Homes for Rent in Bethlehem, PA: What You Need to Know
Bethlehem is a city in Lehigh Valley in eastern Pennsylvania. Once a major center of steel production, it’s home to the National Museum of Industrial History.
Cost of Living in Bethlehem, PA
Bethlehem (population: 75,815) is about 50 miles north of Philadelphia and about 80 miles west of New York City. Bethlehem’s cost of living rate is 6.7% higher than the national average, but other living expenses are very reasonable. Food and housing costs are 27.1% and 9.5% lower than the national average, respectively. The median gross rent is $1,038. Pennsylvania levies 3.07% in income tax and 6% in statewide sales tax.
Bethlehem, PA Schools and Education
There are four institutions of higher education in Bethlehem. Lehigh University (6,849 students), a distinguished private university, is the biggest. The industrial pioneer Asa Packer founded the university in 1865. There are 89 other colleges and universities within 50 miles of the city. The Bethlehem Area School District has 22 public schools serving 13,616 students. Top-ranked schools include Asa Packer Elementary School and Hanover Elementary School.
What are the Best Things to Do in Bethlehem, PA?
The National Museum of Industrial History, a Smithsonian affiliate, is a popular attraction. It features an extensive collection of rare artifacts that includes the 1876 Smithsonian Industrial collection. The museum is located in a 100-year-old facility owned by Bethlehem Steel. The Kemerer Museum of Decorative Arts is one of only 15 museums in America that focuses on decorative arts. Displays are spread across three interconnected homes built in the mid-1800s. You’ll get to see different period rooms, rotating exhibits, and galleries highlighting furniture, flatware and chinaware, artwork, and clothing representing three centuries. Be sure to visit the garden, which showcases sustainable plants and stainless-steel sculptures.
What’s Bethlehem, PA Known for?
The city is known for producing iron and steel since before the Civil War. For a long time, it was synonymous with Bethlehem Steel Corp., one of the country’s largest steel producers. A group of city investors founded the Saucona Iron Co. in 1857. The company was later renamed Bethlehem Iron Co. In 1899, the company formed Bethlehem Steel to switch from iron to steel production. During the company’s heyday in the 1960s, it employed 31,000 people. Foreign competition and rising labor costs eventually took their toll. The company was dissolved in 2003.
How Did Bethlehem, PA Get its Name?
Members of the Moravian Church founded Bethlehem in 1741. On Christmas Eve that year, they were singing a hymn with the line “not Jerusalem, lowly Bethlehem.” Hence, they christened their settlement Bethlehem. And for that, it’s also known as Christmas City. Bethlehem was incorporated in 1845.