Age of Housing Stock

Age of Housing Stock

What does this measure?

The age of all housing units in the community, broken down by decade.

Why is this important?

This can indicate the condition and quality of housing in a community, as well as the level and cost of repairs and maintenance needed to keep a home in a good state.

How is our county performing?

In 2012-16, 28% of the housing stock in Berks County was built before 1940, similar to Pennsylvania, but more than the U.S., at 13%. The age of other homes was distributed fairly evenly among the decades ranging from the 1950 to 2010. Nationally, a higher percentage of homes were built since 1970 - 60% compared to 46% in Berks.

Within Berks County, 45% of homes in the Central region were built before 1940, compared to roughly a fifth to a quarter of homes in most other regions (only 17% in the South region). In the City of Reading, a little more than half of homes predated 1940.

Compared to Berks, all surrounding counties had a smaller percentage of homes built before 1940 except Schuylkill, at 48%. Other percentages ranged from 14% in Chester to 24% in Lebanon and Lehigh.

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.

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

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 three 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.

Age of Housing Stock
1940s1950s1960s1970s1980s1990s2000s2010 and AfterBefore 1940
United States5%11%11%16%14%14%15%2%13%
Berks County6%11%9%12%10%12%10%1%28%
Berks County Regions
Reading city10%11%7%10%4%3%*2%*0%***54%
Berks County Peers
Chester County3%9%10%14%16%16%16%2%14%
Lancaster County4%10%9%13%15%14%12%3%22%
Lebanon County7%11%9%13%10%11%13%2%24%
Lehigh County6%13%11%14%10%10%11%2%24%
Montgomery County7%17%12%13%11%12%9%1%18%
Schuylkill County8%8%6%11%6%7%6%1%*48%

Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Notes: 2007-11 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%.

Number of Housing Units, by Age
1940s1950s1960s1970s1980s1990s2000s2010 and AfterBefore 1940
United States6,954,60414,255,44714,563,78320,901,76518,355,67618,762,07319,705,3473,098,05317,458,151
Berks County10,14017,70014,79520,02017,23519,86517,1821,92445,992
Berks County Regions
Reading city3,3833,8522,2203,2841,1931,056*545*57***18,336
Berks County Peers
Chester County6,08617,76419,71527,22131,34430,82430,7144,31027,742
Lancaster County8,71919,72017,84926,17729,98728,99224,3965,28345,185
Lebanon County3,8296,2825,0397,5055,6566,2887,1841,05413,339
Lehigh County8,39919,10215,33519,63714,31313,96116,1762,62233,993
Montgomery County21,44355,17539,73541,95637,36637,85530,7154,42259,118
Schuylkill County5,3875,5894,0137,5064,0514,8774,076613*32,842

Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Notes: 2007-11 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%.

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
Vacant 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