Is Pittsburgh, PA a Good Place to Live? 10 Pros and Cons of Living in Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh is a dynamic and diverse city that has won over many with its stunning skyline, renowned gardens, and its various districts. But is Pittsburgh a good place to live? While the city offers a wealth of opportunities for entertainment, career advancement, and a lively urban lifestyle, it also presents its own set of challenges like its harsh winters. In this Redfin article, we’ll explore the pros and cons of living in Pittsburgh to help you decide if it’s the right place for you.

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Quick Facts about Pittsburgh

Median home sale price $260,000
Average monthly rent $1,334
Walk Score 62/100
Transit Score 55/100
Bike Score 55/100

1. Pro: Thriving tech industry

Pittsburgh has become a hub for technology and innovation, attracting major companies like Google, Uber, and Facebook. The presence of these tech giants has created numerous job opportunities and fostered a vibrant startup culture. Carnegie Mellon University, renowned for its computer science program, also contributes to the city’s tech-savvy workforce.

2. Con: Harsh winters

One of the downsides of living in Pittsburgh is its harsh winter weather. The city experiences heavy snowfall and freezing temperatures from December through February, which can make commuting and daily activities challenging. The cold weather can also lead to higher heating bills and the need for winter-specific clothing and gear. For those unaccustomed to such conditions, the winter months can be particularly daunting.

3. Pro: Various museums, venues and festivals

Pittsburgh is known for its cultural scene with numerous museums, theaters, and music venues. The Carnegie Museum of Art, the Andy Warhol Museum, and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra are just a few examples of the city’s cultural hubs that can’t be missed. Additionally, the annual Three Rivers Arts Festival and the Pittsburgh International Jazz Festival attract visitors from all over the country.

4. Con: Rough roads

Pittsburgh is notorious for its rough roads, characterized by numerous potholes and frequent construction zones. The city’s hilly terrain and harsh winters contribute to rapid road deterioration, making driving a bumpy and challenging experience. Residents often face vehicle wear and tear and frustrating commutes due to these persistent road conditions.

5. Pro: Affordable housing costs

Compared to other major cities in the United States, Pittsburgh provides a relatively affordable cost of living. Housing prices are reasonable, where the median home sale price is $260,000. The city has a variety of neighborhoods to suit different budgets and lifestyles. This affordability makes Pittsburgh an attractive option for those looking to settle down.

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6. Con: One of the cloudiest cities in the U.S.

Pittsburgh is known as one of the cloudiest cities in the U.S., with overcast skies dominating much of the year. The city averages around 203 cloudy days annually, significantly impacting the amount of sunlight residents receive. This persistent cloud cover can influence mood and energy levels, making the city’s weather a notable consideration for potential residents.

7. Pro: Scenic beauty

Pittsburgh is renowned for its scenic beauty, nestled at the confluence of three rivers and surrounded by rolling hills. The city’s numerous bridges and historic architecture provide stunning vistas, especially when viewed from vantage points like Mount Washington. With abundant parks like Schenley Park and Frick Park, lush green spaces, and picturesque riverfronts along the Allegheny, Monongahela, and Ohio Rivers, making Pittsburgh a good place to live.

8. Con: Traffic congestion

Traffic congestion is a common complaint among Pittsburgh residents. The city’s unique topography, with its numerous bridges and tunnels, can create bottlenecks and slowdowns during peak hours. Additionally, ongoing construction projects and road maintenance can exacerbate traffic issues. Commuters often face long delays, which can be frustrating and time-consuming.

9. Pro: Professional sports hub

Pittsburgh is a vibrant hub for professional sports, boasting passionate fan bases and celebrated teams like the Pittsburgh Steelers (NFL), Pittsburgh Penguins (NHL), and Pittsburgh Pirates (MLB). The city’s sports culture is deeply ingrained, with game days transforming the atmosphere into a sea of black and gold as fans come together to support their teams.

10. Con: Air pollution

Pittsburgh struggles with significant air pollution, a lingering consequence of its industrial legacy and ongoing emissions from factories and vehicles. The city’s air quality often ranks among the worst in the nation, with particulate matter and ozone levels posing health risks to residents.


Methodology: The median home sale price and average monthly rental data is from the Redfin Data Center. The Walk Score, Transit Score and Bike Score data is from Walk Score.

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