Counties with the oldest homes in Pennsylvania

Written by:
August 27, 2022
Michael Barera // Wikimedia Commons

Counties with the oldest homes in Pennsylvania

There's an undeniable charm that comes with pre-World War II American architecture, characterized by high ceilings, crown molding, hardwood floors, and ornate details. In fact, 12.8% of all housing units in America were built in 1939 or before, showing the popularity of the preservation of these units. Owning a piece of history can sometimes come with a cost: Many old homes come with asbestos, lead piping, knob-and-tube wiring, and other outdated building styles that can rack up a hefty price tag to modernize. However, with more and more modernized pre-war homes on the market, generally located just outside bustling downtown metros, investing in property that has withstood the test of time is an attractive prospect.

Stacker compiled a list of the counties in Pennsylvania with the oldest homes using data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Counties are ranked by median year the structure was built according to 2020 5-year estimates. Ties broken by the highest percentage of homes built before 1939.

The country's domestic architecture is perhaps best characterized by a rugged individualism as opposed to the hybridization of disparate architectural elements. As Maya Angelou once perceptively observed, "the ache for home lives in all of us," a phrase that has meant very different things to different people.

Modest or palatial, there is no shortage of noteworthy homes in the U.S. Log cabins constructed by industrious pioneers have dotted the landscape alongside traditional Native American dwellings ever since immigrant Swedes introduced them to the New World in 1638. The unprecedented personal fortunes amassed by the so-called "Robber Barons" at the close of the 19th century gave way to the construction of a staggering number of Gilded Age estates.

The ravages of time spared neither the sumptuous nor the humble. Stately mansions, often prohibitively costly to maintain in the modern era, were frequently neglected; simple structures were forgotten, discarded by their owners, and damaged by natural elements. However, the tireless efforts of architectural preservationists and local historical societies have saved many of these homes from demolition, leading to their inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places and thereby safeguarding them for future generations.

Keep reading to learn more about which counties in Pennsylvania have the oldest homes.

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Smallbones // Wikimedia Commons

#50. Snyder County

- Median year homes built: 1973
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 21.8% (3,594 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 16.1% (2,649 homes)
- Total homes built: 16,500
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Nyttend // Wikimedia Commons

#49. Juniata County

- Median year homes built: 1973
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 21.9% (2,465 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 12.3% (1,390 homes)
- Total homes built: 11,257
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Nyttend // Wikimedia Commons

#48. Forest County

- Median year homes built: 1972
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 11.2% (980 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 9.7% (843 homes)
- Total homes built: 8,721
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Joe Calzarette // Wikimedia Commons

#47. Huntingdon County

- Median year homes built: 1972
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 26.8% (6,097 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 15.1% (3,431 homes)
- Total homes built: 22,727
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Michael J // Wikimedia Commons

#46. Wyoming County

- Median year homes built: 1972
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 27.4% (3,699 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 12.0% (1,619 homes)
- Total homes built: 13,479

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#45. Carbon County

- Median year homes built: 1972
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 29.6% (10,305 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 15.0% (5,224 homes)
- Total homes built: 34,817
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Canadian2006 // Wikimedia Commons

#44. Bedford County

- Median year homes built: 1971
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 26.6% (6,492 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 12.0% (2,921 homes)
- Total homes built: 24,405
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#43. Tioga County

- Median year homes built: 1971
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 32.4% (7,085 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 14.7% (3,215 homes)
- Total homes built: 21,869
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Doug Kerr // Wikimedia Commons

#42. Indiana County

- Median year homes built: 1970
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 23.7% (9,235 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 10.5% (4,101 homes)
- Total homes built: 38,989
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Smallbones // Wikimedia Commons

#41. Lebanon County

- Median year homes built: 1970
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 23.9% (13,854 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 15.9% (9,190 homes)
- Total homes built: 57,970

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Douglas Muth // Wikimedia Commons

#40. Montgomery County

- Median year homes built: 1969
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 17.0% (56,990 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 13.0% (43,566 homes)
- Total homes built: 336,189
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Nicholas // Wikimedia Commons

#39. Potter County

- Median year homes built: 1969
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 25.0% (3,259 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 10.0% (1,295 homes)
- Total homes built: 13,011
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#38. Clinton County

- Median year homes built: 1969
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 25.2% (4,849 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 10.4% (1,994 homes)
- Total homes built: 19,257
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Nicholas // Wikimedia Commons

#37. Sullivan County

- Median year homes built: 1969
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 30.8% (1,967 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 11.9% (757 homes)
- Total homes built: 6,378
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#36. Bradford County

- Median year homes built: 1969
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 33.2% (10,177 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 10.6% (3,261 homes)
- Total homes built: 30,691

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Rina Pitucci // Flickr

#35. Dauphin County

- Median year homes built: 1968
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 21.3% (26,578 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 13.2% (16,499 homes)
- Total homes built: 124,874
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Smallbones // Wikimedia Commons

#34. Lehigh County

- Median year homes built: 1968
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 23.7% (34,726 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 14.8% (21,668 homes)
- Total homes built: 146,699
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Nicholas // Wikimedia Commons

#33. Berks County

- Median year homes built: 1968
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 26.9% (45,088 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 13.1% (21,908 homes)
- Total homes built: 167,514
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Shuvaev // Wikimedia Commons

#32. Northampton County

- Median year homes built: 1968
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 27.2% (33,606 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 17.2% (21,310 homes)
- Total homes built: 123,556
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#31. Clarion County

- Median year homes built: 1967
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 26.6% (5,463 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 10.5% (2,149 homes)
- Total homes built: 20,554

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Pubdog // Wikimedia Commons

#30. Clearfield County

- Median year homes built: 1967
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 28.6% (11,258 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 11.1% (4,369 homes)
- Total homes built: 39,321
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Ruhrfisch (talk) // Wikimedia Commons

#29. Columbia County

- Median year homes built: 1967
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 29.2% (8,838 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 11.4% (3,468 homes)
- Total homes built: 30,299
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Nicholas // Wikimedia Commons

#28. Crawford County

- Median year homes built: 1965
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 25.8% (11,621 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 8.9% (3,996 homes)
- Total homes built: 44,968
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#27. Westmoreland County

- Median year homes built: 1963
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 20.8% (35,587 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 9.8% (16,689 homes)
- Total homes built: 170,765
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Generic1139 // Wikimedia Commons

#26. Washington County

- Median year homes built: 1963
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 26.1% (25,105 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 13.8% (13,240 homes)
- Total homes built: 96,263

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Canadian2006 // Wikimedia Commons

#25. Somerset County

- Median year homes built: 1963
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 29.5% (11,373 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 9.2% (3,554 homes)
- Total homes built: 38,523
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Pubdog // Wikimedia Commons

#24. Mifflin County

- Median year homes built: 1962
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 25.9% (5,685 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 8.5% (1,860 homes)
- Total homes built: 21,909
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#23. Erie County

- Median year homes built: 1962
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 26.3% (32,002 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 9.4% (11,490 homes)
- Total homes built: 121,613
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Nyttend // Wikimedia Commons

#22. Greene County

- Median year homes built: 1962
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 31.4% (5,268 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 10.2% (1,712 homes)
- Total homes built: 16,787
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#21. Mercer County

- Median year homes built: 1961
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 25.1% (13,110 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 8.3% (4,367 homes)
- Total homes built: 52,303

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User:Ruhrfisch // Wikimedia Commons

#20. Lycoming County

- Median year homes built: 1961
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 31.2% (16,698 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 8.6% (4,611 homes)
- Total homes built: 53,533
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#19. Elk County

- Median year homes built: 1960
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 27.2% (4,843 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 8.9% (1,580 homes)
- Total homes built: 17,808
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Nicholas // Wikimedia Commons

#18. Warren County

- Median year homes built: 1960
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 29.2% (6,900 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 8.3% (1,951 homes)
- Total homes built: 23,627
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Doug Kerr from Albany, NY, United States // Wikimedia Commons

#17. Jefferson County

- Median year homes built: 1960
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 33.2% (7,544 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 9.8% (2,221 homes)
- Total homes built: 22,738
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Nicholas // Wikimedia Commons

#16. Cameron County

- Median year homes built: 1959
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 22.6% (999 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 6.5% (288 homes)
- Total homes built: 4,426

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Generic1139 // Wikimedia Commons

#15. Armstrong County

- Median year homes built: 1959
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 29.6% (9,723 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 8.7% (2,860 homes)
- Total homes built: 32,852
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Finetooth // Wikimedia Commons

#14. Venango County

- Median year homes built: 1959
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 33.5% (9,248 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 11.2% (3,086 homes)
- Total homes built: 27,593
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Jerrye & Roy Klotz, MD // Wikimedia Commons

#13. Beaver County

- Median year homes built: 1958
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 24.7% (19,682 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 8.5% (6,772 homes)
- Total homes built: 79,587
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#12. Blair County

- Median year homes built: 1958
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 32.9% (18,759 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 9.0% (5,131 homes)
- Total homes built: 56,960
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ESB Professional // Shutterstock

#11. Allegheny County

- Median year homes built: 1957
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 28.7% (172,924 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 7.9% (47,737 homes)
- Total homes built: 602,416

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#10. Luzerne County

- Median year homes built: 1957
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 33.8% (50,795 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 7.7% (11,562 homes)
- Total homes built: 150,235
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Smallbones // Wikimedia Commons

#9. Delaware County

- Median year homes built: 1956
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 21.8% (49,106 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 6.8% (15,202 homes)
- Total homes built: 224,746
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#8. Fayette County

- Median year homes built: 1956
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 33.2% (21,172 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 7.4% (4,731 homes)
- Total homes built: 63,820
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Nyttend // Wikimedia Commons

#7. Lawrence County

- Median year homes built: 1955
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 30.5% (12,606 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 7.6% (3,147 homes)
- Total homes built: 41,317
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Publichall // Wikimedia Commons

#6. Cambria County

- Median year homes built: 1954
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 32.0% (21,176 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 5.4% (3,589 homes)
- Total homes built: 66,072

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#5. Lackawanna County

- Median year homes built: 1954
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 38.0% (38,188 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 8.2% (8,284 homes)
- Total homes built: 100,576
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Publichall // Wikimedia Commons

#4. Northumberland County

- Median year homes built: 1952
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 40.6% (18,482 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 7.2% (3,288 homes)
- Total homes built: 45,522
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Nicholas from Pennsylvania, USA // Wikimedia Commons

#3. McKean County

- Median year homes built: 1951
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 38.6% (8,200 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 5.3% (1,128 homes)
- Total homes built: 21,260
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Michael Barera // Wikimedia Commons

#2. Philadelphia County

- Median year homes built: 1948
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 41.3% (284,447 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 6.2% (42,394 homes)
- Total homes built: 689,121
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Jakec // Wikimedia Commons

#1. Schuylkill County

- Median year homes built: 1943
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 47.6% (33,328 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 7.4% (5,206 homes)
- Total homes built: 69,965

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