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If you are considering a move to Lancaster, PA, learning about this vibrant city and the pros and cons of living there can help you decide. Lancaster is an urban city that is bustling with life.

In addition to the information we provide here, we encourage you to conduct research before making a move.

map of Pennsylvania

Key Takeaways

  • Lancaster, PA is one of the most diverse cities and has become a true American melting pot.
  • The cost of living in Lancaster is lower than the national average, making it an attractive destination for many wanting to make a move.
  • The educational opportunities in Lancaster abound, and it has received a B rating for graduation statistics, teacher-to-student ratio, and ongoing educational opportunities.
  • The healthcare system in Lancaster, PA is above average. There are 177 physicians per 100,000 citizens.
  • Lancaster, PA is Amish country, and you will find some of the most beautiful rolling hillside lands here.
  • Lancaster is one of the oldest inland cities in the United States.
  • This city is culturally stimulating and rich in history.
  • In the heart of the city lies the Central Market, a bustling place that has been in operation since 1730.
  • Lancaster, PA is full of museums that allow residents and visitors to learn about history and embrace artistic freedom.
Lancaster, PA / USA - Central Market
Lancaster, PA / USA – Central Market – image credit: georgesheldon/depositphotos.com

Pros of Living in Lancaster, PA

Lancaster, PA is a city bustling with life and enriched history. There is so much to see and do in this city which is why so many flock here to get a fresh start. The following are some of the pros you can expect from living in Lancaster.

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  • The job market in Lancaster is booming. Kellogg’s and Mars both have large plants in the city, and there are many jobs in the healthcare industry.
  • If you love snow, you will love Lancaster because it stays a snowy white almost all winter.
  • The city is only seven square miles, so transportation is not an issue. You can easily walk to most locations.
  • The housing market is more affordable than many other parts of the United States. The average home value in Lancaster is $114,600
  • Lancaster is full of things to enjoy with the family. There is also a vibrant adult nightlife.
  • This city has a rich history and embraces artistic freedom. Lancaster is home to multiple museums.
  • Educational opportunities abound in Lancaster, with over ten colleges in the area.
  • Lancaster is in close proximity to four large cities, including New York City, Washington DC, Baltimore, and Philadelphia.
  • Lancaster is full of quaint neighborhoods and rolling farmland.
  • The cost of living is lower than in some other larger cities.
  • US News honored Lancaster with the #2 position in their list of Best Places to Live.
First Presbyterian Church, Downtown Lancaster, Pennsylvania, USA
First Presbyterian Church, Downtown Lancaster, Pennsylvania, USA

Cons of Living in Lancaster, PA

No city is perfect, though there are some that come pretty close. Before moving to Lancaster, PA, you need to be aware of both the good and bad so you can make an informed choice. Consider the following cons of living in this city.

  • The winters can be long and harsh in this city.
  • Some people complain about the factory smells and farmland. Lancaster definitely has its own unique odor.
  • The taxes are higher than in many parts of the United States. Residents must pay an Earned Income Tax, in addition to other taxes.
  • The crime rates are high in Lancaster. You have a 1 in 30 chance of becoming a victim of a crime.
  • There is a high poverty rate in this city.
  • Internet and cell phone service can be spotty in some areas.
  • The city moves at a fast pace, which may be too fast for some.
  • Transportation can become an issue in the winter months.
  • Lancaster does not have all the amenities of big city life.
  • While housing is more affordable than in some areas, the costs of apartment living are rising, with the average cost of a one-bedroom unit being $1,358.
  • The national median income is lower than in some parts of the country, at $53,490.
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Also read: pros and cons of living in Bellingham, WA

Cost of Living in Lancaster, PA

When it comes to the cost of living in Lancaster, PA, the city offers advantages. The cost of groceries, transportation, and healthcare are all lower than the national average.

With US inflation rising, this is welcome news for many.

The average cost of a one-bedroom apartment in Lancaster, PA is $1,358.


Lancaster Offers the Best of Both Worlds

While Lancaster, PA is not for everyone, it is one of the most charming cities in the United States.

You get the best of both worlds living in Lancaster because you have the urban areas that are full of life and the laid-back countryside of Amish farmlands.

The Winters Are Long

Some people love snow, and some hate it immensely. If you hate snow, Lancaster is not the city for you.

Lancaster gets an average of 29.6 inches of snow each year, and the winter chill can be brutal if you are not accustomed to living up north.

Those who love snow will find themselves in a winter wonderland. The main problem you will likely have with all that snow is that transportation can become difficult on foot and by car.

You will need 4-wheel drive and snow tires, at the least.

Lancaster Is a Good Place to Raise a Family

Many people move to Lancaster, PA because it is a good place to raise a family. The educational system in the city is above average, receiving a B rating. There are ten colleges in the area.

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Whether you want to raise your family in the urban areas or outside of the bustling life of the city, Lancaster has you covered. There is always something to see, do, and experience in Lancaster.

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