Think about these two Pennsylvania cities, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, if you’re a Gen Xer looking to relocate. Anyone born between 1965 and 1980 is considered a member of the Gen X generation, which falls between the baby boomers and the millennials. As a result of listening to grunge and hip hop, this generation has grown to be self-reliant yet skeptical at the same time.
Gen X grew up in the Pittsburgh-set movie “Flashdance”-inspired dance pants and off-the-shoulder sweatshirts, and raised their arms in triumph every time they sprinted up a flight of stairs, inspired by “Rocky” (set in Philadelphia). As a result, Gen X culture is heavily influenced by both cities.
According to FinanceBuzz’s research, which Pennsylvania city is “the bomb” for Gen Xers wanting to settle down today, and which one is a “complete buzzkill”? Which city, Pittsburgh or Philadelphia, will emerge victoriously? In order to find the greatest city for Gen Xers, we looked at six factors. The following are the top three cities based on their affordability:
1. Unemployment rate
Having a job is essential for a generation famed for its self-reliance. Gen Xers are continually on the lookout for methods to increase their income. We compared the most current unemployment rates in each city with those from the June 2020 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. COVID-19 pandemic-related unemployment has been increasing across the United States since it began. Unemployment benefits have been requested by thousands of people in all 50 states, not just Pennsylvania.
However, both cities’ unemployment rates were higher than the national average at the time of the data collection:
- Pittsburgh: 12.6%
- Philadelphia: 14.0%
Both cities’ unemployment rates aren’t great, but they’re quite close. Pittsburgh, on the other hand, comes out on top when it comes to job prospects.
2. Average household income
We wanted to obtain a sense of the top occupations for Generation Xers in each city, beyond mere unemployment. The more well-paying positions available to Gen Xers, the better, because they are at a career crossroads when earning potential should be maximized. Using data from the U.S. Census, we calculated the median household income for people aged 45 to 64 in each city.
- Pittsburgh: $80,109.91
- Philadelphia: $75,331.31
The median household income in the United States is $61,937, as reported by the U.S. Census Bureau. It’s a good indicator that Pittsburgh and Philadelphia’s average household earnings are much above this figure. However, Pittsburgh has a $5,000 advantage over Philadelphia and so advances to the next round.
3. Cost of living
The ability to stretch a dollar is critical for a generation that is both preparing for the future education of their millennial children and saving for their own retirement. Housing, food and groceries, transportation, utility costs, and other expenses are included in the cost-of-living index we utilized.
A numerical score is assigned to each sort of expense to reflect whether or not it is more or less expensive than the average cost in the United States. One hundred percent represents the national average. It’s less expensive to live in your city if your aggregate score falls below 100. It’s more pricey if it’s above 100.
- Pittsburgh: 87.5
- Philadelphia: 101.2
Compared to the national average, Pittsburgh’s cost of living is lower than Philadelphia’s. Pittsburgh is 13.5% cheaper than Philadelphia on average. Sandwich generation Gen Xers have millennial kids and baby boomer parents to care for at the same time. Because many Gen Xers will rely on both schools and eldercare, we’ll look at the next two criteria.
4. School ratings
Niche.com’s K-12 public school rankings were used to determine which city has the best public school alternatives for families. These ratings were given to each city’s total number of public schools: 67 for Pittsburgh and 315 for Philadelphia.
- Pittsburgh: B-
- Philadelphia: D+
Pittsburgh once again has the upper hand. A whole letter grade worse than Pittsburgh’s overall rating, Philly’s overall rating is not even close this time around.
For geriatrics, U.S. News & World Report ranks Penn Presbyterian Hospital as Pennsylvania’s best and the 19th best geriatrics-focused hospital in the United States. UPMC Presbyterian Shadyside, the No. 2 hospital in Pennsylvania and 23rd in the US for geriatrics, is located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Both cities offer world-class healthcare, but due to their higher rankings, we must give this award to Philadelphia.
6. Live music venues
Once it’s safe again, the “I want my MTV” generation will long for live music. Live music venues abound in both Philadelphia and Pittsburgh (or did, prior to the implementation of COVID). Philadelphia boasts 247 live music venues, compared to Burgh’s 231. Gen Xers, on the other hand, aren’t satisfied with simply listening to music; they also expect an enjoyable listening experience.
The percentage of live music establishments with a four-star rating on Yelp was also taken into consideration. The following are the findings:
- Pittsburgh: 68%
- Philly: 77%
Philly has a better selection of music venues and a higher Yelp rating than Pittsburgh, but it’s still a close race.
Pittsburgh is the overall winner for Gen X, despite the fact that both cities have a lot to offer. Four out of six categories, including unemployment, average family income, cost of living, and school ratings, gave the victory to the Steel City of Pittsburgh. Eldercare facilities and live music venues were also not far off the mark in terms of accuracy.
Overall, Philadelphia received a positive review, however, the cost of living and school rankings were below average. When it comes to choosing between Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, statistics show that Pittsburgh is the superior option for Gen Xers.