State College : Pennsylvania

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What it's Like to Retire in State College

State College is located near the center of Pennsylvania in a rural and beautiful area. Home to Penn State University, this lively college town offers plenty of excitement and nice places to live. Its nickname is Happy Valley, although the Post Office is University Park. Recreational and cultural opportunities are excellent in the area. The town itself has about 40,000 residents, many of whom are retirees attracted to this vibrant college town. The shops, restaurants, the university, and its cultural amenities make this an exciting place to live. The 55+ population is the fastest growing segment. Photo of the Central Pennsylvania Arts Festival courtesy of Wikipedia and Deeptrivia.

Where to Retire in State College and Home Prices

There are active adult communities in the area (see link at top right), including one affiliated with Penn State.

According to, the median home sold for about $235,000 in mid 2014, which is down from a high of $262,000 a year earlier, but prices vary by neighborhood.


What is special about State College

Penn State University, the home of the Nittany Lions.  A great college town. State College has been rated one of the safest cities in America.


What is not special about State College

Lots of traffic on game days and when students arrive on campus.  It is more than an hour to a major city.


Who will like retirement in State College

People who like living in college towns will love State College. The surrounding area has many opportunities for outdoor recreation. If you went to Penn State this is like coming back home

Local economy is driven by

The University is the driver for the economy. Pennsylvania is a high tax state. There is an income tax, and the combined state/local tax rate in State College is 9%.


Climate and Physical Environment

State College is almost exactly in the center of Pennsylvania. The area is wooded and has rolling hills. The average July high is 81. The average January high is 32 and the low is 18. The wettest month is June (4").

Restaurants & Cultural Scene

There is always something going on at Penn State. The Bryce Jordan Center features cultural events of every description. The Center for the Performing Arts has ballet performances, while the Eisenhower Center and Schwab Auditorium hosts musical events. There is an annual Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts as well as the Palmer Museum of Art. Plus bookstores, restaurants and shops. The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute offers noncredit courses, trips, and other resources to seniors. The Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts.


The crime rate is very low, unusually so for a large college town.

Medical facilities

Centre Community Hospital serves State College.


State College has an excellent public transit system, CATA, in which seniors over 65 ride free. State College is a walkable community.


Valuable Links

Guide to Pennsylvania retirement communities

What people are saying about State College

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  • State: PA
  • Environment: College Town,
  • City Population: 25,001-50,000
  • Median age of Population: 0-24
  • Avg Jan Temperature: 21-40
  • Avg July Temperature: 60-80
  • Median HH Income: 20,001-40,000
  • Average Home Price (MLS): $200,001-$300,000
  • Annual Property Tax on a $200,000 house: 2000-4000
  • Total Crime Index: 81-90 (low)
  • Cost of Living Index: 101-110 (slightly above average)
  • Culture Index: 111-120 (high)
  • State Sales Tax: Yes
  • State Income Tax: Yes
  • Name of the Guide: jb

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State College retirement communities
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10. Rating: 2.0/5 ( 2 votes cast)


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