There are 2,991 people per square mile in the Pittsburgh metro area, lower than the national population density of 6,321 Americans per square mile across all U.S. metro areas. Pittsburgh also has the sixth highest population density of any Pennsylvania metro area.

Population density can have a meaningful impact on home prices in an area. There tends to be less demand for available real estate in sparsely populated areas, and home prices are often lower as a result. In Pittsburgh, a typical home is worth $143,200, less than the national median home value of $194,500. Pittsburgh has the fifth lowest median home value of any metro area in the state.

Dense metropolitan areas are often the most congested, with the average worker spending up to 38 minutes commuting to work in some cities. The average commute in Pittsburgh lasts 26.5 minutes, roughly similar to the average commute time for Pennsylvania as a whole of 26.8 minutes and the sixth highest of any metro area in the state.

One of the most effective deterrents to crime is other people. In more rural cities there is often fewer people and less streetlight to act as natural surveillance that can in some cases prevent petty crime. In the Pittsburgh metro area, there were 1,783 property crimes per 100,000 people in 2015, lower than the national property crime rate of 2,487 incidents per 100,000 Americans and roughly similar to the statewide rate of 1,813 property crimes reported per 100,000 residents.

Rank Metro Area Population Density
10 San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, CA 6,920.5
9 Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, FL 7,395.3
8 Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD 7,773.2
7 Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, MA-NH 7,980.1
6 San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA 8,417.7
5 Chicago-Joliet-Naperville, IL-IN-WI 8,613.4
4 Honolulu, HI 11,548.2
3 Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, CA 12,113.9
2 San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, CA 12,144.9
1 New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, NY-NJ-PA 31,251.4