Reading, Pennsylvania is located in the southeastern portion of Pennsylvania and is known to many as the birthplace of the outlet shopping. Reading, the fifth most populated city in Pennsylvania, is the county seat of Berks County. It has a small town atmosphere but is only 56 miles from Philadelphia, less than 100 miles from the Baltimore-Washington metropolitan area, and 125 miles from New York, New York.
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Reading had a population of 88,082, according to 2010 U.S. Census. Reading is situated along the Schuykill River, nestled in a valley of Mount Penn and Neversink Mountains. Reading has a total area of 10.3 square miles.
Reading is rich in history. The town of Reading was laid out by Thomas and Richard Penn, the sons of William Penn, in 1748. They chose the name Reading after the county seat of the family’s ancestral home of Reading, Berkshire, England.
Reading preserves its history through its historical society. The Berks Historical Society is located at Centre Avenue. The museum features more than 20,000 artifacts.
Reading is home to “The Pagoda,” a Japanese-style pagoda that was built on Mount Penn in 1908. It is a popular tourist attraction. Reading’s skyline is also home to the William Penn Memorial Fire Tower, one mile from The Pagoda. The tower, with an elevation of 950-feet gives a 60-mile, 360-degree panoramic view of the region.
Reading’s cultural offerings are vast with a symphony orchestra, two choral societies, a chamber music ensemble and a civic opera company. There is also an art institute and numerous civic organizations enhancing life in Reading.
Reading is home to festivals as well as a wide variety of shopping such as the VF Outlet Village, the biggest and most popular outlet center in the Mid-Atlantic. The Reading Glove and Mitten Manufacturing Company, founded in 1899, changed its name to Vanity Fair in 1911. The major clothier, VF Corp, created VF Outlet Village, the first outlet mall in the United States.
Reading is home to numerous parks with hiking, biking, and horseback trails. A few of the parks include Amanda Stout Park, Baer Park, Barbey’s Park, Brookline, Neversink, and City Park, a 48.83 acre park.
Sports enthusiasts will appreciate Reading, affectionately known as “Baseballtown.” It is the home of the Reading Phillies and the Reading Royals hockey team. There’s drag racing at Maple Grove Raceway too.
The majority or Reading’s students attend Reading School District. With Reading High School, 13th and Union Elementary School, Northeast Middle School, Reading High School and Albright College all located on 13th Street in Reading, locals say it is possible to go from kindergarten through college and never leave 13th Street.
Reading is home to several schools of higher learning, including Albright College, Alvernia University, Pace Institute, Reading Area Community College and Penn State Berks.
Reading’s commerce has been fueled by coal and transportation. Reading was home to the Reading Railroad, which moved from all directions from the city. Reading is south of Interstate 78. Interstate 76 and a bypass, Interstate 176, run through Reading.
Agriculture is a major portion of the regional economy. The Reading-Berks County region ranks third among Pennsylvania in receipts from agriculture, totaling more than $73.9 million. Dairy production is $29.3 million and poultry is $10.2 million.
Reading’s outlet shopping was one of the first in the nation to become a destination for tourists and visitors.
Reading is called “The Pretzel City.” It is home to Unique Pretzel, Dieffenbach, and Bachman bakeries.
Penske Truck Leasing, Boscov’s, Carpenter Technology Corp., and Redner’s Markets are among Reading’s largest employers. Other leading employers include Reading Hospital and Medical Center, East Penn Manufacturing, Reading School District, St. Joseph’s Medical Center and the state of Pennsylvania.
Businesses in Reading have an advocate in the Greater Reading Chamber of Commerce. The chamber represents more than 1,600 businesses and approximately 90,000 business owners and employees.
According to the 2010 U.S. Census, there were more than 29,979 households in Reading. More than 19,257 families called Reading home.
Reading offers a variety of established neighborhoods, including Center City, Callowhill, Centre Park, College Heights, Eastside, Glenside, Hampden Heights, Millmont, North Riverside, Northmont, Northside, Oakbrook-Wyomissing Park, Outlet District, Penn’s Commons, Prince Historic District, Queen Anne Historic District, Southside, and South of Penn.
According to county data, the estimated median value of a home in Reading was $67,600 in 2011.
With all Reading has to offer with its cultural offerings, a solid school system, and a sound economic base, the city makes it a likely choice for those searching for home in the Reading area. A Prudential Homesale Services Group who lives or works in the area can lend their expert advice in finding a home in Reading or real estate.
|2010 to 2012 Changeup 0.5%|
|Age Distribution (Years Old)|
|0 to 46.0%|
|5 to 1723.3%|
|18 to 6455.6%|
|65 and Older15.1%|
|White (not Hispanic)75.6%|
|Place of Birth|
|High School Graduate, Age 25+83.8%|
|Bachelor's Degree or Higher, Age 25+22.1%|
|English is Second Language, Age 5+16.4%|
|English is First Language, Age 5+83.6%|
|Per Capita Income$26,332|
|Median Household Income$54,823|
|People in Poverty13.1%|
|Average Work Commute Time24 minutes|
|Total Housing Units165,269|
|Average Household Size2.58|
|Owner-Occupied Median Value$174,000|
|New Private Housing Issued 2012289|
|Years at Residence|
|1 Year or More85.9%|
|Less Than 1 Year14.1%|
|Business and Employment|
|Private non-farm Establishments8,177|
|Private non-farm Employment144,686|
|Private non-farm Employment Growthup 1.5%|
|Number of Firms30,325|
|Business Ownership by Ethnicity and Gender|
|Value of Shipments$8,461,848,000|
|Accommodation and Food Services$12,307|
|Sales Per Capita$445,993,000|
|Land Area856.51 sq. miles|
|Population Per Square Mile481|
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