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Bethlehem is a city in Lehigh County and Northampton County in the Lehigh Valley region of eastern Pennsylvania, in the United States. As of the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 74,982, making it the seventh largest city in Pennsylvania, after Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Allentown, Erie, Reading, and Scranton.
Bethlehem lies in the center of the Lehigh Valley, a region of 731 square miles that is home to more than 800,000 people. The Valley embraces a trio of cities (Bethlehem, Allentown and Easton) within two counties (Lehigh and Northampton), making it Pennsylvania's third-largest metropolitan area. Smaller than Allentown but larger than Easton, Bethlehem is the Lehigh Valley's second most populous city.
The religious group, the Moravians, christened their settlement as Bethlehem on Christmas Eve 1741. After that, these settlers built homes of hewn white oak logs on 500 acres surrounding the Monocacy Creek. They located their trades along the creek and the Lehigh River, and their institutions along the limestone bluff on what is Church Street. This history has endured and woven the intricate architectural and cultural essence of the city, even to this day. Bethlehem is a blend of dignified colonial landmarks and urban growth.
Bethlehem became a center of heavy industry and trade during the industrial revolution. The Bethlehem Steel Corporation (1857–2003), founded and based in Bethlehem, was once the second-largest steel producer in the United States, after Pittsburgh-based U.S. Steel. Bethlehem Steel was also one of the largest shipbuilding companies in the world and one of the most powerful symbols of American industrial manufacturing leadership.
The company became a major supplier of armor plate and ordnance products during World War I and World War II, including the manufacture of 1,100 warships. After roughly 140 years of metal production at its Bethlehem plant, Bethlehem Steel ceased operations there in 1995. Overseas competition and declining demand had ended the business.
As of the census of 2010, there were 74,982 people residing in the city. The racial makeup of the city was 76.4% White, 6.9% African American, 0.3% Native American, 2.9% Asian, 0.0% Pacific Islander, 10.0% from other races, and 3.4% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 24.4% of the population. There are 38,950 Females (51.9%) and 36,032 Males (42.7%) with most of the population of 14,947 (19.9%) under 18 and 60,035 (80%) 18 and over. Ages 50-64 is the highest group 13,130 (17.5%) followed by 35-49 with 12,800 (17%), then 65 & over with 12,148 (16.2%), then 25-34 with 10,252 (13.6%) and finally 20-24 2ith 7,974 (10.6).
Bethlehem is home to the Bethlehem Area School District (BASD), and operates two high schools for grades 9–12: Liberty High School near center city and Freedom High School in neighboring Bethlehem Township along with middle and elementary schools. Lehigh Valley Charter High School for the Performing Arts(LVPA) is also operated by the district, though it accepts students in grades 9–12 from throughout Northampton and surrounding counties.
Bethlehem has two private high schools: Bethlehem Catholic High School, which serves grades 9–12, and Moravian Academy, which serves all primary and secondary school grades. Notre Dame High School, located just north of the city, also serves grades 9-12.
Who's from Bethlehem?
*Michael Andretti, professional racing team owner, former professional race car driver; *Chuck Bednarik, former professional football player, Philadelphia Eagles; *Jonathan Frakes, director and actor, :Star Trek: The Next Generation."; *Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Professional wrestler and actor; *Stephen Vincent Benet, American writer; *Jimmy DeGrasso, drummer, Alice Cooper band, former drummer, Megadeth; *Mel Harris, actress, ABC's 1980s sitcom "thirtysomething."; *John Spagnola, former professional football player, Green Bay Packers, Philadelphia Eagles, and Seattle Seahawks.
More information available at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bethlehem,_Pennsylvania
and the city’s official website at www.bethlehem-pa.gov
City Office: 10 East Church St, Bethlehem, 610-865-7000