Why Pennsylvania has lower property crime rate?

Compared to surrounding states PA’s safety index shows a lower property crime rate than the national average. Parks, shops and restaurants are safe, and it’s rare for families or international students to become a victim of a crime or racism. This results from multiple factors that combine to deter property offenses with the main one being demographics, followed by better policing and law enforcement, criminal statues and incarcerations resulting in low number reported incidents per 100 000.

Demographics – PA has lower rates of concentrated urban poverty than some states, which correlates with less property or real estate crime. Denser major cities tend to have more crime. PA’s population is more distributed. Pennsylvania occupies an area of 46,055 square miles with estimated population of 12,972,008 according to the U.S. Census Bureauand. In 2022 the heinous crime rate was 279.9 incidents reported per 100,000 people which makes 1 crime per every 357 sq.miles. per year.

Policing – PA has historically had relatively high ratios of police officers per capita which enables more community policing and deterrence of crimes of opportunity. More police surveillance likely contributes to lower property theft.Pennsylvania State Police force consists of 4,740 sworn troopers as of 2023. Additionally, there are 1,850 civilian employees who serve in various roles throughout the department. This makes the Pennsylvania State Police the largest internationally accredited law enforcement agency in the world.

Criminal statutes – PA has stringent laws for property offenses like retail theft shoplifting with quicker escalation to felony-level crimes and associated stricter punishments.

As of 2023, the code has expanded to include over 2,300 offenses and suboffenses. This acts as a crime deterrent.

Incarcerations – PA is tough on repeat offenders with the 2nd highest imprisonment rate for property offenses. Significant incarceration terms take habitual thieves off the streets for longer periods.

Victim awareness – Extensive neighborhood watch and community security programs in suburban and rural areas of PA make it harder for criminals to commit any types of crimes without being noticed. More vigilance deters criminals from commuting real estate and property crimes.

All four of these factors make stringent criminal statutes escalate retail theft to felony charges more quickly, leading to the enactment of stricter punishments. Significant incarceration terms also prevent repeat offenders from committing further crimes. With a higher police presence per capita enabling more community surveillance, increased vigilance through neighborhood watch programs makes property crimes harder to commit unnoticed.

If PA’s demographics shifted towards more concentrated urban poverty, property crime statistics could rise. Higher density cities often correlate with more opportunity for crimes committed. However the current distribution of population, policing, laws, and civilian attention sustain deterrence and lower rates versus other states.

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Discover the Safest Places in PA with our interactive map!

Updated on 17 Feb. 2024 with categories ranging from Less Safe to Very Safe, you can easily navigate through 135 points centered in Pennsylvania.

Explore charming Bucks County, known for its high quality of life and robust public safety system. Or venture into Montgomery County, boasting an excellent education system, low crime rate, and a variety of amenities. Feel secure in Abington Township, where residents enjoy a suburban lifestyle and have reported feeling safe due to a visible and responsive police force. Escape to Bethel Park, a very safe community with low violent crime rates and a strong sense of security. And don’t miss Chester County, a region recognized for its outstanding quality of life and lower crime rates compared to the state and national averages. Start your journey to find your ideal safe haven in Pennsylvania today!

TL;DR:

In this article, we will explore the top 10 most secure locations to live in Pennsylvania.

When considering the safety of a town or city, several factors come into play. Not everyone is looking for the hustle and bustle of city life. Many people are searching for a quieter, safer place to call home. Crime rates are an obvious concern, but other factors such as natural disasters and traffic accidents also contribute to overall safety. To determine the safest places to live in Pennsylvania, we looked at crime rates, natural disaster risks, and other relevant data. We also considered lifestyle and amenities, as well as other factors that contribute to quality of life.

The number one safest city in PA according to TALLBOX is Collegeville with safety index 0.20 crimes per 1000 residents.

Pennsylvania has some safe city/town options to choose from based on low crime rates and other safety criteria. Collegeville, Murrysville, Swarthmore, State College, Lower Burrell, and Yardley are examples of safer towns.

Safety depends on analyzing factors like crime statistics, disaster risks, law enforcement effectiveness, etc. beyond just crime rates. It’s also important to consider lifestyle amenities, schools, jobs, housing, and overall quality of life when choosing where to live. Compared nationally, Pennsylvania sees less crime than the U.S. overall but has slightly higher crime than some other Mid-Atlantic states. Still, Pennsylvania ranks above average for safety among U.S. states.

Pennsylvania offers several safer options with low crime and high quality of life. But do research to find the right safe match based on your needs, via our 148 Safe Places in Pennsylvania Interactive Map.

You can also use our TALLBOX AI real estate agent to help you find what you are looking for in Pennsylvania.

How safe Pennsylvania is?

A Pennsylvania poster showcasing breathtaking mountains.
A Pennsylvania poster showcasing breathtaking mountains.

Pennsylvania is a state in the northeastern United States with a population of over 12 million people. Located on the East Coast, bordering New York to the north, New Jersey and Delaware to the east, Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, and Ohio to the northwest. Geographically at latitude: 39°56′N – 42°48′N and longitude: 74°47′W – 80°34′W or approximate centroid: 40°40′N 77°40′W

Largest Cities: Philadelphia: 1,603,797 population, Pittsburgh: 302,971 population, Allentown: 113,220 population, Reading: 87,643 population, Erie: 65,606 population

Pennsylvania is a good and safe place to live, according to TALLBOX, with over 2 million acres of public outdoor recreational spaces for residents to enjoy. It is a place of the highest historical significance in the USA.

The state is called also the Keystone State named after William Penn in 1681 is not a dangerous place to live in 2024 ranking 29th out of 50 states. It has around 23.7 crimes per 1,000 residents, and violent crime rate is 3.649 per 1,000 residents on average. It is a slightly higher violent crime rate than the national average but a lower property crime rate at 16.4 per 1,000 residents. Most local police departments in Pennsylvania are still using an outdated system for reporting crime statistics. This makes it difficult to fully understand statewide crime trends and how they compare to national trends. Economic factors like poverty rates and unemployment could also play a role. Philadelphia has the highest poverty rate of any major U.S. city, for example, which some experts link to higher crime rates.

Alaska compared to PA, has one of the highest violent crime rates in the U.S. at 837 incidents per 100,000 residents, over 2 times higher than Pennsylvania’s rate of 390 per 100,000.

New Mexico has a violent crime rate of 783 per 100,000, almost double Pennsylvania’s rate and Tennessee – Tennessee has a higher violent crime rate than Pennsylvania at 632 incidents per 100,000 residents. This makes Pennsylvania not dangerous place at all.

Pennsylvania’s most important economic drivers are healthcare and pharmaceuticals, Manufacturing (metals, chemicals, food processing),Education and research,Tourism and hospitality and Agriculture.

Pennsylvania is known for its rich history, including its role in the American Revolution.It boasts beautiful natural scenery, including the Pocono Mountains and the Appalachian Trail. The state has a large Amish population, particularly in Lancaster County.

How we measure what are the safe places in PA?

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At TALLBOX, we have conducted extensive analysis of crime statistics reports across law enforcement agencies to identify the safest cities and neighborhoods across Pennsylvania counties. According to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program, Pennsylvania’s crime data can be categorized into violent crimes and property vehicle crimes.

Violent crimes include top offenses such as murder, nonnegligent manslaughter, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault, while property crimes encompass burglary, larceny-theft, and motor vehicle theft. Key information we examined are violent and property crime rates, which quantify the number of criminal incidents per resident over time.

We also reviewed clearance and response rates, community engagement efforts, use of force trends and other metrics of safety enforcement. By comparing this data to state and national averages, we can discern areas of lower crime risk list relative to other locales.

Residents may feel reassured that our assessments derive from meticulous study of public safety patterns. We strive to help Pennsylvania families make informed two decisions to live, work and visit areas with minimal probability of harm.

Should you buy in city or village in PA?

Those prioritizing low crime rates, top-notch schools, peaceful lifestyles and community engagement may prefer buying in a Pennsylvania village. However city dwellers gain access to amenities, opportunities and resources that villages lack. Assess your preferences across these factors before deciding. Conduct thorough neighborhood research for safety and fit within any locale.

There are tradeoffs to consider when deciding whether to buy a home in a city versus a village in Pennsylvania. Here is a comparison of some of the key factors:

Safety & Crime Rates

  • Villages typically have lower crime rates than cities, making them safer options to raise a family. However, cities allow accessing security resources.

School Quality & Options

  • Top-rated school districts clustered around villages, while cities offer public, private and charter schools as alternatives.

Employment Opportunities

  • Cities provide more abundant job options and easier commutes to corporate hubs. Villages offer fewer local roles unless remote work.

Healthcare Accessibility

  • Specialized care often concentrated in city hospitals and medical centers compared to rural clinics.

Diversity & Culture

  • Cities showcase more racial/ethnic diversity and cultural institutions – museums, theaters, festivals. Villages lean homogeneous.

Housing Inventory & Affordability

  • Abundant housing stock in varying price ranges within cities compared to limited options in villages.

9 places in Pennsylvania with the lowest overall crime rate

The quality of life plays a large role when families or people decide to relocate, as it encompasses various factors such as low crime rates, access to healthcare, education, employment opportunities, and overall safety, all of which contribute to a sense of well-being and security.

The safest cities in Pennsylvania with the lowest violent crime considered not as a dangerous city are:

If you have more specific questions about specific safe areas in PA, you can ask the TALLBOX AI agent for help.

Collegeville

Collegeville: Is a great small population town safe to raise a family, with a violent crime rate of 0.20 per 1,000 pennsylvania residents, Collegeville is one of the safest places in Pennsylvania. The low crime rate, bordering on exceptionally safe makes Collegeville ideal for families to relocate, buy a house and work in one of the larger pharma companies located in.

Collegeville’s cost of living is slightly higher than the national average and linked to the low crime rates, but it’s lower than nearby Philadelphia and offers good value for the amenities and safety it provides.

Collegeville is a borough located in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, and is a suburb of Philadelphia situated along the Perkiomen Creek. It was incorporated in 1896 and is known for being the home of Ursinus College, which was founded in 1869. As of the 2010 census, Collegeville had a population of 5,089 Pennsylvania residents.

The borough has a rich history, dating back to the original William Penn purchase of land in 1684. Today, Collegeville offers a mix of residential, educational, and commercial amenities, including the Providence Town Center for shopping and dining, and it hosts the headquarters of the Pennsylvania Southeast Conference of the United Church of Christ. The area is also notable for its pharmaceutical and research presence, with facilities from companies like Pfizer, Dow Chemical, and GlaxoSmithKline.

Collegeville is considered one of the best places to live in Pennsylvania, with high ratings for public schools, crime and safety, and family-friendliness

Murrysville

Murrysville: Is a great average size city, safe to relocate and raise a family. Murrysville has a violent crime rate of 0.34 per 1,000 residents, indicating a very low level of violent crime. Being 23 mins away from Pittsburgh (19.5 miles away by car via Interstate 76, PA Turnpike), with safe neighbourhoods and family-friendly amenities makes Murrysville is ideal not only for families but retiaries to relocate.

Murrysville is a home rule municipality in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, United States. It is part of the Pittsburgh metropolitan area and had a population of 21,006 at the 2020 census. Murrysville is located roughly 19.5 miles east of Pittsburgh on U.S. Route 22, just east of the county line that separates Westmoreland and Allegheny counties.

The area is known for its history, including the Haymaker Gas Well, which was the nation’s first commercial natural gas well. Murrysville has a variety of neighborhoods, such as Dunningtown, Newlonsburg, Ringertown, Sardis, and White Valley. It is served by the Franklin Regional School District, which operates several schools in the area. The landscape includes residential neighborhoods, commercial areas, and natural spaces such as parks and reserves, which offer recreational opportunities like hiking and enjoying the natural scenery.

The median value of owner-occupied housing units in Murrysville is $208,000, and the median household income is $87,107, with a per capita income of $44,075. The home ownership rate is strong at 89%. Murrysville’s government includes a mayor and a council, and the municipality offers various public services, including community development, engineering, finance, public safety, public works, and recreation.

Swarthmore

Swarthmore: Is a very safe small town in PA ideal to raise family or relocate to retire. Swarthmore has a low crime rates, strong community policing, and peaceful atmosphere and with top-rated schools as The Wallingford-Swarthmore School District consistently ranks among the best in Pennsylvania, offering excellent academic programs and extracurricular activities. Swarthmore’s estimated violent crime rate is 91 per 100,000 people, which is lower than the national average. Due to the higher housing costs compared to national average, but balanced by strong job market and overall quality of life, the area enjoys a very high safety with the Swarthmore Police Dept. heavily involved in.

Swarthmore is a borough in Delaware County, Pennsylvania, United States. It is a suburb of Philadelphia and is known for being the home of Swarthmore College. The borough was originally named “Westdale” in honor of the painter Benjamin West, one of its early residents, but the name was changed to Swarthmore after the establishment of the college. As of the 2010 census, the population of Swarthmore was 6,194, and it had a slight increase to an estimated 6,346 in 2019.

Swarthmore is characterized by its tree-lined residential community, distinctive homes, and quiet neighborhoods. The borough’s downtown area, often referred to as “The Ville,” offers a variety of shops, services, and events. The community is known for being volunteer-minded and is considered a great place to live, work, and visit. The area also boasts high ratings for public schools, crime and safety, and family-friendliness, making it one of the best places to live in Pennsylvania.

State College

State College: Is average size city, it is safe and offers many advantages for raising a family. The criminal activity level in State College is roughly similar to the national average, with a chance of becoming a victim of violent crime being one in 988. State College has a thriving arts and culture scene and is ideal for to relocate for those who prioritize safety education and activities.

State College is a home rule municipality in Centre County, Pennsylvania, United States. It is best known as a college town, dominated economically and culturally by the presence of Penn State University, which is located partially in the borough of State College. The area is the largest designated borough in Pennsylvania and serves as the principal city of the greater State College census-designated area, with a population of 42,034 according to the 2010 census.

The community of State College offers a vibrant atmosphere with a mix of educational, cultural, and recreational activities. The downtown area, referred to as “Downtown State College,” provides a variety of shops, restaurants, and entertainment venues. The region is also known for its high-quality public schools and is considered a safe, diverse, and sustainable community.

State College is often referred to locally as “Happy Valley” and is known for its sports events, particularly Penn State football games, which draw large crowds to the area. The town also boasts several parks and natural areas, providing residents and visitors with outdoor recreational opportunities.

The municipality is governed by a mayor and a council, and it offers a range of public services, including community development, public safety, and public works. State College is also home to a number of educational institutions, from primary to post-secondary, including the South Hills School of Business & Technology and several private schools.

Lower Burrell

Lower Burrell: Lower Burrell is good and safe small town ideal for retirees due to its affordable housing, which is below the national average, and its scenic natural beauty along the Allegheny River. The overall criminal activity level is lower than Pennsylvania average making the Lower Burrell as considered one of the most secure locations in north-west side of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with a prevalence of crime that is 90% below the national average.

When Lower Burrel is compares to other areas areas to the west of Pittsburgh as Greensburg and Latrobe can be characterized as safe heaven with safe communities within the state of Pennsylvania.

Lower Burrell is a city located in northern Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, United States, situated along the Allegheny River. It is approximately 16-18 miles northeast of downtown Pittsburgh and is part of the Pittsburgh metropolitan area. The population of Lower Burrell was 11,758 according to the 2020 census.

The city was incorporated in 1959 and has a government structure that includes a city council and a mayor. Lower Burrell offers various public services through its departments, such as Accounts & Finance, Parks & Recreation, Public Affairs, Public Safety, Public Works, and the Treasurer & Tax Office.

Lower Burrell is known for its community amenities and services, and it provides a suburban living experience with access to parks and recreational opportunities. The city has experienced slight growth, and it is characterized by a predominantly White (Non-Hispanic) population. The median household income in Lower Burrell was $72,922 in 2021, and the median property value was $158,900, with a high homeownership rate of 83.9%. The city is also home to the Career Training Academy-Lower Burrell. The job market in Lower Burrell is primarily focused on manufacturing and healthcare, which may not offer as many options for certain career paths.

The Allegheny River Lock and Dam No. 4, located in Lower Burrell, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2000. The city’s crime rate is considered low, with a score of 9 out of 100 for violent crime, indicating that it is one of the safer places in Pennsylvania.

Yardley,PA

Yardley,PA: Is very safe tree lined small town, ideal for families and working couples. Residents generally feel very safe in the area, with 50% reporting no safety concerns at all. The Yardley area is considered to be one of the safe towns in PA near NJ border, with great community and crime rates significantly lower than the national average. Yardley, PA, is home to both public and private schools with high test scores. Bordering Trenton, NJ, and Princeton, NJ, Yardley is an up-and-coming, desirable location with career opportunities. It offers a peaceful atmosphere, and is a safe and quiet community with scenic beauty.

Yardley is a borough in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, United States. It is situated along the Delaware River and borders Ewing, New Jersey to the east and Lower Makefield Township to the north, west, and south. Yardley is part of the Delaware Valley metropolitan area and is known for its historic charm and community-oriented atmosphere.

The borough was founded in 1682 by William Yeardley, a Quaker minister who sought religious freedom and emigrated from England with his family. Yardley has a rich history, including a role in the Underground Railroad during the American Civil War, where several hiding places still exist today.

With a population of 2,434 as of the 2010 census, which slightly increased to an estimated 2,514 in 2019, Yardley maintains a small-town feel. The borough has a total area of 1.0 square mile, of which 0.9 square miles is land and 0.1 square miles is water. The Delaware Canal and its towpath bisect the borough, providing scenic access points for residents and visitors.

Yardley’s historic district features numerous houses dating back to the 18th and 19th centuries, reflecting its long heritage. The borough offers a variety of events, attractions, and amenities, including restaurants serving diverse cuisines, educational tours, and community activities like farmers markets and holiday events.

The local government, led by a mayor and council, is focused on maintaining Yardley’s historic integrity while supporting modern community needs. The borough’s proximity to Philadelphia and its location on the Delaware River have contributed to its development and appeal as a desirable place to live and visit.

Hershey

An illustration of a city with a mountain in the background, showcasing a safe place to live in PA.
An illustration of a city with a mountain in the background, showcasing a safe place to live in PA.

Hershey,PA: is generally considered a safe place to live, with crime rates lower than both the national and state averages. According to NeighborhoodScout’s analysis of FBI crime data, Hershey has an overall crime rate of 12 per 1,000 residents, which is near the average for all cities and towns of all sizes in America. The chance of becoming a victim of crime in Hershey is 1 in 82.

The rate of violent crime in Hershey is 1 in 577, which is roughly similar to the national average. The rate of property crime in Hershey is 10 per 1,000 residents, which is about average for all cities and towns in America of all population sizes.

In a poll conducted by Niche, 80% of respondents said they feel very safe in Hershey, while 20% said they feel pretty safe. The police are reported to be very visible and responsive.

AreaVibes estimates that the total crime rate in Hershey is 1,135 per 100,000 residents, which is lower than both the Pennsylvania average of 1,762 and the national average of 2,324. The violent crime rate is estimated to be 180 per 100,000 residents, which is also lower than both the state and national averages.

Villanova

Only 3% of the cities in US are safer than Villanova, PA. This charming small town is ideal for families and students. Residents generally feel very safe in the area, with 70% reporting no safety concerns at all.

Villanova is considered one of the safest places in Pennsylvania, with crime rates significantly lower than state and national averages. The chances of becoming a victim of violent or property crime are extremely low at just 1 in 1,000 and 1 in 71 respectively.

Located in Delaware County, Villanova is home to the prestigious Villanova University. The affluent suburban community has a population of around 8,213 residents including the students.

Villanova boasts beautiful historic homes on tree-lined streets with a true small town charm.

With its low crime, top-ranked schools, family-friendly parks, and close-knit community feel, Villanova offers exceptional peace of mind, quality of life, and investment potential. It’s easy to see why safety-conscious homeowners and renters are drawn to plant roots in this Main Line haven.

Which counties in Pennsylvania have the lowest crime rates?

Some of the counties in Pennsylvania with the lowest prevalence of crime include:

An illustration of a city with buildings and a river, showcasing safe places to live in PA.
An illustration of a city with buildings and a river, showcasing safe places to live in PA.

Chester County:

  • East Whiteland Township: Low crime rates, strong schools, and abundant green space.
  • Upper Uwchlan Township: High median income, excellent schools, and quiet neighborhoods.
  • West Pikeland Township: Rural setting, low crime rates, and strong community spirit.
  • East Marlborough Township: Family-friendly atmosphere, good schools, and convenient location.
  • West Chester Borough: Vibrant downtown area, diverse population, and access to cultural amenities.

Montgomery County:

Townships:

  • Lower Salford: Boasting a near-zero prevalence of crime and known for its strong community spirit, Lower Salford consistently ranks among the safest places in the county.
  • Franconia: With a low overall crime rate and a peaceful atmosphere, Franconia offers a quiet and secure environment for families.
  • Upper Gwynedd: Characterized by low crime rates and excellent schools, Upper Gwynedd provides a safe and thriving community for residents.
  • Towamencin: Renowned for its low crime rates and upscale neighborhoods, Towamencin attracts families seeking a tranquil and secure lifestyle.
  • New Hanover: This township boasts a low crime rate and a strong sense of community, offering a peaceful and secure residential environment.

 

Boroughs:

  • Collegeville: This charming borough, ranked as the second most secure location in Pennsylvania by 24/7 Wall St., enjoys a remarkably low incidences of crime and a vibrant town center.
  • Green Lane: Home to a tight-knit community and low crime rates, Green Lane offers a tranquil and family-friendly atmosphere.
  • Red Hill: Characterized by low crime rates and scenic farmland, Red Hill provides a peaceful and picturesque setting for residents.
  • Upper Merion: Known for its low crime rates and excellent schools, Upper Merion offers a safe and desirable community for families.

Bucks County:

Townships with Overall Low Crime Rates:

  • Warwick Township: Renowned for its low crime rate, affluent neighborhoods, and strong community engagement.
  • Upper Makefield Township: Boasts a peaceful atmosphere, exceptional schools, and minimal criminal activity.
  • New Britain Township: A haven for families with its rural charm, excellent school system, and low crime statistics.
  • Doylestown Township: Offers historical charm, diverse amenities, and a consistently low crime rate.
  • West Bradford Township: Features picturesque landscapes, quiet neighborhoods, and minimal crime concerns.

Boroughs with Low Crime Rates:

  • New Hope: Exudes a quaint artistic atmosphere, strong security measures, and very incidences of crime. New Hope is also one of the safe towns in PA near NJ border.
  • Yardley: Offers waterfront living, a vibrant downtown, and a safe environment for families.
  • Richboro: Known for its family-friendly atmosphere, excellent schools, and minimal crime occurrences.
  • Milford: A historic gem with a close-knit community, robust security measures, and low crime rates. Milford is great safe town close to the PA – NJ border.
  • Dublin: Situated near Doylestown, it boasts convenient amenities, a peaceful atmosphere, and minimal crime.

These counties are known for their safety and are considered to be some of the best places to live in Pennsylvania.

Other Safe cities in Pennsylvania

Many suburban towns around Philadelphia and Pittsburgh along with some smaller towns and cities tend to be the safest places, while larger cities and towns in western PA tend to have more crime. But specific crime rates can vary greatly even within cities.

3 Safest large cities in PA

Based on the available data, the three safest large cities in Pennsylvania, which are cities with populations exceeding or near 50,000, are:

  1. State College – With a crime score of 17.4, State College is the safest large city in Pennsylvania. It is home to Penn State University and is located in the center of the state geographically.
  2. Lower Merion Township – This city has a crime score of 18.7, making it the second safest large city in the state. Lower Merion Township is known for its high quality of life and proximity to Philadelphia.
  3. Abington Township – With a crime score of 26.2, Abington Township ranks as the third safest large city in Pennsylvania. It is a suburb of Philadelphia and offers a mix of urban and suburban living.

These rankings are based on crime scores, which are calculated using crime reports from the cities. A lower crime score indicates a lower rate of crime. It’s important to note that safety can vary within different neighborhoods of a city, and these scores provide a general overview rather than a detailed, street-level analysis.

3 Safest small towns in PA

Based on the available data, the three safest small towns in Pennsylvania are:

  1. Cranberry Township –Cranberry Township was named as the safest small town in Pennsylvania and the ninth safest in the country. The ranking is based on crime statistics and the cost of those crimes in communities with a population of 30,000 to 100,000.
  2. Collegeville – Located in Montgomery County, Collegeville has a population of 5,043. The crime rate in Collegeville is 371 crimes per 100,000 people, which is 84% lower than the national average.
  3. Fox Chapel – Fox Chapel has been recognized as Pennsylvania’s safest city according to the FBI crime data. The likelihood of being a victim of a violent crime in this town is extremely low.

These rankings are based on crime statistics and the cost of those crimes. It’s important to note that safety can vary within different neighborhoods of a town, and these scores provide a general overview rather than a detailed, street-level analysis.

West Mifflin, Franklin Park, Penn Township, Upper St. Clair are ranking as safe places in Pennsylvania based on very low crime rates. South Park, Elizabethtown, Waynesboro, and McCandless are also named as some of the safest places in PA.

14 Less Safer cities in Pennsylvania

A colorful illustration of a town with houses and trees, showcasing safe places to live in Pennsylvania.
A colorful illustration of a town with houses and trees, showcasing safe places to live in Pennsylvania.

Emmaus, Harrisburg, East Pittsburgh, Chester, Homestead, Seven Springs, and Darby had among the average to average-high crime index values.

Philadelphia, Scranton, Pittsburgh, Lebanon, Allentown, Erie, Wilkes-Barre, and Harrisburg tend to have higher crime rates but non of them is considered as dangerous cities in Pennsylvania.
For more detailed information, we have a dedicated map with 148 very safe and less safe places in PA; you can explore it here.

What is the crime rate in Pennsylvania compared to other states?

Pennsylvania’s crime rate is closely in line with the national average, although it has experienced some fluctuations. Here are some key points regarding the crime rate in Pennsylvania compared to other states:

Overall Crime Rate

Pennsylvania had 16.4 property crimes per 1,000 people in 2023, below the national average of 19.6. However, this was an increase from 14.0 per 1,000 people in 2022.

The violent crime rate in Pennsylvania was 3.9 per 1,000 people in 2023, slightly below the national rate of 4.0. This was an increase from 3.1 per 1,000 in 2022.

So while Pennsylvania remains below national averages for both property and violent crime rates, both rates increased from 2022 to 2023.

Violent Crime Rate Comparison

In 2020, Pennsylvania had 390 violent crimes per 100,000 people, closely aligned with the national violent crime rate that year.

This gave Pennsylvania the highest violent crime rate in the Northeast in 2020, though still comparable to the overall U.S. rate.

Pennsylvania saw a 27.1% year-over-year increase in violent crime rate from 2019 to 2020, the largest increase of any state.

Property Crime Rate Comparison

46% of Pennsylvanians worry about property crime happening to them, slightly less than the 50% national average.

Pennsylvania ranks 4th lowest among U.S. states for property crime rate as of 2020.

Compared to other states with the lowest crime rates, such as Maine (108.6 violent crimes per 100,000 people) and New Hampshire (146.4 violent crimes per 100,000 people), Pennsylvania has a higher rate.

When compared to states with higher crime rates, like Alaska (837.8 violent crimes per 100,000 people) and New Mexico (778.3 violent crimes per 100,000 people), Pennsylvania’s rate is lower.

It’s important to note that crime rates can vary significantly within a state, with urban areas often experiencing higher rates of crime than rural areas. Additionally, the data may not be fully comparable year over year due to differences in reporting practices and the availability of data.

Criteria for Safety in Pennsylvania Towns and Cities

Understanding Crime Rates

When looking for a safe place to live in Pennsylvania, it’s important to understand the crime rates in the area. Crime rates are typically measured by the number of incidents per 100,000 residents. The lower the crime rate, the safer the area is considered to be.

The FBI collects crime data from law enforcement agencies across the country and publishes it in an annual report. This report includes data on both violent crime (such as murder, rape, and robbery) and property crime (such as burglary, theft, and arson).

To read and understand crime rates, examine the number of crimes per 100,000 people over a defined time period and location. Analyze by crime type and demographic to contextualize the data.

For example, when comparing two neighborhoods’ annual violent crime rates to assess safety for a family’s move, the rates could mask very different issues. Neighborhood A with a higher overall rate may have most incidents near a bar district, meaning the areas near schools and parks may be relatively safe. Whereas Neighborhood B could have more dispersed violent crimes making the whole area less suitable for families.

To make the best choice, the family should compare violent crime types, times and locations against places they would live, work, and play rather than just the aggregate rates alone. Getting granular best informs decisions for various demographics.

Role of Local Law Enforcement

Good indicators that local law enforcement in Pennsylvania is effectively performing their job can be identified through various performance measures and strategies outlined by the Pennsylvania State Police and other policing bodies. Here are some key indicators:

Reduction in Crime Rates

A decrease in Crime Index Offenses, which include serious crimes such as murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson.

Traffic Safety

A percentage reduction in crash-related injuries and fatalities compared against the previous four-year average.

Clearance Rates

The rate at which cases are solved, as indicated by arrests or charges being brought.

Response Times

The speed with which law enforcement responds to calls for service.

Community Policing

Implementation of collaborative approaches that respect the dignity of individuals within the community, focus on problem-solving, and build community trust.

Training and Resources

Ensuring that law enforcement personnel are well-trained and have the necessary resources to perform their duties effectively, such as the use of radar for speed enforcement.

Recruitment and Staffing

Efforts to recruit more law enforcement professionals and fill vacancies in local police departments to maintain community safety.

Public Safety Programs

Funding and support for programs focused on reducing violence, such as the Violence Intervention and Prevention program

Legislative Compliance

Adherence to state laws and regulations that govern law enforcement activities.

These indicators, when measured and reported, can provide insight into the effectiveness of local law enforcement in maintaining public safety and enforcing the law in Pennsylvania.

What city/town in Pennsylvania community policing program

Several towns and cities like Sewickley, Philadelphia, Harrisburg, Ephrata, and Coatesville have implemented community policing strategies and programs to work jointly with local residents and groups on crime prevention and quality of life issues.

Sewickley Borough – Has partnered with the organization ACCAPT (Allegheny County Communities and Police Together) which is dedicated to community oriented policing and crime prevention education.

Philadelphia – Has a Town Watch Integrated Services (TWIS) program that trains and organizes residents into Town Watch groups to reduce crime. Also supports safe school corridors, emergency response training, drug prevention programs, etc.

Harrisburg – Has a Community Services Division within their police bureau that promotes open communication between officers and the community through community policing.

Ephrata – Has introduced a Community Oriented Policing Strategy (COPS) that brings together police, residents, community groups, and local agencies to solve neighborhood issues.

Coatesville – Has various community policing programs and initiatives to collaborate with neighborhoods on local issues and build stronger police-community relationships.

Downingtown – is considered a nice and safe place to live, grow a family, or retire for several reasons. The total violent and property crime rates are lower than the national average and 31% less than the average for the state.  The Downingtown Police does have a policing program, and the department is comprised of a team of officers and civilians who strive to maintain a meaningful partnership with the community they serve. The East Brandywine Township Police Department, which serves an area close to Downingtown, is a full-service police organization that protects residents and engages in community activities such as speaking engagements and school group meetings.

A serene painting capturing the essence of a town, featuring charming houses and a boat gracefully included.
A serene painting capturing the essence of a town, featuring charming houses and a boat gracefully included.

Living in Pennsylvania: Lifestyle and Amenities

When it comes to choosing a place to live, lifestyle and amenities are important factors to consider. Pennsylvania offers a diverse range of cultural, educational, and economic opportunities for its residents, making it an attractive choice for those looking for a well-rounded lifestyle.

Cultural and Educational Opportunities

Pennsylvania is home to a number of prestigious universities and colleges, including the University of Pennsylvania, Carnegie Mellon University, and Penn State University. These institutions offer a wide range of educational opportunities, from undergraduate degrees to advanced research programs.

In addition to higher education, Pennsylvania also boasts a vibrant cultural scene. The state is home to numerous museums, galleries, and theaters, as well as a rich history of music and the arts. From the Philadelphia Museum of Art to the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, there is no shortage of cultural experiences to be had in Pennsylvania.

Economic and Employment Landscape

Pennsylvania has a diverse economy, with major industries including healthcare, education, and manufacturing. The state is home to a number of Fortune 500 companies, including Comcast, PNC Financial Services, and AmerisourceBergen.

In terms of employment, Pennsylvania has a relatively low unemployment rate compared to the national average. The state also has a minimum wage of $7.25 per hour, which is the same as the federal minimum wage.

Housing and Cost of Living

The cost of living in Pennsylvania varies depending on the region, with major cities like Philadelphia and Pittsburgh being more expensive than rural areas. However, overall, Pennsylvania has a relatively low cost of living compared to other states in the Northeast.

Housing in Pennsylvania is also relatively affordable, with a median home value of $184,700. The state offers a range of housing options, from historic row houses in Philadelphia to modern apartments in Pittsburgh.

Pennsylvania offers a rich and diverse lifestyle for its residents, with a range of cultural, educational, and economic opportunities. From the bustling streets of Philadelphia to the rolling hills of the countryside, there is something for everyone in Pennsylvania.

Safety Considerations Beyond Crime Statistics

When considering the safety of a place to live, it is important to look beyond just crime statistics. While low crime rates are certainly a positive factor, there are other safety considerations that should not be overlooked. This section will explore some of these considerations in more detail.

Natural Disasters and Environmental Factors

Pennsylvania is prone to certain natural disasters such as flooding, hurricanes, and tornadoes. It’s important to research the history of natural disasters in the area you are considering moving to and take appropriate precautions. Additionally, environmental factors such as air quality and water quality should also be taken into consideration. Residents can check the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection website for information on air and water quality in their area.

Community Engagement and Neighborhood Watch Programs

A strong sense of community and engagement can greatly contribute to the safety of a neighborhood. Neighborhood watch programs are a great way for residents to work together to prevent crime and keep their community safe. Residents can contact their local police department to learn more about neighborhood watch programs in their area. Additionally, community engagement can also include events such as block parties and community cleanups, which can help foster a sense of community and deter crime.

When considering the safety of a place to live, it’s important to look beyond just crime statistics. Natural disasters and environmental factors can also pose safety risks, and a strong sense of community and engagement can greatly contribute to the safety of a neighborhood. By taking these factors into consideration, residents can make informed decisions about where to live and feel confident in their safety.

Moving to Pennsylvania: What to Know

Ask Real Estate Agent to help with property in PA.
Ask Real Estate Agent to help with property in PA.

Moving to a new place can be exciting and challenging. Pennsylvania is a beautiful state with a rich history and diverse culture. Here are some things to keep in mind when relocating to Pennsylvania.

Relocating to a New Town

Whether you are moving to Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Lancaster, Scranton, Reading, or any other town in Pennsylvania, it is important to do your research. Look for a safe and affordable neighborhood that meets your needs. You apart from TALLBOX you can check Niche or Upgraded Home for a list of the safest places to live in Pennsylvania.

Consider the cost of living and the availability of jobs in the area. If you are moving for work, make sure you have a job lined up before you arrive. If you are moving with your family, research the schools in the area and find a neighborhood with good schools.

Transportation and Accessibility

Pennsylvania is a relatively large state, so transportation is important. If you are moving to a big city like Philadelphia or Pittsburgh, you can rely on public transportation. Both cities have good public transportation systems, including buses, trains, and subways.

If you are moving to a smaller town, you may need a car to get around. Pennsylvania has a good network of highways and roads, so driving is generally easy. However, traffic can be heavy during rush hour, especially in big cities.

When it comes to accessibility, Pennsylvania is well-connected to other states. Philadelphia and Pittsburgh have international airports, and there are several regional airports throughout the state. Amtrak also provides train service to many cities in Pennsylvania and beyond.

Pennsylvania is a great place to live. With its beautiful scenery, rich history, and diverse culture, you are sure to find a place that feels like home.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What are the affordable areas in PA to move to?

A: According to TALLBOX’s research exploring the most affordable places to live in Pennsylvania in 2024:

  • Camp Hill ranked #1 most affordable city with a cost of living index of 91 and 86% family-friendly neighborhoods
  • Williamsport and Lycoming County offer extremely affordable housing, with costs 42% lower than the statewide average
  • Cranberry Township stands out for an affordable suburbs with great schools and amenities
  • State College has reasonably priced homes and abundant job prospects as a college town
  • Areas around Pittsburgh like McKeesport and Bethel Park deliver housing under $200k just outside the city
  • New Castle, Beaver Falls, and towns along the Beaver River balance affordability and access to metro perks
  • Prime picks for retirees include Carlisle, Lebanon, and Harrisburg based on healthcare, scenery, and home values.

Q: What types of crime incidents reported mostly in PA?

A: In Pennsylvania, the most commonly reported types of crime are property crimes, specifically larceny, which is the theft of someone’s personal property. Despite of the total crime rate reporting PA has one of the lowest property crime incidents reported in the neighbouring states and  across country.

According to data gathered between 2012 and 2016, property crime was the most common type of crime in Pennsylvania. In 2022, larceny was the most reported offense in York County, one of the counties with the highest number of reported offenses in the state.

Violent crimes also make up a significant portion of reported crimes in Pennsylvania. Aggravated assault is the most common type of violent crime. In 2019, there were 39,228 violent crimes reported to Pennsylvania law enforcement agencies, with violent crimes accounting for 18% of total crimes.

It’s important to note that crime rates can vary significantly within the state, often with dense urban areas having higher crime rates than rural areas. For instance, in 2022, more than 45,000 offenses were reported in Philadelphia County, including over 18,000 larcenies and 160 murders.

For a more detailed breakdown of crime types in Pennsylvania, it would be necessary to consult the Pennsylvania Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program, which categorizes every type of crime reported, including murder, manslaughter, rape, robbery, assault, burglary, theft, arson, and human trafficking.

What to consider when relocating to PA a home?

Here are some key things to consider when relocating to Pennsylvania and choosing a home location:

Crime Rates – Review violent crime and property crime statistics in the neighborhood, city and county to understand safety risks. Lower rates than state/national averages are preferable.

School Quality – Research ratings and test scores of the public, private and charter schools near the home, especially if relocating with a family. Highly rated school districts impact home values.

Employment Opportunities – If you need to find a new job after moving, research the local job market, industry concentrations and economic health of nearby metro areas to ensure viable opportunities exist. Consider commute times to employment hubs.

Taxes – Pennsylvania has high property taxes so review rates in the county/city carefully. There is also a flat 3.07% income tax that should factor into cost of living considerations.

Healthcare Access – Ensure there are quality hospitals and a sufficient number of primary care doctors and specialists nearby to meet your family’s healthcare needs.

Amenities – Consider proximity to essential amenities like grocery stores, parks, gyms, restaurants and other attractions that support your lifestyle, interests and conveniences.

What moving companies operate in PA?

In Yardley, PA, several moving companies offer their services to residents and businesses. Here are some of the moving companies that operate in the area:

There are fifteen reputable mover services and companies operating in PA established with good reviews:

These are the top-rated moving companies identified by TALLBOX in Pennsylvania:

  1. Hughes Relocation Services: Known for its high ratings, Hughes Relocation Services is another top-rated company in Pennsylvania.
  2. Suburban Solutions Moving & Transport: a top-rated moving company in Pennsylvania operating for 9+ years.
  3. Forward Moving LLC: is a highly rated moving company in Pennsylvania, with a rating of 4.91 out of 5 with 353 on their Google profile and indicating as LGBTQ+ friendly and is a member of the Chester County Chamber of Business and Industry (CCCBI).

Here are some of other top-rated ones based on various sources:

  1. International Van Lines: This company offers a wide range of services and is known for its comprehensive offerings.
  2. American Van Lines: Known for its overall moving labor, this company has been recognized as the best overall by some sources.
  3. JK Moving: This company is recognized for its specialized packing services and has a strong presence in Pennsylvania.
  4. Moving APT: Known for its customer service, Moving APT is another top-rated moving company in Pennsylvania.
  5. Allied Van Lines: This company is recognized for its vehicle relocation services and overall customer experience.
  6. North American Van Lines: Known for its predictable pricing and claims handling, North American Van Lines is a reliable choice.
  7. PODS: This company is recognized for its flexibility as a container mover.
  8. Bekins Van Lines: Known for its white-glove service option, Bekins Van Lines is another top-rated company.
  9. Mayflower: This company is recognized for its technology use in the moving process.
  10. Two Men and a Truck: Known for its local-branch-based moving services, this company is a reliable choice for local moves.
  11. United Van Lines: Recognized for its full-value protection, United Van Lines is a top-rated moving company.
  12. Interstate Moving & Relocation Group: This company is recognized for its experience as a broker.
  13. Safeway Moving Inc.: Known for its services for condos and HOAs, Safeway Moving Inc. is another top-rated company.
  14. Suburban Solutions Moving & Transport: This company is recognized for its local moving services.

These companies offer a variety of services, including full-service moving, packing and unpacking, specialized packing, vehicle relocation, and more. It’s recommended to get quotes from multiple companies and compare their services, prices, and customer reviews to choose the best fit for your specific moving needs

Next Steps for Further Research: