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Reading, Pennsylvania

Reading is the county seat of Berks County, Pennsylvania. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 81,207.

The city was famous for the Reading Railroad (for example, see Monopoly game). Overlooking Reading on Mount Penn is a distinctive pagoda, known locally as "The Pagoda" or otherwise as the "Reading Pagoda".

Reading is home to the minor league baseball team, the Reading Phillies and the East Coast Hockey League ice hockey team, the Reading Royals.

The city was the home to the first automobile dealership opened by Mr. H.W. Koler to sell Winton automobiles.


In 1743, Richard and Thomas Penn (sons of William Penn) planned the town of Reading. It was established in 1748. Upon creation of Berks County in 1752, the town became the county seat. The Philadelphia and Reading Railroad (P&R) was incorporated in 1833. The city saw continuous growth until the 1930s. From the 1940s to the 1970s, Reading felt a marked downturn in prosperity. In 1973, Hurricane Agnes caused flooding in the city. The Sovereign Center (where the Reading Royals play) was completed in 2001.


Reading is located at 40°20'30" North, 75°55'35" West (40.341692, -75.926301)1.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 26.1 km² (10.1 mi²). 25.4 km² (9.8 mi²) of it is land and 0.6 km² (0.2 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 2.39% water.


As of the census of 2000, there are 81,207 people, 30,113 households, and 18,429 families residing in the city. The population density is 3,192.9/km² (8,270.2/mi²). There are 34,314 housing units at an average density of 1,349.2/km² (3,494.6/mi²). The racial makeup of the city is 59.18% White, 12.25% African American, 0.44% Native American, 1.60% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 22.32% from other races, and 4.18% from two or more races. 37.31% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There are 30,113 households out of which 33.7% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 34.4% are married couples living together, 20.2% have a female householder with no husband present, and 38.8% are non-families. 31.7% of all households are made up of individuals and 12.4% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.63 and the average family size is 3.33.

In the city the population is spread out with 29.9% 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 are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 31 years. For every 100 females there are 93.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 88.5 males.

The median income for a household in the city is $26,698, and the median income for a family is $31,067. Males have a median income of $28,114 versus $21,993 for females. The per capita income for the city is $13,086. 26.1% of the population and 22.3% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total people living in poverty, 36.5% are under the age of 18 and 15.6% are 65 or older.

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