Economy
Public Assistance Per Resident


Public Assistance Per Resident

What does this measure?

Income to individuals from governmental programs (welfare/Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, Medicaid, unemployment and food stamps), expressed on a per capita basis.

Why is this important?

Per capita income from governmental programs is one measure of a region's overall poverty. It takes into account not just the relative frequency of poor individuals, but also the average level of poverty experienced.

How is our county doing?

In 2017, Berks County received $2,840 in public assistance income per resident. This was less than Pennsylvania as a whole, at $3,070, but more than the nation, at $2,630. Berks received more public assistance per resident in 2017 than any neighboring county except Lehigh, which was similar, at $2,850.

Between 2001 and 2017, public assistance per resident in Berks County increased 78% (after inflation), compared to 65% statewide and 55% nationally. The increase in Berks County was less than in neighboring Chester (86%), but more than Lancaster (72%) and Montgomery counties (78%), Lebanon (63%), Lehigh (59%) and Schuylkill (67%) counties.

Notes about the data

Figures are in constant 2017 dollars. This data is from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. Eligibility requirements for many public assistance programs vary from state to state. Families are eligible for temporary assistance benefits for up to 60 months, although most receive assistance for shorter periods.

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

Public Assistance Per Resident
20012002200320042005200620072008200920102011201220132014201520162017
Pennsylvania$1,864$1,942$2,041$2,191$2,354$2,188$2,247$2,247$2,451$2,681$2,692$2,664$2,705$2,804$2,975$3,266$3,069
Berks County$1,599$1,689$1,750$1,925$2,141$2,097$1,965$2,003$2,235$2,460$2,497$2,513$2,553$2,609$2,781$3,036$2,844
Berks County Regions
Central
Northeast
South
Southeast
West
Reading city
Berks County Peers
Chester County$818$852$902$983$1,085$1,031$1,077$1,047$1,202$1,371$1,381$1,352$1,360$1,431$1,508$1,630$1,518
Lancaster County$1,228$1,328$1,386$1,527$1,690$1,573$1,549$1,588$1,769$1,983$1,991$1,975$2,017$2,057$2,144$2,270$2,116
Lebanon County$1,485$1,594$1,593$1,803$1,948$1,751$1,695$1,760$1,934$2,109$2,125$2,100$2,190$2,216$2,354$2,595$2,414
Lehigh County$1,796$1,914$1,966$2,083$2,300$2,111$2,161$2,173$2,304$2,506$2,470$2,457$2,501$2,602$2,770$3,057$2,852
Montgomery County$1,093$1,150$1,230$1,343$1,410$1,285$1,357$1,353$1,534$1,719$1,703$1,699$1,697$1,845$1,973$2,097$1,948
Schuylkill County$1,644$1,746$1,824$2,029$2,122$1,985$2,019$2,051$2,168$2,293$2,374$2,295$2,309$2,517$2,662$2,892$2,746

Source: Bureau of Economic Analysis
Notes: Figures are in constant 2016 dollars.




Public Assistance
20012002200320042005200620072008200920102011201220132014201520162017
Pennsylvania22,922,241,09123,945,091,53325,258,054,69227,191,940,17129,303,021,63927,371,150,93028,236,572,75828,334,824,81831,051,697,44534,057,307,06734,299,211,95734,011,802,32434,571,458,29635,859,638,72438,049,756,37741,762,054,84439,294,728,000
Berks County603,768,899644,076,985675,071,137752,366,579847,776,324842,612,159796,244,554816,610,512916,333,6191,012,374,5121,031,030,9121,039,242,0091,057,112,5531,081,808,8161,154,905,0161,261,985,9811,188,242,000
Berks County Regions
Central
Northeast
South
Southeast
West
Reading city
Berks County Peers
Chester County360,820,515381,366,661410,570,671455,118,677510,541,157494,175,781523,477,592514,334,972596,595,735684,408,368695,081,856684,650,009692,604,444733,678,486776,937,437841,905,450788,337,000
Lancaster County583,886,636637,773,899672,388,139748,070,166836,167,953788,036,483784,719,272812,961,656914,067,9351,030,098,4321,043,043,9601,040,308,5661,069,227,7141,097,874,3151,150,549,0191,224,067,0231,149,046,000
Lebanon County179,631,022194,046,748196,185,256224,777,246245,856,741224,715,219220,668,529231,570,848257,109,956281,770,642285,677,112284,527,059297,287,587302,517,194323,747,201359,500,891337,333,000
Lehigh County565,501,944607,371,662632,107,197679,446,947762,170,078710,828,546736,733,718749,134,573800,204,481876,401,573872,953,200871,924,020889,270,111931,809,284998,696,1771,110,173,2951,045,170,000
Montgomery County830,381,024880,765,620950,270,2921,043,066,7011,099,047,5441,004,213,8411,065,311,2251,067,731,4851,220,682,4501,374,995,9951,370,892,0551,374,224,9651,378,984,0051,505,157,9021,613,362,3681,721,158,9491,608,783,000
Schuylkill County245,187,820259,680,046269,500,115298,494,912311,823,264293,784,102299,666,772304,462,577321,653,946339,981,809350,067,438337,423,544338,298,576365,422,795383,068,192414,519,534391,557,000

Source: Bureau of Economic Analysis
Notes: Figures are in constant 2016 dollars.




INDICATORS TREND | BERKS COUNTY