Financial Self-Sufficiency
Median Household Income by Household Type, 2011-15



What does this measure?

Median household income, in 2015 dollars, broken down by type of household. Half of incomes are below the median and half are above.

Why is this important?

Median household income is a gauge of the overall economic health of the region and the financial resources of residents. Incomes for particular household types also may indicate needs for social supports.

How is our county performing?

In 2011-15, median incomes in Berks County were lowest for households headed by single women with children, at $21,900. Incomes for households headed by single men with children were nearly twice as high, at $42,100. Married couple households had a median income of $75,100 without children and $87,100 with children. All groups experienced declines in income since 2000 (after inflation). Berks was generally similar to Pennsylvania and the U.S., except that at the state level, both types of married households experienced increases in income since 2000.

Within the county, incomes for most household types were lowest in the Central region, except single men with children, which was lowest in the Northeast, at $12,600. Incomes for all household types were highest in the South region, where the median for married couples with children was $103,100. From 2000 to 2011-15, incomes increased for only one group in one region- married couples with children in the Southeast, at $100,400. Incomes were flat for married couple households in the Northeast, couples with children in the West and couples without children in the South. Incomes for all other groups declined, including a decrease of 49% for single women with children in the West.

In the City of Reading, incomes for all groups were lower than Berks County as a whole. Married couples with children had a lower median income ($34,800) than married couples without children ($48,700). All types of households had double-digit percentage decreases in income since 2000.

All household types in Chester and Montgomery counties had higher median incomes than the same groups in Berks. Compared to Berks County, surrounding counties had higher median incomes in households headed by single women with children.

Notes about the data

For additional detail as to how the Berks County regions are defined and which boroughs and townships are included in each, see the About Us page.

Figures are in constant 2015 dollars. The multiyear figures are from the Census Bureau's American Community Survey. The bureau combined 5 years of responses to the survey to provide estimates for smaller geographic areas and increase the precision of its estimates. However, because the information came from a survey, the samples responding to the survey were not always large enough to produce reliable results, especially in small geographic areas. CGR has noted on data tables the estimates with relatively large margins of error. Estimates with 3 asterisks have the largest margins, plus or minus 50% or more of the estimate. Two asterisks mean plus or minus 35%-50%, and one asterisk means plus or minus 20%-35%. For all estimates, the confidence level is 90%, meaning there is 90% probability the true value (if the whole population were surveyed) would be within the margin of error (or confidence interval). The survey provides data on characteristics of the population that used to be collected only during the decennial census. Data for this indicator are released annually in December.

There may be additional research available on this topic. Click on Reports and Resources to learn more.

Median Household Income by Household Type, 2011-15
Married w/ childrenMarried w/o childrenSingle female w/ childrenSingle male w/ children
United States$85,393$76,158$24,433$38,140
Pennsylvania$91,266$75,036$24,454$40,195
Berks County$87,067$75,104$21,917$42,086
Berks County Regions
Central$47,221$55,266$16,579$32,406
Northeast$93,478$81,052$29,040$12,595
South$103,077$84,096$37,488$58,414
Southeast$100,361$80,220$33,287$28,569
West$87,703$74,238$20,595$24,166
Reading city$34,836$48,735$14,316****$25,643
Berks County Peers
Chester County$130,746$107,415$39,231$58,281
Lancaster County$81,898$73,710$27,894$40,841
Lebanon County$78,801$71,343$26,424**$40,179
Lehigh County$91,098$78,047$24,283$37,440
Montgomery County$123,765$103,873$40,849$55,129
Schuylkill County$77,627$63,857$22,979$40,653

Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Notes: Figures are in constant 2015 dollars. Multiyear results are from rolling American Community Survey. * Margin of error between 20% & 35% of estimate; ** margin of error between 35% & 50%; *** margin of error greater than 50%.




Median Household Income by Household Type, 2000
Married w/ childrenMarried w/o childrenSingle female w/ childrenSingle male w/ children
United States$84,593$79,163$28,857$42,548
Pennsylvania$85,598$73,952$27,863$42,104
Berks County$89,106$79,081$29,444$44,845
Berks County Regions
Central$65,299$62,453$26,454$37,719
Northeast$93,832$80,922$40,001$48,896
South$109,737$85,172$40,478$59,949
Southeast$93,323$84,135$39,934$56,973
West$88,187$81,909$40,320$55,702
Reading city$58,177$58,440$21,774$32,270
Berks County Peers
Chester County$126,036$112,149$44,057$55,632
Lancaster County$83,983$79,327$30,411$45,348
Lebanon County$79,217$72,669$27,513$36,989
Lehigh County$91,446$79,357$29,239$43,643
Montgomery County$118,985$104,854$46,177$57,496
Schuylkill County$72,206$58,523$24,929$40,111

Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Notes: Figures are in constant 2015 dollars. Multiyear results are from rolling American Community Survey. * Margin of error between 20% & 35% of estimate; ** margin of error between 35% & 50%; *** margin of error greater than 50%.




INDICATORS TREND | BERKS COUNTY
Early Prenatal Care Increasing
Early Prenatal Care by Mother's Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Children Living in Poverty Increasing
Children Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Single-Parent Families Increasing
Single-Parent Families, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Disengaged Youth Maintaining
Live Births to Teen Mothers Decreasing
Change in Population by Age and Gender Not Applicable
Change in Total Population by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Population by Age and Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Foreign-Born Population Increasing
Language Diversity Increasing
Unemployment Rate Increasing
Change in Labor Force Increasing
Employment to Population Ratio Decreasing
Change in Jobs by Sector Not Applicable
Sector Share of Total Jobs Not Applicable
Average Salary by Sector Not Applicable
Change in Average Salary by Sector Not Applicable
People Entering/Leaving Region for Work Not Applicable
Public Assistance Increasing
Local Government Spending Increasing
County Government Spending Decreasing
School District Spending Increasing
Quality Early Childhood Centers Increasing
Prekindergarten Participation Increasing
Students Eligible for Free/Reduced Price Lunch Increasing
English Language Learners Increasing
Students Receiving Special Education Services Increasing
Per Student Spending Increasing
Student Performance on Grade 3 English Not Applicable
Student Performance on Grade 3 Math Not Applicable
Student Performance on Grade 8 English Not Applicable
Student Performance on Grade 8 Math Not Applicable
Student Performance on High School Reading Increasing
Student Performance on High School Math Increasing
High School Cohort Graduation Rate Increasing
Plans of High School Graduates Not Applicable
Education Levels of Adults by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Brain Drain/Gain Increasing
Median Household Income Decreasing
Median Household Income by Household Type Not Applicable
Living Wage by Household Type Not Applicable
People Living in Poverty Increasing
Working Poor Maintaining
People Receiving Federal Food Assistance Increasing
Health Status Decreasing
Managed Medicaid Enrollment Increasing
People Without Health Insurance Decreasing
Physically Inactive Adults Maintaining
Adults Who Are Overweight or Obese Not Applicable
Children Who Are Overweight or Obese Not Applicable
Youth Who Are Overweight or Obese Not Applicable
Occupied Housing Units Not Applicable
Homeownership Rates Decreasing
Housing Affordability for Homeowners Decreasing
Housing Affordability for Homeowners by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Housing Affordability for Renters Increasing
Housing Affordability for Renters by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Age of Housing Stock Not Applicable
Single-Family Home Sales Maintaining
Median Single-Family Home Sale Price Increasing
Tourism Spending Decreasing
Voter Registration Rate Increasing
Voter Participation Rate Increasing
Average Charitable Giving Increasing
Charitable Contributions as a Percentage of Income Increasing
Households With Internet Access Increasing
Dams Not Applicable
Violent Crimes Decreasing
Property Crimes Decreasing
Incarceration Rates Decreasing
Drug Abuse Offenses Increasing
Drug Abuse Arrests Increasing
Protection from Domestic Abuse Maintaining
Means of Transportation to Work Not Applicable
Average Travel Time to Work Increasing
Households Without Vehicles Decreasing
Crashes Involving Alcohol Decreasing