Wilkes-Barre, PA
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Living in Wilkes-Barre


Wilkes-Barre is a medium-sized city located in the state of Pennsylvania. With a population of 40,780 people and 25 constituent neighborhoods, Wilkes-Barre is the 16th largest community in Pennsylvania. Wilkes-Barre has a large stock of pre-World War II architecture, making it one of the older and more historic cities in the country.

Unlike some cities, Wilkes-Barre isn’t mainly white- or blue-collar. Instead, the most prevalent occupations for people in Wilkes-Barre are a mix of both white- and blue-collar jobs. Overall, Wilkes-Barre is a city of sales and office workers, service providers, and professionals. There are especially a lot of people living in Wilkes-Barre who work in office and administrative support (17.07%), sales jobs (10.84%), and food service (8.00%).

In addition, Wilkes-Barre is a college town. There are a lot of students in Wilkes-Barre attending college, and as a result Wilkes-Barre provides a number of services, amenities and opportunities geared to the needs and activities of students.

In terms of college education, the citizens of Wilkes-Barre rank slightly lower than the national average. 15.29% of adults 25 and older in Wilkes-Barre have a bachelor's degree or advanced degree, while 21.84% of adults have a 4-year degree or higher in the average American community.

The per capita income in Wilkes-Barre in 2010 was $17,329, which is low income relative to Pennsylvania and the nation. This equates to an annual income of $69,316 for a family of four.

Wilkes-Barre is a very ethnically-diverse city. The people who call Wilkes-Barre home describe themselves as belonging to a variety of racial and ethnic groups. The greatest number of Wilkes-Barre residents report their race to be White, followed by Black or African-American. Wilkes-Barre also has a sizeable Hispanic population (people of Hispanic origin can be of any race). People of Hispanic or Latino origin account for 13.34% of the city’s residents. Important ancestries of people in Wilkes-Barre include German, Polish, Italian, and Welsh.

The most common language spoken in Wilkes-Barre is English. Other important languages spoken here include Spanish and Chinese.