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Introducing each section of this report is a half page with a graphic indicating either a “thumbs up” or a “thumbs down” to express public perception of the issue that follows, as evidenced in two polls that were taken in the Fall of 2013. We have used the back of these pages to provide additional information or highlight an aspect of the topic of that section. These are some of the positive comments from our two polls: “The country and farm land offers beautiful scenery and opportunities like farmers markets and road side stands as well as country living.” “Berks County is family friendly.” “It’s close to everything—cities, beaches and the mountains.” “In Berks County you have the ability to raise a family in a County that has an affordable cost of living, strong sense of community, and richness of diversity.” “There’s a great work ethic in the county.” “Housing is reasonable. There are lots of recreational opportunities and plenty of cultural opportunities.” “Good schools and colleges.” “There is a lot of history here. Lots of tradition and a proud heritage.” “There is a good critical mass of interesting and accomplished people, as well as some high quality organizations. You really have the opportunity to contribute and make a difference.”

Berks Vital Signs