This City Has Been Named the Cheapest Place to Live in Pennsylvania

This City Has Been Named the Cheapest Place to Live in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania boasts abundant diversity, culture, rich history, and scenic landscapes. It hosts iconic landmarks like the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, and the Hershey Chocolate Factory.

Nevertheless, residing in Pennsylvania, particularly in major cities such as Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, can be relatively expensive. As per the US Census Bureau, the median household income in the state stood at $63,463 in 2019, while the median home value was $192,600.

The cost of living index for Pennsylvania in 2020 was 97.7, slightly below the national average of 100. It’s important to note that this index exhibits significant variations among different cities and regions within the state.

The Cheapest City in Pennsylvania

If you’re seeking a city with affordable living, a great quality of life, and numerous amenities, you might consider relocating to Erie. Situated on the shores of Lake Erie in northwestern Pennsylvania, Erie boasts a population of around 95,000, ranking as the state’s fourth-largest city.

This City Has Been Named the Cheapest Place to Live in Pennsylvania

It has consistently earned the title of the most economical place to live in Pennsylvania from various sources, including Niche, SmartAsset, and

Why Erie is So Affordable

Erie’s affordability is primarily attributed to its low housing expenses. In 2019, the median home value in Erie stood at $90,500, less than half of the state average. Rental costs were also notably lower at $717, a figure well below both state and national averages. reported that the average listing price for homes in Erie was $129,900 in March 2021, reflecting a 9.2% increase from the previous year. Despite this uptick, Erie’s real estate remains highly affordable compared to other cities in Pennsylvania and the entire United States.

Beyond housing, Erie maintains its affordability through a low cost of living across various categories such as transportation, health care, groceries, and utilities. According to Niche, the cost of living index in Erie was 79.8 in 2020, significantly below state and national averages.

SmartAsset data reveals that the average annual cost of living for a family of four in Erie was $58,814 in 2020, the lowest among the ten largest cities in Pennsylvania.

What Erie Has to Offer

In addition to its affordability, Erie offers a high quality of life with rich historical significance and cultural experiences. The city played a pivotal role in events like the War of 1812 and the Civil War.

This City Has Been Named the Cheapest Place to Live in Pennsylvania

Erie boasts a lively arts and music scene featuring venues like the Erie Art Museum, the Warner Theatre, and the Erie Philharmonic. The city is renowned for its festivals such as the Erie County Fair, the Roar on the Shore motorcycle rally, and the CelebrateErie summer festival.

Surrounded by water and green landscapes, Erie provides abundant opportunities for outdoor activities. It is the only city in Pennsylvania with a Great Lakes shoreline, offering possibilities for boating, fishing, swimming, and beach enjoyment.

Natural beauty is further enhanced by parks and trails like Presque Isle State Park, Frontier Park, and the Erie to Pittsburgh Trail. Sports and fitness enthusiasts can explore facilities like the Erie Zoo, support the Erie BayHawks basketball team, or cheer for the Erie Otters hockey team.

The city also prioritizes education, boasting a strong system with numerous public and private schools, colleges, and universities. Erie encompasses 15 public school districts, 13 charter schools, and 27 private schools, catering to over 40,000 students.

Higher education options include institutions such as Penn State Erie, Gannon University, Mercyhurst University, and Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine.


Erie stands out as a city that provides excellent value for your money, boasting a low cost of living, a high quality of life, and abundant amenities. According to various sources, Erie is recognized as the most affordable city to reside in within Pennsylvania.

Additionally, it ranks among the most livable and enjoyable cities in the state. If you’re in search of a city that combines affordability with a high quality of life, Erie is certainly worth considering.

With more than two years of expertise in news and analysis, Eileen Stewart is a seasoned reporter. Eileen is a respected voice in this field, well-known for her sharp reporting and insightful analysis. Her writing covers a wide range of subjects, from politics to culture and more.