Information about Allentown, Pennsylvania
Founded as Northampton Town in 1762, this city was renamed Allentown in 1838 in honor of its founder, William Allen. Allentown's population was estimated at 119,104 in 2014, based on figures from the U.S. Census Bureau. The city has a large Hispanic population, with nearly 43 percent of residents identifying as Hispanic or Latino in the 2010 census. Allentown's median income for 2010-2014 was $36,578, which was significantly lower than the statewide median of $53,115.
Music plays an important role in Allentown's cultural scene, with the Allentown Symphony Orchestra, Allentown Band, Marine Band of Allentown and Pioneer Band of Allentown among groups performing at Miller Symphony Hall or the bandshell in West Park. The city also has an art museum and civic theater. Additional options for entertainment include theme park Dorney Park and Wildwater Kingdom, as well as minor league sports teams the Lehigh Valley IronPigs and the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, who play baseball and ice hockey, respectively.
Allentown only has two nonprofit postsecondary schools, but both were highly ranked by U.S. News & World Report in 2016. Muhlenberg College, rated the nation's 72nd best liberal arts college, confers undergraduate certificates and associate's and bachelor's degrees. This private school had more than 2,400 students as of Fall 2014.
Also in Allentown, Cedar Crest College was ranked the 14th best regional college in the North by U.S. News. This private school of nearly 1,600 students, based on Fall 2014 enrollment figures, offers bachelor's and master's degrees, along with undergraduate and graduate certificates.
Those seeking a public college or university have several options within a 15-mile radius of Allentown, including the Lehigh Valley campus of Pennsylvania State University, Lehigh Carbon Community College, Northampton County Area Community College and Lafayette College in Erie.
Economy and Employment
Top employers in Allentown include Lehigh Valley Hospital and Health Network; St. Luke's Hospital and Health Network; electric services company PPL; Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Network and Sacred Heart Healthcare System. Additionally, Air Products, which sells gases and chemicals for industrial uses, is headquartered in Allentown.