Reading ( RED-ing; Pennsylvania German: Reddin) is a city in and the county seat of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United States. With a population of 88,082 as of the 2010 census, it is the fifth-largest city in Pennsylvania. Located in the southeastern part of the state, it is the principal city of the Greater Reading Area, home to 420,152 residents, and is furthermore included in the greater Delaware Valley. According to the 2010 census, Reading had the highest share of citizens living in poverty in the nation for cities with populations of more than 65,000. Reading's poverty rate fell over the next decade. Reading's poverty rate in the 2018 five-year American Community survey showed that 35.4% of the city's residents were below the poverty line, or less "than the infamous 41.3% from 2011, when Reading was declared the poorest small city in the nation."
The city, which is approximately halfway between the state's most populous city, Philadelphia, and the state capital, Harrisburg, is strategically situated along a major transportation route from Central to Eastern Pennsylvania, and lent its name to the now-defunct Reading Railroad, which transported anthracite coal from the Pennsylvania Coal Region to the eastern United States via the Port of Philadelphia. Reading Railroad is one of the four railroad properties in the classic United States version of the Monopoly board game. Reading was one of the first localities where outlet shopping became a tourist industry. It has been known as "The Pretzel City", because of numerous local pretzel bakeries. Currently, Bachman, Dieffenbach, Tom Sturgis, and Unique Pretzel bakeries call the Reading area home.