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Berks County, Pennsylvania
Reading, Pennsylvani skyline
Reading skyline
Seal of Berks County, Pennsylvania
Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Berks County
Location in the state of Pennsylvania
Map of USA PA
Pennsylvania's location in the U.S.
Founded March 11, 1752
Seat Reading
Largest city Reading
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

866 sq mi (2,243 km²)
859 sq mi (2,225 km²)
7 sq mi (18 km²), 0.78%
 - (2010)
 - Density

479/sq mi (184.9/km²)

Berks County is a county located in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. As of the 2010 census, the population was 411,442. The county seat is Reading.[1] Berks County is part of the Reading, PA, metropolitan statistical area and as of 2005, is also considered part of the Philadelphia combined statistical area.


Reading developed during the 1740s when the inhabitants of northern Lancaster County sent several petitions requesting that a separate county be established. With the help of German immigrant Conrad Weiser, the county was formed on March 11, 1752 from parts of Chester County, Lancaster County, and Philadelphia County.

It was named after William Penn's family home of Reading, Berkshire, England. Berks County began much larger than it is today. The northwestern parts of the county went to the founding of Northumberland County in 1772 and Schuylkill County in 1811, when it reached its current size. In 2005, Berks County was added to the Delaware Valley Planning Area due to a fast-growing population and close proximity to the other communities.

Law and governmentEdit


County CommissionersEdit

  • Mark C. Scott, Chairman, Republican
  • Kevin Barnhardt, Democrat
  • Christian Leinbach, Republican

Other county officesEdit

  • Clerk of Courts, James P. Troutman, Republican
  • Controller, Sandy Graffius, Republican
  • Coroner, Dennis J. Hess, Democrat
  • District Attorney, John T. Adams, Democrat
  • Prothonotary, Marianne Sutton, Republican
  • Recorder of Deeds, Frederick Sheeler, Democrat
  • Register of Wills, Larry J. Medaglia Jr., Republican
  • Sheriff, Eric Weaknecht, Republican
  • Treasurer, Nelson H. Long, Republican

Pennsylvania State SenateEdit

Pennsylvania House of RepresentativesEdit

United States House of RepresentativesEdit

United States SenateEdit


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 866 square miles (2,242.9 km2). 859 square miles (2,224.8 km2) is land and 7 square miles (18.1 km2) (0.78%) is water. Most of the county is drained by the Schuylkill River, but an area in the northeast is drained by the Lehigh River via the Little Lehigh Creek and areas are drained by the Susquehanna River via the Swatara Creek in the northwest and the Conestoga River (which starts in Berks County between Morgantown and Elverson) in the extreme south.

Adjacent countiesEdit

National protected areaEdit


Historical populations
Census Pop.
1790 30,189
1800 32,407 7.3%
1810 43,146 33.1%
1820 46,275 7.3%
1830 53,152 14.9%
1840 64,569 21.5%
1850 77,129 19.5%
1860 93,818 21.6%
1870 106,701 13.7%
1880 122,597 14.9%
1890 137,327 12.0%
1900 159,615 16.2%
1910 183,222 14.8%
1920 200,854 9.6%
1930 231,717 15.4%
1940 241,884 4.4%
1950 255,740 5.7%
1960 275,414 7.7%
1970 296,382 7.6%
1980 312,509 5.4%
1990 336,523 7.7%
2000 373,638 11.0%
2010 411,442 10.1%

As of the census[4] of 2000, there were 373,638 people, 141,570 households, and 98,532 families residing in the county. The population density was 435 people per square mile (168/km²). There were 150,222 housing units at an average density of 175 per square mile (68/km²). The racial makeup of the county in 2004 was 82.5% White, 4.6% Black or African American, 0.2% Native American, 1.2% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 6.3% from other races, and 1.2% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race made up 11.8%. 35.1% were of German, 8.6% Italian, 7.1% Irish, and 5.4% Polish ancestry according to Census 2000. 87.6% spoke English, 8.1% Spanish and 1.0% Pennsylvania Dutch as their first language. Historically there was a large Pennsylvania Dutch (from Pennsylvania Deutsch or German) population. It is known as part of Pennsylvania Dutch Country. Berks County also has large and growing Puerto Rican, Dominican, and Mexican communities.

According to Muninetguide the median household income for Berks County, as of 2010, is $54,105

There were 141,570 households out of which 31.70% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.50% were married couples living together, 9.90% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.40% were non-families. 24.60% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.70% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.55 and the average family size was 3.05.

In the county, the population was spread out with 24.60% under the age of 18, 8.80% from 18 to 24, 28.90% from 25 to 44, 22.60% from 45 to 64, and 15.00% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 95.90 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.70 males.


As of January 2010, there are 248,949 registered voters in Berks County.[5]

The first time since 1964 that a Democrat carried Berks in a Presidential election occurred in November 2008, with Barack Obama receiving 53.9% of the vote to John McCain's 44.7%. The other three statewide winners (Rob McCord for Treasurer, Jack Wagner for Auditor General, and Tom Corbett for Attorney General) also carried it.[6] While Republicans have controlled the commissioner majority most of the time and continue to control most county row offices, Democrats have become more competitive in Berks in recent years.


Map of Berks County Pennsylvania With Municipal and Township Labels

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania with Municipal Labels showing Cities and Boroughs (red), Townships (white), and Census-designated places (blue).

Under Pennsylvania law, there are four types of incorporated municipalities: cities, boroughs, townships, and, in at most two cases, towns. The following cities, boroughs and townships are located in Berks County:




Farmstead in winter, Windsor Township, Berks County, Pennsylvania

A farm in Windsor Township

Unincorporated or Census-designated placesEdit

Census-designated places are geographical areas designated by the U.S. Census Bureau for the purposes of compiling demographic data. They are not actual jurisdictions under Pennsylvania law. Other unincorporated communities, such as villages, may be listed here as well.


Colleges and universitiesEdit

Map of Berks County Pennsylvania School Districts

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania Public School Districts

Public school districtsEdit

Private high schoolsEdit

Technical or trade schoolsEdit

Notable peopleEdit


The Reading Public Museum is an art, science, and history museum.

There are two Pennsylvania state parks in Berks County.

There are two Pennsylvania Historic Sites in Berks County.

The Old Morlatton Village in Douglassville is maintained by the Historic Preservation Trust of Berks County. The village is composed of four historic structures: White Horse Inn, George Douglass Mansion, Bridge keeper's House, and the Mouns Jones House, constructed in 1716, which is the oldest recorded building in the county. [2]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ Who Was Who in America, Historical Volume, 1607-1896. Chicago: Marquis Who's Who. 1963. 

External linksEdit

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Coordinates: 40°25′N 75°56′W / 40.42, -75.93

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