller town with a low population of not quite 6,000 residents. You'd think that a smaller town would be somewhat safer, but it's even worse than Duquesne with nearly double the violent crimes. A total of 100 were reported. Among these crimes, five were murders, there were eight raps, 60 aggravated assaults, and 27 robberies. There were also 206 larceny thefts and other property crimes totaling 280. The odds are in favor of getting robbed or violently attacked in McKees Rocks.

Allentown, PA

8. Allentown, PA

According to Roadsnacks, Allentown is a larger city with a population of 120,915 residents. It is situated in Lehigh County. What makes this town a poor choice to make your home is that it has a high unemployment rate. Ten percent of the population is out of work. The low median home value is also negative. On average a home in this city has a value of just $131,300, which indicates that there isn't a high demand because people don't want to move there unless they have to. The annual household income is just $41,167, which is the fifth-lowest in the state. There is also a low number of medical doctors available to provide health care, and crime rates are above average.

Lehighton, PA

7. Lehighton, PA

Lehighton is a small city in Pennsylvania, that has some of the problems of a bigger city. It's a town of 5,304 residents, but the property crime rates are high. The odds of becoming the victim of a robbery are 1 in 67. While this is disturbing enough, there are other reasons why this isn't the best place to settle. The median home value is saggy at just $114,200. To make matters worse, the unemployment rate is an incredible 12.8 percent, which means that the poverty rates are high there also. Those who have secured employment earn an average household income of just $42,294.

Hazleton, PA

6. Hazleton, PA

Hazleton is the 8th worst place to live in Pennsylvania. This town has some huge issues to work out. We begin with a look at public schools. They're overcrowded and underfunded. They're ranked as the third-worst in the entire state of Pennsylvania. It gets a lot worse than that though. The city with a population of 24,857 residents has a median home value of a shocking $97,900. The unemployment rate is 8.2 percent, which isn't the worst, but it's certainly not good. The average household income and this is combined for everyone working, is just $31,200 a year. That's barely enough to survive on. The city used to be a coal-mining town.

Reading, PA

5. Reading, PA

Reading is a city with a population of 88,232 residents. Although there are all of the amenities of a metropolitan area, the city is in dire straights. It's not recommended for raising a family. The unemployment rate in reading is a whopping 12.9 percent. This means that nearly 13 out of every 100 persons are without jobs, and likely living below the poverty line. The median home value is a paltry $73,200, which tells us that there isn't a high demand because people don't want to live there. On top of all this, the annual household income is at just $32,176. There's one more thing about Reading that you need to know. Although not the most dangerous place in the state, it's in the top 20 worst because of its high crime reports.

Clairton, PA

4. Clairton, PA

Clairton is a small town with a population of just 6,619 residents. The reason that it's number 4 on our worst places to live list is that the unemployment rate is a disturbing 14.6 percent. A large segment of the population is out of work. Those who are working don't generally make much of an income either. The median combined household income is only $37,282 per year. It's tough to support a family on this amount of money. To make matters worse, the median home value is only $43,200, which is the fourth-worst in the entire state.

Mckeesport, PA

3. Mckeesport, PA

Mckeesport is a moderate-sized city with a population of 19,225 residents. It's holding its own about its ranking on the worst places to live in the state. The unemployment rate is the seventh-worst in the state at an astounding 2.1 percent. The median home value is the sixth-worst at a paltry $48,000. On top of that, the crime rate is the 22nd highest in the state. The odds of becoming the victim of a crime are 1 in 33.6, which is far too high for comfort. The city saw 318 violent crimes with a 1 in 60 risks of being violently attacked or raped. As if the high violent crime rate wasn't enough, this city isn't easy to survive in. The median combined household income is one of the lowest we've seen at a measly $29,094 a year.

Renovo, PA

2. Renovo, PA

Renovo is a small town that has a population of just 1,089 residents living within its boundaries. The thing that makes it so undesirable is that there isn't a thing to do in this small place. There aren't many amenities at all, and the unemployment rate is a shocking 13.8 percent. When you add the fact that the median home value is only 40,300, it's not hard to figure out that there are a lot better places to live in the state.

Shinglehouse, PA

1. Shinglehouse, PA

Shinglehouse is even smaller than Renovo. Just 1,029 residents are living in the area. It's moved up on the worst places to live list by one position to become the number one worst town. Although the median home value is a lot higher at $80,700, this still isn't good. The worst thing about living in Shinglehouse is that the unemployment rate is 20.8 percent.

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Liz Flynn

Written by Liz Flynn

Liz Flynn has worked as a full-time writer since 2010 after leaving a career in education. She finds almost all topics she writes about interesting, but her favorite subjects are travel and food. Liz loves the process of researching information, learning new things, and putting into words what others who share her interests might like to read. Although she spends most of her time writing, she also enjoys spending time with her husband and four children, watching films, cooking, dining out, reading, motorsports, gaming, and walking along the beach next to her house with her dog.

Read more posts by Liz Flynn

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