Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The city was famous for the Reading Railroad (for example, it appears as a space in the Monopoly board game). Overlooking Reading on Mount Penn is a distinctive pagoda, known locally as "The Pagoda" or otherwise as the "Reading Pagoda".
The city was the home to the first automobile dealership opened by Mr. H.W. Koler to sell Winton automobiles.
Four colleges are located in Reading: Albright College , Alvernia College , Penn State - Berks, and Reading Area Community College .
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. During the French and Indian War, Reading became a military base for a chain of forts along the Blue Mountains. By the time of the American Revolution, the area's iron industry had a total production that exceeded that of England, a production that would help supply George Washington's troops with cannons, rifles and ammunition. During the early period of the war, Reading was again a depot for military supply. Hessian prisoners from the battle of Trenton were also detained here. The Philadelphia and Reading Railroad (P&R) was incorporated in 1833. Solomon Boscov built the first Boscov's department store at the corner of 9th and Pike Streets in downtown Reading in 1911. The city saw continuous growth until the 1930s. From the 1940s to the 1970s, Reading felt a marked downturn in prosperity. In 1972, 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).
As of the census2 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 population, 36.5% of those under the age of 18 and 15.6% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.
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