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City of Reading

  •   State: 
    Berks County
      County FIPS: 
    40°20′30″N 75°55′35″W
      Area total: 
    10.08 sq mi
      Area land: 
    9.84 sq mi (25.49 km²)
      Area water: 
    0.24 sq mi (0.62 km²)
    305 ft (93 m)
    1748; Incorporated ( borough ) September 15, 1783 ( 1783-09-15 ); Incorporated (city) March 16, 1847 ( 1847-03-16 )
  •   Latitude: 
      Dman name cbsa: 
    Reading, PA
    Eastern Standard Time (EST) UTC-5:00; Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) UTC-4:00
      ZIP codes: 

    Reading, Berks County, Pennsylvania, United States

  •   Population: 
      Population density: 
    9,662.91 residents per square mile of area (3,730.88/km²)
      Household income: 
      Unemployment rate: 
  •   Sales taxes: 
      Income taxes: 

Reading (RED-ing; Pennsylvania Dutch: Reddin) is a city in and the county seat of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United States. The city had a population of 95,112 as of the 2020 census and is the fourth-largest city in Pennsylvania after Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Allentown. It has been known as "The Pretzel City" because numerous local pretzel bakeries are based in the city and its suburbs. Reading is part of the Delaware Valley, also known as the Philadelphia metropolitan area, a region that also includes Philadelphia, Upper Darby Township, Camden, and other suburban Philadelphia cities and regions. The Schuylkill Canal, a north-south canal, connected Reading with Philadelphia and the Delaware River in 1828. The Union Canal, an east-west canal, completed in 1825. The first Amish community in the New World was established in Greater Reading, Berks County. The Pennsylvanian German dialect was spoken in the area well into the 1950s and 1960s. The Reading area has become a destination for cyclists with more than 125 miles of trails in five major preserves; the region is an International Mountain Bicycling Association ride center. Reading's name was drawn from the now-defunct Reading Company, widely known. as the Reading Railroad and since acquired by Conrail, that played a vital role in transporting anthracite coal from the Pennsylvania's Coal Region to major East Coast metropolitan markets through the Port of Philadelphia for much of the 19th and 20th centuries.


Reading is the primary city name, but also Laureldale, Muhlenberg, Muhlenberg Township, Ontelaunee are acceptable city names or spellings, Berkley, Bernharts, Muhlenburg Park, River View Park, Tuckerton on the other hand no longer accepted or obsolete and are no longer used as a designation. The official name is City of Reading. Reading is a city in Berks County, Pennsylvania. The city was founded in 1748. The first Amish community in the New World was established in Greater Reading, Berks County. The Schuylkill Canal, a northsouth canal completed in 1825, connected Reading with Philadelphia and the Delaware River. The Reading Brewing Company was also established around this same time, and was officially chartered in 1886. From 1810 to 1950, Reading was among the nation's top one hundred largest urban places. In December 2007, NBC's Today show featured Reading as one of the top four "Up and Coming Neighborhoods" in the United States for a potential real estate boom. In 1972, Hurricane Agnes caused extensive flooding in the lower precincts of Reading, not the last time the city was inundated by the SchUylkill River. Reading is home to the pioneer "Brass Era" companies, Duryea Motor Wagon Company, and Reading-Standard Company. It is also the home of the Grand Army of the Republic monument, which was dedicated there in 1887. It was named for his father, Sir William Penn, who was the first governor of the Colony of Pennsylvania in the 17th century. The town's population reached nearly 120,000 until the 1930s, when its population reached its continuous growth until the 1970s. The area's iron industry had a total production exceeding England's during the Revolutionary War. The region was settled by emigrants from southern and western Germany, who bought land from the Penns.


The climate in and around Reading is variable, but relatively mild compared to areas further north. Summers are warm and humid with average July highs around 86.5 °F (30.3 °C) The first killing frost generally occurs in late October. Winters bring freezing temperatures, but usually move above freezing during the day's warmest point. January is the only month averaging below freezing while two to three months average above 22 °C (71.6 °F) and seven-months average above 50 °F. Total precipitation for the entire year is 45.21 inches (114.8 cm). The all-time record low air temperature (not including wind chill) was 20 °F [29 °C] during a widespread cold wave in January 1994. It is quite common for winter temperatures to undergo much variance from the averages. The last killing frost usually is in early to mid April. The average January high is 38.6°F (3.7°C) and the average January low is 23.0°F (5.0 °C), but it is quite normal for temperatures to vary widely during the winter months. There are 27 days per year where the temperature exceeds 90 °F   (32 °C). Reading becomes milder in the autumn, as the heat and humidity of summer relent to lower humidity and temperatures. Annual snowfall is variable but averages around 25 inches (64 cm). Spring temperatures vary widely between freezing temperatures and the 80s or even 90s (around 30 °B) later in spring.


Reading is located at 40°2030N 75°5535W (40.341692, 75.926301) in southeastern Pennsylvania, roughly 65 miles (105 km) northwest of Philadelphia. The city is largely bounded on the west by the Schuylkill River, on the east by Mount Penn, and on the south by Neversink Mountain. The Reading Prong, the mountain formation stretching northeast into New Jersey, has come to be associated with naturally occurring radon gas; however, homes in Reading are not particularly affected. The surrounding county is home to a number of family-owned farms. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 10.1 square miles (26 km²) of it is land and 0.2 square miles of it (2.39%) is water. It is the location of the Reading High School, which was founded in 1883. The school is located on the banks of the Schuyler River, which is a tributary of the Susquehannock River. It was the first high school in the United States to open in 1881, and is now one of the oldest colleges in the state. It has been the site of the University of Pennsylvania since 1883, when it opened its doors to students in 1887. The university has since been the home of the Pennsylvania State College of Arts and Sciences, which opened in 1891. It also has a chapter of the College of Pennsylvania, which dates back to 1881.


Companies based in Reading and surrounding communities include Boscov's, EnerSys, Carpenter, GK Elite Sportswear, Penske Truck Leasing, Redner's Markets, and Shuman Development Group. Jump Start Incubator, a program of Berks County Community Foundation, and Berks LaunchBox, a project of Penn State Berks, are programs intended to provide office space and support to entrepreneurs in the area.According to the Greater Reading Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the largest employers in the Berks county area are:   Boscov’s, Carpenter, Redner’S Markets, Penske Truck Leasing, Shuman Development Group, and “The Reading Mining Company’ ”“”, which employs more than 1,000 people. The Reading area is home to the Pennsylvania State College of Art and Design, which offers classes on art and design, and the Pennsylvania Museum of Fine Arts, which has a gallery of more than 2,000 works of art. The Berks County Museum of Art and Design has a collection of works by famous artists, including Andy Warhol, Steve McQueen, and Andy Warner. The Berks County Museum of Art and Design is located in the town of Reading, Pennsylvania. The museum has a large collection of artworks, many of which have been donated by the Berks County community. It is also home to a number of museums and galleries.

Government and politics

The Socialist Party of America won five seats on the Reading city council in the 1911 election. Reading became the third city in the United States to have a local government controlled by the Socialists after the 1927 election. The Socialists lost support during the Great Depression and were defeated by a united Republican and Democratic ticket in the 1931 election. J. Henry Stump was defeated by Heber Ermentrout and the party was reduced to two seats in the city council. The party was defeated in the 1933 election and lost two seats to the Republican Party. The Socialist Party was founded in New York City in 1894. It was absorbed into the Socialist Party USA in 1891. It has since lost all of its political influence in the U.S. and is no longer an official party of the Socialist Party. It is now known as the Socialist-American Party (SAP) of America. The SAP is a political party that has been in existence since the early 20th century. Its current president is Julian Zelizer, a former member of the SAP who served as mayor of Reading from 1929 to 1933. The Party is currently based in the town of Reading, New York. It also has a chapter in New Jersey, where it has a branch in the City Hall of Records. Its members are known as "Socialists of America" or "Socialist-Americans" for their support of the socialist cause. The organization was founded by Elwood Leffler, who ran for mayor in 1911 and almost won the election.


Reading and the surrounding area is serviced by the Reading Regional Airport, a general aviation airfield. Scheduled commercial airline service to Reading ended in 2004, when the last airline, USAir stopped flying into Reading. Public transit in Reading and its surrounding communities has been provided since 1973 by the Berks Area Regional Transportation Authority (BARTA) The former Reading Railroad Franklin Street Station was refurbished and reopened to bus service on September 9, 2013. Norfolk Southern Railway serves Reading along the Harrisburg Line, which runs east to Philadelphia and west to Harrisburg. East Penn Railroad operates the Lancaster Northern line from Sinking Spring southwest to Ephrata. Reading and Montgomery County have teamed to study the feasibility of a simple shuttle train between the Manayunk/Norristown Line and Pottstown/Reading Line. In 2018, a Greater Reading Chamber panel led by the Greater Berks County Chamber of Commerce rejected a plan to extend SEPTA's R6 passenger line to Schuylkill Valley, Wyomissing, Reading, and WyomISSing. The panel cited doubts about the financing assumptions and projections used by the Federal Transit Administration New Starts program, as well as the surge in gasoline prices and ever-increasing traffic in the area. The three-letter airport code for Reading is RDG, and the city is home to the Reading Airport, which is located on the Pennsylvania Turnpike (Interstate 76) in Morgantown. The city is served by a number of federal and state highways, including U.S. Route 422.


As of the 2020 United States census, Reading had a population of 95,112. As of the 2010 census, the city was 48.4% White, 13.2% Black or African American, 0.9% Native American, 1.1% Native Hawaiian, and 6. 1% were two or more races. The city's unemployment rate in May 2010 was 14.7%, while Berks County's Unemployment rate was 9.9%. The median income for a household in the city is $26,698. The per capita income is $13,086. 32% of all residents live below the poverty level, including 45.7% of those under 18 and 15.6% of people 65 and older. The median age in Reading is 31 years, with a median age of 93.3 years for women and 88.5 years for men. The average household size is 2.63 and the average family size is 3.33, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. In Reading, 56.3% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race, with 33.5% being of Puerto Rican descent. In Berks County, the unemployment rate is 9.7%. The average age in Berks County is 31.7 years, and the median age is 93 years of age for men and 93 years for females. The national average for Reading is 29.9 years, while the national average is 30.8 years. In the city, the population was spread out, with 29.8% under the age of 18, 11.7. from 18 to 24, 28.9. from 25 to 44, 17.0% from 45 to 64, and 12.4. who were 65 years of old or older.

Fire department

The city of Reading is protected by the 135 firefighters and paramedics of the Reading Fire and EMS Department (RFD) The RFD operates out of seven fire stations throughout the city. In 2018, fire units responded to 9,992 incidents. EMS responses totaled 19,505 calls for service. Department staffing is only two firefighters per apparatus. The city has a population of 2.2 million. The RFF operates out a fleet of five Engine Companies, three Ladder Companies, one Rescue Company, brush unit, and four front-line Medic Ambulances. The department has a budget of $1.3 million. It has a staff of 135 firefighters. The town has a Population of 1.1 million. the city's population is 2.0 million the city’s population is 1.4 million the state of Pennsylvania has 1.6 million people the city has 0.8 million people. The Reading Fire Department has a staffing of 135. It operates a fire apparatus fleet of 5 Engine companies, 3 Ladder companies, 1 Rescue Company and one brush unit. The reading fire department has 2.5 firefighters per station. TheReading Fire Department operates a Fire Department with 2,000 firefighters. It also has 1,000 paramedics. It is the largest fire department in the state. It responds to 19,500 calls a year and has 2,500 paramedics on call. The fire department operates a rescue company with 1,200 firefighters. In the city, the fire department responds to 2,200 calls a day.

Air Quality, Water Quality, Superfund Sites & UV Index

The Air Quality index is in Reading, Berks County, Pennsylvania = 25.3. These Air Quality index is based on annual reports from the EPA. Higher values are better (100=best). The number of ozone alert days is used as an indicator of air quality, as are the amounts of seven pollutants including particulates, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, lead, and volatile organic chemicals. The Water Quality Index is 40. A measure of the quality of an area’s water supply as rated by the EPA. Higher values are better (100=best). The EPA has a complex method of measuring the watershed quality, using 15 indicators such as pollutants, turbidity, sediments, and toxic discharges. The Superfund Sites Index is 10. Higher is better (100=best). Based upon the number and impact of EPA Superfund pollution sites in the county, including spending on the cleanup efforts. The UV Index in Reading = 3.8 and is a measure of an area's exposure to the sun's ultraviolet rays. This is most often a combination of sunny weather, altitude, and latitude. The UV Index has been defined by the WHO ( and is uniform worldwide.


The most recent city population of 95,112 individuals with a median age of 31.4 age the population dropped by -0.64% in Reading, Berks County, Pennsylvania population since 2000 and are distributed over a density of 9,662.91 residents per square mile of area (3,730.88/km²). There are average 2.69 people per household in the 29,110 households with an average household income of $28,395 a year. The unemployment rate in Alabama is 13.40% of the available work force and has dropped -4.74% over the most recent 12-month period and the projected change in job supply over the next decade based on migration patterns, economic growth, and other factors will increase by 17.12%. The number of physicians in Reading per 100,000 population = 164.8.


The annual rainfall in Reading = 40.7 inches and the annual snowfall = 29.1 inches. The annual number of days with measurable precipitation (over .01 inch) = 123. The average number of days per year that are predominantly sunny = 203. 86 degrees Fahrenheit is the average daily high temperature for the month of July and 24.7 degrees Fahrenheit is the average daily low temperature for the month of January. The Comfort Index (higher=better) is 48, where higher values mean a more pleasant climate. The Comfort Index measure recognizes that humidity by itself isn't the problem. (Have you noticed nobody ever complains about the weather being 'cold and humid?) It's in the summertime that we notice the humidity the most, when it's hot and muggy. Our Comfort Index uses a combination of afternoon summer temperature and humidity to closely predict the effect that the humidity will have on people.

Median Home Cost

The percentage of housing units in Reading, Berks County, Pennsylvania which are owned by the occupant = 44.39%. A housing unit is a house, apartment, mobile home, or room occupied as separate living quarters. The average age of homes = 32.5 years with median home cost = $61,580 and home appreciation of -8.89%. This is the value of the years most recent home sales data. Its important to note that this is not the average (or arithmetic mean). The median home price is the middle value when you arrange all the sales prices of homes from lowest to highest. This is a better indicator than the average, because the median is not changed as much by a few unusually high or low values. The property tax rate of $18.32 shown here is the rate per $1,000 of home value. If for simplification for example the tax rate is $14.00 and the home value is $250,000, the property tax would be $14.00 x ($250,000/1000), or $3500. This is the 'effective' tax rate.


The local school district spends $5,451 per student. There are 16.2 students for each teacher in the school, 926 students for each Librarian and 440 students for each Counselor. 4.01% of the area’s population over the age of 25 with an Associate Degree or other 2-year college degree, 5.72% with a master’s degree, Ph.D. or other advanced college degree and 2.96% with high school diplomas or high school equivalency degrees (GEDs).

  • Reading's population in Berks County, Pennsylvania of 78,961 residents in 1900 has increased 1,2-fold to 95,112 residents after 120 years, according to the official 2020 census.

    Approximately 51.18% female residents and 48.82% male residents live in Reading, Berks County, Pennsylvania.

    As of 2020 in Reading, Berks County, Pennsylvania are married and the remaining 56.01% are single population.

  • 23 minutes is the average time that residents in Reading require for a one-way commute to work. A long commute can have different effects on health. A Gallup poll in the US found that in terms of mental health, long haul commuters are up to 12 percent more likely to experience worry, and ten percent less likely to feel well rested. The Gallup poll also found that of people who commute 61­–90 minutes each day, a whopping one third complained of neck and back pain, compared to less than a quarter of people who only spend ten minutes getting to work.

    60.65% of the working population which commute to work alone in their car, 20.14% of the working population which commutes to work in a carpool, 7.24% of the population that commutes using mass transit, including bus, light rail, subway, and ferry. 1.40% of the population that has their home as their principal place of work.

  • Of the total residential buildings in Reading, Berks County, Pennsylvania, 44.39% are owner-occupied homes, another 43.38% are rented apartments, and the remaining 12.23% are vacant.

  • The 51.35% of the population in Reading, Berks County, Pennsylvania who identify themselves as belonging to a religion are distributed among the following most diverse religions.

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