Finding the right suburb of Pittsburgh to raise a family can feel like a lot of pressure. Unless you know someone from every borough and township around the city, how are you to really know what it’s like there?
This article makes that decision a little easier. We have set out to determine the best suburb to raise a family by asking the residents of the communities themselves. Who better, right?
Which Greater Pittsburgh Township is the Favorite?
We had 499 people from around the city participate in a survey to determine the favorite suburb for families and asked township staff for their opinions, too. Their specific comments are at the bottom of the page.
Everyone else’s vote was cast through an online form. Here are the survey results as well as some information about each community.
Meet the Best Townships for Families
(1) South Fayette
“South Fayette is one of the fastest growing suburbs of the Pittsburgh area. Despite its rapid growth and its close proximity to downtown (about a 15 minute drive in good traffic), the area still has the genuine feeling that residents are nestled in a quiet world with the convenience of a major highway (Interstate 79) nearby. South Fayette is working hard to be one of the premier places to live in Pennsylvania; the township blends a bit of paradise for all ages. The community is especially proud of the South Fayette School District and its Blue Ribbon recognition.”
-Ryan Eggleston, Township Manager of South Fayette
(2) Moon Township
“Moon Township is a family-oriented community with a strong base in education, safety and recreation that offers a variety of programs and services for children of all ages to enjoy with their parents.. The school district takes pride in its strong academic system proven by Moon Area students consistently performing above state and national averages on standardized testing. Today Moon covers a total of 24.2 square miles and is home to approximately 24,000 residents.”
-Alexis Sergeant, Communications Director of Moon Township
(3) North Fayette
“Regardless of what you are looking for, you are likely to find it in North Fayette Township. The Township, located in the western portion of Allegheny County is convenient to the Greater Pittsburgh International Airport, the City of Pittsburgh and points north and south thanks to the improvements to the interchange of Interstates 376 and 79. The Township is an increasingly diversified, modern community consisting of 27 square miles of both rural and suburban lifestyles. North Fayette Township is definitely a great place to live, work and play.”
-Robert Grimm, Township Manager of North Fayette
(4) Cecil Township
“Cecil Township has increasingly become a destination location for many families for a number of reasons. Cecil Township’s predominantly rural landscape while in close proximity to the City of Pittsburgh, and Airport make it attractive for those who like “country living” without sacrificing access to regional assets. Low taxes and a good school system also play a part. The Montour Trail, a widely known recreational hiking trail, traverses our community.”
-Donald A. Gennuso, Township Manager of Cecil Township
(5) Cranberry Township
“Quality of life is one of Cranberry’s greatest attractions. There is a strong volunteer service force that builds pride in the community. Location is huge. It’s easy to get to Pittsburgh, easy to get to Erie, easy to get everywhere. Won 2013 Best place to raise a family (in PA) by Bloomberg.”
-Cindy Marzock, PR for Cranberry Township
Check out these links for more helpful articles about raising a family in the suburbs of Pittsburgh.
- Best School Districts near Pittsburgh
- INFOGRAPHIC: Pittsburgh Real Estate at a Glance
- Best Season to Sell a House in Pittsburgh
Meet All the Townships
Adams Township is located in the southwestern tier of Butler County, near Cranberry Township. Just a few miles from I-79, all of the big-city attractions are readily accessible from new houses in Adams Township. Adams Township, as of the 2010 census, had a population of 11,652. Census data also shows that Adams Township is the fastest growing municipality in Butler County in the previous decade. About three of every ten residents of Adams Township are people under 18. With a crime-rate well below the state and national average, one can rest assured in a new house in Adams Township that their children are safe and with plenty of playmates.
Bethel Park is a home rule municipality in Allegheny County. It is part of the Pittsburgh Metro Area, approximately 7 miles southwest of Pittsburgh. The population was 32,313 at the 2010 census.
“Having lived in Bradford Woods for approximately 42 years, my wife & I had the privilege of raising our 4 children, and watch many of our friends do the same with their families. I get to see the large gathering of families that congregate each morning at the end of my road located adjacent to Bradford Road. Depending on the hour, Moms and Dads, their school age kids, pets, and a large contingent of little people, that can’t wait to be old enough to ride that big yellow bus, meet to discuss current events. That experience alone removes any suggestion that just seniors live in the Borough. It truly is the best place to raise a family in Western PA.”
-Bob Murray, Mayor of Bradford Woods
Butler is city and county seat of Butler County in the US state of Pennsylvania, situated 35 miles north of Pittsburgh and part of the Pittsburgh metropolitan area. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 13,757
“Canonsburg offers the following to new families: Low borough taxes, a 16 person full time police department, a state of the art fire department, its own local hospital, a school district that is in the top 20 in the Commonwealth for PSAA scores, some of the best extra curricular activities (state champs in girls softball, wrestling, etc.), a walkable community, a first class pool, a state of the art $5M library that opened in Spring 2013, a town park with summer concert series pavilion rentals and other amenities”
-Bob Kipp, Borough Manager of Canonsburg
“Fox Chapel Borough with a population of 5436 is a small close-knit community with a popular name. Fox Chapel is family friendly because it often has multiple generations living nearby each other in single-family homes. Residents choose Fox Chapel for its great schools, hundreds of acres of parks and open space, trees, and its proximity to Oakland and Pittsburgh.”
-Gary J. Koehler, Township Manager of Fox Chapel
Franklin Park is a borough in Allegheny County. The population was 13,470 at the 2010 census.
“The City of Greensburg is a great place to live, work and play. We are a very affordable community with many types of housing stock in older historic neighborhoods such as Academy Hill and Northmont, and newer homes in Saybrook Village, Chestnut Hill and Glenmeade Plans. We are conveniently located 30 miles east of Pittsburgh and within 15 miles of a rural mountainous setting. We have excellent schools both public and private as well as unique shopping districts including Pennsylvania Avenue shops and many stores in downtown Greensburg.”
-Susan Trout, City Administrator of Greensburg
“We’re pretty blessed here in Hampton. Quality of life is a big deal for us. We receive lots of transfers in from Westinghouse and UPMC–for awhile we were leading the county in transfer numbers–and the people coming here, they stay.”
-Chris Lochner, Hampton Township
Jefferson Hills is a borough in Allegheny County. Jefferson Hills is located in the South Hills of Pittsburgh, and is able to satisfy a variety of housing, shopping and transportation needs.
Lower Burrell is a city in Westmoreland County in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. Located approximately 18 miles northeast of Downtown Pittsburgh, it is part of the Pittsburgh Metro Area. The population was 11,761 at the 2010 census.
Marshall Township takes much pride in its rural atmosphere yet it is situated a short 20-minute drive north of Pittsburgh’s business and cultural centers via I79/279. A Township of the Second Class, Marshall is governed by a five-member Board of Supervisors. Approximately 14 square miles in size, it is located in the northwest corner of Allegheny County.
The Town of McCandless is located in the center of the “North Hills” of Allegheny County. The Town maintains a comfortable, country nature while continuing to grow into a more diversified community. McCandless’ 16.4 square miles is occupied by over 28,000 residents.
McKeesport is a city in Allegheny County; it is situated at the confluence of the Monongahela and Youghiogheny rivers and is part of the Pittsburgh Metro Area. The population was 19,731 at the 2010 census.
Monroeville is a home rule municipality in Allegheny County. Located about 15 miles east of the city of Pittsburgh, Monroeville is a suburb with mixed residential and commercial developments.
Mt. Lebanon is a home rule municipality in Allegheny County. Close proximity to the city of Pittsburgh enhances Mt. Lebanon’s quality of life. Residents take advantage of the cultural, business and higher education opportunities of a large city, while also enjoying our suburb’s excellent public safety, beautiful green spaces, well-maintained recreational facilities and top-notch schools.
Munhall is a borough in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, on the west bank of the Monongahela River, 8 miles south of the confluence of the Monongahela and the Allegheny rivers where the Ohio River begins. It abuts the borough of Homestead.
“Murrysville has a school district that is in the top 10 of Western PA. It’s in a convenient location to the city. We have an aggressive planning and zoning team, and we have steady controlled growth. We have a great parks and rec. department that is planning seasonal programs for the youth of our community year round at our 9 parks. We have a very active young community that participates heavily in our recreational programs. Murrysville is a great community to raise a family in.”
-Jim Morrison, Chief Administrator of Murrysville
New Kensington is a city in Westmoreland County in Pennsylvania, situated along the Allegheny River 18 miles northeast of Pittsburgh. The population was 13,116 at the 2010 Census.
North Huntingdon Township is a growing suburban community and an excellent location to live and work with a high quality of life. Residing within Westmoreland County, the cost of living and taxes are moderate compared to surrounding municipalities and counties. We are located within easy commuting distance (less than 20 miles and a 35 minute trip) to Pittsburgh. The Pennsylvania Turnpike runs through the east edge of the Township with a turnpike interchange located within the community. State Route 30 runs east and west through the middle of the Township.
North Strabane is located in northern Washington County, approximately 20 miles southwest of Pittsburgh, and are home to approximately 13,500 residents. The Township is 27 square miles in area and is predominantly residential and agricultural in nature. Land use policies have been adopted to preserve the Township’s rural character and optimize green and open spaces.
The Township of North Versailles is approximately 8 square miles, primarily residential community approximately 12 miles southeast of Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. Just minutes from downtown Pittsburgh, the Municipality of Monroeville, many shopping centers and plenty of entertaining activities.
Oakmont, PA is situated along the Allegheny River about 6 miles northeast of Pittsburgh, 11 miles from downtown Pittsburgh.The Town is distinguished by an eclectic collection of independently owned shops, boutiques and eateries. Gas lit street lamps and red brick pavement on the boulevard through the center of town add a measure of charm and the inviting warmth of Oakmont.
Penn Township is located in the western part of Westmoreland County in Pennsylvania, approximately 25 miles east of the city of Pittsburgh and 7 miles west of the county seat of Greensburg.
Penn Hills is a large Home Rule Municipality in Allegheny County. The population as of the 2010 census was 42,329, making it Pittsburgh’s second largest suburb by population.
Peters Township, PA is located 11 miles southwest of Pittsburgh along the northern border of Washington County. In 2010, Peters Township had a population of 21,213, up from 17,556 in 2000. Much of the demand for new houses in Peters Township can be attributed to its attractive location, high standard of living, and excellent school district.
“This upscale community is a northern suburb of Pittsburgh that offers easy access to shopping, dining, recreation, medical care, and major highways. It’s a great place to raise a family with the well regarded Pine-Richland School District and safe surrounding communities. The housing and job markets have been on the rise since 2011 and work-life balance is hard to beat. By virtue of its exceptional location and many attributes the Township of Pine exemplifies a renowned lifestyle for families and individuals alike. Welcome Home!”
-Erin Huber, Pine Township
Plum Borough is located in Allegheny County, approximately 13 miles east of the City of Pittsburgh in Western Pennsylvania. Plum Borough is the second largest Borough in the State of Pennsylvania comprising 29 square miles of land area and containing a population of 27,126 according to the 2010 Census.
A beautiful, semi-rural community, Richland Township is located in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, 18 miles from downtown Pittsburgh. In Richland Township, you’ll find an 80 acre park, welcoming neighborhoods and wooded hills, top-notch schools, and direct access to major roadways (State Routes 8 and 910. PA Interstate 76). 14.7 square miles in area with a population of over 11,100, Richland Township welcomes you.
The advantages of a new home in Robinson Township extend well beyond the tarmacs of The Mall at Robinson. Robinson Twp is located just west of Pittsburgh’s Fairywood neighborhood on the I-376 corridor in Allegheny County. Residents in Robinson also have easy access to I-79 and major state routes 22, 30, 51, and 60. The Pittsburgh International Airport is about three miles northwest of Robinson Township.
Ross Township is a commercial center and residential community, located in the North Hills, just minutes from downtown Pittsburgh. Our School District is one of the best in the State. Ross is a great place to call home.
Rostraver Township is one of Pennsylvania’s most scenic and fastest growing townships. According to the 2000 U.S. Census, Rostraver Township had a population of 11,634. Since 1960, Rostraver’s population increased by 17.5% while Westmoreland County grew by 4.9% and the Commonwealth grew by 8.5%.
“Scott Township is located within ten minutes of downtown Pittsburgh or the Pittsburgh International Airport. The amenities we offer our residents are at minimal cost. Those amenities include a full time police department, full time public works department, fire district, excellent park facilities, community events and we are located in the Chartiers Valley School District. A great place to raise your family.”
-Denise Fitzgerald, Township Manager of Scott Township
South Park Township is located on the southern border of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, about 10 miles south of Pittsburgh. South Park Township had 13,416 people living in its 9.2 square miles as of the 2010 census. This is a decrease of 924 since the year 2000 when, according to census data, 14,340 people lived in 5,422 households and 4,028 families; 35.3% of these households had children under the age of 18. Median family income was $57,290, while per capita income was $21,538 as of the 2000 census.
Located in central Washington County, South Strabane Township had a population of 9,346 as of the 2010 census. The township split into North Strabane and South Strabane Township in 1831.With a total area of 23.1 square miles, the township has a population density of 345.7 people per square mile. It has 54 miles of township roads and 35 miles of state roads. In 2012, it has an assessed valuation of$107,291,434. Census data from 2000 indicated that of its 7,987 there were 3,320 households and 2,227 families. South Strabane families had a median income of $54,729; the per capita income was $23,829.
Upper St. Clair: a nationally-recognized school district, range of house prices, residential but close to shopping, public “T” transportation to Pittsburgh, driving distance to Pittsburgh/Pittsburgh Airport/Southpointe, voted one of “Top Ten Places to Live” in 2009’s US News & World Report, voted one of “Top Workplaces in Allegheny County”, Community & Recreation Center at Boyce Mayview Park
Washington Township is a township in Westmoreland County. It was founded in 1789 from Salem Township. In 2000, the population of Washington Twp was 7,384.
The Borough of West Mifflin, PA is located in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, just southeast of Pittsburgh, PA (about 9 miles). The borough has a total area 14.4 square miles.
Home to many upper-middle-class people, Wexford‘s commercial landscape is dominated by a mixture of corporate chains, car dealerships, and a number of local small businesses, concentrated on the main thoroughfare of the “Wexford Flats”, U.S. Route 19. It is also home to what is considered to be one of the top high schools in Pennsylvania, North Allegheny Senior High School. Other schools in the area are Pine-Richland High School, and Vincentian Academy.