Harrisburg is the best place to retire in the US, according to US News

Harrisburg’s Broad Street Market (Photo: Marcus Eubanks)

By Ashley Adams

November 28, 2023

US News analyzed 150 metro areas in the country to find the best places to retire and eight cities from the commonwealth made the top 20.

Move over Florida, Pennsylvania is now the top spot to retire in the country.

The Sunshine State may be a well-known retirement destination, but it was the Keystone State that took the top five spots on 2024’s US News list of the Best Places to Retire in the nation. In total, seven of the top 10 places to retire are cities in the commonwealth.

Harrisburg landed the coveted No. 1 spot with Reading coming in second. Lancaster dropped down to third from its first place listing in 2023. Scranton and Allentown came in fourth and fifth respectively. York was seventh and Pittsburgh rounded out the top 10. Further down the list was Philadelphia at 13.

US News analyzed 150 metro areas in the United States to find the best places to retire based on how happy local residents were, the affordability of housing and property taxes, and the quality of healthcare.

Let’s look at why US News deemed these Pennsylvania cities so desirable for retirees:

No. 1 – Harrisburg

The commonwealth’s capital city earned the top spot on the list thanks to its quality health care facilities and affordable housing. Harrisburg is also a great spot for active retirees as it boasts scenic trails along the Susquehanna River and is host to many annual festivals and events.

No. 2 – Reading

Coming in the second spot, Reading, like the other Pennsylvania places that made the list, was ranked as a good place to retire because of its affordable housing and numerous health care options. Retirees can stay active in Reading by visiting the trails along the Schuylkill River or at Antietam Lake Park while also enjoying cultural attractions and sporting events.

No. 3 – Lancaster

Lancaster ranked third thanks to the quality and proximity of its health care facilities. The area is also affordable compared with other major metro areas, and homes are less expensive than the national median home sale price. It was also noted that Lancaster residents appreciate the balance between natural and commercial spaces.

No. 4 – Scranton

Scranton ranked fourth thanks to its close-knit neighborhoods around downtown.This gives the city a small-town appeal to go with numerous quality health care options and affordable housing, according to US News.

No. 5 – Allentown

Allentown, Pennsylvania’s third-largest metro area, ranked fifth due to the area’s plentiful health care options and affordable housing. Many of the city’s closed mills and manufacturing buildings have been converted into modern looking apartments and lofts that appeal to retirees.

No. 7 – York

Ranking in the seventh spot, York may not have a towering skyline, but it does have plenty of health care options and affordable housing. This small metro area offers a litany of options for retirees, including numerous county parks, shopping centers, and historical landmarks.

No. 10 – Pittsburgh

Housing costs less in Pittsburgh compared with other major cities, but the area did not score as high as other Pennsylvania cities when it came to healthcare quality. The city does boast more than 2,000 acres of parkland, making it a desirable place to live for active retirees.

No. 13 – Philadelphia

The City of Brotherly Love came in at 13th thanks to its numerous healthcare facilities within close proximity. Philadelphia also offers an array of art galleries, music venues, theaters, and public parks for a complete cultural experience for any retiree.


  • Ashley Adams

    In her 16 years in the communications industry, Ashley Adams has worn many hats, including news reporter, public relations writer, marketing specialist, copy editor and technical writer. Ashley grew up in Berks County and has since returned to her roots to raise her three children.



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