There’s more to Pennsylvania than just Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.
There’s something especially exciting about moving to a new city for a job. There’s always the opportunity to reinvent yourself and expand your horizons. It’s an adventure. And while the possibilities are endless, your options for apartments are anything but.
The fact is, if you’re just starting out, you’re going to need to save as much money as possible for bills, expenses, savings and yes, even fun. But in order to do that, you’re going to need to start looking through the cheapest places to live in Pennsylvania.
The great news is if you’re looking for inexpensive places to live in Pennsylvania, you have a ton of options that should also align with the city you’ll be moving to.
Pennsylvania’s average rent prices
From Pittsburgh to Philly and everywhere in between, there are nearly limitless options for renters in The Keystone State. Renters here enjoy a reasonable cost of living and an average monthly rent of $1,685. The rent here is up about 1.6 percent year over year.
The cheapest cities in Pennsylvania for renters
If you have the flexibility to work from anywhere and you’re looking to make Pennsylvania your home, add these cities to your list. Among the cheapest places to live in Pennsylvania, your rent dollars will go farther here.
10. Upper Darby
Source: Rent.com / Lansdowne Meadows
- Average 1-BR rent price: $880
- Average rent change in the last year: 3.06%
Ten miles west of Philadelphia, Upper Darby makes our list with an average rent of $880 per month, up 3.06 percent since last year.
There’s plenty to do in this middle-class suburb of around 83,000. A thriving performing arts community is home to one of the oldest youth theater programs in the country. And since it’s only a 15-minute train ride from the center of Philadelphia, it’s a prime destination for young families and anyone who finds themselves priced out of the city.
Source: Rent.com / The Weightman
- Average 1-BR rent price: $866
- Average rent change in the last year: 0.11%
For young professionals working remotely, Williamsport is No. 9 on our list of the cheapest places to live in Pennsylvania. The birthplace of little league baseball is about an hour and a half away from Scranton and Wilkes-Barre.
This metropolis of 114,000 prides itself on being the artistic and cultural capital of central Pennsylvania. And that kind of cache comes with a surprisingly affordable price tag. The average rent for a one-bedroom apartment is holding steady for 2020 at $866 per month. For that kind of money, you can stock up on extra holiday lights and turn your home into the Christmas display you always wanted.
Source: Rent.com / The Forest Apartments
- Average 1-BR rent price: $863
- Average rent change in the last year: 12.64%
If you’re planning a move to the Pittsburgh area, put Wilkinsburg on your list of neighborhoods to check out. Just east of Pittsburgh, Wilkinsburg sits near the fork of the Ohio River where it splits off to the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers. This working-class neighborhood is on the rise.
Young people and families are moving to Wilkinsburg due to a direct train line to Pittsburgh, but also its low cost of living. The good news is the average monthly rent here is $863. The bad news is that it’s up a whopping 12.6 percent in the last year.
- Average 1-BR rent price: $765
- Average rent change in the last year: 0.99%
Halfway between Harrisburg and Hagerstown is Shippensburg, in the heart of the Cumberland Valley.
This charming and picturesque community of just more than 5,000 is an up and comer. It’s perfect for those who don’t want to live near a major city and are more comfortable a little further away from the hustle and bustle. Ideal for those working remotely who want to live on the cheap, a month’s rent in Shippensburg is $765.
6. State College
- Average 1-BR rent price: $732
- Average rent change in the last year: 3.44%
If you live and die by college sports, say hello to your new home.
State College is home to Penn State’s main campus, as well as dozens of bars, restaurants and other businesses. It’s the best of both worlds: a small-town feel with world-class sports teams. The rent is on the rise here, up 3.4 percent in the last year. Expect to pay around $732 a month when you move here.
Source: Rent.com / Hickory Arms/Penngrove Village
- Average 1-BR rent price: $625
- Average rent change in the last year: -0.02%
You’ll find Hermitage along the western Pennsylvania border, northeast of Youngstown, OH. And if you like nature trails, local breweries, antiquing and the world’s only free golf course, you’ll soon find yourself in Hermitage.
The cost of living here is a whopping 20 percent below the national average. One month’s rent here will cost you $625.
- Average 1-BR rent price: $587
- Average rent change in the last year: 0.00%
This city of 13,000 is 35 miles north of Pittsburgh, which gives you access to all the amenities of big city life for small-town prices. In fact, if you move here, you can probably afford to get a place with a second bedroom.
A month of rent in Butler averages out to $587. And for that money, you get a farmer’s market, a nationally recognized Main Street in downtown Butler, Steelers games just a short drive away and so much more.
- Average 1-BR rent price: $557
- Average rent change in the last year: -1.87%
The most important thing to know about Indiana is that it has an airport named after, and a museum honoring actor Jimmy Stewart. This city of 13,000 is also near Pittsburgh, giving you access to the city’s world-class education and medical care.
Rent here is a modest $557 a month, not that you’ll be spending much time at home in a city with more than 60 miles of hiking trails, boating, fishing and dozens of bars, restaurants and breweries to check out. It’s a wonderful life indeed.
- Average 1-BR rent price: $552
- Average rent change in the last year: -10.89%
The city of Greensburg grew from just a single stop on the Pennsylvania rail line to become a prosperous and thriving community.
Greensburg is in the heart and Westmoreland County and the hearts of the people who live and work there. In fact, the 14,000-person population of Greensburg doubles during the workday, making it one of the top cities in Pennsylvania for daytime population. Rents here are on the decline, average out at $522 a month so take advantage while you can.
1. New Stanton
Source: Rent.com / Timber Ridge
- Average 1-BR rent price: $492
- Average rent change in the last year: 2.83%
Topping our list of the most affordable places to live in Pennsylvania is the heavenly hamlet of New Stanton. Located in southwest Pennsylvania, New Stanton is the smallest city on our list, with a population of around 2,000 people. But that small-town feel translates to big savings on rent, as the cost of living here is 13% less than the national average.
And with attractions like a landmark theater house, wineries, museums and everything from historic battlefields to birdwatching, life in New Stanton means getting the most out of your money.
The 25 cheapest places to live in Pennsylvania
Everyone has different needs and wants when they’re looking for a new place to call home. So, if a move to Pennsylvania is in your future, do your homework and find out where are the 25 cheapest places to live in the state.
Rent prices are based on a rolling weighted average from Apartment Guide and Rent.com’s multifamily rental property inventory of one-bedroom apartments. We pulled our data in December 2020, and it goes back for one year. Our team uses a weighted average formula that more accurately represents price availability for each individual unit type and reduces the influence of seasonality on rent prices in specific markets.
We excluded cities with insufficient inventory from this report.
The rent information included in this article is used for illustrative purposes only. The data contained herein do not constitute financial advice or a pricing guarantee for any apartment.