Reading, PA
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Living in Reading


Reading is a larger medium-sized city located in the state of Pennsylvania. With a population of 87,879 people and 41 constituent neighborhoods, Reading is the fifth largest community in Pennsylvania. Much of the housing stock in Reading was built prior to World War II, making it one of the older and more historic cities in the country.

When you are in Reading, you'll notice that it is more blue-collar than most other communities in America. 43.33% of Reading’s employed work in blue-collar jobs, while America averages only 27.7% that do. Overall, Reading is a city of service providers, sales and office workers, and production and manufacturing workers. There are especially a lot of people living in Reading who work in office and administrative support (12.18%), sales jobs (8.65%), and food service (6.52%).

Many people in Reading take advantage of public transportation to get around. In fact, for the size of the city, the number of people who use the bus to commute to work is quite high. This helps to fill a need among Reading citizens for affordable transportation.

The citizens of Reading have a very low rate of college education: just 9.16% of people over 25 have a bachelor's degree or advanced degree, compared to a national average of 21.84% for all cities.

The per capita income in Reading in 2010 was $13,217, which is low income relative to Pennsylvania and the nation. This equates to an annual income of $52,868 for a family of four. Reading also has one of the higher rates of people living in poverty in the nation, with 39.61% of its population below the federal poverty line.

Reading is an extremely ethnically-diverse city. The people who call Reading home describe themselves as belonging to a variety of racial and ethnic groups. People of Hispanic or Latino origin are the most prevalent group in Reading, accounting for 61.23% of the city’s residents (people of Hispanic or Latino origin can be of any race). The greatest number of Reading residents report their race to be White, followed by Black or African-American. Important ancestries of people in Reading include Italian, Irish, Polish, and Pennsylvania German.

Foreign born people are also an important part of Reading's cultural character, accounting for 18.35% of the city’s population.

The most common language spoken in Reading is English. Other important languages spoken here include Spanish and French Creole.