Education
Education Levels of Adults, by Race/Ethnicity, 2014-18





Education Levels of Adults, by Race/Ethnicity, 2014-18

What does this measure?

The number of residents with a particular level of education in a region, expressed as a percentage of all residents 25 and older, broken down by race and ethnicity.

Why is this important?

An educated population makes a more attractive workforce. Well-educated workers likely have access to more economic opportunities than workers with less education. High educational attainment represents a region's investment in human capital and preparation for long-term growth. Large disparities between education levels by race can signal disparities in access to opportunities by race.

How is our county performing?

In 2014-18, the share of Berks County residents who held a bachelor's degree or higher was highest among Asians, at 43%, followed by whites, 26%, African Americans, 14%, and Hispanics, 10%. At the state level, a higher share of Asians (55%), whites (32%) , African American (18%) and Hispanic residents (16%) had college degrees than in Berks. The share of people with a Bachelor's degree in the United States was also higher than Berks County. In the City of Reading, a smaller share of residents of all races had college degrees than in the county as a whole (11% of whites and 7% of Hispanics).

Since 2000, the share of residents without a high school degree declined among all racial and ethnic groups in Berks County, ranging from a 9 percentage-point drop among whites to about 18 points among Hispanics. All groups had increases in their share of residents who had attended some college or earned an associate's degree.

Among neighboring counties in 2014-18, while racial and ethnic disparities persisted, Chester, Lehigh and Montgomery counties had larger shares of all groups with at least a bachelor's degree. Chester had higher percentages of Asians (82%) and whites (52%) with college degrees. Montgomery had higher percentages of African Americans (32%) and Hispanics (30%) with college degrees. Lancaster had similar education levels to Berks. Reading had a smaller share of residents with college degrees than Berks for all racial groups.

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.

Adults are people 25 and older. The multi-year figures are from the Census Bureau's American Community Survey. The bureau combined five 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.

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


Education Levels of Adults, by Race/Ethnicity, 2014-18
AsianBlack or African AmericanHispanicWhite
Pennsylvania13%30%23%24%
Berks County16%**36%22%24%
Berks County Regions
Central24%****34%20%23%
Northeast8%******44%******35%****25%
South16%****37%**33%25%
Southeast3%******44%******31%******25%
West20%******39%****23%**24%
Reading city26%******33%19%20%
Berks County Peers
Chester County7%27%16%20%
Lancaster County14%28%26%22%
Lebanon County20%****33%**22%22%
Lehigh County16%32%27%26%
Montgomery County13%29%21%22%
Schuylkill County20%******23%26%26%

Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Notes: Adults are people 25 and older. 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%. 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.




Number of Adults, by Education Level and Race/Ethnicity, 2014-18
AsianBlack or African AmericanHispanicWhite
Pennsylvania36,198265,898109,2431,795,171
Berks County635**4,4569,41359,755
Berks County Regions
Central193****2,4916,43511,176
Northeast18******246******364****10,619
South316****1,168**1,91117,695
Southeast11******268******226******9,576
West97******283****477**10,716
Reading city116******2,1045,6255,864
Berks County Peers
Chester County1,2015,0893,11662,373
Lancaster County1,0833,5987,61171,918
Lebanon County244****598**1,92019,255
Lehigh County1,3154,75712,03153,312
Montgomery County5,34614,2264,716101,616
Schuylkill County120******77578425,586

Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Notes: Adults are people 25 and older. 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%. 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.




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