The 4 Fastest-Growing Cities in Pennsylvania

Updated on June 14th, 2023

Reading Time: 3 minutes

You may know Pennsylvania for being the home to a number of unique cities – Pittsburgh, where the first baseball stadium was built, Philadelphia which has delicious cheesesteaks, or Hershey, the chocolate capital of the US. Nevertheless, it’s no surprise that over 12.5 million people call this state home. 

Whether you’re looking to make the move to Pennsylvania or are just curious to learn more about the state, we’ve got a list for you. Redfin gathered the 4 fastest-growing cities in Pennsylvania that saw the greatest population increase over a 5-year span from 2017 to 2021. Keep reading to see which cities made the list. One of them might just be your next home.


#1: Reading, PA 

Median sale price: $165,500
Average rent for a 2-bedroom apartment: $1,602
Reading, PA homes for sale
Reading, PA apartments for rent

Taking the number one spot is Reading, PA, which was the site of the first-ever World Series. Reading currently has a population of around 94,950, which is an increase of 8% from 2017. 

There are many reasons why people are moving to Reading. There are a lot of excellent parks like Gring’s Mill Recreation Area and Pendora Park. While in the city, locals can also find a bustling arts and entertainment scene with museums like Reading Public Museum and Mid Atlantic Air Museum and entertainment venues such as Santander Performing Arts Center. There are also many diverse restaurants to try, such as Judy’s on Cherry, Ugly Oyster Drafthaus, and Pike Cafe.

Interested in moving to the area?

Partner with an experienced agent who knows the local market.
#2: Allentown, PA

Median sale price: $205,000
Average rent for a 2-bedroom apartment: $2,042
Allentown, PA homes for sale
Allentown, PA apartments for rent

Allentown, PA is known for its rich colonial history. The city’s strategic location made it a key point in the American Revolution and later the Civil War. Today, Allentown is a thriving city with a strong economy and a vibrant cultural scene. Allentown is the second fastest-growing city in Pennsylvania. It saw a 4% increase in population to its current population of around 126,000. 

If you are considering moving to Allentown, there are a handful of unique things to do in the city,  such as relaxing at Cedar Beach Park, Trexler Memorial Park, or Lehigh Parkway, enjoying a delicious meal at Grille 3501, Wert’s Cafe, and Union & Finch, immersing yourself in the arts scene at New Hope Railroad, America On Wheels Museum, or Da Vinci Science Center, or watching a show at 19th Street Theatre and Miller Symphony Hall.

#3: Harrisburg, PA

Median sale price: $220,000
Average rent for a 2-bedroom apartment: $1,455 
Harrisburg, PA homes for sale
Harrisburg, PA apartments for rent

Harrisburg, PA is best known for its rich history and for being the capital of Pennsylvania. It is a city filled with beautiful scenery and is located close to Philadelphia and New York City. If you want to know what it’s like living in Harrisburg, be sure to try local favorite restaurants like Millworks, Home 231, and El Sol Mexican Restaurant. Later on, take a walk through one of the many parks like Wildwood Park, Reservoir Park, and Riverfront Park. Lastly, be sure to catch a show at Harrisburg Midtown Arts Center and Gamut Theatre Group.

Harrisburg, PA, saw a 2% increase in population and has a population of nearly 50,150. 

#4: Bethlehem, PA

Median sale price: $303,500
Average rent for a 2-bedroom apartment: $1,947
Bethlehem, PA homes for sale
Bethlehem, PA apartments for rent

Regarded as “The Christmas City” due to its prominent role in American Christmas folklore, Bethlehem, PA takes the last spot on our list of fastest-growing cities in Pennsylvania. Bethlehem saw a 0.10% increase to its current population of around 75,650.

If you are considering living in Bethlehem, there are many fun activities to do, from exploring Sand Island Park, Monocacy Park, and Illick’s Mill Park to grabbing a quick bite at The Bayou, Tapas On Main, and The People’s Kitchen. If you want to check out a local museum, pay a visit to the National Museum of Industrial History.

Methodology: Population growth was calculated over a 5-year span (2017 vs. 2021). Only cities with a population of over 50,000 were used, as anything smaller is considered a town. Population data sourced from United States Census Bureau. Median home sale price data from the Redfin Data Center during August 2022. Average rental data from during August 2022. 

If you are represented by an agent, this is not a solicitation of your business. This article is for informational purposes only, and is not a substitute for professional advice from a medical provider, licensed attorney, financial advisor, or tax professional. Consumers should independently verify any agency or service mentioned will meet their needs. Learn more about our Editorial Guidelines here.

Ryan Castillo

Content Marketing Manager

Ryan is part of the Content Marketing team and enjoys writing about market trends and local insights. His dream home would be a large cape cod-style house by the beach.

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