Lancaster, PA

The Best Small City in America? Lancaster, PA, according to WalletHub

Melissa Frost
Photo by Sara Melissa Frost

We know Lancaster City is great, and according to a new ranking by WalletHub, it's more than just great. It's the best small city in the entire country.

Housing, quality of life

They recently compared more than 1,300 cities in the United States with populations between 25,000 and 100,000. WalletHub based the comparisons on 43 indicators of livability, ranging from housing costs to the quality of school systems, to restaurants per capita. The five key dimensions were: affordability, economic health, education & health, quality of life, and safety.

The dimensions were then evaluated using relevant metrics, each of them graded on a 100-point scale, with a score of 100 representing the most favorable conditions for small-city residents.

Lancaster City's percentile was 99, with a total score of 71.04. More about the process of getting to those numbers can be found here, but the bottom line is, Lancaster is a pretty decent place to be.

On the other side of the ranking, the worst small city in the country, according to WalletHub, is
Bessemer, AL, with a percentile of 1 and a total score of 34.15.

The good perks

As one who swapped a larger city for Lancaster, PA a few years ago, I can say I appreciate many of the perks of being pinned down in a smaller area. It's more affordable, traveling and commuting don't take up too much time, and although I was prepared to miss the food scene, Lancaster has proven to be an amazing place when it comes to the diverse cuisine offered within the blocks of the city.

Data used to create the ranking were collected from the U.S. Census Bureau, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Areavibes, TransUnion, TripAdvisor, County Health Rankings, Yelp, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, ATTOM Data Solutions, as well as research by WalletHub.

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Melissa is a journalist and content writer. She covers food, travel and local news, mostly from PA.

Lititz, PA

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