Bethlehem ranked among the 100 best places to live in America
Bethlehem is named one of the 100 best places to live in America.
Livability.com, a website ranking the country’s most livable small and medium-sized cities, included Bethlehem after considering factors such as economic stability, housing, amenities, infrastructure, demographics, social capital and civic and health care. Livability examined more than 2,300 cities (with a population of less than 500,000) based on more than 50 data points before grouping them into categories for its data-driven analysis.
“If you are a young person looking for a fresh start, tired of living paycheck to paycheck due to insane rental prices and want to find a community that will welcome you with open arms, this list is for you. for you,” Livability says in the report’s introduction published on July 19.
Bethlehem came in at No. 82 on the list; the No. 1 spot went to Madison, Wisconsin. The only other city in Pennsylvania to make the list was Pittsburgh, coming in at #9. Visit here to see the full list as well as Bethlehem’s entry. The entire methodology used for the rankings can be found here.
Bethlehem’s reputation as a “Christmas town” was highlighted, as were its major industries and sectors, restaurants and entertainment venues, and high-quality educational institutions, such as Lehigh University and Moravian University, and Northampton Community College’s Fowler Family Southside Center.
“This former steel town has seen a recent renaissance, and the Lehigh Valley is now a place producing patents for new products and home to companies like OraSure Technologies and Crayola. Community traditions (there’s a Peeps drop on New Year’s Eve!), great schools, and awesome arts and culture round out the innovation,” the report says.
Bethlehem was further known for its strong economy rooted in manufacturing and related industries. The city is home to employers as diverse as Lehigh Heavy Forge, a legacy of Bethlehem Steel; and Bowery Farming, which in December 2020 opened its most technologically advanced project to date.
Livability recognized the Lehigh Valley Health Network and St. Luke’s University Health Network, noting that the health sector is a major employer for those living in the city and beyond. The report says more than 5% of Pennsylvanians are working from home with one of the largest economies in the nation in addition to a low cost of living in Bethlehem.
“Bethlehem is full of cafes, bars and coworking spaces for those looking to get away from a home office and plenty of parks for off-peak hours,” the report said. “All households in the city of Bethlehem have access to high-speed Internet of up to 1,000 Mbps.”
The list highlighted businesses such as the Moravian Bookstore and amenities like Bethlehem Skateplaza; organizations like ArtsQuest; and restaurants like Tapas on Main. He also identified other places to visit nearby, like hiking a section of the Appalachian Trail or kayaking along the Lehigh River.
The report mentions that as home sales hit historic highs and inflation started to rise, more than 42% of the US population has moved or considered moving since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
“…It is more important than ever that we create homes in places that are both affordable and functional for a diverse and growing population,” the report states. “Affordability is a core value for livability, so we look for places that increase wages and home values while maintaining an affordable cost of living.”
In addition to Livability’s listing, Bethlehem’s 18018 zip code last year was ranked by Realtor.com as the 12th hottest zip code in America.
Average route: 23.1 miles
Median house value: $301,006
Median household income: $56,034
Total population: 75,571
Median Property Tax: $3,798
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Pamela Sroka-Holzmann can be contacted at [email protected].