Massachusetts Population 2014

March, 14th 2014

The State of Massachusetts played a significant part in the early history of the United States. Situated on the northeastern edge of the country, this tiny territory contains the town of Plymouth, home to the Pilgrim colony of 1620 and, as you would expect for one of the first settled states, the population statistics here have always been healthy.

Massachusetts Population 2013

Did you know?

Massachusetts is the most Irish state in the US with 23.7% of residents. Boston is the most Irish metro.

Moving forward to the present day, the Massachusetts population in 2013 has risen beyond the 6.6 million mark and it is the 3rd most densely populated area in the United States, despite being the 7th smallest state in the country. The current population in 2013 is estimated at 6,695,956. Massachusetts also has a fairly healthy population growth rate of 0.75% annually, which ranks 28th in the state.

Massachusetts Population History

The earliest set of recorded population figures can be traced back to 1790 and, after 170 years of colonisation, there were aready plenty of people living in Massachusetts. That early census confirmed that 378,787 people were resident in the state.

The population of Massachusetts continued to grow but unlike many other states in the country, which often absurdly large increases of several hundred percent in a single decade in their early years as settlers headed West, the increases in Massachusetts were fairly steady. While other areas of the United States doubled in size on a census by census basis, Massachusetts had grown by 11.6% in 1800 to a figure of 422,845.

Population increases of a similar nature (in the order of 20% per decade on average) were experienced throughout the 19th century. By 1860 the numbers had breached the 1 million mark for the very first time, and by the end of the century they had passed 2.5 million. The 20th century has seen a gradual decline in growth rates, from around 20% per decade at the start of the century to around 5% per decade today, resulting in the Massachusetts population in 2013 exceeding 6.6 million.


The last official census in the United States was carried out in 2010 and at the time, it was confirmed that 6,547,629 people were living here which represented a rise of 3.1% over a ten-year period.

Estimated figures were released in 2013, claiming that the Massachusetts population has risen slightly to 6,695,956, which make this the 14th most populous state in the US.

Massachusetts Demographics and Distribution

With a surface area of just 10,555 square miles or 27,336 square kilometers, Massachusetts is the seventh smallest state in the USA. The state has two major metropolitan areas: Greater Boston in the east and the Springfield metropolitan area in the west. Approximately 2/3 of the total Massachusetts population lives in Greater Boston, while Western Massachusetts has just one urban area with a good mix of rural areas and college towns. The state is currently the most populous of the six New England states.

However Massachusetts makes use of virtually every inch of its land and, for every square mile of land, there is an average of 840 people. Those figures make Massachusetts the third most densely populated state in the entire country, and the 14th most populated state in the US, despite its small size.

2012 Census estimates of the state show that Massachusetts is 83.7% White (75.8% non-Hispanic), 7.9% Black or African American, 0.8% American Indian or Alaska Native, 5.8% Asian American, 4.7% from some other race and 2.0% from two or more races, with Hispanics and Latinos representing 10.1% of the population. The non-Hispanic white population of Massachusetts has declined to its current level from almost 85% in 1970.

Interestingly, a large number of African-Americans migrated to the state during the early 20th century, although is fewer numbers than most other states in the area. Later in the century, there was a great deal of immigration to the area from East Asia, Africa and Latin America. Today, Massachusetts has the 3rd largest population of Haitians in the country, with a large population of Portuguese as well.

Massachusetts Population Projections

Looking at population growth throughout the 20th century, there is an indication that rises within Massachusetts are slowing down. Natural growth remains healthy, however, and there are no reasons to suggest that the Massachusetts population will decrease anytime soon.

The population of Massachusetts has continued to climb over the last few decades, although it has been at a slower pace than most states in the West and South. The last census showed a growth of 3.9% since 2000, compared with almost 10% nationally. The state has been slowly transforming form a manufacturing-based economy into one based on technology, which leaves fewer job options for lower-skilled workers, and many residents have left the state citing high housing costs and living costs.

The 2020 Census will be interesting to watch, as it is possible that the Massachusetts population will have crept over the seven million mark. The population at the next Census is projected to be 6.7 million, however.

Massachusetts Population Chart