Demographics
Change in Total Population by Race/Ethnicity, 2015-19


Change in Total Population by Race/Ethnicity, 2015-19

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 2015-19, Berks County's Hispanic population more than doubled - a 142% increase. Its Asian American and African American population increased by 55% and 65% respectively. The county's white population increased slightly (5%). Despite these shifts, white people still outnumbered Hispanic people, the next largest subgroup, by a margin of about 4 to 1.

The growth in Berks's Hispanic population outpaced the nation, but was similar to the state. Neighboring counties experienced a similar increase in minority populations over the same period. Berks County's growth in African Americans lagged behind Lancaster (74%), Lebanon (123%) and Lehigh (143%) counties. Despite the large growth of Hispanics in Berks County, this change was matched or beat by all other counties except Lancaster.

Within Berks County, all regions saw increases in Hispanic and African American populations. The Southern region saw a 479% rise in its Hispanic population. The City of Reading had increases among African Americans (13%) and Hispanics (95%), and a minimal decrease in the white population (down by 1%).

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, 2015-19
AsianBlack or African AmericanHispanicWhite
United States75%19%66%11%
Pennsylvania98%17%137%-2%
Berks County55%65%142%5%
Berks County Regions
Central-9%**31%111%-2%
Northeast108%****278%**253%**5%
South91%226%479%8%
Southeast178%****78%****461%**16%
West129%**72%**150%6%
Reading city-39%**13%95%-1%
Berks County Peers
Chester County236%13%139%14%
Lancaster County74%74%112%11%
Lebanon County86%123%207%6%
Lehigh County87%143%180%7%
Montgomery County107%35%177%0%
Schuylkill County12%44%276%-8%

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, 2015-19
AsianBlack or African AmericanHispanicWhite
United States17,924,20941,234,64258,479,370235,377,662
Pennsylvania436,3241,430,664935,21610,300,602
Berks County5,85022,69787,914344,474
Berks County Regions
Central1,364**13,41966,28872,623
Northeast596****1,259**2,489**61,339
South2,6325,39913,10695,482
Southeast529****1,184****2,161**53,372
West729**1,436**3,88561,979
Reading city795**11,26759,08547,605
Berks County Peers
Chester County28,44830,43838,522440,431
Lancaster County11,86322,58056,715478,516
Lebanon County1,9893,44918,328121,005
Lehigh County12,22026,93289,367289,545
Montgomery County62,63675,69042,350651,356
Schuylkill County7034,5386,284133,647

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
Adults Who are Overweight or Obese Not Applicable
Students in K-6 Overweight or Obese Not Applicable
Students in 7-12 Overweight or Obese Not Applicable
Physically Inactive Adults Not Applicable
Students Eligible for Free/Reduced Price Lunch Increasing
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 Decreasing
Live Births to Teen Mothers Decreasing
Population by Age Not Applicable
Children with Elevated Blood Lead Levels Maintaining
Change in Population by Age and Gender Not Applicable
Change in Total Population by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Households by type Not Applicable
Foreign-Born Population Increasing
Seniors Living Alone Maintaining
Language Diversity Increasing
Unemployment Rate Increasing
Change in Labor Force Decreasing
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 County/Region for Work Not Applicable
Public Assistance Maintaining
Spending for Local Governments Maintaining
Spending for Counties Maintaining
Spending for School Districts Maintaining
Prekindergarten Participation Increasing
English Language Learners Increasing
Students Receiving Special Education Services Increasing
Per Student Spending Maintaining
High School Cohort Graduation Rate Increasing
Education Levels of Adults Not Applicable
Education Levels of Adults, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Brain Drain/Gain Maintaining
Plans of High School Graduates Not Applicable
Enrollment in Local Colleges Decreasing
Median Household Income Maintaining
Median Household Income by Household Type Not Applicable
Living Wage Not Applicable
People Living in Poverty Increasing
Working Poor Maintaining
People Receiving Federal Food Assistance Increasing
People Receiving Supplemental Security Income Increasing
Health Status Not Applicable
People Enrolled in Medicaid Managed Care Increasing
People Without Health Insurance Decreasing
Cancer Incidence Decreasing
Prevalence of Mental Illness Maintaining
Vacant Housing Units Increasing
Homeownership Rates Decreasing
Cost of Homeownership Maintaining
Cost of Homeownership, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Cost of Rent Increasing
Cost of Rent, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Single-Family Home Sales Increasing
Median Single-Family Home Sale Price Maintaining
Tourism Spending Maintaining
Voter Registration Rate Decreasing
Voter Participation Rate Decreasing
Average Charitable Giving Maintaining
Contributions as a Percentage of Income Maintaining
Households With Internet Access Not Applicable
Arts, Entertainment and Recreation Establishments Maintaining
Toxic Chemical Releases Decreasing
Violent Crimes Maintaining
Property Crimes Decreasing
Incarceration Rates Maintaining
Drug Abuse Offenses Increasing
Drug Abuse Arrests Increasing
Protection from Domestic Abuse Maintaining
Average Travel Time to Work Increasing
Crashes Involving Alcohol Decreasing
Households Without Vehicles Decreasing