Chesterbrook Finally Makes It to the Top of the Heap
Niche.com's perennial “Best Place to Live in Pennsylvania” has come close to being named the best place to live in the country several times in the past. This year, it finally got there.
The best place to live in the Greater Philadelphia area is now, after years of flirting with the title, the best place to live in the country.
Chesterbrook earned the top spot on Niche.com’s 2020 list of “Best Places to Live in America.” The rankings started in 2015; Chesterbrook previously came in second place in 2017 and 2018 before falling to ninth in 2019. This year, the town came in first out of the 17,820 communities that were ranked nationwide.
“It’s been consistently at the top of the list, but this year [Chesterbrook] just killed,” Niche.com public relations specialist Natalie Tsay said.
Along with Chesterbrook, two other Philadelphia suburbs finished in the top 20 on the list, with Penn Wynne placing fifth and Ardmore at sixteenth. The only other cities in the country with two towns in the top 10, and three in the top 20, were Arlington, Va., and Santa Monica, Calif.
The rankings were based on 15 weighted factors derived from statistics from the U.S. Census, Niche users and others that contributed to Niche.com’s grading methodology. Chesterbrook received an A-plus overall Niche grade, which included A-plus ratings in public schools, housing, health and fitness, jobs and family life. It also received high marks in outdoor activities, nightlife, diversity and commute.
Though Chesterbrook received high grades all around, the town’s ascension to the top of the list was largely due to the strength of its public school system.
“[The Tredyffrin-Easttown School District] plays a huge factor year after year in Chesterbrook landing so close to the top of the list,” Tsay said.
High education rates within the demographics of Chesterbrook seem to play a role in the ratings for the town across categories and the success seen in the rankings across the years.
“The residents have much higher education rates than the nation at large, which correlates with different categories that [Niche.com] ranks, and overall makes Chesterbrook a very strong place,” Tsay said.
Chesterbrook also received first place on Niche’s 2020 “Best Suburbs to Raise a Family” list. It was accompanied by Penn Wynne (#3), Devon (#4), Berwyn (#6), Swarthmore (#11) and Ardmore (#20), giving Philly the most towns on the list at six, followed by the New York suburbs with five.
With a population of 4,714, Chesterbrook is considered a relatively small, yet dense, suburb that offers different restaurants, coffee shops and parks to residents. Although the town came in first this year, the differences in ratings year to year have been nominal, and a drop in coming years should not come as a surprise.
“You’re going to see fluctuations in rankings each year, but people shouldn’t get alarmed,” Niche.com Customer Success Lead Carrie Law said. “At the end of the day, looking at grades and understanding that an A-plus is phenomenal is really important.”
Chesterbrook led a group of Philly suburbs that dominated the best places to live in Pennsylvania with the only non-Philly towns in the top 10 being Houserville (#4) and Boalsburg (#8) in Centre County and Pittsburgh suburb Mount Lebanon Township in seventh.
The amenities of Chesterbrook and various other high performing Philly suburbs has solidified Greater Philadelphia’s prestige statewide and on the national stage.