Study: Jefferson County Ranks Fifth in Pa. For Low Cost of Living

BROOKVILLE, Pa. (EYT) – One website’s attempt to rank Pennsylvania’s counties by cost of living confirms what many already know – it’s cheap to live in this region.

Jefferson County ranked fifth in the state in relative cost of living and it is just one of several in the region that made the top 25.

Elk County ranked first, Forest ranked second, Venango third, McKean was fourth and Warren ranked sixth.

Other nearby counties – Clearfield (No. 8), Clarion (No. 14), Armstrong (No. 17) and Indiana (No. 31) – also ranked reasonably well.

The rankings were compiled from information gathered by, attempted to measure the overall affordability and relative cost of living of an area by taking into account key factors such as a location’s housing, food, and fuel costs, as well as the median tax rates.

Data was gathered from the U.S. Census (2010) and Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Jefferson County Commissioner Jeff Pisarcik said the rankings echo some of the advantages of living in a rural area.

“We still have people here who raise their own animals to consume. We don’t have large urban structures, a lot of restaurants, and it does keep the cost of living down,” Pisarcik said. “We’ve had a lot of people leave the area to make more money, but they also spend a lot more to have those amenities.

“It’s why we see a lot of people move back to the area to retire because the cost of living is so much less. Here, you know your neighbors, there is more face to face contact. Bigger is not always better.”

Across the U.S., Shannon County in South Dakota is the cheapest place to live. Its population is just 14,005 with a median home value of $20,000 and median rent at $431. Its median household income is $26,383.

The most expensive place to live, according to the Motley Fool, is Nassau County, N.Y. With a population of 1.3 million, mainly those who work in New York City, its median home value is $517,000. Its median rent is $3,100 per month. The median household income is $95,395.

Here’s a look at how neighboring counties measure up to Jefferson:

1. Elk County

Population: 31,111
Median home value: $92,200
Median rent: $529
Median household income: $47,917

2. Forest County

Population: 7,493
Median home value: $85,600
Median rent: $538
Median household income: $36,594

8. Clearfield County

Population: 81,170
Median home value: $88,300
Median rent: $596
Median household income: $43,361

14. Clarion County

Population: 38,939
Median home value: $108,100
Median rent: $610
Median household income: $42,890

17. Armstrong County

Population: 67,512
Median home value: $95,700
Median rent: $614
Median household income: $45,879

31. Indiana County

Population: 87,491
Median home value: $107,600
Median rent: $704
Median household income: $45,118

More information on the methodology behind the study can be found here.

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