The Lehigh Valley ranks No. 9 on U.S. News & World Report’s list of best places to retire –

A relatively new Downtown Allentown landmark, the PPL Center opened with a concert by The Eagles in 2014.Matt Smith | file photo
When it comes to affordable housing, quality of life and desirability, you won’t find many better places to retire than the Lehigh Valley, according to U.S News & World Report.
A news release Tuesday ranks the region No. 9 in its 2022-23 list of best places to retire.
“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,” U.S. News said on its website.
The Lehigh Valley is only a tenth of a point from tying for first place. Each of the top six metro areas garnered an overall score of 7.2 on a scale of 1 to 10. Each metro area ranked seven through 20 (which includes the Lehigh Valley) earned an overall score of 7.1.
The scores took into consideration the strength of the area’s job market, the value of homes and its quality of life (crime rate, education system, quality and access to health care, average commute and air quality). It considered the area’s “desirability” among the retirees and prospective retirees surveyed. It also factored in whether more residents are moving into or leaving the area.
Data sources include the U.S. Census Bureau, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Bureau of Labor Statistics and Sharecare, as well as U.S. News Best Hospitals rankings. Housing affordability was ranked most important of all the categories.
When U.S. News crunched the numbers, its computers spit out an overwhelming majority of Pennsylvania and Florida cities. Eight of the top 20 metro areas were in Florida. Eight were in Pennsylvania:
1. Lancaster
2. Harrisburg
5. York
9. Allentown (including Bethlehem and Easton)
10. Reading
17. Scranton
19. Philadelphia
20. Pittsburgh
Mayors of the cities in the Lehigh Valley metro area acknowledged the strengths that pulled their area into the top of the rankings.
“The Lehigh Valley is a special place, whether or not you’re in the cities or outside the cities,” said Bethlehem Mayor J. William Reynolds. “We’ve known for a long time it’s a great place to raise a family, come to work, but also to retire.”
“We’re so thrilled with this recognition,” said Allentown Mayor Matt Tuerk. “Allentown is the urban center of the Lehigh Valley, and part of what makes the Lehigh Valley such a special place.”
“We all know how special the Lehigh Valley is, but our golden citizens are now finding out it’s a great place to retire because of our culture, our history, and all the wonderful things that are happening in the Lehigh Valley as a whole,” said Easton Mayor Sal Panto Jr.
Although U.S. News & World Report identifies the region as “Allentown” in its listing, the ranking is for the Lehigh Valle region, according to the news release. Allentown is listed because the region’s metropolitan statistical area is known as Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton.
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