Government - County
Berks County is an urban area of 411,442 persons (2010 Census), situated in southeastern Pennsylvania. The County is a diamond–shaped area of 864 square miles (Figure 2.1). The County seat, which is the City of Reading, is 56 miles northwest of Philadelphia. Berks County is bordered by Schuylkill County to the north, to the west by Lebanon and Lancaster Counties, to the east by Lehigh County, and to the south by Chester and Montgomery Counties. Despite its closeness to the Philadelphia Metropolitan Area, it is considered part of Pennsylvania’s Dutch Country (Berks County Pennsylvania, Economic Resource Profile). Through numerous Federal and State highways and turnpikes, the County is linked to other major cities such as New York (125 miles) and Baltimore (97 miles). Sections of the Blue and South Mountains, which are ridges of the Appalachian Mountain chain, form its northern and southern boundaries with elevations averaging about 640 feet above sea level. The mean annual temperature is 54.3 degrees Fahrenheit. The average rainfall is 41.4 inches and the average annual snowfall is 30.6 inches.