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Lehigh Valley Ranks Highly as a Place to Live, Work, or Retire

By Colin McEvoy on October 25, 2021

The Lehigh Valley and its economic success story continues to attract national and international attention, having recently drawn attention from such outlets as CNN, PBS Newshour, The Wall Street Journal, and multiple stories in The New York Times, among others.

In addition to coverage in news outlets, the Lehigh Valley has ranked among several widely-distributed lists from prestigious organizations highlighting such topics as the best places to live, the most attractive regions for remote work, and the best places to retire.

Below are a few such recent lists that have included the Lehigh Valley:

Best Place to Retire in the United States

To identify the best places to retire, U.S. News analyzed data for the 150 largest metropolitan areas in the U.S. to assess how well they meet Americans’ retirement needs and expectations. The Lehigh Valley ranked #11 on the list.

Top criteria include the happiness of local residents, housing affordability, tax rates and health care quality. U.S. News specifically highlighted the Lehigh Valley’s outdoor recreation amenities, proximity to New York city and Philadelphia, and “commitment to healthy living and celebration of the arts.”

“Much of the charm in Pennsylvania’s third-largest metro area comes from its vast collection of historic homes and buildings, commercial structures and century-old industrial buildings,” according to the list.

Top 100 Best Places to Live

The city of Bethlehem has been ranked #70 on the Top 100 Best Places to Live in America, according to Livability.com, a prestigious website that ranks America’s most livable small and mid-sized cities.

Factors considered include safety, affordability, economic stability, outdoor recreation, accessibility, community engagement. Bethlehem’s reputation as the “Christmas City” was highlighted, as were its top industries and sectors, restaurants and entertainment venues, and high-quality educational institutions like Lehigh University and Northampton Community College.

“We are a city of the arts, culture, colleges and universities, a progressive public school system, two outstanding health networks, a diverse economy and a high quality of life,” said Bethlehem Mayor Bob Donchez. “We are pleased to have been recognized.”

The Hottest Zip Codes of 2021

An August report from Realtor.com identifies 18018 in Bethlehem as the nation’s No. 12 hottest ZIP code in 2021, ranking higher than other sought-after neighborhoods in cities ranging from Charlotte to Denver.

The ZIP code, which includes and surrounds historic Bethlehem, scored well on metrics that aim to quantify fast-selling homes in high demand locations. Market demand was measured by unique viewers per property on Realtor.com, and the pace of the market was measured by the number of days a listing remained active.

“The Lehigh Valley’s housing market is on the national radar because of the region’s strong economy, beautiful neighborhoods and vibrant cultural and recreational opportunities,” said George Lewis, LVEDC Vice President of Marketing, Communications and Research.

Top 25 Best Places for Remote Work

The Lehigh Valley ranked #14 on a list of the best cities and regions for remote work in the United States as compiled by Ownerly, a website that empowers current and prospective homeowners with home valuations and home finance decisions insights.

Ownerly analyzed 304 cities and regions across the nation, considering such factors as rent and housing prices, cost of living, safety data, level of broadband and free Wi-Fi coverage, access to parks and amount of sunshine in an average year.

“Affordable homes, speedy Internet connection, high quality of life with access to green space and more—these hidden gem cities have a lot to offer to remote workers,” the Ownerly list reads.

Lehigh Valley Well Positioned for ‘Unprecedented’ Time in Talent Market

An executive with the consulting firm that is leading a regional talent market study said that nowhere in the United States has more effort been put into integrating workforce[...]

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Lehigh ValleyQuick Facts

By the Numbers
$43.3 Billion

2020 Gross Domestic Product

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City Center Lehigh Valley
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10.6% of Labor Force
Employed in Manufacturing

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Lehigh Valley Health Network
By the Numbers
$3.8 Billion

Exports in 2019

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Air Products
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Lehigh Valley Electricians
By the Numbers
$66,865

Median Household Income

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PPL Electric Utilities
By the Numbers
676,700

Population

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Olympus
By the Numbers
347,612

Labor Force

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26.6% of Labor Force
Employed in "Eds & Meds" sectors

By the Numbers
5,073

Technology Patents

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Mack Trucks
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UGI
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Magestic Realty Co
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NFI
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14% of the total community college degrees awarded in PA

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Wells Fargo
By the Numbers
$7.1 Billion

Manufacturing Contribution to GDP

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BB&T
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69th largest metropolitan area in the U.S. by population

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Key Bank
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10,754 degrees awarded by Lehigh Valley colleges (2017-18 academic year)

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St. Lukes University Health Network
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82,270 employed in "Eds & Meds" sectors

By the Numbers
149,000

Population between ages 18 and 34

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