27. Nether Providence, Pa.

150803_BPL_Nether_Providence
Courtesy of Nether Providence
AT A GLANCE
Population 13,875
Median Income $101,684
Job Growth 3.7%
Median Home Price $294,425
Property Tax $8,041

After the Civil War, Philadelphia city-slickers descended on this quiet farming community in Pennsylvania to build their summer residences. Fast-forward to today and Nether Providence’s lush green spaces, safety, and 25-minute drive to the city continue to make it an ideal bedroom community, and one that has managed to retain much of its old-world charm.

Great jobs are nearby too. No fewer than a dozen Fortune 500 companies call Philly home, and the city’s thriving financial, information technology, and health-education hubs are huge employers for families in Nether Providence, which ranked #9 on MONEY’s list in 2007.

Realtors say fantastic schools are the main draw of new residents to Nether Providence (which is also commonly called Wallingford). The College Board recognizes the town’s high school as a national Advanced Placement Honor Roll School for its students’ performances on college-level courses, and Nether Providence’s elementary school has earned a National Blue Ribbon School recognition from the U.S. Department of Education.

Students in the district have plenty of extra-curricular activities as well, from an award-winning robotics squad to a decorated mock trial team to Pennsylvania’s largest marching band. The town’s library and community arts center—both housed in quaint stone buildings—draw residents of all ages for book talks and classes in jewelry making, yoga, creative writing, and more.

On the down side: Nether Providence doesn’t have is a downtown, or much of a commercial presence. Folks need to head to nearby Media to enjoy a movie or access more shopping and restaurants. What’s more, the lack of a true retail hub (and the accompanying business taxes) means that residents make up the difference with higher property taxes. —Michaela Ross

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