This Pennsylvania City Has Been Named the Most Miserable in the State

Pennsylvania, often referred to as the Keystone State, boasts a variety of cities, each with its distinct allure and obstacles. However, not all cities experience the same degree of affluence and contentment. Recent reports indicate that, for the year 2023, Darby has earned the title of the least prosperous city in Pennsylvania.

Darby: A City in Despair

With a population of 10,688, Darby bears a poverty rate of 27.7% and a median home price of $81,800. Merely 10.0% of households are married, and 36.91% of households have children. These statistics depict a somber picture of the city’s socio-economic landscape.

Other Struggling Cities

Following Darby, both Duquesne and Reading are identified as among the least prosperous cities in Pennsylvania. Duquesne, with a population of 5,280, exhibits a poverty rate of 28.3% and a median home price of $51,000. Reading, with a larger population of 94,161, faces a poverty rate of 29.3% and a median home price of $83,100.

Factors Contributing to Hardship

The misery index for these cities is determined by evaluating factors such as poverty levels, income relative to the national average, crime rates, and high school graduation rates. For example, in Reading, 26.6% of residents live below the general poverty level and earn an income 55% lower than the national average.


While these statistics may appear discouraging, it is crucial to recognize that they capture a specific moment in time. Cities like Darby, Duquesne, and Reading confront substantial challenges, but with targeted interventions and community endeavors, their fortunes can change. Every city possesses the potential to evolve and establish improved living conditions for its residents.

On a more positive note, Edinboro has been acknowledged as the happiest place in Pennsylvania. This underscores that happiness and prosperity are attainable, and it is hoped that more cities in Pennsylvania will emulate Edinboro’s example.


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