Life in Centre County
Centre County, PA, is known for big city amenities nestled in a relaxed country atmosphere. The county is dotted with warm and welcoming communities, from historic small towns like Bellefonte and Lemont, to the larger metropolitan hub of State College. Residents enjoy a wide variety of recreational and cultural activities that make Centre County a unique yet familiar place to call home.
The fabric of our county consists of rural comforts like scenic nature, safe neighborhoods and a laid-back environment. Home to six Pennsylvania state parks, the area is ideal for hiking, biking, hunting and fishing. With The Pennsylvania State University's main campus here, you can also enjoy Big Ten football and basketball, as well as national touring musical and theater groups at the Bryce Jordan Center. And the State College metro area is ranked the second safest small town in which to live in the United States.
Combine this with excellent public schools, timeless architecture and a lively community of artists and you have one terrific place to live and raise a family! We invite you to explore the following sections to get a better feel for why Centre County offers a slice of life for everybody.
Centre County residents enjoy a high quality of life, low stress and a tightly knit community. Here are some general statistics about living in Centre County:
- Median home value: $167,200*
Homeownership rate: 60.6 percent***
- Housing stock in Centre County varies greatly, ranging from low maintenance condos to new subdivisions to picturesque historic homes.
- Population: 153,990*
- Average household income: $47,966**
*According to 2010 U.S. Census Bureau statistics
**According to 2009 U.S. Census Bureau statistics
***According to 2005-2009 U.S. Census Bureau Statistics
No matter where your interests may lie, the Centre County region provides a host of choice activities for your own or your family's enjoyment:
- Easy access to Big Ten collegiate sports
- Arts and cultural events
- 3 public golf courses
- 3 private country clubs
- More than 50 recreational parks
- Natural resources provide a backdrop for activities ranging from skiing to kayaking
- Close proximity to major metropolitan areas, including:
- Average student/teacher ratio: 17:1
Five well-respected school districts
- Bald Eagle Area School District was recognized by McGraw-Hill for its K-6 math program
- Penns Valley Area School District ranks among the top 25 percent of PA school districts
- Philipsburg Osceola
- Expansion Magazine ranked State College Area School District as first among 2,800 secondary districts nationwide
- U.S. News & World Report ranked State College Area High School as 24th in Pennsylvania
- Bald Eagle
- Quality charter and private schools
- Dual MBA and MD programs available at The Pennsylvania State University
Centre County is home to a variety of employers and employees, including medical experts, business executives, teachers, professors, attorneys, artists, entrepreneurs, students, farmers and more. The top five employers are: The Pennsylvania State University, Mount Nittany Health, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, State College Area School District and Wal-Mart/Sam's Club.