Issuu on Google+

Community Indicators Report


ro ns aa r i .co m

2

B E R K S V I TA L S I G N S


Dear Reader, Berks County Community Foundation is dedicated to making our county a better place by investing in programs and projects that improve the quality of life. In order to do this, we have to understand, really understand, Berks County and the people who call it home. This Community Indicators Report offers a broad picture of the county in certain key areas: education, health care, safety and transportation for example. In each area we selected indicators that offer a portrait of our community. This report builds on a 2009 study that we sponsored by providing updated information. But it also goes beyond that earlier report in several important ways. We are using maps, charts and graphs that offer a much richer and more detailed analysis of these indicators. We’ve expanded the number of focus areas to give more information. The analysis presented here provides an opportunity to begin conversations about where our community is and where we want it to go. In some cases, we are already doing well. In some other cases, it is apparent that we have work to do. The data that we used comes from a number of reliable public sources. In some instances we sacrificed the most up-to-date data in order to make sure that what we use is accurate. Because the report will be periodically updated, we want to use data that will be available for future versions of the report, allowing us to make comparisons over time. We trust that this report will prove valuable not just to the Community Foundation as it pursues its strategic planning, but for other nonprofit organizations, schools and local governments, businesses and community leaders as well. There are many very good things in Berks County—things we can be proud of.

Kevin Murphy, President Berks County Community Foundation

B E R K S V I TA L S I G N S

3


Table of Contents

Who We Are

Who We Are������������������������������������������������������������������������������ 4 Quality of Life��������������������������������������������������������������������������� 5 Population and Diversity ������������������������������������������������������������� 6 Employment and Economy ��������������������������������������������������������� 12 Availability of Jobs Education��������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 20 Quality of Schools Health������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 24 Access to Health Care Housing����������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 30 Affordable Housing Living and Spending������������������������������������������������������������������ 36 Safety�������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 40 Crime Transportation�������������������������������������������������������������������������� 46 Quality of Roads Environment����������������������������������������������������������������������������� 50 Quality of Environment Entertainment and Recreation������������������������������������������������������ 56 4

B E R K S V I TA L S I G N S

Berks County is a mix of urban, rural and suburban communities in Southeastern Pennsylvania. While considered part of Pennsylvania Dutch Country, Berks County is located in close proximity to Philadelphia (approximately 65 miles) and within 125 miles of New York City. The county is bordered by Schuylkill, Lebanon, Lancaster, Lehigh, Chester and Montgomery counties. Established in 1752, Berks County covers 866 square miles, most of which is in the Delaware River Basin. The county is comprised of 73 municipalities and includes 18 school districts. Situated between the Blue and the South Mountains, Berks County is part of the Great Valley, which was the passageway for early pioneers to migrate west and south from Pennsylvania into Virginia, North Carolina and Kentucky. The county’s iron furnaces, canals and railroads fueled the Industrial Revolution, while farming in the county served as the breadbasket for America throughout much of the early years of the nation.


Quality of Life


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.”


Quality of Life

 rime (in an open ended question, 17% of the n C community identified crime as an issue, but it wasn’t identified as a problem by the community leaders). n The vitality of the City of Reading. n Poor transportation networks and the relative isolation of the county. n High poverty and lack of sufficient social services.

On the whole, residents feel that Berks County is a good place to live. Community leaders are a little more positive about the quality of life, but overall both leaders and the broader community are very positive regarding Berks County’s lifestyle. Quality of Life

Community Leaders

Community Members

Excellent

28%

19%

Good

63%

52%

What are the strengths of Berks County? n People, particularly the sense of close-knit communities, willingness to engage in the community and a strong work ethic;

quality of life in the county is pretty much the same today as it was five years ago. But, significantly, the number of people who feel that things are worse today than they were in the past outnumbers those who feel things are getting better. Twenty-eight percent of the community leaders said that things were worse; and even more of their neighbors, 39%, feel that things are worse. Put the other way, only one in five community leaders believes that things are improving; while one in eight members of the community feels that way. Clearly this is a challenge to the quality of life in Berks County. 5 Year Change

Community Leaders

Community Members

 he environment, particularly the diversity of n T the landscape and variety of communities;

Better

23%

12%

The Same

49%

44%

 he relatively low cost of living and affordable n T housing;

Worse

28%

39%

 ecreational, cultural n R opportunities; and

and

entertainment

 roximity to major urban centers. n P Forty-four percent of the general population and half of the community leaders believe that the

The most commonly identified issues facing the county, based on public opinion, are:  he bad economy and the lack of jobs at all n T levels. Some identified the lack of professional opportunities for young, college-educated residents; others suggested the lack of entrylevel jobs that may not require extra training.

n The lack of shopping options and other amenities. Some regional attributes were cited as both positive and negative indicators. While some spoke of a welcoming population, others suggested that the region was close-minded, resistant to change and not tolerant of others from a different background. A number of the community leaders spoke of the leadership capacity within the community and of the ability to contribute and make a difference, while others talked about the lack of governmental leadership and a community vision. Interestingly, none of the comments offered by community members spoke to the leadership in the community, including political leadership. While the community leaders reflect many of the attitudes of the community, it is clear that they are more positive and perhaps more hopeful about the future of Berks County. How does that translate into community action? It is important to remember that opinions are based on perception as much as they are on fact. One of the objectives of this report is to offer some perspective on the issues facing Berks County. B E R K S V I TA L S I G N S

5


Population and Diversity

How does Berks County compare? KEY INDICATORS Population Berks County, which has a population of 413,824 people, is expected to grow by .27% annually over the next five years to 419,504 people in the year 2017 (Esri). Diversity and Race n The

Diversity Index indicates how likely it is that two people in the identified area will belong to different race or ethnic groups, ranging from 0 (no diversity) to 100 (complete diversity). The index for the county, currently at 51.5, is expected to increase. The score for the United States is 61. Reading is the most diverse community in the county, with an index over 60 (Esri).

n Ethnic

and racial minority populations grew between 2000 and 2010 and are expected to increase. Over the last decade, the percentage of white residents declined from 84.8% to 76.9%, while Latino residents increased from 9.7% to 16.4%. The populations of black, Asian, and “other� races/ethnicities have also increased (Esri).

6

B E R K S V I TA L S I G N S

n One

in six residents of Berks County (16.4%) is Latino. Over the next five years that population will grow to 20.3% of the county. Latino residents come from diverse backgrounds: Puerto Rican (7.8%), other Latino origin (3.9%), Mexican American (2.4%), and Cuban American (0.3%). While Latinos are the majority population in the City of Reading, currently, 29.1 percent of the Hispanic population lives outside of the City

n 56%

of the African Americans living in Berks County reside outside of the City of Reading.

Gender and Age n Gender:

Women comprise 50.9% of population.

the

n Age: The average age for a person living in Berks

County is 39.4 years. Both life expectancy and the median age in the county are expected to increase over the next five years (Esri).


Population and Diversity


Tolerance: How would you rate Berks County in terms of diversity, tolerance for ethnic groups and cultural diversity? n Forty-eight percent of county respondents rated the county

“good” or “excellent” while 46% gave “fair” or “poor” rankings. The greater Reading region was also equally split. n However, a sizable majority (65%) from the city core felt that

the region was fair or poor. n Community leaders were twice as likely to say that tolerance

levels were fair or poor than to rate tolerance as excellent or good. Immigrants: How would you grade Berks County in terms of integrating recent immigrants from other places into the community? n Nearly two-thirds of community leaders gave the county

a fair or poor rating on integrating recent immigrants. The broader community, by a narrower margin of 6%, also felt that the region warranted a fair or poor rating. Residents of the city core, however, gave the region a more positive rating by a 7% margin.


2012 Population Density 2012 Population Density (Pop per Square Mile) (Esri) by ZIP Codes

2012 | POPULATION DENSITY

2012 Population Density by ZIP Codes 2,136.4 - 16,648.1 1,072.3 - 2,136.3 477.7 - 1,072.2 246.2 - 477.6 0.0 - 246.1

Map 1. Source: Thematic map created using Esri 2012 Business Analyst Online Research Market. Population per square mile Š2013 Esri

Made with Esri Business Analyst www.esri.com/ba 800-447-9778 Try it Now!

November 14, 2013 Page 1 of 1

B E R K S V I TA L S I G N S

7


2012 | POPULATION BY RACE

       

Figure 1. Esri. 2012 Population estimate from US Census Current Population Survey

8

B E R K S V I TA L S I G N S

White Alone (340,264) Hispanic Origin (Any Race) (71,542) Some Other Race Alone (34,073) Black Alone (21,242) Two or More Races (10,935) Asian Alone (5,853) American Indian Alone (1,292) Pacific Islander Alone (166)


2012 | Diversity Index by ZIP Codes

Map 2. Source: Thematic map created using Esri 2012 Business Analyst Online Research Market.

B E R K S V I TA L S I G N S

9


2012 | DISTRIBUTION OF MINORITY POPULATION IN BERKS COUNTY Percent in Percent in Percent in Berks County Percent of Group Reading Berks County Excluding Reading Outside of Reading African American 13.2% 6.4% 4.6% 56.1% Hispanic 58.2% 17.5% 6.5% 29.1%

Group

Table 1. Source: U.S. Census 2012 estimate based on Current Population Survey

2012 | POPULATION BY AGE

     

Figure 2. Source: Esri Demographic and Info Profile.

10

B E R K S V I TA L S I G N S

0-9 (13%) 10-19 (14%) 20-34 (18%) 35-54 (27%) 55-74 (20%) 75+ (7%)


2012 | COUNTIES BY MEDIAN AGE Counties

2012 Median Age

Lehigh County, PA

39.7

Berks County, PA

39.4

Lancaster County, PA

38.5

Pennsylvania

40.5

Table 2. Source: Esri Thematic Mapping

B E R K S V I TA L S I G N S

11


Employment and the Economy

How does Berks County compare? Our poll results show that Berks County residents are concerned about job opportunities for themselves and their children. Only 23% of county residents said that the prospects of finding a good job in the county were excellent or good, compared to 73% who said that they were fair or poor. Residents were a little more positive about the county’s business climate; 39% said it was excellent or good, while 51% said it was fair or poor. The unemployment rate in the county, while better than both the state and national averages, has gone up since the 2007–08 recession and has remained high. Manufacturing employment has continued its steady decline in the county, as it has done both in Pennsylvania and across the nation. But manufacturing remains a significant component of the county’s economy. Berks County has 301 types of industries employing 223,209 people. A diverse economic base, measured at 0.73 using the Shannon-Weaver Diversity Index, is a relative strength of the county’s economy. The index ranges from 0 (perfect inequality or no diversity) to 1 (perfect equality or diversity). 12

B E R K S V I TA L S I G N S

Over the past year, while several employment sectors have declined, including manufacturing, financial services and information, other sectors have increased employment significantly, including construction, leisure and hospitality. There is a strong core of anchor institutions in the health care and education sectors, utilities and locally owned businesses. Gross Regional Product, a measure of all of the economic activity in Berks County, is valued at $16.5 billion. Total Personal Income from all sources amounts to over $15.5 billion. While per capita income in the county is lower than the state and national averages, Berks County’s median household income is above both the state and U.S. medians. (See chart on p. 37.) Manufacturing has long been an important element of the Berks County economy. While manufacturing employment has declined in the county as it has across the state, in 2001 Berks accounted for 4.7% of the manufacturing jobs in Pennsylvania; in 2012 it accounted for 5.2% of those jobs.


Employment and the Economy


Over the past decade, the number of Berks County residents in the workforce has increased by over 7%; but the number of jobs within the county has increased by only 1%. Consequently, the percentage of residents working outside of the county has increased by 5.2%. 2000

2010

Employed Berks Residents

177,831

191,426

Workers Employed in Berks County

165,595 167,427

Residents Working Outside of the County (PCT)

37,012 (20.8%)

49,762 (26.0%)

Non-County Residents Working in Berks County (PCT)

24,776 (15.0%)

25,763 (15.4%)

Table 2.5. Source: U. S. Census Current Population Survey

Unlike Lehigh and Lancaster counties, Berks is a net “exporter� of workers. In Lancaster County, 12% of the residents left the county to work while 15% of the workers came from outside of the county. In Lehigh County, 29% of the residents left the county while 35% of the workers came from outside its borders.


The Top Ten Industries Based on the Employment in Berks County Industry Description

Employment

Employment and payroll only (state & local govt, non-education)

12,831

Food services and drinking places

11,580

Employment and payroll only (state & local govt, education)

8,781

Wholesale trade businesses

7,985

Private hospitals

7,115

Offices of physicians, dentists and other health practitioners

6,199

Primary battery manufacturing

5,559

Nursing and residential care facilities

5,521

Retail Nonstores—direct and electronic sales

5,483

Employment services

5,395

Table 3. Source: IMPLAN, 2011

B E R K S V I TA L S I G N S

13


Average Hourly Wages for Selected Occupations Occupation Total, all occupations Accountants and auditors Registered nurses Electricians Carpenters Construction laborers Customer service representatives Packers and packagers, hand Retail salespersons Tellers

Berks County $20.34 $31.57 $29.54 $25.59 $19.75 $16.73 $16.00 $13.65 $13.64 $12.72

United States $22.01 $34.15 $32.66 $25.50 $21.41 $16.58 $15.92 $10.80 $12.17 $12.40

Table 4. Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Reading Area Economic Summary (2013) Data: U.S. BLS, Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2012

14

B E R K S V I TA L S I G N S


Reading Area Employment Reading Area Employment (numbers in thousands) Total nonfarm Mining, logging and construction Manufacturing Trade, transportation and utilities Information Financial activities Professional and business services Education and health services Leisure and hospitality Other services Government

July 2013 171.3 7.8 29.9 33.3 1.3 5.9 21.6 29.2 15.7 7.4 19.2

Change from July 2012 to July 2013 Number Percent 2.4 1.4% 0.5 6.8% -0.1 -0.3% 1.4 4.4% -0.1 -7.1% -0.2 -3.3% 0.3 1.4% 0.4 1.4% 1 6.8% -0.1 -1.3% -0.7 -3.5%

Table 5. Source: U.S. BLS, Reading Area Economic Summary (2013) Data: U.S. BLS, Current Employment Statistics

B E R K S V I TA L S I G N S

15


Average Weekly Wages for Berks County

Figure 3. Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Reading Area Economic Summary (2013) Data: U.S. BLS, Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages

16

B E R K S V I TA L S I G N S


The top ten foreign exports in berks county Total

$3,045,136,061.80

Nonferrous metals (except copper and aluminum)

$416,368,591.31

Iron and steel and ferroalloy products

$312,646,728.52

Primary batteries

$310,160,278.32

Wholesale trade distribution services

$172,036,697.39

Rolled, drawn, extruded and alloyed nonferrous metals (except copper and aluminum)

$142,072,357.18

Management of companies and enterprises

$135,096,755.98

Surgical and medical instrument, laboratory and medical instruments

$118,910,392.76

Refined petroleum products

$92,790,481.57

Chocolate cacao products and chocolate confectioneries

$72,891,777.04

Light trucks and utility vehicles

$68,876,724.24

Table 6. Source: IMPLAN, 2011 Note: Foreign export data come from the U.S. Deparment of Commerce's Foreign Trade Statistics. 

B E R K S V I TA L S I G N S

17


The Top Ten Domestic Exports in berks county Total Primary battery manufacturing

$2,471,685,343.09

Iron and steel mills and ferroalloy manufacturing

$2,023,162,561.79

Petroleum refineries

$764,681,585.29

Light truck and utility vehicle manufacturing

$401,584,256.03

Wholesale trade businesses

$374,209,030.15

Surgical, laboratory and medical instrument manufacturing

$361,283,235.50

Copper rolling, drawing, extruding and alloying

$337,364,316.67

Retail nonstores—Direct and electronic sales

$325,329,585.68

Natural gas distribution

$322,235,923.36

Management of companies and enterprises

$316,716,720.58

Table 7. Source: IMPLAN, 2011, U.S. Department of Commerce's Foreign Trade Statistics series.

18

$15,553,712,919.46

B E R K S V I TA L S I G N S


Percentage Change from Prior Year

change in manufacturing employment in berks county 6 4 2 0 -2 -4 -6 -8

-10 2002

2003

2004

2005

Figure 4. Source: U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

2006

2007

2008

2009

ď Ž Berks County

2010

2011

2012

ď Ž Pennsylvania

B E R K S V I TA L S I G N S

19


Education

How does Berks County compare? Overview There are clear linkages between educational attainment, employment and earnings. Adults with low levels of educational attainment are more likely to be unemployed and lifetime earnings are significantly higher as education levels increase. Healthy communities offer strong educational institutions at both the basic and higher education levels. KEY INDICATORS n Educational Attainment—Three out of five residents (60.5%) are high school graduates, and one in five (22.4%) has at least a college degree. Seventeen percent of residents have less than a high school degree. While the percentage of high school graduates remained the same in 2000 and 2010, the percentage of those who have a college degree or more increased to 22.4%. Over the same period, the percentage of those who have less than a high school degree decreased to 17.1%. One-third of adult residents of the City of Reading (32.9%) have less than a high school degree; however, even that is an improvement over the 2000 level.

20

B E R K S V I TA L S I G N S

n Dropouts

and College Attendance—Dropout rates in the county are slightly above the state average. Within the county, a Reading School District student is six times more likely to dropout of school than students in the other 17 school districts.

n College

attendance varies across the county as well. Over 85% of the 2012 graduates of Antietam High School enrolled in college, while only 60.3% of Tulpehocken planned to enroll. The county average of 72.4% is slightly higher than the state average of 69.5%.

n About

24,500 students attend the nine postsecondary institutions in Berks County; 5% are graduate students and approximately a quarter are part-time students. About 14% of the postsecondary students in Berks County come from outside of the state, attending just four of the nine institutions (Albright, Alvernia, Kutztown and Penn State Berks).

n Support for Education—Per pupil spending varies

greatly in the county. The Kutztown School District spends 50% more on instruction than the Muhlenberg School District. School funding

in Pennsylvania is a shared partnership between the local district, the state and to a limited extent, the federal government. Historically the state role was to make up for local disparities in the ability to raise revenues to support schools, but since 1991, the state funding formula has been put on hold. Economic and demographic forces have affected the ability of school districts to generate local revenues, at the same time that the level of state support has declined. Twelve of the county’s 18 districts have seen a decline in their ability to generate local revenues to support student education. n Special

Challenges—Based on their location and demographic factors, school districts can confront special challenges, ranging from high percentages of special needs students to the inability to attract and retain qualified, specialized faculty to high turnover of student population during the academic year the special education population in Berks County, has increased by nearly 70% from the 2000–01 school year to the 2011–12 school year. But the changes within this population have been even more dramatic: preschool specialneeds population has doubled over that period; the number of students diagnosed with autism has increased seven-fold; while the number of students diagnosed with mental retardation has dropped over 20 percent.

n Another

significant challenge in Berks County is the high percentage of English Language Learners in the Reading School District, which has the highest concentration of these students in the Commonwealth.


Education


Concentrations of English Language Learners (ELL) in Public Schools School District

ELL Concentration

Reading SD

18.47%

Lancaster SD

17.46%

York City SD

14.04%

Kennett Consolidated SD

12.23%

Lebanon SD

11.72%

Hazleton Area SD

11.00%

Allentown City SD

10.92%

Harrisburg City SD

10.74%

Norristown Area SD

10.03%

Table 7.5. Source: Pennsylvania Department of Education

n Over the past two decades, Berks County school districts

have had to confront declining state funding as a percentage of their budgets at the same time that the majority of districts have had to deal with the erosion of their ability to generate revenues locally. Still, by and large, the districts have performed well and there is broad satisfaction with the quality of education available in the county. n However, the quality of education in the City of Reading is a

concern for the broader community. The city does face some unique challenges. n Large urban school districts across the Commonwealth

have had to deal with more transient student populations and the influx of students whose native language is not English. Reading, with 18.5% of its students, has the highest percentage of English Language Learners in the state.


Change in the Relative Wealth of Berks County School Districts between 1991 and 2013 1.0 0.8 0.6 0.4 0.2 0.0 -0.2 Wyomissing Area SD

Wilson SD

Twin Valley SD

Tulpehocken Area SD

Schuylkill Valley SD

Reading SD

Oley Valley SD

Muhlenberg SD

Kutztown Area SD

Hamburg Area SD

Governor Mifflin SD

Fleetwood Area SD

Exeter Township SD

Daniel Boone Area SD

Conrad Weiser Area SD

Brandywine Heights Area SD

Boyertown Area SD

Antietam SD

-0.4

Figure 5. Source: Pennsylvania Department of Education

This chart shows the current Aid Ratio () and the change in Aid Ratio () since 1991. The Aid Ratio is an index that shows the relative wealth available within a school district to support basic education: the higher the Aid Ratio, the poorer the school district. A negative change in Aid Ratio indicates that the district has less financial capacity to support its schools than it did in 1991. B E R K S V I TA L S I G N S

21


College Attendance Rates for Berks County School District Graduates in 2013 School District (SD)

Total College-Bound %

Antietam SD

76

85.5%

Wyomissing Area SD

165

82.4%

Boyertown Area SD

538

80.3%

Twin Valley SD

208

79.3%

Muhlenberg SD

295

76.6%

Fleetwood Area SD

200

75.5%

Exeter Township SD

336

75.3%

Oley Valley SD

155

73.5%

Hamburg Area SD

193

73.1%

Wilson SD

435

72.9%

Brandywine Heights Area SD

152

72.4%

Kutztown Area SD

111

72.1%

Schuylkill Valley SD

148

71.6%

Conrad Weiser Area SD

253

68.8%

Governor Mifflin SD

300

68.0%

Reading SD

780

62.3%

Tulpehocken Area SD

136

60.3%

Daniel Boone Area SD

268

DNR

Table 8. Source: Pennsylvania Department of Education

22

Total Graduates

B E R K S V I TA L S I G N S


Berks County Dropout Rates 2011–12 School District (SD)

Grade 7–12 Enrollments

Dropouts

Dropout Rate

471

6

1.27%

3,383

15

0.44%

859

9

1.05%

Conrad Weiser Area SD

1,453

11

0.76%

Daniel Boone Area SD

1,819

22

1.21%

Exeter Township SD

2,065

11

0.53%

Fleetwood Area SD

1,272

4

0.31%

Governor Mifflin SD

1,979

22

1.11%

Hamburg Area SD

1,151

9

0.78%

Kutztown Area SD

752

5

0.66%

Muhlenberg SD

1,835

22

1.20%

Oley Valley SD

917

10

1.09%

7,342

371

5.05%

Schuylkill Valley SD

939

9

0.96%

Tulpehocken Area SD

759

5

0.66%

Twin Valley SD

1,505

18

1.20%

Wilson SD

2,776

23

0.83%

904

3

0.33%

Antietam SD Boyertown Area SD Brandywine Heights Area SD

Reading SD

Wyomissing Area SD Table 9. Source: Pennsylvania Department of Education.

B E R K S V I TA L S I G N S

23


Health

How does Berks County compare? Overview: The overall health status of Berks County’s population compares favorably to the rest of Pennsylvania. However, a number of disparities do exist regionally and demographically within the county. Disparities in health status can be related to a variety of factors, including insurance coverage, access to providers and demographic considerations.

n The

KEY INDICATORS n Berks County residents are 10% uninsured, compared to 13% for Pennsylvania. However, the uninsured population under 65 and under 19 are higher than the state average.

n Twenty

n The

percent of the population without health insurance coverage has increased from 2008 to 2012. While the uninsured rates in the city increased between 2008 and 2012, the most significant growth in the number of uninsured is in the northeastern and southwestern portions of the county.

n Medicare

and Medicaid pays for about twothirds of all the hospital stays for Berks County residents. Over 70% of Berks residents who had a hospital stay were discharged from one of the two community hospitals in the county.

24

B E R K S V I TA L S I G N S

lack of health insurance can be a barrier to care. However, even as the percentage of uninsured increased from 2008 to 2012, the percentage of the population who said that they did not have a primary provider actually declined.

n The

percentage of the population who did not visit a dentist in the previous 12 months increased significantly from already high levels. percent of county residents reported visiting a hospital emergency room for care because they did not have health insurance coverage. The reliance on hospital ERs was even more significant among city residents, 44% of whom reported using the ER because they did not have health insurance coverage.

n Teen

pregnancies can often have medical, social and economic risks. Teens are less likely to receive prenatal care and are at higher risk for some pregnancy complications. Babies born to teenage mothers frequently have lower birth weights, which is linked to poor performance in school and a greater risk of abuse and neglect. Teen mothers themselves are less likely to complete school. Berks has a higher rate of births born to mothers age 15–17 than the state average.

n Similarly,

births to women over the age of 40, particularly first births, result in a higher incidence of complications and more likelihood of birth defects.

n Latina

women have the highest birth rate (119.8 per 1,000 women between the ages of 14 and 44), followed by Asian (90.6) and black (83.9) women, women of another race (70.6) and white women (54.9).

n Special Challenges—Health Risks n Fully a third of n A

the county’s population are obese.

third of the mothers in the county who gave birth reported receiving no prenatal care or care late in their term. Half of the mothers in the city reported that they received late or no prenatal care.


Health


n While only 28% of the community leaders and 36% of the

county at large felt that access to health care was a significant problem in the county, nearly half of the residents of the city core felt that access to care was a serious or somewhat serious issue, hence the thumbs up. n Seventeen percent of county residents said that they did not

have a family doctor whom they regularly visited. Over a quarter of the residents of the northwestern section of the county said that they didn’t have a family doctor. n Teen pregnancy, access to prenatal services and dental care

and obesity are particular problems where the county rates exceed the norm for the state. n Dignity Health has developed an index of barriers to care,

which factor income levels, culture and language issues, education levels, health insurance coverage and housing to rate communities in terms of access to care on a scale of 1 to 5 with one being strongest. The average for Berks County is 2.7 and the median is 2.0. But four ZIP codes were rated 4.6 or above, each within or including portions of the City of Reading, while five were rated 1.6 or below (Bally, Blandon, Centerville, Kempton and Wernersville).


Birth Rates Pennsylvania

Age Group

Berks

Lancaster

Lehigh

Total Live Births

4,868

6,977

4,084

7.7%

Under 19

9.8%

6.1%

9.2%

2.8%

Over 40

2.7%

2.7%

2.5%

142,021

Table 10. Source: Pennsylvania Department of Health

Uninsured Population  

Under 65

Under 19

Berks

12.70%

6.70%

Lancaster

14.20%

10.30%

Lehigh

13.30%

5.80%

PENNSYLVANIA

12.00%

5.60%

Table 11. Source: US Census Current Population Survey

B E R K S V I TA L S I G N S

25


Key Health Indicators Berks County and Reading Indicator

Berks County

Reading

Mental Health Condition

14.6%

21.3%

Obesity

30.2%

35.0%

Diabetes

13.9%

18.9%

ER Visit No Insurance

24.8%

44.1%

Smoking

20.4%

29.3%

Adolescent Births/1000

9.4%

28.1%

Late/No Prenatal Care

32.8%

50.1%

Table 12. Source: PHMC Berks County Health Assessment

26

B E R K S V I TA L S I G N S


Change in select Health Indicators 2008 and 2012 30.00%

25.00%

20.00%

15.00%

10.00%

5.00%

0.00%

2008

2012 st nti de isit er tv vid no pro Did isit tv no rce ou Did rs ula reg re No f ca o red su

in Un

st nti de isit er tv vid no pro Did sit i tv no rce ou Did rs ula reg re No f ca o red u ins

Un

Figure 6. Source: PHMC Berks County Health Assessment B E R K S V I TA L S I G N S

27


Payer share of inpatient hospitalizations for berks county residents

    

Medicare (45%) Medicaid (19%) Commercial (15%) BC/BS (19%) Other (2%)

Figure 7. Source: Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council

Locus of Inpatient Care for Berks Residents Hospital

Total Cases

Percentage

Reading Hospital

29,054

55.3%

St. Joseph’s Medical

8,045

15.4%

Lehigh Valley

3,981

7.6%

Pottstown Memorial

2,003

3.8%

Other

9,418

17.9%

TOTAL

52,501

 

Table 13. Source: Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council

28

B E R K S V I TA L S I G N S


Visited doctor Visited doctor in last 12 months by ZIP Codes (%) Access to Care Percent of Residents who Visited Doctor in Past Year

Visited doctor/yr (%) by ZIP Codes 83.59% - 100.00% 81.85% - 83.58% 80.21% - 81.84% 79.13% - 80.20% 0.00% - 79.12%

Map 3. Source: Thematic map created using Esri 2012 Business Analyst Online Research Market.

Š2013 Esri

Made with Esri Business Analyst www.esri.com/ba 800-447-9778 Try it Now!

November 14, 2013 Page 1 of 1

B E R K S V I TA L S I G N S

29


Housing

How does Berks County compare? Overview: In Berks County, the average cost of a house is below the state average and is significantly lower for houses in Reading. Consequently, more Berks County residents own their homes as compared to peer counties and the state average. KEY INDICATORS n There are currently 166,371 housing units in Berks County, with 93.5% of the houses occupied by owners or renters. Renters are more frequently found in the areas of Reading and Kutztown, which correlates in part with the location of colleges and universities. and one-half percent of the residences in the county are vacant, but again there is wide regional variance. The vacancy rate in Reading is substantially higher than the county average.

2012 Housing Summary for Berks County Housing Units

166,371

2012-2017 Percent Change

1.45%

Percent Occupied

93.5%

Percent Owner Households

69.7%

Table 14. Source: Esri.

n Six

expenditures vary between renters and owner-occupied homes. The total average amount spent by owners is $11,217.34. The average amount spent by renters is $3,444.34.

2012 Owner-Occupied Housing Units Counties

n Housing

n The

average cost of a house in Berks County is $186,454. This is less than the peer counties of Lehigh ($229,553), Lancaster ($216,321) and the state average for Pennsylvania ($202,327).

30

B E R K S V I TA L S I G N S

2012 Owner Occupied Housing Units

Berks County, PA

69.73%

Lancaster County, PA

66.81%

Lehigh County, PA

65.71%

Pennsylvania

63.91%

Table 15. Source: Esri.


Housing


The availability of affordable housing has been a significant asset for Berks County. But some areas of the county have significantly more of their housing stock occupied by renters and higher percentages of unoccupied housing. Vacant properties, blighted properties and problems with absentee landlords are common problems for cities and older communities across the Commonwealth. In 2012, a study by the Reinvestment Fund looked at housing in the broader Reading area, finding that: n In some neighborhoods in Reading, 20% or more of the

housing stock is unoccupied. n Some neighborhoods outside the city have 9% or more of

their housing unoccupied. n Little new housing is being constructed in the city and its

immediate suburbs; most of the new housing is occurring on the fringes of the region. The study identified over 11,500 properties clustered in neighborhoods in Reading that were abandoned, blighted or substandard.


2012 | Renter Occupied Housing Units by ZIP Code

Map 4. Source: Thematic map created using Esri 2012 Business Analyst Online Research Market. B E R K S V I TA L S I G N S

31


OWNED/Rented Dwelling Expenditures in Berks County Average Spent (Owned)

Average Spent (Rented)

$11,217.34

$3,444.34

N/A

$3,294.01

Mortgage Interest

$4,015.81

N/A

Mortgage Principal

$2,139.40

N/A

Property Taxes

$2,567.47

N/A

N/A

$98.36

Insurance

$464.55

$15.05

Ground Rent

$68.50

N/A

Maintenance/Remodeling Services

$1,575.63

$23.54

Maintenance/Remodeling Materials

$280.80

$13.37

Property Management and Security

$105.19

N/A

Dwellings Rent

Rent Received as Pay

Table 16. Source: Esri Household and Home Expenditures via Esri forecasts for 2012 and 2017; Consumer Spending data are derived from the 2010 and 2011 Consumer Expenditure Surveys, Bureau of Labor Statistics.

32

B E R K S V I TA L S I G N S


2012 | Vacant Housing Units by ZIP Codes

Map 5. Source: Thematic map created using Esri 2012 Business Analyst Online Research Market. B E R K S V I TA L S I G N S

33


Average Home Value by Counties Counties Lehigh County, PA

$229,553

Lancaster County, PA

$216,321

Berks County, PA

$186,454

Pennsylvania

$202,327

Table 17. Source: Esri 2012 Business Analyst Online Research Market.

34

2012 Average Home Value (Esri)

B E R K S V I TA L S I G N S


2012 | Average Home Value in and Around Berks County by ZIP Codes

Map 6. Thematic map created using Esri 2012 Business Analyst Online Research Market. B E R K S V I TA L S I G N S

35


Living and Spending

How does Berks County compare? Overall, the average income and spending for Berks County households is comparable to neighboring counties, the state of Pennsylvania and the country. However, poverty is a particular concern in the City of Reading. KEY INDICATORS n The per capita income in Berks County ($25,941) is slightly below the national average of $26,409. Berks’ per capita income was also lower than Lancaster ($26,068) and Lehigh ($28,353) counties. n Jobs - The three largest employment categories in

the county are office support (26,050 employees), production (19,680 employees) and sales (17,250 employees). The group with the highest average annual salary is health care practitioners, averaging $70,190 a year. It is the seventh largest employee group. n Nearly

one in seven families with children (13.3 percent) and 8.0% of families without children are living in poverty. The 2012 federal poverty level amounts to an income of $23,050 for a family of four. The City of Reading has the highest percentage of families living in poverty

36

B E R K S V I TA L S I G N S

in Berks County, with more than one-third of families with children (37.2%) and more than one-quarter of families without children (27.6%) living in poverty. The percentage of Reading families without children living in poverty more than tripled from 2000 to 2010. According to the recent county health assessment, all areas of Berks County are projected to see continued increases in the percentage of families living in poverty. n In

Berks County, the hourly living wage requirement for a single person is $8.25 an hour or $1,231 a month.

n Household

Spending - In 2012, the average household in Berks County spent $64,500.


Living and Spending


Poverty in Berks County While there is general satisfaction in the county about the cost of living, hence the thumbs up, poverty is an important and growing problem. n Ninety-five percent of the county identified addressing

poverty in the city of Reading as an important concern. n Since the recession in 2008, there has been a steady growth

in the poverty rate within the county. n Nearly 15% of the county population is living in poverty,

and nearly one of every four children in the county is living in poverty. n Even before the recession, the number of adults in poverty

had been increasing steadily over the past decade. n According to the Census Bureau, in 2008 there was a spike

in adult poverty, apparently caused by an increase in the number of young men without high school diplomas within the county.


Living Wage for Berks County Residents Berks

Lancaster

Lehigh

Hourly Wage

Monthly Income

Hourly Wage

Monthly Income

Hourly Wage

Monthly Income

One adult

$8.25

$1,231

$8.11

$1,211

$8.58

$1,282

One adult Two children

$22.30

$3,331

$22.44

$3,353

$23.05

$3,444

Two adults Two children

$17.17

$2,566

$17.31

$2,586

$17.92

$2,676

Table 18. Source: MIT Living Wage Childcare expenses Calculator for Berks County Note: Living Wage is the amount needed to provide for the basic elements of life, such as housing, food, clothing, transportation.

Income Comparisons Per Capita Income

Median Household Income

Average Household Income

Berks County

$25,941

$52,933

$66,972

Lancaster County

$26,068

$53,654

$68,397

Lehigh County

$28,353

$53,111

$71,864

Pennsylvania

$26,715

$49,167

$65,815

U.S.A.

$26,409

$50,157

$68,162

Table 19. Source: Esri. 2012 Income Comparisons. B E R K S V I TA L S I G N S

37


berks county poverty profile 25.0%

ď Ž Child Poverty ď Ž Children

20.0%

ages 5-17 in Families Total Poverty Adult Poverty

15.0% 10.0% 2009

2010

2011

2012

Figure 8. Source: U. S. Census Bureau.

Average Annual Expenditure by Household Counties Lehigh County, PA

$69,294

York County, PA

$66,162

Lancaster County, PA

$65,928

Berks County, PA

$64,582

Dauphin County, PA

$63,317

Lebanon County, PA

$59,685

Table 20. Source: Esri.

38

Annual Budget Expenditures

B E R K S V I TA L S I G N S


2012 | Average Annual Household Expenditure by ZIP Code

Map 7. Source: Thematic map created using Esri 2012 Business Analyst Online Research Market. B E R K S V I TA L S I G N S

39


Safety

How does Berks County compare? Safety and crime are significant issues in Berks County. Population density and police coverage can affect reporting of crime. Therefore, some of the comparisons in this section are to counties with third-class cities. When comparing counties using Esri’s Crime Index (which is updated annually and measures statistics about major categories of personal and property crime), the crime index rate for Berks County is higher than Lancaster County but lower than Lehigh County. KEY INDICATORS Burglaries. Over the three year period, from 2010 through 2012, the City of Reading had 4,152 burglaries, which translates to 471 burglaries per 10,000 city residents. This ranked the city seventh among the peer communities sampled. The three year incident rate for Berks County tied for the worst among the seven counties. Burglaries, because they involve a home or business invasion, are considered a crime against property and become a good indicator of prevalence of that type of crime. Homicides. Over that same three period, there were 56 homicides in the City of Reading, for a three year average of 4.4 per 10,000 population. 40

B E R K S V I TA L S I G N S

Among the seven peer cities, Reading ranked in the middle, better than Chester, York and Harrisburg, but behind Allentown, Bethlehem and Lancaster. Again, 2013 data shows that the number of Homicides in the city dropped from 15 in 2012 to 11. The Homicide rate for Berks County is the same as Lehigh County. Both counties are nearly double the rate in Lancaster County. Homicide is obviously a violent crime against an individual, and therefore can serve as a surrogate for that type of criminal behavior. Drug Sales and Manufacturing. The number of arrests for drug sales and manufacturing went up in the county from 2008 to 2011. There were 83.7 arrests per thousand population in 2008 and 101 arrests in 2011. The 2011 figures in Berks County are higher than Lancaster, Lebanon, Lehigh and Montgomery counties, but lower than Blair County and the overall rate for the state of Pennsylvania. Drug Arrests. Including all drug-related offenses, drug sales and manufacturing, as well as drug possession and other drug-related crimes, the rates of arrest were lower in Berks County than in the

state of Pennsylvania during the three year period from 2010 to 2012. Berks County was in the middle of the peer counties in all drug offenses. Accidents. The prevalence of accidents is another indicator of community safety. In 2011, there were 20,555 hospitalizations for falls in Berks County in 2011. This was higher than in Lehigh County but lower than Lancaster County. There were 374 motor vehicle accidents in 2011 in Berks County. This was a lower number than Lancaster or Lehigh County.


Safety


Crime in the County By a substantial margin, every element of the region believes that crime is a serious problem in the county, and that crime in the city has to be addressed. But when asked about crime in their neighborhoods, there was a slightly different story. Crime in the neighborhoods Group County

Serious Problem Not So Serious 13%

85%

3%

97%

Greater Reading

23%

73%

Reading Core

44%

47%

Community Leaders

Table 20.5. Source: Berks County Community Foundation Polls, Fall 2013

n The residents of the Reading core, were most likely to say that

crime was a problem in their neighborhood, but even there more people felt that crime was only “somewhat serious” or “not serious at all.” n Asked if crime had increased, decreased or remained the

same over the past year, the majority of people, regardless of where they lived, felt that it had not changed. The minority who perceived a change generally felt that crime had worsened.


2012 | POLICE COVERAGE BY MUNICIPALITY

State Police Only State Police Part-time Local Police Only Map 8. Source: map created using ArcGIS, ArcMap 10.2.

B E R K S V I TA L S I G N S

41


burglaries by city (3 Year Total Burglaries Per 10,000 Pop.) Police Department

2010

2011

2012

3 Year Total

Per Capita Rate

Reading

1426

1380

1346

4152

471

Chester

466

554

420

1440

423

Harrisburg

666

662

560

1888

383

York

555

429

385

1369

314

Allentown

1327

1101

1145

3573

300

Lancaster

583

531

405

1519

243

Bethlehem

445

371

347

1163

155

Table 21. Source: Pennsylvania State Police and 2012 U. S. Census Population Estimate.

burglaries by county (3 Year Total Burglaries per 10,000 Pop.) County

2010

2011

2012

3 Year Total

Per Capita Rate

Berks

2198

2303

2294

6795

164

Dauphin

1472

1542

1400

4414

164

Lehigh

1883

1612

1630

5125

144

Delaware

2278

2708

2023

7009

125

Lancaster

1713

1879

1595

5187

122

Northampton

1112

993

990

3095

103

York

1425

1385

1215

4025

92

Table 22. Source: Pennsylvania State Police and 2012 U. S. Census Population Estimate.

42

B E R K S V I TA L S I G N S


2012 | Crime Index The crime index is developed using information of crimes such as murder, rape, robbery, assault, burglary and motor vehicle theft.

Map 9. Souce: Thematic map created using Esri 2012 Business Analyst Online Research Market. B E R K S V I TA L S I G N S

43


Crime index Counties

2012 Total Crime Index

Lehigh County, PA

70

Berks County, PA

66

Lancaster County, PA

45

Table 23. Souce: Esri.

homicide rates by city (3 Year Total Homicides Per 10,000 Population) Police Department

2010

2011

2012

Total

Per Capita Rate

Chester

24

21

19

64

18.8

York

5

16

10

31

7.1

Harrisburg

14

8

8

30

6.1

Reading

11

13

15

39

4.4

Allentown

11

10

15

36

3.0

Lancaster

5

5

7

17

2.9

Bethlehem

0

2

1

3

0.4

Table 24. Source: Homicide Rates by City. Source: Pennsylvania State Police Crime Statistics and U.S. Census 2012 Population Estimate

44

B E R K S V I TA L S I G N S


Homicide rates by county (3 Year Total Homicides Per 10,000 Population) County

2010

2011

2012

Total

Per Capita Rate

Lehigh

15

16

17

48

1.35

Berks

14

20

22

56

1.35

Lancaster

10

7

15

32

0.75

Table 25. Source: Pennsylvania State Police Crime Statistics and U.S. Census 2012 Population Estimate.

2011 Cause of Injury for Selected Categories

Falls

Motor Vehicle Accidents

Berks

Lancaster

Lehigh

Total

2,055

2,087

2,016

Age 65–74

61.0%

62.9%

59.6%

Age 75+

14.0%

12.9%

12.6%

374

408

393

15.8%

21.6%

20.9%

Total Age 15–19

Table 26. Source: Pennsylvania Department of Health and 2012 U.S. Census Population Estimates

B E R K S V I TA L S I G N S

45


Transportation

How does Berks County compare? KEY INDICATORS The quality and safety of the transportation network within the county was universally identified as a concern of county residents, twothirds saying that the roads and bridges were fair or poor. Nearly three-quarters of county residents said that transportation networks in the county were a significant problem. Residents in the Northeastern quadrant of the county, those living along the Route 78 and Route 222 corridors were even more adamant in expressing their concerns about Berks county roads and bridges. However, it is not clear that the concern is with the design of the road system, the condition of the highways and bridges or the amount of traffic on the roads. There are 3,326 miles of roads in the county, 72% of which are locally maintained. Both Lancaster and Lehigh Counties have similar percentages of local roads. Approximately 386,000 vehicles are registered in the county, two-thirds of which are passenger cars. That is an average of 0.625 cars for every county resident. On a daily basis, Berks County residents travel in excess of 9 million miles. That translates to a daily 46

B E R K S V I TA L S I G N S

average of 23.5 miles for every registered vehicle. A common way of measuring road traffic is the average daily mileage traveled per capita. For Berks County, that average is about 21.9 miles of daily travel by every county resident. By these standards, Berks County residents are driving less every day than the residents of all of the neighboring counties. Approximately half of those county residents commuting to work travel less than 20 minutes each day. However another third travel over an hour to get to work. As noted earlier, over a quarter of the workers living in the county travel outside its borders for work. Attitudes toward mass transit in the county are much more favorable, at least among those who are most familiar with those services. According to transit data, there is a very wide seasonal variation in ridership. The total number of rides in the fourth quarter of the year is three times larger than the number of rides in the first quarter of the. That said, over the past four years there has been a slow but steady increase in the ridership numbers for the erks County regional transit system (BARTA).


Transportation


n Two-thirds of the county residents surveyed said that the

bridges and roads were in poor condition, and nearly threequarters identified this as a significant problem. n The public transit system, particularly in Reading, received

high marks: 77% of residents in the city core and 59% of residents in the Reading region said the system was excellent or good. n There is substantial seasonal fluctuation in the use of mass

transit, with ridership at its peak in the last quarter of each year and at its lowest in the first quarter. At the same time, there have been slight annual increases in ridership over each of the past four years. n Many county residents outside of the Reading region were

not familiar with the mass transit in the county. At the same time, the majority of community leaders (60%) didn’t have a positive view of public transportation. Some of this appears to be related to the unavailability of mass transit options outside of the immediate Reading area as well as the lack of intercity passenger rail service.


travel time to work

     

Less than 10 minutes (15%) 10-19 minutes (34%) 20-29 minutes (21%) 30-39 minutes (12%) 40-59 minutes (10%) 60 or more minutes (7%)

Figure 9. Source: Esri ACS Population Survey

B E R K S V I TA L S I G N S

47


MILES OF roads County

Total Road Mileage

% Local Roads

Berks

3,326

72%

Chester

3,620

71%

Lancaster

3,895

72%

Lebanon

1,203

69%

Lehigh

2,074

73%

Montgomery

3,691

76%

Schuylkill

1,883

67%

Table 26. Source: Pennsylvania Department of Transportation

Distances traveled County

48

Local Road Mileage Total Road Mileage

Average Vehicle Miles Traveled

Berks

2,390.55

3,325.81

9,065,925

Chester

2,558.23

3,619.54

11,594,752

Lancaster

2,814.58

3,895.32

11,589,939

Lebanon

825.71

1,202.82

3,231,408

Lehigh

1,506.72

2,074.14

8,083,748

Montgomery

2,804.15

3,691.35

17,799,461

Schuylkill

1,270.79

1,883.22

3,565,818

Table 27. Source: Pennsylvania Department of Transportation B E R K S V I TA L S I G N S


Daily miles driven per vehicle AND per capita by county

30.0

ď Ž Miles per Registered Vehicle ď Ž Miles per Capita

25.0

20.0 uy l lkil

ery

om

ntg

Sch

Mo

h

hig

Le

on

n ba

Le

ter

cas

Lan

er

est

Ch

rks

Be

Figure 10. Source: Pennsylvania Department of Transportation and U. S. Census 2012 Population Estimate

B E R K S V I TA L S I G N S

49


Environment

How does Berks County compare? Recognizing the importance of environmental infrastructure, Berks County made early investments in water and sewer systems. The Reading Water Company, the first public supplier of water in the county, was created in 1821. Reading opened the first municipal sewage treatment plant in Pennsylvania in 1895. Growing populations and development required the expansion of these systems, but rehabilitation of the existing infrastructure remains a significant challenge. In 2013, a Berks County Water and Sewer Association was formed under the auspices of the Center for Local Government Excellence at Albright College to foster regionalization and water resource protection. KEY INDICATORS n Many of the water and sewer systems in the county are aged and in need of repairs. Some water treatment facilities should be modernized. There are 79 different public water supply systems in the county—some serving thousands of people, others serving as few as 25. n Forty-six

percent of county residents rely on private wells for their water supply and properties are served by on-lot septic systems.

50

B E R K S V I TA L S I G N S

n More

than one-fourth (26.4 percent) of the stream miles in the county are environmentally impaired.

n Berks

County is second to Lancaster County in terms of farmland acreage preserved for agricultural purposes.

n Despite

strong recycling programs in many areas of the county, including the City of Reading, overall household recycling rates are low.


Environment


n Environmental Quality. The public perceives the

environment as one of the real strengths of the County. Only city core residents suggested that there were serious environmental problems in the county. n Open Space. Two-thirds of county residents noted that

the availability of open space was excellent or good. Threefourths of the residents of the southern tier of the county ranked open space as a strong positive, but only about half of the city core residents said that access to open space was good or excellent. n Safe Biking and Walking. Most residents of the county

said that they had access to safe places to bike or walk. Only in the southeastern corner of the county, where 69% of the residents said that they had a safe place to exercise, did the percentage fall below 80%. n Fresh Food. Nine out of 10 people said that they had good

or excellent access to fresh food. n Water and Sewer. Much of the water and sewer

infrastructure is old, needing repair or upgrading. At the same time, as greenfield development continues outside of the more urban areas of the county, there will be increased dependency on onsite water and sewer systems or pressure to extend existing lines and treatment capacity.


Public Sewer Service Areas

Map 10. Source: Berks County Planning Commission B E R K S V I TA L S I G N S

51


Public Water Service Areas

Map 11. Source: Berks County Planning Commission

52

B E R K S V I TA L S I G N S


Agricultural Conservation Easements

Map 12. Source: Berks County Planning Commission and Berks County Conservancy B E R K S V I TA L S I G N S

53


Recycled Products in Last 12 months Recycled products in last 12 months by ZIP Codes (%)

Household Recycling Rates by ZIP Code

Recycled products/yr (%) by ZIP Codes 69.25% - 100.00% 63.77% - 69.24% 59.22% - 63.76% 50.81% - 59.21% 0.00% - 50.80%

Map 13. Source: Thematic map created using Esri 2012 Business Analyst Online Research Market. December 10, 2013 Š2013 Esri

54

B E R K S V I TA L S I G N S

Made with Esri Business Analyst www.esri.com/ba 800-447-9778 Try it Now!

Page 1 of 1


B E R K S V I TA L S I G N S

55


Arts, Entertainment and Recreation

How does Berks County compare? Berks County spends above the state average on arts, entertainment, and recreation. In comparison to the surrounding counties, however, Berks Countians spend less money on cultural activities than Montgomery County and more than Schuylkill County. Residents in the core ZIP codes of the City of Reading spend noticeably less on cultural events than the rest of the county. KEY INDICATORS n Spending. The average Berks County resident spends approximately $3,156 on recreation and entertainment each year and spends an average of $605 for fees and admission to events, which is higher than the state average of $574. However, there is significant regional variation in recreational and entertainment spending within the county. n Sports.

According to the average amount spent on sporting events, most of the county spends below $75 on admission to sporting events. Despite the presence of a number of professional sports teams within the city, residents of the city’s core ZIP codes are significantly less likely to attend sporting events.

56

B E R K S V I TA L S I G N S

n Music. On the other hand, a large portion of county

residents attend musical performances, with nearly all ZIP Codes having over 20% attendance rates. n Special

Challenges — Recent studies have underscored the importance of participation in recreational and cultural programming, particularly for children. But the data indicates that participation in these activities is substantially lower in the City of Reading than it is elsewhere in the county.


Arts, Entertainment and Recreation


n The majority of residents say that recreational and cultural

opportunities are excellent or good in the county. n Community leaders are more positive than the typical

resident about recreational aspects of life in Berks County. n Most residents of the core area of Reading, however, say that

cultural and entertainment opportunities and recreational programming are fair or poor. It is not clear from the survey if the sentiments in the city core are driven by the types of activities that are offered, the venues where they are offered or the cost of attending or participating in programming. The charts in this section suggest that residents of the core region spend less on culture and entertainment and are less likely to attend live performances and sporting events than other residents of Berks County.


Average Per capita Amount Spent on Entertainment and Recreation Counties

Entertainment and Recreation

Montgomery County, PA

$4,492

Lehigh County, PA

$3,369

York County, PA

$3,253

Lancaster County, PA

$3,232

Berks County, PA

$3,156

Dauphin County, PA

$3,083

Lebanon County, PA

$2,953

Schuylkill County, PA

$2,417

Table 28. Source: Esri

B E R K S V I TA L S I G N S

57


Entertainment/Recreation Entertainment/Recreation by ZIP Codes (Avg)

Average Amount Spent on Entertainment and Recreation by ZIP Codes

Entertainment/Recreation (Avg) by ZIP Codes $4,517 - $8,875 $3,712 - $4,517 $3,281 - $3,712 $2,764 - $3,281 $0 - $2,764

Map 15. Source: Thematic map created using Esri 2012 Business Analyst Online Research Market.

58

Š2013 Esri

B E R K S V I TA L S I G N S

Made with Esri Business Analyst www.esri.com/ba 800-447-9778 Try it Now!

November 14, 2013 Page 1 of 1


Per Capita Spending on Entertainment and Recreation Admission Fees Counties

Admissions Fees

Montgomery County, PA

$940

Lehigh County, PA

$658

York County, PA

$616

Lancaster County, PA

$613

Berks County, PA

$605

Dauphin County, PA

$585

Lebanon County, PA

$523

Schuylkill County, PA

$386

Pennsylvania

$574

Table 29. Source: Esri

B E R K S V I TA L S I G N S

59


Fees & Admissions Entertainment/Recreation - Fees & Admissions by ZIP Codes (Avg)

Average Entertainment/Recreation Fees and Admission Costs by ZIP Codes

Ent/Rec-Fees & Admissions (Avg) by ZIP Codes $935 - $1,967 $742 - $934 $623 - $742 $495 - $623 $0 - $495

Map 16. Source: Thematic map created using Esri 2012 Business Analyst Online Research Market.

60

Š2013 Esri

B E R K S V I TA L S I G N S

Made with Esri Business Analyst www.esri.com/ba 800-447-9778 Try it Now!

November 14, 2013 Page 1 of 1


Average Per Capita Spending on Admissions to Movies and Live Performances Counties

Admissions

Lehigh County, PA

$163

Lancaster County, PA

$151

York County, PA

$150

Berks County, PA

$148

Lebanon County, PA

$128

Schuylkill County, PA

$95

Table 30. Source: Esri.

B E R K S V I TA L S I G N S

61


Attended Music Performance by ZIP Codes

Map 17. Source: Thematic map created using Esri 2012 Business Analyst Online Research Market.

62

B E R K S V I TA L S I G N S


Per Capita Spending on Admission to Sporting Events

Map 18. Source: Thematic map created using Esri 2012 Business Analyst Online Research Market. B E R K S V I TA L S I G N S

63


Participated in backpacking/hiking

Participated in Backpacking or Hiking

Participated in backpacking/hiking by ZIP Codes (%)

Partic in backpacking/hiking (%) by ZIP Codes 12.71% - 18.18% 11.16% - 12.70% 9.97% - 11.15% 8.60% - 9.96% 0.00% - 8.59%

Map 19. Source: Thematic map created using Esri 2012 Business Analyst Online Research Market.

64

Š2013 Esri

B E R K S V I TA L S I G N S

Made with Esri Business Analyst www.esri.com/ba 800-447-9778 Try it Now!

November 14, 2013 Page 1 of 1


The polling information referred to in this report comes from two surveys conducted in the late summer and early fall of 2013. A pool of 150 community leaders was identified and asked to respond electronically to a survey. 90 individuals responded to the survey, the results of which are identified as the Community Leaders in this report. A random survey was conducted by telephone, using both landlines and cell phones. 850 households were contacted in across the county. The results of this survey are representative of the demographics of the county and have a margin of error of +/-3.5%. The phone survey was further broken down into ZIP codes. These ZIP codes were then compiled into broader regions. Several of these regions are referred to in this report. The Reading Core is those ZIP codes entirely located within the City of Reading (ZIP codes 19601, 19602 and 19604). The Reading Region includes those ZIP codes that include portions of the City of Reading. In addition to the ZIP codes covering the Reading Core, these include 19605, 19607 and 19611.

In aggregating the polling data, the county was divided by ZIP code in two different ways. One format, which was first used in the County Health Assessment, divided the county into five regions: the Reading Core as defined above; West (the northwestern sector of the county); South (the Southeastern sector); East (the Southeastern sector) and the North (the Northeastern Sector). The references to the Southeast and Northwest in this report refer to the areas classified as West and East in the County Health Assessment polling analysis. The alternative aggregation used the Reading Region, defined above. In addition it included the Route 78 Corridor; the Turnpike Corridor, the Reading Suburbs and the Route 202 Corridor located north and east of Reading. This report does not refer to polling results aggregated into these categories. The polling data is available upon request.

B E R K S V I TA L S I G N S

65


References APTA Transit Ridership Report. Report for First Quarter 2013. http://www.apta.com/resources/ statistics/Pages/ridershipreport.aspx

Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry http://www.dli.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/ community/l_i_home/5278

ARCGIS

Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. 2012 Highway Statistics. http://www.dot. state.pa.us/Internet/bureaus/pdplanres.nsf/ infoBPRHighwayStats2013Rpt

Capitol Impact. (2013). Capitol impact government gateway. Retrieved from http://ciclt. net/sn/clt/capitolimpact/gw_ziplist.aspx?ClientCo de=capitolimpact&State=pa&StName= Pennsylvania&StFIPS=42&FIPS=42011 County of Berks. (2013). Berks county comprehensive plan. Retrieved from http:// www.co.berks.pa.us/Dept/Planning/Pages/ BerksCountyComprehensivePlan.aspx Esri, G. I. S. (2012). Mapping and Analyst Software. Esri George, J. (2013, 09 25). Superintendents’ forum: Motorists play key role in promoting school bus safety. Retrieved from http://readingeagle.com/ article.aspx?id=514133 National Statistical Coordination Board. (2013). Glossary of terms. Retrieved from http://www. nscb.gov.ph/glossary/popn.asp Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency, (2013). Crime justice trend reports. Retrieved from http://pacrimestats.info/trend_ reports.aspx?p=\2008\Criminal_Justice_Trend_ Reports\Drug_Abuse_Violations Pennsylvania Department of Education. Data on Dropouts, Students and School Finance. http:// www.pde.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/ data_and_statistics/7202 Pennsylvania Department of Health. (2013). Health statistics a to z. Retrieved from http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server. pt?open=514&objID=648834&mode=2

66

B E R K S V I TA L S I G N S

Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council (2013). County Health Profile for Berks County. http://www.phc4.org/countyprofiles

United States Census Bureau. (2012). United states census. Retrieved from http://www.census.gov/ United States Department of Agriculture. (2013, 09 9). Farmers markets search. Retrieved from http:// search.ams.usda.gov/farmersmarkets/default.aspx United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics (201?). Title of report. Retrieved from http://nces.ed.gov/

Pennsylvania State Police. Municipalities within Berks County under PSP coverage

United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2011). Consumer expenditure survey. Retrieved from website: http://www.bls. gov/cex/

Pennsylvania State Police. (2013). Pennsylvania uniform crime reporting system. Retrieved from http://ucr.psp.state.pa.us/ucr/reporting/ruaware/ ruawarecountyui.asp

United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2010). Consumer expenditure survey. Retrieved from website: http://www.bls. gov/cex/

MIT Living Wage Calculator http://livingwage.mit. edu/counties/42011 PHMC County Health Assessment - http://www. phmc.org/site/index.php?option=com_content&v iew=article&id=60&Itemid=4 Research and Evaluation Group Public Health Management Corporation. (2013). Berks county, Pennsylvania community health needs assessment. Retrieved from http://www. thefutureofhealthcare.org/assets/communityhealth-needs-assesment.pdf Susquehanna River Basin Commission. Impaired waterways in Berks County, Pa, 2012. Retrieved from http://www.srbc.net/atlas/downloads/ BasinwideProjects/Chesapeake Bay Impaired Maps/Berks_ImpStrm2012.pdf United States Census Bureau. (2013). Population estimates. Retrieved from http://www.census.gov/ popest/about/terms.html

Acknowledgements: The O’Pake Institute for Ethics, Leadership and Public Service, the PhD in Leadership Program and the Marketing Department at Alvernia University, particularly Tracey Brown, Sean Cullen, Tufan Tiglioglu, Steve Thomas and Dave Myers. The Public Opinion Center of the Floyd Institute at Franklin and Marshall for their assistance on the community survey and Kevin Murphy, Heidi Williamson and the Board of the Berks County Community Foundation. An electronic version of this report is available at the Berks County Community Foundation website: www.bccf.org


B E R K S V I TA L S I G N S

67



Berks Vital Signs