Demographics
Change in Total Population by Race/Ethnicity, 2014-18


Change in Total Population by Race/Ethnicity, 2014-18

What does this measure?

The growth or decline in the number of residents of a geographic area, broken down by racial and ethnic groups.

Why is this important?

Population measures provide insight on how communities are changing in size and composition. The racial and ethnic makeup of a community can offer insight into its levels of diversity, which also may reflect particular challenges and opportunities.

How is our county performing?

From 2000 to 2014-18, Berks County's Hispanic population more than doubled - a 135% increase. Its Asian American and African American population increased by 62% and 66% respectively. The county's white population increased slightly (4%). Despite these shifts, white people still outnumbered Hispanic people, the next largest subgroup, by a margin of about 4 to 1.

The growth in Berks's Hispanic population outpaced the nation, but was on par with the state. Neighboring counties experienced a similar increase in minority populations over the same period. Berks County's growth in African Americans lagged behind Lancaster (81%), Lehigh (142%) and Lebanon (181%) counties. Despite the large growth of Hispanics in Berks County, this change was matched or beat by all other counties except Lancaster.

Within Berks County, all regions saw increases in Hispanic and African American populations. The Southern region saw a 427% rise in its Hispanic population. The City of Reading had increases among African Americans (17%) and Hispanics (94%), and a minimal decrease in the white population (down by 3%).

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.

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

Rate is percentage change from 2000. 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.

The Census Bureau asks people to identify their race (white, African-American, etc.) separate from their ethnicity (Hispanic or non-Hispanic). So the totals for these categories cannot be added together, as people show up in both a racial and ethnic group. Data for this indicator are released annually in December.

Change in Total Population by Race/Ethnicity, 2014-18
AsianBlack or African AmericanHispanicWhite
Pennsylvania98%17%131%-1%
Berks County62%66%135%4%
Berks County Regions
Central-18%**33%110%-3%
Northeast101%****507%**168%**5%
South137%188%427%10%
Southeast100%****144%****312%**15%
West184%**28%**181%6%
Reading city-54%**17%94%-3%
Berks County Peers
Chester County206%16%136%14%
Lancaster County78%81%109%11%
Lebanon County75%181%192%6%
Lehigh County78%142%169%5%
Montgomery County109%35%166%0%
Schuylkill County33%34%280%-8%

Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Notes: Rate is percentage change from 2000. The Census Bureau asks people to identify their race (white, African-American, etc.) separate from their ethnicity (Hispanic or non-Hispanic). So the totals for these categories cannot be added together, as people show up in both a racial and ethnic group. 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%.




Total Population by Race/Ethnicity, 2014-18
AsianBlack or African AmericanHispanicWhite
Pennsylvania427,8921,423,319905,15610,341,442
Berks County5,86721,73984,748344,336
Berks County Regions
Central1,259**12,58665,50072,220
Northeast555****1,408**2,252**61,466
South2,8445,16011,87696,593
Southeast545****1,396****1,340**52,703
West664**1,189**3,79861,702
Reading city644**10,81058,65247,012
Berks County Peers
Chester County26,77730,70637,858441,326
Lancaster County11,69123,02855,213476,443
Lebanon County1,9373,33517,542120,787
Lehigh County12,16525,29385,446284,590
Montgomery County61,40574,56941,162652,245
Schuylkill County7364,3225,870134,386

Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Notes: The Census Bureau asks people to identify their race (white, African-American, etc.) separate from their ethnicity (Hispanic or non-Hispanic). So the totals for these categories cannot be added together, as people show up in both a racial and ethnic group. 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%.




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