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Easton, Bethlehem Earn Spots on ’10 Best Places to Live in Pa.’ List

By LVEDC Staff on July 14, 2014

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following feature originally appeared July 10 on the CreditDonkey.com website. We’ve abridged the final copy a bit.

You prefer the East coast, and you like an area steep in history, but New England just doesn’t fit your style. It’s too cold in more ways than one. New York seems, well, too New York.

You may be all about Pennsylvania, the site of some of the most significant moments in U.S. history, including the signing of the Declaration of Independence and a warmer client than its northern states. Not only that, you can find every slice of American life wherever you turn. It’s here that Hershey chocolate is made, the majority of Amish call their home, and where the characters of The Office went to work every day.

top-10
Also known as a major hub of commercial activity, Pennsylvania is a prime spot to settle down, with newcomers attracted to busy urban areas (including Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, which didn’t make our top 10 list) as well as smaller rural communities like Lancaster.

For current residents, the lure of affordable housing, upper tier schools and a booming job market are all great reasons to relocate within the state.

If you’re planning a move to Pennsylvania for the first time or you’re a native on the hunt for a new hometown, the CreditDonkey team has scouted out the best cities to live.

 

Study Methodology

To find the best of the best, we looked at each of the following factors:

1. Crime Rate
2. Commute Time
3. Income
4. Education
5. Restaurants Per Capita

Safety is a priority and if you’re planning a move, you want to make sure you’re avoiding a high crime area. For our rankings, we looked at the odds of becoming a victim of violent crime to determine which cities are the safest.

Another factor we considered is the average commute time. If you’re relocating for a job, you want to make sure the drive to work won’t eat up too much of your day.

How happy you are in your career can be influenced by a number of factors, including the size of your paycheck. For this study, we considered the median income for each city to find those where wages were highest.

We also considered the level of educational attainment for each city’s population, since this can directly impact wages. Specifically, we looked at the percentage of residents who had attended some college.

Finally, we evaluated each city based on the number of restaurants there were per capita. Even if you don’t eat out every night, it’s good to know that your new city has what you’re looking for if you decide to hit the town.

10 Best Cities to Live in Pennsylvania

10. Easton

Odds of Being a Victim of a Violent Crime: 1 in 241
Commute Time: 26.8 minutes
Income: $40,076
Residents Who Attended Some College, No Degree: 19.3%
Restaurants: 1 per 325 inhabitants

Located 17 miles east of Allentown, Easton sits in the heart of the Lehigh Valley near the juncture of the Delaware and Lehigh rivers. The city is divided into four main areas, including the historic district and College Hill, named after nearby Lafayette College. Nearly 20% of residents attended some college and the median income is above $40,000. Top local attractions include the National Canal Museum and the Lehigh Valley Zoo.

Did You Know: Easton was founded by Thomas Penn, son of William Penn, the founder of the Province of Pennsylvania.

3. Bethlehem

Odds of Being a Victim of a Violent Crime: 1 in 317
Commute Time: 21.6 minutes
Income: $46,052
Residents Who Attended Some College, No Degree: 19.8%
Restaurants: 1 per 413 inhabitants

With a population of more than 75,000, Bethlehem is the second-largest city in the Lehigh Valley region. Situated between Allentown and Easton, Bethlehem got its start as a small Protestant settlement in the mid-1700s. The steel industry is big business here, as is the gaming industry. The Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem is a major attraction, for both residents and visitors alike. In terms of safety, crime is relatively low and the median income is a healthy $46,000.

Did You Know: IndyCar racing legend Mario Andretti makes his home in nearby Bushkill.

Best of the Rest

9. Wilkes-Barre

Odds of Being a Victim of a Violent Crime: 1 in 242
Commute Time: 18.5 minutes
Income: $30,777
Residents Who Attended Some College, No Degree: 19.6%
Restaurants: 1 per 359 inhabitants

Did You Know: Wilkes-Barre is home to Pocono Downs, a “racino” which features blackjack, slot machines and poker as well as live harness racing.

8. Scranton

Odds of Being a Victim of a Violent Crime: 1 in 302
Commute Time: 18.1 minutes
Income: $37,099
Residents Who Attended Some College, No Degree: 16.4%
Restaurants: 1 per 403 inhabitants

Did You Know: If you’re interested in the region’s mining history, you can take a trip 300 feet underground to tour the Lackawanna Coal Mine.

7. Oil City

Odds of Being a Victim of a Violent Crime: 1 in 405
Commute Time: 21 minutes
Income: $33,356
Residents Who Attended Some College, No Degree: 17.2%
Restaurants: 1 per 305 inhabitants

Did You Know: Oil City got its name after settlers begin drilling oil wells in the surrounding area during the late 1850s.

6. Williamsport

Odds of Being a Victim of a Violent Crime: 1 in 267
Commute Time: 16.8 minutes
Income: $33,147
Residents Who Attended Some College, No Degree: 18.6%
Restaurants: 1 per 393 inhabitants

Did You Know: Williamsport is known as the home of Little League Baseball, which recently celebrated its 75th anniversary.

5. Altoona

Odds of Being a Victim of a Violent Crime: 1 in 285
Commute Time: 16.8 minutes
Income: $35,435
Residents Who Attended Some College, No Degree: 17.7%
Restaurants: 1 per 416 inhabitants

Did You Know: Altoona features a number of attractions that celebrate its railroad heritage, including the Horseshoe Curve National Historic Landmark and the Railroaders Memorial Museum.

4. Meadville

Odds of Being a Victim of a Violent Crime: 1 in 426
Commute Time: 14.4 minutes
Income: $30,305
Residents Who Attended Some College, No Degree: 16.3%
Restaurants: 1 per 241 inhabitants

Did You Know: Crawford County, where Meadville is located, hosts one of the largest agricultural expositions in the state.

2. Greensburg

Odds of Being a Victim of a Violent Crime: 1 in 573
Commute Time: 23.3 minutes
Income: $41,082
Residents Who Attended Some College, No Degree: 17.8%
Restaurants: 1 per 268 inhabitants

Did You Know: James Finley designed the world’s first suspension bridge, which was built in 1801 over nearby Jacob’s Creek.

1. Hermitage

Odds of Being a Victim of a Violent Crime: 1 in 557
Commute Time: 17.9 minutes
Income: $50,351
Residents Who Attended Some College, No Degree: 19.3%
Restaurants: 1 per 312 inhabitants

Did You Know: Hermitage is the home of Philadelphia Candies, one of the oldest and largest chocolate makers in the state.

Pennsylvania is a major tourist destination, thanks to attractions like Hersheypark, Valley Forge, and the Dutch Country, but it’s also an excellent place to raise a family, start a career or enjoy your retirement. Our rankings are meant to serve as a guide to help you find the city that offers the type of lifestyle you’re looking for.

Data Sources

U.S. Census Bureau, Population Estimates
FBI, Uniform Crime Reports
U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey
U.S. Census Bureau, Economic Census

Ben Franklin to Invest $620,000 In Regional Economic Development

EDITOR'S NOTE: The following news release was issued by Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania. The Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern [...]

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