What's it like to live in Allentown, PA?


Profile written by local expert:

Joanna Ireland

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. Architects have modernized and converted many of the closed mills and manufacturing buildings into apartments and lofts.

Several districts constitute Allentown proper – each with its own unique identity and flair. The Seventh Street business district features neighborhood living, as well as local restaurants and retail establishments. The West End Theatre District includes the Civic Theatre of Allentown, several popular restaurants, local retailers and a pedestrian-only ArtsWalk that leads to the Allentown Art Museum and Baum School of Art. Business is booming in the Hamilton Street business district, home of the PPL Center, where the Philadelphia Flyers hockey farm team, the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, plays.

Nestled within the Lehigh Valley, with the Blue Mountain range to the north and South Mountain to the southwest, Allentown offers hikers and skiers access to great trails and snow. Residents can drive to New York City or Philadelphia in roughly two hours. Allentown's convenient location, commitment to healthy living and celebration of the arts make it a great place for active folks to live.

See all the best places to live in Pennsylvania.

Rankings

U.S. News analyzed 150 metro areas in the United States to find the best places to live based on quality of life and the job market in each metro area, as well as the value of living there and people's desire to live there.

Allentown, Pennsylvania is ranked:

#119 in Best Places to Live

#40 in Best Places to Retire

#7 in Best Places to Live in Pennsylvania

#13 in Safest Places to Live

6.2

Overall

Scorecard

Best Places to Live

  • Desirability
    5.5
  • Value
    6.4
  • Job Market
    6.0
  • Quality of Life
    6.6
  • Net Migration
    6.2

Read how we rank places

Allentown, PA Quick Stats

  • 834,615

    Metro Population

  • $47,580

    Average Annual Salary

  • 61.4° / 40.8°

    Avg High/Low Temps

  • 41.3

    Median Age

  • $172,417

    Median Home Price

  • 45.4 inches

    AVG Annual Rainfall

  • 4.4%

    Unemployment Rate

  • $1,031

    Median Monthly Rent

  • 27.9 minutes

    Avg Commute Time

What is there to do in Allentown, PA?

Allentown offers something for everyone to do. The Phillies' AAA baseball team, the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, plays at Coca-Cola Park, and the Flyers' hockey farm team, the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, plays at the PPL Center.

Museum dwellers can visit the Allentown Art Museum, the Mack Trucks Historical Museum and the America On Wheels Museum. Theaters and clubs feature local and national talent. For those who love amusement parks, Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom has been entertaining families since 1884.

What's the cost of living in Allentown, PA?

The average home sale price in Allentown is below that of other major U.S. metro areas, and the many apartment and rental units average less than $1,000 a month. However, Allentown residents earn less than the average national salary.

Looking for financial advice? Find a local financial advisor in Allentown, Pennsylvania.

Value Index

Index Score: 6.4 /10

How we calculate this.


Allentown offers a lower value than similarly sized metro areas when you compare housing costs to median household income.

Housing Costs 2019


Allentown
$172,417

USA
$232,933

Housing Costs Over Time

Data sourced from Zillow median home sale price data series. Additional data provided by the Austin Board of Realtors, Houston Association of Realtors, Intermountain MLS, Omaha Area Board of Realtors, San Antonio Board of Realtors, and the Salt Lake Board of Realtors.

Buying or selling a home? Find top real estate agents in Allentown, PA.

What's the weather like in Allentown, PA?

While the Lehigh Valley "enjoys" its recognition as one of the country's allergy capitals, those susceptible to allergens may have a tough time during pollen season. 

Seasonal Temperature (Avgs)

30.3°F


Winter

49.6°F


Spring

71.4°F


Summer

53.0°F


Fall

Seasonal Rainfall (Avgs)

3.6 in


Winter

4.1 in


Spring

5.0 in


Summer

4.6 in


Fall

Monthly High and Low Temperatures (°F)

Data sourced from the National Climatic Data Center.

What's the best way to get around Allentown, PA?

Allentown residents tend to rely on their cars to get around, and one of Allentown's biggest benefits is that its highway system makes it easy to reach any part of the Lehigh Valley. 

The area is served by the Lehigh and Northampton Transportation Authority (LANTA) bus system, which provides routes through Allentown, Bethlehem, Easton and a number of other Lehigh Valley communities.

The Lehigh Valley International Airport is just outside of Allentown, and the larger Philadelphia International Airport and Newark Liberty International Airport are each less than two hours away. Allentown also has a bus terminal for those wanting to take that mode of transportation to and from other cities. 

Commuting in Allentown, PA

Means of Transportation
Driving
90%
Above national average

Bicycling
0%
Equal to national average

Walking
2%
Equal to national average

Public Transit
2%
Below national average
Average Commute Time

27.9 minutes

1.3 minutes more than national average

Average Commute Times by Zip Code

Data sourced from the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey.

Who lives in Allentown, PA?

Many families call the Allentown area home, as reflected by the number of family-centered activities at places like the Da Vinci Science Center and the America On Wheels museum.

Age Distribution

Marital Status Breakdown


About the same number of single people in Allentown as national average

Data sourced from the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey.