This YouTube Video Sums Up PA in 12 Minutes — Is it Accurate?

Pennsylvania is a huge state, and home to a lot of people. In fact, with over 12.8 million residents in the Commonwealth, it’s ranked the fifth-most populous state in the country, according to the official U.S. Census count in 2010. There are many, many transplants from other states, countries and continents, as well as born-and-raised Pennsylvanians who’ve never called anywhere else home. Nearly every culture is represented in our cities and towns, and from futuristic high rises to rolling mountains to flat farmland, there is so much variety that makes up our landscape.

So, it’s safe say that there is no one “true” experience of living in Pennsylvania. Or is there? This video from popular YouTuber Nick Johnson digs up plenty of facts and opinions about living in Pennsylvania, from the way to we talk, to what we like to eat, to what our weather and traffic patterns are like. As with anything that takes a top-down look at a complex and dynamic place, it can’t possibly encapsulate the many lived experiences of all the people who are here. And, while the tone of the video is pretty snarky and disparaging, we’ll give it to them: Some of the stereotypes ring pretty true (though we do not appreciate being called rude!), especially around food, sports and people in Pittsburgh putting chairs in their shoveled-out parking spots after snow storms.

In our opinion, some of the video’s misses include: calling Harrisburg and Erie “boring”; making drug crises, crime and loss of industrial jobs seem like a state-specific issue instead of a nationwide one; not mentioning amazing attractions, like Hershey Park; disregarding our epic Snack Belt; and leaving out some of the wonderful cultural contributions, like the Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh and the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia.

So, even while it’s fascinating and mostly fun to watch someone else put your home under a microscope, it also feels a bit one-dimensional… Maybe that’s all you can expect from a 12-minute video! Just do yourself a favor and don’t read through the comments on YouTube.

What did you think of the “Unboxing Pennsylvania” video? We’re sure you have opinions of your own. Let us know in the comments here or on the PA Eats Facebook page!

  • Video: Nick Johnson