Economy
Spending of Local Governments


Spending of Local Governments

What does this measure?

The annual per capita spending by local governments, adjusted for inflation.

Why is this important?

Government provides critical services to communities, but the cost to taxpayers can be burdensome and can hinder efforts to attract and retain business.

How is our region doing?

Local governments in Berks County spent $1,132 per resident in 2018, up 14% from 2000, but down from $1,597 in 2008.

Local government spending across Pennsylvania was higher than Berks, at $1,652 per resident in 2018, an increase of 17% from 2000. Among neighboring counties, Lehigh ($1,300), Montgomery ($1,426) and Lancaster ($1,307) counties had more spending per capita than Berks in 2018. Chester, Lancaster, Lebanon, and Schuylkill counties all had lower spending per resident than Berks. The City of Reading, at $1,898 per resident, had significantly higher local government spending than the county-wide figure in Berks County.

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.

Figures are in constant 2019 dollars.

Spending of Local Governments
2000200120022003200420052006200720082009201020112012201320142015201620172018
Pennsylvania$1,408$1,387$1,502$1,500$1,504$1,524$2,148$1,547$2,651$1,660$1,882$1,736$1,726$1,694$1,682$1,616$1,620$1,612$1,652
Berks County$989$983$1,087$1,119$1,126$1,193$1,421$1,321$1,597$1,376$1,213$1,198$1,262$1,150$1,235$1,320$1,159$1,159$1,132
Berks County Regions
Central$1,272$1,342$1,439$1,503$1,502$1,679$2,180$1,582$2,343$1,962$1,757$1,906$1,926$1,746$2,136$2,316$1,689$1,700$1,625
Northeast$726$748$804$936$757$836$967$928$980$891$713$749$706$756$726$729$754$733$731
South$1,109$1,010$1,368$1,296$1,191$1,355$1,331$1,956$1,575$1,585$1,445$1,155$1,437$1,187$1,101$1,232$1,320$1,202$1,230
Southeast$897$968$784$891$1,365$930$969$877$1,124$1,089$823$894$715$844$830$810$800$932$806
West$596$518$546$524$539$643$770$670$757$723$607$584$745$660$645$627$608$696$727
Reading city$1,455$1,553$1,680$1,680$1,703$1,968$2,628$1,842$2,750$2,239$2,043$2,279$2,177$2,047$2,548$2,767$1,983$1,879$1,898
Berks County Peers
Chester County$914$855$1,037$993$1,140$1,154$1,109$1,230$1,285$1,168$928$883$1,055$960$989$1,014$1,071$1,056$1,035
Lancaster County$807$666$856$877$787$834$1,630$989$472$1,214$1,812$1,279$1,684$735$1,797$957$1,234$990$1,307
Lebanon County$626$451$468$549$539$567$885$645$721$743$498$606$945$988$590$690$698$643$698
Lehigh County$1,292$1,225$1,140$1,172$1,194$1,137$1,346$1,278$1,641$1,358$414$1,075$1,530$838$1,437$1,290$1,208$1,293$1,300
Montgomery County$1,237$1,114$1,173$1,144$1,215$1,251$1,246$1,321$1,436$1,354$1,244$1,285$1,242$1,224$1,256$1,378$1,354$1,328$1,426
Schuylkill County$697$683$638$661$673$685$803$742$713$748$902$773$713$753$706$836$770$740$706

Source: Pennsylvania Department of Community & Economic Development
Notes: Figures are in constant 2019 dollars.




Total Spending of Local Governments
2000200120022003200420052006200720082009201020112012201320142015201620172018
Pennsylvania$16,300,523,901$16,544,466,629$17,962,208,915$18,327,255,127$18,221,387,549$18,405,277,550$13,485,789,434$18,918,335,432$15,014,189,219$20,834,629,314$16,101,103,323$15,939,642,210$17,004,727,772$17,642,357,423$18,259,917,740$20,274,771,455$20,318,038,364$20,178,987,429$20,470,831,743
Berks County$332,395,554$359,909,695$403,428,826$415,154,839$417,925,469$442,751,973$474,866,101$479,987,007$463,728,925$500,084,795$490,241,919$480,099,979$519,088,491$469,421,551$508,289,190$540,912,197$476,770,787$476,646,671$465,764,793
Berks County Regions
Central$131,911,180$145,948,069$156,533,915$163,464,843$163,354,632$182,593,927$237,157,909$172,118,932$246,020,518$213,423,802$209,380,077$227,145,951$229,642,617$202,658,495$254,605,782$276,058,018$201,275,243$202,682,609$193,668,373
Northeast$37,406,576$44,508,824$47,875,173$55,711,554$45,041,371$49,768,963$45,013,007$55,207,348$46,008,739$53,001,775$46,126,195$48,452,545$45,675,936$48,925,238$46,956,912$47,132,825$48,786,455$47,394,195$47,292,182
South$90,056,550$94,132,174$127,512,761$120,751,909$110,936,859$126,281,269$110,488,535$170,441,968$107,318,673$138,168,979$153,975,625$126,619,874$157,531,287$130,047,385$120,651,572$134,975,739$144,615,619$131,744,802$134,787,227
Southeast$38,106,917$42,659,789$37,280,096$42,336,025$64,877,239$44,197,227$41,160,710$41,693,273$34,321,943$51,783,966$44,433,425$43,776,452$38,625,675$45,604,144$44,821,088$43,777,268$43,219,445$50,325,885$43,528,937
West$31,634,314$29,196,595$33,015,859$31,719,989$32,585,359$38,910,671$41,045,941$40,525,486$30,059,052$43,706,273$36,326,599$34,105,158$47,612,977$42,186,289$41,253,835$38,968,348$38,874,026$44,499,180$46,488,073
Reading city$114,011,663$126,103,807$136,421,808$136,449,103$138,332,401$159,794,583$213,434,529$149,568,965$223,359,607$181,853,494$179,945,244$200,758,781$191,764,330$180,292,136$224,394,310$243,709,066$174,710,204$165,539,087$167,170,983
Berks County Peers
Chester County$343,149,154$341,412,111$449,646,621$430,531,821$485,715,863$500,397,430$274,831,753$533,177,872$110,044,742$500,411,176$437,303,630$241,358,087$511,674,182$478,110,328$493,419,086$504,642,785$533,085,917$526,892,332$497,475,038
Lancaster County$341,404,512$271,894,554$393,849,742$412,615,113$370,424,531$392,325,247$199,939,333$465,320,889$13,245,951$571,150,849$60,070,458$62,532,492$160,587,996$62,558,908$276,741,894$497,230,445$639,475,847$513,020,697$677,223,332
Lebanon County$71,202,115$43,205,186$44,856,273$66,081,175$64,836,854$68,225,071$2,804,939$77,617,576$3,257,176$89,353,960$6,686,600$7,069,715$39,348,156$35,449,487$34,318,398$92,189,697$93,182,170$85,829,001$93,190,071
Lehigh County$329,969,512$358,999,331$334,027,025$343,530,696$349,790,311$333,150,742$45,565,700$374,474,484$194,600,566$405,191,707$900,372$24,686,719$227,499,007$73,428,507$248,346,285$401,276,927$375,574,999$402,088,384$404,152,895
Montgomery County$786,304,249$838,003,365$861,380,064$842,091,624$892,818,082$927,063,070$237,269,030$994,172,865$499,367,335$1,018,607,526$823,678,196$1,025,627,472$994,848,247$959,720,411$1,007,617,393$1,105,250,211$1,085,662,909$1,065,085,816$1,144,128,279
Schuylkill County$97,222,184$98,316,055$93,722,806$98,776,622$100,506,155$101,249,905$51,851,337$111,481,590$59,398,017$112,268,000$111,866,130$107,698,577$103,690,272$110,964,350$103,269,475$113,885,123$102,728,910$100,495,620$87,768,577

Source: Pennsylvania Department of Community & Economic Development
Notes: Figures are in constant 2019 dollars.




INDICATORS TREND | BERKS COUNTY
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 Decreasing
Live Births to Teen Mothers Decreasing
Population by Age Not Applicable
Children with Elevated Blood Lead Levels Maintaining
Change in Population by Age and Gender Not Applicable
Change in Total Population by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Households by type Not Applicable
Foreign-Born Population Increasing
Seniors Living Alone Decreasing
Language Diversity Increasing
Unemployment Rate Decreasing
Change in Labor Force Decreasing
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 County/Region for Work Not Applicable
Public Assistance Maintaining
Spending for Local Governments Maintaining
Spending for Counties Maintaining
Spending for School Districts Maintaining
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
High School Cohort Graduation Rate Increasing
Education Levels of Adults Not Applicable
Education Levels of Adults, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Brain Drain/Gain Maintaining
Plans of High School Graduates Not Applicable
Enrollment in Local Colleges Decreasing
Median Household Income Maintaining
Median Household Income by Household Type Not Applicable
Living Wage Not Applicable
People Living in Poverty Increasing
Working Poor Maintaining
People Receiving Federal Food Assistance Increasing
People Receiving Supplemental Security Income Increasing
Health Status Not Applicable
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 Not Applicable
Cancer Incidence Decreasing
Students in K-6 Overweight or Obese Not Applicable
Prevalence of Mental Illness Maintaining
Vacant Housing Units Increasing
Homeownership Rates Decreasing
Cost of Homeownership Maintaining
Cost of Homeownership, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Cost of Rent Increasing
Cost of Rent, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Single-Family Home Sales Increasing
Median Single-Family Home Sale Price Maintaining
Tourism Spending Maintaining
Voter Registration Rate Decreasing
Voter Participation Rate Decreasing
Average Charitable Giving Maintaining
Contributions as a Percentage of Income Maintaining
Households With Internet Access Not Applicable
Arts, Entertainment and Recreation Establishments Maintaining
Toxic Chemical Releases Decreasing
Violent Crimes Maintaining
Property Crimes Decreasing
Incarceration Rates Maintaining
Drug Abuse Offenses Increasing
Drug Abuse Arrests Increasing
Protection from Domestic Abuse Maintaining
Average Travel Time to Work Increasing
Crashes Involving Alcohol Decreasing
Households Without Vehicles Decreasing