How much is the cost of living in Pennsylvania’s top 10 metropolitan areas? Here’s the breakdown

By Ashley Adams

February 19, 2024

According to the Economic Policy Institute, the average cost for a family of four in Pennsylvania to enjoy a “modest yet adequate” standard of living is $87,500 a year. But if you live in one of the state’s 10 largest metropolitan areas, you’ll need to make more than that. A lot more in some areas.

Whether you live on your own or have a family to support, the cost of housing, groceries, utilities, and other monthly expenses can really add up.

The average annual cost of living for a Pennsylvania family of four — two adults and two children — was $87,500 for 2023. That’s the 27th highest among states, according to a study by personal finance website GOBankingRates.com.

But how much you need to support yourself and your family in Pennsylvania can vary significantly depending on where you live.

According to the Economic Policy Institute’s Family Budget Calculator, the cost of living is higher than $87,500 among Pennsylvania’s 10 largest metropolitan areas.The calculator measures the income a family needs in order to have a “modest yet adequate” standard of living. The budgets estimate community-specific costs for 10 family types (one or two adults with zero to four children) in all counties and metro areas in the United States.

We’ve taken the commonwealth’s 10 largest metropolitan areas and calculated what it would take for a family of four (two adults and two children) to maintain an adequate standard of living. Here’s what we found:

Philadelphia

Housing: $1,470

Food: $1,110

Child care: $1,945

Transportation: $1,420

Health care: $1,224

Other necessities: $913

Taxes: $1,303

Monthly total: $9,384

Annual total: $112,609

Pittsburgh

Housing: $1,090

Food: $1,087

Child care: $1,844

Transportation: $1,399

Health care: $957

Other necessities: $771

Taxes: $974

Monthly total: $8,123

Annual total: $97,477

Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton

Housing: $1,396

Food: $1,056

Child care: $1,625

Transportation: $1,403

Health care: $1,203

Other necessities: $868

Taxes: $1,080

Monthly total: $8,631

Annual total: $103,567

Harrisburg/Carlisle

Housing: $1,228

Food: $1,022

Child care: $1,813

Transportation: $1,434

Health care: $1,357

Other necessities: $797

Taxes: $1,112

Monthly total: $8,762

Annual total: $105,142

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre

Housing: $1,008

Food: $1,014

Child care: $1,541

Transportation: $1,398

Health care: $1,152

Other necessities: $716

Taxes: $898

Monthly total: $7,726

Annual total: $92,717

Lancaster

Housing: $1,286

Food: $1,054

Child care: $1,804

Transportation: $1,453

Health care: $1,237

Other necessities: $829

Taxes: $1,116

Monthly total: $8,778

Annual total: $105,334

York/Hanover

Housing: $1,128

Food: $990

Child care: $1,668

Transportation: $1,502

Health care: $1,372

Other necessities: $750

Taxes: $1,037

Monthly total: $8,446

Annual total: $101,353

Reading

Housing: $1,136

Food: $1,006

Child care: $1,712

Transportation: $1,436

Health care: $1,313

Other necessities: $758

Taxes: $1,025

Monthly total: $8,387

Annual total: $100,639

Erie

Housing: $947

Food: $1,008

Child care: $1,717

Transportation: $1,378

Health care: $946

Other necessities: $692

Taxes: $864

Monthly total: $7,552

Annual total: $90,624

East Stroudsburg

Housing: $1,307

Food: $1,000

Child care: $1,614

Transportation: $1,610

Health care: $1,152

Other necessities: $817

Taxes: $1,065

Monthly total: $8,566

Annual total: $102,789

Author

  • 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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