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.
Because occupations involving physical labor dominate the local economy, Reading is generally considered to be a blue-collar town. 43.33% of the Reading workforce is employed in blue-collar occupations, compared to the national average of 27.7%. 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%).
Reading has a lot of people who ride the bus to and from work. In fact, for its size, Reading has quite a high level of public transit users. Reading’s need for inexpensive transportation options for its citizens is quite high.
The population of Reading has a very low overall level of education: only 9.16% of people over 25 hold a 4-year college degree or higher.
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.