According to the newly, and incomplete, Census data released a couple of weeks ago, Reading, PA residents are poorer and have lost a significant amount of their income in the last decade. The median income loss was about 4% nation-wide, dropping 5% in berks and dropping a whole 18% in Reading. The poverty level also rose 2.4% in Berks and about 8.4% in Reading, as compared to about 1.1% in the rest of America. These figures are estimates from the 2005-2009 American Community Survey, whose main purpose it to provide a fresh look at how are communities are changing. This data was collected from January 2005 to December 2009.
The 2005-2009 survey suggests and shows that 34.5% of Reading residents were in poverty. The median household income was $27,887 quite lower than surrounding cities. Reading wasn’t the only city to see significant declines in median incomes: Harrisburg saw an 8%, Allentown saw an 11%, and Lancaster saw a 14% decrease. See Chart
Looking at the education stats, which offer a dim bright view at the educational status of our students; the data shows: 63.5% of the residents of Reading have High school diplomas. While the city has seen a slight increase in the amount of people who had bachelor’s degrees (about 1.2%) bringing our total of people who have bachelor’s degrees to 9.8%, this figure is still significantly lower than nearby cities such as Philadelphia, Lancaster City, and Harrisburg. Chart
If we understand the environment around us, we can begin to accept and stop being afraid of what is going on around us and start helping each other progress. Together we can!!