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9 Safest Cities in Pennsylvania (2022)

Swarthmore ville from South Chester Rd

Note: This article’s statistics come from third-party sources and do not represent the opinions of this website.

Pennsylvania is a wonderful state to live in, and there’s something for everyone. From the historic fields of Gettysburg to the popular night club scenes of Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, you are sure to find something that interests you. If you are thinking about moving somewhere in Pennsylvania and want to know the safest areas, you’ve come to the right place. Keep reading while we compare crime rates in several cities to help you locate the safest one, and we’ll also compare some other statistics, like average income and poverty rates, to help you find your ideal home.


The 9 Safest Cities in Pennsylvania: A Quick Look

1. Collegeville, PA

Collegeville PA Keystone Marker on Main Street WB
Image Credit: Collegeville PA Keystone Marker on Main Street WB, Dough4872, Wikimedia Commons CC SA 4.0 International
Population: 5,152
Murder rate: 0 per 100,000 people
Average Household income: $112,500
Poverty rate: 1.3%
Violent crimes in 2021: 19.6 per 100,000 people

Collegeville, Pennsylvania, is one of the safest places you can live in Pennsylvania and the entire nation, with a crime rate 85% below the national average. It has a small population, a high average income, and a very low poverty rate, which is likely why there are no reported robberies, car thefts, or recent murders. Even property crimes are extremely low, and aggravated assault charges are 10 times lower than the average in the rest of Pennsylvania, which itself is lower than the national average.


2. Canonsburg, PA

Canonsburg, PA United Presbyterian Church
Image Credit: Canonsburg, PA United Presbyterian Church, Doug Kerr, Wikimedia Commons CC SA 2.0 Generic
Population: 8,844
Murder rate: 0 per 100,000 people
Average Household income: $50,077
Poverty rate: 8.5%
Violent crimes in 2021: 79.6 per 100,000 people

Canonsburg is near Pittsburg, and it has a smaller population, low poverty rate, and very little crime. It currently stands at 82.4% below the national average in crime, and there is no recent murder, rapes, or car thefts and very few assaults. Theft is the most common crime in this area, but it’s still well below the national average of 341.3 per 100,000 people, with only 30 per 100,000 people. Robberies and theft saw an uptick in 2018, and 2019 saw a surge of arson-related fires, but crime in this area has been declining for several years, and it is one of the safest places you can live in the entire United States.


3. Old Forge, PA

Old Forge Borough Building
Image Credit: Old Forge Borough Building, Lou72JG, Wikimedia Commons CC SA 4.0 International
Population: 7,965
Murder rate: 0 per 100,000 people
Average Household income: $57,563
Poverty rate: 11.8%
Violent crimes in 2021: 76 per 100,000 people

Old Forge is an extremely safe city in northeastern Pennsylvania that currently stands at 81% below the national average in crime. It’s a city popular for its Old Forge-style pizza, one of the first square pizzas that used American cheese in the ingredients and started as a popular mining food. It was famous enough to attract the President in 2020, and his Secret Service likely didn’t have much to do in this safe city with no recent reported murders or robberies and very little aggravated assault, property crime, and car theft.


4. Swarthmore, PA

Swarthmore Parrish Hall
Image Credit: Swarthmore Parrish Hall, Kungming2, Wikimedia Commons CC 3.0 Unported
Population: 6,318
Murder rate: 0 per 100,000 people
Average Household income: $107,778
Poverty rate: 5.6%
Violent crimes in 2021: 31.1 per 100,000 people

Swarthmore is a small city with no recent murder and very little crime. Its crime rate is 79.9% lower than the national average, so it’s a great place to live and raise a family. There are plenty of jobs and housing, and statistics show that the little crime that you can find there has declined over the past several years. It has a smaller police force than average, and it has no trouble keeping order, with most crime being theft.


5. Ridley Park, PA

Baldwin Tower, Ridley Park PA
Image Credit: Baldwin Tower, Ridley Park PA, Smallbones, Wikimedia Commons CC0 1.0 Universal
Population: 7,048
Murder rate: 0 per 100,000 people
Average Household income: $83,802
Poverty rate: 4.9%
Violent crimes in 2021: 99.3 per 100,000 people

Ridley Park is a safe area of Pennsylvania. It’s quite close to some highly populated areas, so there’s always something to do. It stands 69% lower than the national average in crime, and it has stayed fairly consistent for the last 20 years. There is no recent murder, very few robberies and rapes, and even thefts are well below the national average. It’s affordable, and there’s plenty of housing and jobs, so it’s a great place to live.


6. Carbondale, PA

Carbondale City Hall pa
Image Credit: Carbondale City Hall pa, Jared Kofsky, Wikimedia Commons CC SA 3.0 Unported
Population: 8,441
Murder rate: 0 per 100,000 people
Average Household income: $33,772
Poverty rate: 16.5%
Violent crimes in 2021: 166.9 per 100,000 people

Carbondale is an old city that was one of the first mining towns. It’s full of old buildings, and there are plenty of trails for walking and riding four-wheelers. It has very little crime, with no recent murders, and is currently rated 61.9% below the national average in crime. Property crime, burglary, car theft, assault, and violent crime are all well below the national average, and it’s an affordable place to live. However, finding good jobs and housing can be challenging because much of the city is in disrepair.


7. Monongahela, PA

Population: 4,138
Murder rate: 0 per 100,000 people
Average Household income: $48,986
Poverty rate: 9.3%
Violent crimes in 2021: 122.5 per 100,000 people

Monongahela is a smaller city in Pennsylvania, with a crime rate of 60.8% below the national crime average. It’s had no recent murders and very few robberies. It’s also lower than average in property crime, larceny, and grand theft auto.


8. State College, PA

State College Downtown
Imaget Credit: State College Downtown, Goonsnick, Wikimedia Commons CC SA 4.0 International
Population: 42,275
Murder rate: 5.1 per 100,000 people
Average Household income: $34,005
Poverty rate: 44.9%
Violent crimes in 2021: 92.1 per 100,000 people

As you may have guessed by the name, State College, Pennsylvania, is a large campus area with more than 42,000 people, making it one of the largest cities on this list. Luckily for the young people who live there, it’s an extremely safe area, rated 58.5% below the national average in crime. There have been a few murders reported, but these are in line with the national and state average, and there is very little violent crime, robbery, and assault. It’s an extremely diverse city with plenty of housing, but it can be tough to find a good job.


9. Nazareth, PA

Center Square, Nazareth PA 01
Image Credit: Center Square, Nazareth PA 01, Shuvaev, Wikimedia Commons CC SA 3.0 Unported
Population: 5,699
Murder rate: 0 per 100,000 people
Average Household income: $56,349
Poverty rate: 10.9%
Violent crimes in 2021: 35 per 100,000 people

With a name like Nazareth, it’s not hard to believe that it’s one of the safer cities in Pennsylvania, and it’s currently rated 55.5% below the national average in crime. There have been no recent murders and very few rapes, robberies, assaults, or car thefts. Though still below the Pennsylvania average, Nazareth has added law enforcement personnel in the last several years that can help reduce crime even further.

Related Read: 8 Safest Cities in Vermont

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Why Is It So Safe in These Pennsylvania Cities?

It’s hard to say exactly why one area has less crime than another. For one thing, there have been many technological advancements in home and automobile alarm systems in the past 25 years.

The rise of smartphones gives everyone a camera to film any trouble they see, which likely dissuades many people from committing crimes and helps catch those who do, which helps eliminate repeat offenses. Improved tactics by law enforcement help them catch criminals faster, and the COVID-19 pandemic and worldwide lockdowns likely affected crime rates too.

Looking at the cities we’ve listed, only three have above average household income for Pennsylvania, which is $63,463. (DATA USA)

Some, like State College and Carbondale, have much lower incomes that do not seem to increase crime. However, seven of the nine cities we’ve listed are below the average poverty rate of Pennsylvania, which is 13.1%, while some of the more dangerous cities, like Chester, PA, have a much higher poverty rate. Chester, in particular, has a poverty rate of 35.9%. (Welfare Info)

How to Stay Safe in Pennsylvania

  • Equip your home and automobile with an alarm system, and check it frequently to ensure that it’s operating properly.
  • Place notices on your home and vehicle that you have an alarm system installed to help encourage criminals to look for an easier target.
  • Install visible video cameras, so a passer-by will know that they are on film, which can help discourage criminal activity around your home.
  • Don’t leave expensive packaging out for the trash for burglars to see. Instead, break down the boxes or take them to a distant dumpster that you have permission to use.
  • If you are walking alone, keep your smartphone out even if you’re not using it, to let any lurkers know that you can get help quickly.
  • Keep a can of Mace or pepper spray with you.
  • Take a self-defense class.
  • When you are traveling, especially at night, let people know when you’re leaving and when you will arrive, so they will know if you run into trouble.

Related Read: 10 Most Dangerous Cities in Pennsylvania


Conclusion

Almost anywhere in Pennsylvania is lovely, with its old-time cities, thick forests, and farmland. Collegeville is the safest, but you shouldn’t have a problem with any of these cities. If you’re looking for peace and quiet, Nazareth and Monongahela are great choices, while Carbondale will impress you with its old buildings and amazing history. State College has the nightlife, and Old Forge has the pizza that you never knew was your favorite.

We hope that you have enjoyed reading over this guy and found a few places that you’d like to live!

You might also be interested in: 25 Safest Cities in the U.S.


Featured Image Credit: Swarthmore ville from South Chester Rd, Buidhe_wiki, Wikimedia Commons CC SA 2.0 Generic

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