Housing
Occupied Housing Units, as Share of Total, 2011-15


Occupied Housing Units, as Share of Total, 2011-15

What does this measure?

The percentage of residential housing units that are unoccupied or vacant.

Why is this important?

A high rate of vacancies can indicate that an area is blighted or in decline, but it can also indicate a high number of vacation or seasonal homes, or an area with a lot of new construction where new owners have not yet moved in.

How is our county performing?

In 2011-15, 7% of residential housing units in Berks County were vacant, or about 11,500 of 165,000 units. This was less than Pennsylvania (11%) and the nation (12%). Berks County's vacancy rate was stable from 2000 to 2011-15, while there were slight increases at the state (2 percentage points) and national (3 percentage points) levels. The Central region of the county had the highest vacancy rate, at 12%, while other regions had 6% or less. In the City of Reading, 14% of housing units were vacant, up 2 percentage points from 2000.

Among neighboring counties, Schuylkill had the highest percentage of vacancies (15%). Others were similar to Berks, including 5% in Chester and Lancaster, 6% in Montgomery and 7% in Lebanon and Lehigh. Schuylkill's vacancy rate was up 4 percentage points from 2000.

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.

Multiyear figures are from the Census Bureau's American Community Survey. The bureau combined five years of responses to the survey to provide estimates for smaller geographic areas and increase the precision of its estimates. The survey provides data on characteristics of the population that used to be collected only during the decennial census.

Occupied Housing Units, as Share of Total, 2011-15
OccupiedVacant
United States88%12%
Pennsylvania89%11%
Berks County93%7%
Berks County Regions
Central88%12%
Northeast94%6%
South95%5%
Southeast97%3%**
West95%5%
Reading city86%14%
Berks County Peers
Chester County95%5%
Lancaster County95%5%
Lebanon County93%7%
Lehigh County93%7%
Montgomery County94%6%
Schuylkill County85%15%

Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Notes: 2009-13 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 Homeowners, 2011-15
OccupiedVacant
United States116,926,30516,425,535
Pennsylvania4,958,859626,752
Berks County153,31211,541
Berks County Regions
Central42,2675,848
Northeast23,4961,440
South43,2392,271
Southeast20,850623**
West23,4561,359
Reading city30,0904,973
Berks County Peers
Chester County186,0578,835
Lancaster County195,33010,257
Lebanon County52,2673,750
Lehigh County133,9609,353
Montgomery County308,62618,520
Schuylkill County58,55410,589

Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Notes: 2009-13 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%.




Occupied Housing Units, as Share of Total, 2000
OccupiedVacant
United States91%9%
Pennsylvania91%9%
Berks County94%6%
Berks County Regions
Central90%10%
Northeast96%4%
South97%3%
Southeast97%3%
West95%5%
Reading city88%12%
Berks County Peers
Chester County96%4%
Lancaster County96%4%
Lebanon County94%6%
Lehigh County95%5%
Montgomery County96%4%
Schuylkill County89%11%

Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Notes: 2009-13 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 Homeowners, 2000
OccupiedVacant
United States105,231,76310,398,033
Pennsylvania4,777,003472,747
Berks County141,5708,652
Berks County Regions
Central41,5424,640
Northeast21,333890
South37,3931,304
Southeast17,915632
West21,6941,137
Reading city30,1084,201
Berks County Peers
Chester County157,9055,868
Lancaster County172,5607,430
Lebanon County46,5512,769
Lehigh County121,9067,004
Montgomery County286,09811,336
Schuylkill County60,5307,276

Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Notes: 2009-13 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