Change in Population by Age and Gender, 2013-17

Change in Population by Age and Gender, 2013-17

What does this measure?

The growth or decline in the number of residents of a geographic area, broken down by gender and age.

Why is this important?

Population measures provide insight on how communities are changing in size and composition. The age distribution of a population affects a community's character and the services that it requires. For example, an area with a large concentration of youth will have different service needs now and in the future than an area with a large elderly population.

How is our county performing?

From 2000 to 2013-17 in Berks County, there was more growth in older age brackets among both men and women. There was a 14% increase in the population of women 40-59 and 24% between 60 and 84. Among men, the greatest increases were in the age brackets of 60-84 (37%) and 85 or older (57%). Both genders had much smaller increases in the age brackets of 20-39 (less than 1% for women, 3% for men).The population 85 and older increased significantly more among men than women (21%), but there were twice as many 85+ plus women as men.

Within the county, the age brackets of 40-59 and 60-84 increased for both genders in all regions, though the female population aged 60-84 in the Central region and Reading City decreased by 4% and 7% respectively. Other trends differed significantly. For example, the female population between 20 and 39 increased 10% in the Central and 11% in the Southern regions of Berks County, but declined by 6% in Northeast, 8% in the Western and16% in the Southeast regions. In the City of Reading, there were large decreases in the 85 or older age bracket for both genders, while the county's overall population of the same cohort increased significantly; the most dramatic rise was the 164% increase of the female population in the Southeast of the same age group.

Pennsylvania and the U.S. were generally similar to Berks County, with some exceptions. For example, the population of women aged 40-59 increased 4% statewide, and 14% at the county level, but for the nation as a whole this group increased 126% in the same time period. Among neighboring counties, Schuylkill was the only county to see a female population decline in most of its age groups, showing increases only in the 40-59 age group (3%) and 85 or older (5%). Counties varied most in the extent of population change among women aged 60-84 ranging from a 5% decline in Schuylkill to a 53% increase in Chester.

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.

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Individuals age into and out of these groups, and this indicator should not be interpreted as a measure of groups moving to or away from the region. 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. Data for this indicator are released annually in December.

Change in Population by Age and Gender, 2013-17
Berks County10%3%
Berks County Regions
Reading city17%11%
Berks County Peers
Chester County15%7%
Lancaster County8%3%
Lebanon County17%10%
Lehigh County16%12%
Montgomery County7%1%
Schuylkill County-6%-9%

Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Notes: 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%.

Population by Age and Gender, 2013-17
Berks County52,44754,668
Berks County Regions
Reading city14,49415,395
Berks County Peers
Chester County66,21368,747
Lancaster County70,05373,349
Lebanon County17,09717,968
Lehigh County44,75247,081
Montgomery County97,416101,125
Schuylkill County15,03416,078

Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Notes: 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%.