From bustling big cities to quiet rural towns, peaceful farms and churches to exciting tourist destinations and state parks, Pennsylvania is a diverse region of great scenic beauty and plenty of hometown charm.
The steel industry is an important component of Pennsylvania's economy, although in recent years many other industries have gained prominence, including service, retail and manufacturing. The state's 59,000 farms (spread out over nearly 8 million acres) are also a significant factor in the state's economy. Farm products include dairy, cattle, mushrooms, poultry, corn, potatoes, maple syrup—and, most fun of all—Christmas trees. For locals who celebrate the holiday, a big part of the holiday season is selecting a tree to grace their living room. Tourism is another industry generating a lot of income for the state. In additional to the historical and cultural attractions within the state's major cities, Gettysburg National Military Park, Valley Forge National Historical Park and the Pennsylvania Dutch region are all major destinations.
And what about the cost of living? Pennsylvania's cost of living is right at the national average, with housing prices--including apartments for rent--coming in at only 1% above the average.
Pennsylvania is home to the large metropolitan areas of Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, the resort areas in the Poconos, and the rural towns and farmland of central Pennsylvania. You'll find most options for apartment rentals in the larger cities.
Capital of Pennsylvania since 1827, Harrisburg is a center for commerce, transportation and administration for the state. It manufactures metals, processed foods and electronics, among other products. The city's most famous landmark is the capitol building, built in the Italian Renaissance style and modeled after St. Peter's in Rome. Harrisburg's residents also enjoy the city's numerous parks, museums and historic sites. Housing costs are more affordable than in the larger city of Philadelphia. In Harrisburg, the median rent for apartments is $575 per month.
Known both as the City of Brotherly Love and Birthplace of the Nation, Philadelphia is a city steeped in history and filled with modern diversity and opportunity. With a population of 1.5 million residents, Philadelphia is the fifth-largest city in the United States, as well as a leading commercial and cultural center for the nation. Its diversified industries include petrochemicals, electrical appliances and machinery, scientific instruments and clothing. Newer industries include healthcare and biotechnology. Residents here appreciate the historical sites, cutting-edge shopping, world-class museums, eclectic restaurants and comfortable green parks. And, of course, the famous Philly cheesesteak. The University of Pennsylvania brings vibrancy to the city, as well as lots of students to enjoy the hopping nightlife down on South Street. All this good living comes at a price, though; the overall cost of living is 27% above the national average, and apartments for rent are no exception. You'll find the most expensive apartments in the state in Philadelphia, with median rents at $650 per month.
With 325,000 residents, Pittsburgh is the second-largest city in Pennsylvania. In the 19th century, Pittsburgh was the foremost industrial city of the nation, famous especially for its steel industry. Deindustrialization beginning in the 1970s led to today's more diversified economy, which includes high-tech companies, healthcare, finances and education, the last of which is a famous aspect of Pittsburgh today. The city's most prominent universities are Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Pittsburgh and Duquesne University, all of which help to lend the city an air of intellectualism and fun-loving spirit. At an overall cost of living just 6% above the national average, Pittsburgh is a more affordable city than many other areas of the state. You can expect to pay a median rent of $500 for apartment rentals.