Health Status

Health Status

What does this measure?

The share of adults who report their perceived general health as "fair" or "poor" (as opposed to excellent, very good or good.

Why is this important?

Perceived health status is one indicator of the overall health status of the population. A higher share of adults who perceive themselves to be in fair or poor health status can be an indicator of poor overall health in the community.

How is our county performing?

In 2014, 17% of Berks County adults reported that their health was fair or poor. This was the same as the percentage in Pennsylvania and the nation. The rates for the county, state and national levels were relatively flat from 2004 to 2013.

Berks County's percentage of adults with lower perceived health in 2014 was similar to Lancaster (17%), Lebanon (16%) and Schuylkill (17%) counties, larger than Chester (12%), Montgomery (12%), and less than Lehigh (19%). Unlike Berks, the percentages in Lancaster and Lehigh increased by 4 and 6 percentage points respectively between 2004 and 2014.

Notes about the data

Data come from a federal government survey designed to collect scientific data on health risks and behaviors.

Beginning in 2011, the Centers for Disease Control made two changes to the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System on which this indicator is based. The survey now includes cell-phone users, and a new statistical method is used to weight responses. As a result, changes from 2010 and years prior to 2011 and later may be a result of those technical changes rather than true trends.

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

Health Status
United States15%15%15%15%15%15%15%15%15%17%17%17%17%
Berks County14%16%16%14%14%15%14%14%13%13%16%18%17%
Berks County Regions
Reading city
Berks County Peers
Chester County9%8%10%9%8%9%8%9%9%8%10%10%12%
Lancaster County11%12%13%13%13%13%11%10%10%13%17%18%17%
Lebanon County13%15%14%15%14%11%11%13%14%14%14%16%16%
Lehigh County14%14%13%14%14%13%13%14%14%14%18%18%19%
Montgomery County10%10%10%10%10%12%10%11%11%10%12%11%12%
Schuylkill County14%16%16%14%14%15%14%14%13%13%16%18%17%

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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