Children & Youth
Change in Total Population by Race/Ethnicity, 2013-17


Change in Total Population by Race/Ethnicity, 2013-17

What does this measure?

The growth or decline in the number of residents of a geographic area, broken down by racial and ethnic groups.

Why is this important?

Population measures provide insight on how communities are changing in size and composition. The racial and ethnic makeup of a community can offer insight into its levels of diversity, which also may reflect particular challenges and opportunities.

How is our county performing?

From 2000 to 2013-17, Berks County's Hispanic population more than doubled - a 126% increase. Its Asian American and African American population both increased 62%. The county's white population increased slightly (4%). Despite these shifts, white people still outnumbered Hispanic people, the next largest subgroup, by a margin of 4.2 to 1.

The changes in Berks were similar to trends at the state and national levels and in the neighboring counties, though Berks County's growth in African Americans was significantly higher than most other places except Lebanon and Lehigh counties. Despite the large growth of Hispanics in Berks County, this change was the lowest among neighboring counties except Lancaster.

Within Berks County, all regions saw increases in Hispanic and African American populations. The Southern region saw a 343% rise in its Hispanic population and the Northeast region had a 527% rise in its African American population. The City of Reading had increases among African Americans (15%) and Hispanics (89%), and a 67% decrease in the Asian population. Its white population decreased minimally (down by 4%).

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.

Rate is percentage change from 2000. 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.

The Census Bureau asks people to identify their race (white, African-American, etc.) separate from their ethnicity (Hispanic or non-Hispanic). So the totals for these categories cannot be added together, as people show up in both a racial and ethnic group. Data for this indicator are released annually in December.

Change in Total Population by Race/Ethnicity, 2013-17
AsianBlack or African AmericanHispanicWhite
Pennsylvania93%17%123%-1%
Berks County62%62%126%4%
Berks County Regions
Central-31%**32%104%-3%
Northeast34%****527%**219%**5%
South163%**148%343%11%
Southeast89%****162%****314%**12%
West217%****25%**172%5%
Reading city-67%**15%89%-4%
Berks County Peers
Chester County187%14%133%14%
Lancaster County75%80%103%10%
Lebanon County63%155%179%6%
Lehigh County75%138%158%4%
Montgomery County104%34%158%1%
Schuylkill County30%26%258%-7%

Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Notes: Rate is percentage change from 2000. The Census Bureau asks people to identify their race (white, African-American, etc.) separate from their ethnicity (Hispanic or non-Hispanic). So the totals for these categories cannot be added together, as people show up in both a racial and ethnic group. 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%.




Total Population by Race/Ethnicity, 2013-17
AsianBlack or African AmericanHispanicWhite
Pennsylvania417,5251,417,611874,83310,378,174
Berks County5,84821,08981,398344,016
Berks County Regions
Central1,062**12,53263,71672,195
Northeast370****1,454**2,676**61,616
South3,159**4,4429,99697,453
Southeast515****1,494****1,346**51,649
West742****1,167**3,67661,405
Reading city463**10,68457,08846,646
Berks County Peers
Chester County25,10530,20137,264441,502
Lancaster County11,49322,90053,792475,145
Lebanon County1,8053,02116,795120,081
Lehigh County11,97124,87882,105283,607
Montgomery County60,11273,77139,971653,904
Schuylkill County7174,0525,536135,378

Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Notes: The Census Bureau asks people to identify their race (white, African-American, etc.) separate from their ethnicity (Hispanic or non-Hispanic). So the totals for these categories cannot be added together, as people show up in both a racial and ethnic group. 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