Voted as the third most livable city in 2021, Pittsburgh remains one of the best cities in the US.
Pittsburgh is rich in culture and history and offers its residents a wide range of amenities, including top-notch education and healthcare.
Famous for its steel mills and affordable living costs, is Pittsburgh a good place to live? This guide will discuss the pros and cons of living in Pittsburgh. These pros and cons will give you an idea of whether Pittsburgh is a good place to live.
So, let us dive in and see what Pittsburgh has to offer!
See: 8 Best Places to Retire in Pennsylvania
Pros of Living in Pittsburgh
Renting an apartment in Pittsburgh costs you less than a thousand dollars monthly. Compared to other metropolitan cities like New York or Chicago, Pittsburgh is approximately 20% less expensive. Living in Pittsburgh is 12.5% less expensive compared to the national average.
The economic conditions in Pittsburgh will allow you to strike a balance between living costs and a better quality of life. If you are interested in buying a house in Pittsburgh, the median home price in Pittsburgh is $225K, and compared to the US national average, the amount is nearly $165K lower.
Thriving Food Scene
If you are a food enthusiast, Pittsburgh is the place to be. Home to ideas behind the culinary hits today, including the famous Heinz Ketchup company and the Big Mac, Pittsburgh’s food scene is always cultivating.
Another hit amongst the residents is the Pierogi, a European delicacy with a savory sweet filling. Moving to Pittsburgh will let you explore the many food options in the city, including the famous restaurants. Prepared to experience endless cuisine options from all around the world!
According to Eater, some of the famous restaurants in Pittsburgh include:
- Love Rocks Cafe
- Better-Maid Donut Co
- Beto’s Pizza
Arts & Culture
Pittsburgh is famous for two activities: Its art and culture and its sports.
The city has attractions, including art galleries, museums, and theaters. You will find Pittsburgh entertaining if you have a knack for the arts.
The city also prides itself on endorsements of various arts, including ballet, symphony, and operas. The city is also home to various museums. These museums put the culture and heritage of the city on display.
If you move to Pittsburgh, you will always have sights to see. According to Visit Pittsburgh, some of the best activities to do in Pittsburgh include:
- Exploring the exhibits at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History
- Discovering the tourism offerings in Beaver County Tourism
- Witnessing the artistic performances of the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre
The people in Pittsburgh are second to none. The locals here love their city and create a sound atmosphere to keep the newcomers feeling welcome.
Ask anyone that may have visited Pittsburgh, and they will sing songs of how awestruck they were by the friendliness and kind nature of the Pittsburgh residents. As you walk around the town’s streets, expect random strangers to pass you a smile and say hello.
Whether you are getting movie tickets or waiting in line to cash out at a grocery store, the locals are friendly and will converse with you.
People in Pittsburgh make happiness contagious, making it a great city to live in and settle in.
Education is an important aspect for the people living in Pittsburgh. According to a US census report, 93% of locals in Pittsburgh are high school graduates, whereas the other 45% have a bachelor’s degree or have pursued higher education.
Pittsburgh is renowned nationally for its quality education. The city is home to quality higher education institutes like Carnegie Mellon University, an esteemed institute for conducting research.
Apart from higher educational institutes, Pittsburgh has no shortage of Public K-12 schools. It sounds like a great move if you are moving to Pittsburgh as a student or parents looking to pursue their children’s education further.
According to US News, the best schools in Pittsburgh include:
- Peter’s Township High School
- Pittsburgh CAPA 6-12
- Upper Saint Clair High School.
Cons of Living in Pittsburgh
Old Infrastructure and Bad Road Conditions
Most of the infrastructure in Pittsburgh, including bridges, cities, and roads, was built during 1900-1930. Fast forward to today, the infrastructure is not in good shape, which doesn’t help with the conditions or logistics.
Apart from the city infrastructure, the majority of housing in the city is aged 80 years or more!
Although the state is spending money to fix the infrastructure and make the town look better, get ready to experience potholes, bad traffic conditions, and constant construction!
After reading the last point, adding traffic was only a matter of time. Anyone who has been to Pittsburgh will tell you the roads are in bad condition. Not only are the roads in bad condition, but the traffic here makes the roads feel congested, and then there are the confusing roads and highways.
Since most streets look the same in the city, it is not uncommon for people to make a wrong turn. With the worst drivers in the nation, expect to lose a lot of time to traffic delays.
The crime stats in Pittsburgh sit significantly higher than the national average and are a major concern for current and potential residents!
Northview Heights, a neighborhood in Pittsburgh, is infamous for high reports of violent crime. With its population of 1300, the violent crime rate in this area is 338% higher than the national average!
As a property owner, you will need to stay vigilant too. You are likely to become one in 34 victims of theft or vandalism.
If you have decided to move to Pittsburgh, move to only a safe neighborhood. According to our research, safe neighborhoods in Pittsburgh are:
- East Carnegie
- Squirrel Hill North
- Point Breeze
- Swisshelm Park
Due to Pittsburgh’s industrial history as a steel production hub, the city has faced issues with air pollution for many years.
The decline of the steel industry and increased focus on environmental regulations have led to significant improvements in the city’s air quality over time.
However, some lingering effects of pollution remain, and the city occasionally experiences episodes of poor air quality.
Winters in Pittsburgh can be cold and snowy, with average temperatures ranging from the low 20s to the mid-30s Fahrenheit from December to February.
Snowfall varies, but the city can receive significant amounts of snow, averaging around 40 inches per season.
Icy road conditions and freezing temperatures can make winter travel challenging and require residents to be prepared with warm clothing, snow tires, and other cold-weather essentials.
Summers in Pittsburgh can be hot and humid, with temperatures typically ranging from the mid-70s to upper 80s Fahrenheit.
High humidity levels can make the heat feel more oppressive and uncomfortable, especially during July and August, when humidity peaks.
Another downside of Pittsburgh’s weather is the frequency of overcast skies and rain.
The city experiences around 151 rainy days per year, which can be a drawback for people who prefer sunny weather or outdoor activities.
To sum up this guide, Pittsburgh is recognized as a vibrant and dynamic city with plenty to offer its residents.
The fact that the city has been acknowledged as one of the top cities to reside in the country attests to its inhabitants’ ability to maintain a healthy and joyful lifestyle. Pittsburgh has many attractive landmarks, making it a travel destination for many tourists.
Nevertheless, for all the good that living in Pittsburgh brings, there are downsides to life in Pittsburgh too. Before you move to Pittsburgh, consider the pros and cons mentioned in this guide to make an informed decision!
Hi, I’m Ashley a freelance writer who’s passionate about personal finance. Ever since I was young, I’ve been fascinated by the power of money and how it can shape our lives. I’ve spent years learning everything I can about budgeting, saving, investing and retirement planning. So if you are looking for tips, advice, or just a little bit of inspiration to help you on your financial journey, you have come to the right place. I am always here to help, and I am excited to share my passion for personal finance with you.