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 2018, Berks County received $3,185 in public assistance income per resident. This was less than Pennsylvania as a whole, at $3,471, but more than the nation, at $2,659. Berks received more public assistance per resident in 2018 than any neighboring county except Lehigh, which was similar, at $3,217.

Between 2001 and 2018, public assistance per resident in Berks County increased 94% (after inflation), compared to 82% statewide and 53% nationally. The increase in Berks County was less than in neighboring Chester (106%) and Montgomery counties (99%), but more than Lancaster (90%) Lebanon (78%), Lehigh (75%) and Schuylkill (84%) counties.

Notes about the data

Figures are in constant 2018 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
200120022003200420052006200720082009201020112012201320142015201620172018
Pennsylvania$1,909$1,989$2,091$2,245$2,411$2,241$2,302$2,301$2,511$2,747$2,757$2,729$2,772$2,875$3,058$3,368$3,176$3,471
Berks County$1,639$1,730$1,792$1,972$2,194$2,148$2,013$2,052$2,290$2,520$2,558$2,575$2,616$2,675$2,856$3,124$2,938$3,185
Berks County Regions
Central
Northeast
South
Southeast
West
Reading city
Berks County Peers
Chester County$838$872$924$1,007$1,112$1,057$1,103$1,072$1,231$1,405$1,414$1,386$1,394$1,466$1,548$1,675$1,565$1,725
Lancaster County$1,258$1,361$1,420$1,564$1,731$1,612$1,587$1,627$1,813$2,032$2,040$2,023$2,067$2,110$2,205$2,341$2,192$2,386
Lebanon County$1,521$1,633$1,632$1,847$1,996$1,794$1,736$1,803$1,981$2,161$2,176$2,151$2,243$2,271$2,417$2,670$2,493$2,705
Lehigh County$1,840$1,961$2,014$2,134$2,357$2,162$2,214$2,226$2,361$2,568$2,530$2,518$2,563$2,670$2,848$3,150$2,948$3,217
Montgomery County$1,120$1,178$1,260$1,376$1,445$1,316$1,390$1,386$1,572$1,761$1,744$1,741$1,738$1,891$2,025$2,157$2,009$2,225
Schuylkill County$1,684$1,789$1,868$2,079$2,173$2,033$2,069$2,101$2,221$2,349$2,431$2,350$2,363$2,577$2,728$2,971$2,829$3,101

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




Public Assistance
200120022003200420052006200720082009201020112012201320142015201620172018
Pennsylvania23,482,111,59324,529,944,92325,874,976,90827,856,097,09730,018,741,24828,039,685,03828,926,244,59729,026,896,44131,810,128,06134,889,149,01135,136,962,37334,842,532,82535,415,858,26736,763,814,53939,104,885,25943,053,606,98940,626,355,87344,455,183,000
Berks County618,515,816659,808,418691,559,596770,742,961868,483,067863,192,768815,692,645836,556,037938,714,8581,037,101,5281,056,213,6071,064,625,2581,082,932,2851,109,086,6771,185,913,4261,298,944,9031,226,868,5221,338,254,000
Berks County Regions
Central
Northeast
South
Southeast
West
Reading city
Berks County Peers
Chester County369,633,474390,681,455420,598,766466,234,847523,011,008506,245,912536,263,413526,897,486611,167,450701,124,886712,059,072701,372,429709,521,149751,919,809797,334,675865,695,429812,215,180900,697,000
Lancaster County598,147,933653,351,381688,811,066766,341,609856,591,165807,284,094803,885,861832,818,059936,393,8361,055,258,3511,068,520,0701,065,717,8651,095,343,3571,125,393,9521,181,221,1351,259,631,0631,186,066,7071,296,727,000
Lebanon County184,018,469198,786,295200,977,036230,267,379251,861,735230,203,837226,058,307237,226,913263,389,808288,652,826292,654,710291,476,567304,548,768310,114,005332,306,213369,732,765347,988,899382,221,000
Lehigh County579,314,200622,206,576647,546,270696,042,284780,785,908728,190,371754,728,271767,432,014819,749,293897,807,481894,274,882893,220,565910,990,330955,137,0501,024,578,6861,140,694,5631,077,072,0091,184,221,000
Montgomery County850,662,891902,278,119973,480,4271,068,543,3671,125,891,5291,028,741,5351,091,331,2081,093,810,5831,250,497,3401,408,579,9581,404,375,7801,407,790,0961,412,665,3751,542,571,2521,655,348,1301,769,114,3991,656,918,9671,843,491,000
Schuylkill County251,176,476266,022,672276,082,594305,785,582319,439,476300,959,711306,986,064311,899,006329,510,270348,285,787358,617,756345,665,037346,561,442374,610,158393,224,427426,417,470403,670,484440,588,000

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




INDICATORS TREND | BERKS COUNTY