Berks County residents rely heavily on personal automobiles to commute, travel and run errands. The vast majority commute to work by driving alone, with an average travel time of 25 minutes. However, about 1 in 10 households lack access to a vehicle. There were 10 alcohol-related crashes per 10,000 residents in 2016, higher than the statewide rate.

Commuting patterns reflect the transportation choices available to workers in a region. This can affect residents’ access to jobs and public services. These patterns also impact environmental and transportation planning in a region. In 2013-17, 83% of Berks County residents drove to work alone, 10% carpooled, 2% used public transit, and 5% biked, walked or used other means of transportation. These commuting patterns have not changed since 2000. Slightly more people used public transportation at the state and national levels.

Travel time to work is another reflection of transportation options, as well as the availability of desirable and affordable housing near employers. In 2013-17, Berks County’s average travel time of 25 minutes was up 3 minutes from 2000. This was still slightly less than the statewide and U.S. average.

Access to a vehicle can have a major impact on a person’s ability to work, conduct daily errands such as grocery shopping and get involved in civic life. In 2013-17, 8% of households in Berks County lacked access to a vehicle, down 3 percentage points since 2000. This was lower than Pennsylvania and similar to the nation.

Alcohol-related crashes are preventable, and they cost millions of dollars in health care, legal services and lost worker productivity. The county’s 2018 alcohol-related crash rate of 8.7 per 10,000 was down 36% from 14 per 10,000 in 2000, but has been flat since 2009. This was higher than the statewide rate of 7.7 crashes per 10,000 residents.

Early Prenatal Care Increasing
Early Prenatal Care by Mother's Race/Ethnicity Increasing
Children Living in Poverty Increasing
Children Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity Maintaining
Single-Parent Families Increasing
Single-Parent Families by Race/Ethnicity Decreasing
Disengaged Youth Maintaining
Live Births to Teen Mothers Decreasing
Change in Population by Age and Gender Maintaining
Change in Total Population by Race/Ethnicity Increasing
Population by Age and Race/Ethnicity Decreasing
Foreign-Born Population Increasing
Language Diversity Increasing
Unemployment Rate Decreasing
Change in Labor Force Increasing
Employment to Population ratio Increasing
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 Increasing
Public Assistance Maintaining
Spending for Local Governments Maintaining
Spending for Counties Maintaining
Spending for School Districts Maintaining
Quality Early Childhood Centers Not Applicable
Prekindergarten Participation Increasing
Students Eligible for Free/Reduced Price Lunch Increasing
English Language Learners Increasing
Students Receiving Special Education Services Increasing
Per Student Spending Maintaining
Historically Underperforming Student Performance on Grade 3 English Decreasing
Historically Underperforming Student Performance on Grade 3 Math Increasing
Historically Underperforming Student Performance on Grade 8 English Increasing
Historically Underperforming Student Performance on Grade 8 Math Decreasing
Student Performance on High School English Decreasing
Student Performance on High School Math Increasing
High School Cohort Graduation Rate Increasing
Education Levels of Adults, by Race/Ethnicity Maintaining
Brain Drain/Gain Increasing
Plans of High School Graduates Increasing
Median Household Income Maintaining
Median Household Income by Household Type Maintaining
Living Wage Maintaining
People Living in Poverty Increasing
Working Poor Maintaining
People Receiving Federal Food Assistance Increasing
People Enrolled in Medicaid Managed Care Increasing
People Without Health Insurance Decreasing
Physically Inactive Adults Not Applicable
Adults Who are Overweight or Obese Not Applicable
Students in 7-12 Overweight or Obese Increasing
Vacant Housing Units Increasing
Homeownership Rates Decreasing
Housing Affordability for Homeowners Maintaining
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 Decreasing
Single-Family Home Sales Increasing
Median Single-Family Home Sale Price Maintaining
Tourism Spending Maintaining
Voter Registration Rate Decreasing
Voter Participation Rate Increasing
Average Charitable Giving Maintaining
Contributions as a Percentage of Income Maintaining
Households With Internet Access Increasing
Dams Not Applicable
Violent Crimes Maintaining
Property Crimes Decreasing
Incarceration Rates Maintaining
Drug Abuse Offenses Increasing
Drug Abuse Arrests Increasing
Protection from Domestic Abuse Maintaining
Means of Transportation to Work Maintaining
Average Travel Time to Work Increasing
Crashes Involving Alcohol Decreasing
Households Without Vehicles Decreasing