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 2012-16, 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 2012-16, 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 2012-16, 9% of households in Berks County lacked access to a vehicle, down 2 percentage points since 2000. This was slightly 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 2016 alcohol-related crash rate of 9.5 per 10,000 was down 30% from 14 per 10,000 in 2000, but has been flat since 2009. This was higher than the statewide rate of 8 crashes per 10,000 residents.

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