8 Amazing Places to Raise a Family in Pennsylvania

A beautiful aerial view of the city of Bradford, Pennsylvania in the winter.
© CEW/Shutterstock.com

Written by Micky Moran

Published: January 31, 2024

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Finding the perfect place to raise a family in Pennsylvania isn’t hard. With many high-performing school districts and ample outdoor recreational opportunities, there’s always something to do. With a rich history and many impressive school districts, here are some places to raise a family in Pennsylvania

Best Pennsylvania Places For Families

Chesterbrook

Chesterbrook, PA/USA-01/13/2019: white building in snowy winter of Valley Forge National park with trees in front

Chesterbrook gets over 100 inches of rain annually.

©Dasheng Liang/Shutterstock.com

Time and time again, Chesterbrook receives praise every year for being one of the best places to live in the entire country, especially in Pennsylvania, with an A+ grade from Niche for its schools, health and fitness options, and family-friendly atmosphere. It is rich with places to go, like restaurants, parks, and coffee shops, making it ideal for traditional families who love the suburbs. Recent statistics show a crime rate that ranks 77.5% lower than the rest of the United States.

Chesterbrook started getting more attention when developers expanded in the 1960s, bringing new townhomes and houses. This inviting community attracted locals from Philadelphia (22 miles away), but other populations noticed the newfound community. Named for the Chesterbrook Farm, one of the most notable places to visit is the Valley Forge National Historical Park.

Devon

Early morning landscape view of a golf course in the rolling hills of Chester County, PA.  Farm in the distance

Devon brings a balance of rural and suburban to this small community of Chester County.

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No list of the best places to raise a family in Pennsylvania is complete without Devon. Hosting an annual horse show, this suburb is in Chester County and has a population of less than 2,000 people. With many suburban staples – like coffee shops, parks, and places to relax outdoors – Devon attracts young professionals who want to be near a good school system for their future children. With a median home value of $663,300, it is a bit more costly to live here than other cities, but that doesn’t stop nearly 97% of residents from owning their homes. The area offers the Septa Devon Station to commute to work.

This upscale community has both rural and suburban areas to settle down, attracting more conservative residents. It is one of the top neighborhoods for families with a low crime rate and an aggressive stance of local safety. Residents of all ages live here, with 33% of students completing their bachelor’s degree. Many people compare the local ambiance to Chesterbrook, Rose Valley, and Blue Bell.

Penn Wynne

Thomas Llyod, a Welsh Quaker, originally established the Penn Wynne area in the 17th century.

©ifly6 / CC BY-SA 3.0 – Original / License

Penn Wynne is another small suburban area with just over 6,100 residents. It brings together city life and suburban housing, and the local population has barely grown in the last 5 decades. With a variety of coffee shops and parks, the community invites young families and retirees alike. Many residents have a moderate stance on politics.

The incredible schools are one of the biggest appeals of Penn Wynne. Located within Montgomery County, residential areas cover much of the land, even though it only covers a single square mile. There is limited diversity amongst the 2,000+ households, though about 25% of homes only have one inhabitant.

Ardmore

The original name of Ardmore was Athensville.

©Dmuth / CC BY-SA 4.0 – Original / License

Ardmore is the place for anyone who wants the most picturesque view, no matter where they look. With thriving neighborhoods, there are both traditional houses and many apartment complexes to live in. This unincorporated community had just over 12,000 residents during the 20010 census, rising to 13,566 residents by the next. It is part of Philadelphia on the west side, spanning 2 square miles. There are no bodies of water in Ardmore, but there are many places to go and enjoy.

The downtown area of Ardmore is busy, offering several shopping centers for traditional retail shopping. It is home to one of the earliest shopping centers in the country – Suburban Square – dating back to 1928. To enjoy the great outdoors, consider a visit to Linwood Park or the Ardmore Ice Skating Club for wholesome family fun.

Berwyn

Berwyn has had many names through the years, including Glassley, Reeseville, and Cocheltown, settling on its current moniker in 1877.

©Lucius Kwok / CC BY 2.5 – Original / License

If you want a place to raise a family in Pennsylvania with a politically liberal stance, Berwyn is the right option. It is popular for its famous bungalows, bringing the ambiance of Chicago with single-story homes that have both attics and basements. Some of these homes have stained glass windows, separating them from other homes in the Philadelphia Main Line suburbs.

As a census-designated place (CDP), Berwyn is part of Chester County in the Tredyffrin and Easttown Townships. It is almost 2 square miles with no bodies of water, though it is right next to Devon. At the last census, the CDP had 3,775 residents with a median income of $181,471, though families usually make over $250,000 a year. If you want something interesting to do, check out the non-profit Footlighters’ Theater or the Easttown Library.

Narberth

©Montgomery County Planning Commission / CC BY-SA 2.0 – Original / License

Located within Montgomery County, Narberth is part of the historic district of the Philadelphia Main Line.

With a small population of 4,282 residents during the 2010 census, Narberth is another welcoming borough to raise a family in Pennsylvania. The original deed of the land was held by Edward Rees, visiting the area in the 1680s. With a historic district that is nationally registered as a historic place, the population has grown from 3,702 to 4,492 residents in the last 100 years, maintaining a minimally diverse community. Over 25% of the local households have school-age children or younger, supported by a median income of $133,475 per household.

If you love old Victorian homes, you just need to take a brief stroll through the downtown area, though the entire borough is only half a square mile. Like Berwyn, it is part of the Philadelphia Main Line, which is a collection of picture-worthy neighborhoods with natural foliage. The humid subtropical climate is consistent with the rest of the state, but the two recreational facilities offer something to do year-round. Parents have their choice of enrolling their children in the Lower Merion School District or one of the local religious schools for their education.

Houserville

Houserville is the place for families who want to get away from the busy nature of cities and suburbs, giving them a taste of a rural community instead.

©Nyttend / CC0 – Original / License

Despite this relaxed atmosphere, young professionals and retirees alike have conservative views in this beautiful community. As an unincorporated community, Houserville is part of Centre County, located within the Pennsylvania Metropolitan Statistical Area. Located near State College, Houserville only covers 1.1 square miles. While there are no bodies of water within its borders, Spring Creek sits at the western edge.

One-third of all households have children, though the range of residents stays relatively balanced. The median household income is slightly lower than other communities and locations on this list, but over 95% of the population is above the local poverty line.

Swarthmore

Swarthmore College

Swarthmore’s original name was Westdale, which paid tribute to one of the borough’s earliest residents.

©iStock.com/aimintang

With a population of over 6,000 residents, Swarthmore hasn’t always been the best place for families or individuals. It wasn’t until the launch of Philadelphia’s passenger rail service through the borough that it became desirable for new residents. Much of the local land area contributes to the Swarthmore College, though the residential areas offer beautiful Victorian homes. Some of these homes – like the Ogden House and the birthplace of early resident Benjamin West – are part of the National Register of Historic Places.

Located in Delaware County, it offers a quick commute to Ridley Township, Springfield Township, and Nether Providence Township. The 1.4 square miles of land offer a 7a hardiness zone, which is perfect for planning lavender or hydrangeas. Over a third of all households have children with a total population of over 6,000 residents, and many of these children attend the highly-rated Wallingford-Swarthmore School District. There is only one public school and a private liberal arts college, the latter of which was in 1864.

Best Pennsylvania Places For Families: A Summary

LocationPopulation (as of the 2020 Census)Size
Chesterbrook5,6101.56 mi²
Devon1,9802,590 mi²
Penn Wynne6,4931.06 mi²
Ardmore13,5661.965 mi²
Berwyn3,6211.965 mi²
Narberth4,5001.865 mi²
Houserville1,7651.09 mi²
Swarthmore6,5431.402 mi²


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About the Author

Micky Moran is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering mammals, travel, marine life, and geography. He has been writing and researching animals and nature for over 5 years. A resident of Arizona, he enjoys spending time with family, going on adventures across the United States with his wife and kids by his side.

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