Massachusetts Population 2018

6,895,917

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 one of the first settled states, the population statistics have always been healthy. As of 2018, Massachusetts' population stands at 6.90 million.

Moving forward to the present day, the Massachusetts population in 2018 has risen beyond the 6.90 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 population in 2018 is estimated at 6.90 million, up from the 6,547,629 figure recorded during the last official nationwide Census held in 2010. Massachusetts also has a fairly healthy population growth rate of 0.75% annually, which ranks 28th in the United States.

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, as well as the fastest growing.

However, Massachusetts makes use of virtually every inch of its land and, for every square mile of land, there is an average of 839.4 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.

Massachusetts Population History

Massachusetts was one of the 13 original States. Maine was legally part of Massachusetts from early Colonial times, although geographically separated; Maine became a separate State in 1820, leaving Massachusetts with nearly its present boundaries. A long-standing border dispute with Rhode Island was finally settled with a sizable exchange of territory in 1862. Census coverage included all of Massachusetts from 1790 on. The counties comprising Maine were reported separately in 1790-1810.

Massachusetts Population Chart

Massachusetts Population History

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

The population of Massachusetts continued to grow, but unlike many other states in the country, which often had 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. 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 2016 exceeding 6.7 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 in the state, which represented a rise of 3.1% over a ten-year period.

Estimated figures were released in July 2015, claiming that the Massachusetts population has risen to 6,794,422, making this the 14th most populous state in the US.

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 from 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 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. However, experts project that the population at the next Census will remain around 6.7 million, while 2030 may see a population of 6.8 million.

Population Data via US Census

Massachusetts Growth Rate

Massachusetts Population Rank

Year Pop % Change
20206,968,1130.52%
20196,932,0150.52%
20186,895,9170.53%
20176,859,8190.53%
20166,823,721Infinity%
20166,742,143-0.76%
20156,794,0020.53%
20146,757,9250.70%
20136,711,1380.77%
20126,659,6270.72%
20116,612,1780.72%
20106,564,9430.33%
20006,349,0970.54%
19906,016,4250.48%
19805,737,0370.08%
19705,689,1701.00%
19605,148,5780.94%
19504,690,5140.83%
19404,316,7210.16%
19304,249,6140.99%
19203,852,3561.36%
19103,366,4161.84%
19002,805,3462.28%
18902,238,9432.30%
18801,783,0852.04%
18701,457,3511.70%
18601,231,0662.16%
1850994,5143.03%
1840737,6991.91%
1830610,4081.55%
1820523,2871.04%
1810472,0401.11%
1800422,8451.11%
1790378,7873.50%
1780268,6271.33%
1770235,3081.51%
1760202,6000.75%
1750188,0002.17%
1740151,6132.88%
1730114,1162.29%
172091,0083.85%
171062,3901.10%
170055,9411.23%
169049,5042.22%
168039,7522.85%
167030,0004.10%
166020,0823.65%
165014,0374.62%
16408,93233.25%
16305060.00%

Massachusetts Facts

Massachusetts Population in 2018Source: By PapaDunes [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

  • Massachussetts was first settled by Pilgrims and was founded as Plymouth Colony in 1620.
  • Lowell was the first planned industrial city in the United States. It was also where the Industrial Revolution began.
  • Early Massachusetts settlers became known for resisting British control. Historical events include the Boston Tea Party and the American Revolution.
  • The first college established in North America was Harvard, which was founded in 1636.
  • The state has the lowest divorce rate (2.2 per 1,000 couples) in the nation.
  • The first subway system was established in Boston in 1897.

Massachusetts Population Density by County

Middlesex County

  • Population1,602,947
  • Density1960.02 per sq km
  • Growth Since 20106.36%
  • State Rank1
  • % of State23.37%

Massachusetts Population Growth Rate by County

When evaluating data from the 2010 Census and 2015 estimates taken by the Census Bureau, the state of Massachusetts saw overall growth in population by county with the exception of three counties. While there weren't any counties with significantly high growth that exceeded 10%, there were a few that exhibited growth rates above 5%. This includes the southernmost county of Nantucket, which grew by 7.49%, followed by Suffolk County at 7.29% and Middlesex County at 5.17%. Other counties that saw rowth rates below 5% include Essex, Plymouth, and Norfolk.

On the other side, there were a few counties that had decreases in population, but there are only three. The highest decline came on the western border, with Berkshire County posting a 2.63% population decrease between 2010 and 2015. Franklin County recorded a smaller decline at 0.99%, followed by Barnstable at 0.74%.

Population by Race

Race Population
White5,343,665
Black or African American489,233
Asian411,736
Some Other Race278,562
Two or More Races203,014
American Indian and Alaska Native13,931
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander2,002

Race Data via US Census (2016 ACS 5-Year Survey)

Massachusetts Population Pyramid 2018

0%2%4%6%8% Male Population0%2%4%6%8% Female Population80757065605550454035302520151050

Data via US Census (2016 ACS 5-Year Survey): Table S0101

Massachusetts Median Age

39.4


Total

37.8


Male

40.8


Female

Massachusetts Adults

There are 5,353,262 adults, (1,018,064 of which are seniors) in Massachusetts.

Massachusetts Age Dependency

55.5

Age Dependency Ratio

23.5

Old Age Dependency Ratio

32.1

Child Dependency Ratio

Massachusetts Sex Ratio

Female

3,472,772

51.51%

Male

3,269,371

48.49%

Massachusetts Households and Families

Massachusetts Renter vs Owner Occupied by Household Type

Massachusetts Household Types

Type Owner Renter
Married81.6%18.4%
All62.1%37.9%
Male53.1%46.9%
Non Family44.4%55.6%
Female43.2%56.8%

62.1%

Rate of Home Ownership

Massachusetts Households by Type

Type Count Average Size Owned
All2,558,8892.5462.1
Married1,200,1673.2381.6
Non Family931,6951.3244.4
Female319,6613.2543.2
Male107,3663.2553.1

3.15

Average Family Size

2.54

Average Household Size

5.8%

Unmarried (Opposite Sex)

0.5%

Unmarried (Same Sex)

Massachusetts Households

Massachusetts Education

Massachusetts Educational Attainment by Sex (over 25)

Education Attained Count Percentage
Less Than 9th Grade216,7874.66%
9th to 12th Grade245,5985.28%
High School Graduate1,167,09825.10%
Some College743,93416.00%
Associates Degree359,7747.74%
Bachelors Degree1,072,12023.06%
Graduate Degree844,68618.17%

Massachusetts Educational Attainment by Race

Name Total High School Bachelors
White3,613,8683,373,7081,591,081
Hispanic397,931273,92470,495
Black299,153249,56571,976
Asian272,948231,208159,191
Other Race159,966106,45919,412
Multiple Races88,99669,28626,144
Native American8,7886,9971,870
Islander1,1921,022412

The highest rate of high school graduation is among white people with a rate of 93.35%.

The highest rate of bachelors degrees is among white people with a rate of 58.32%.

Massachusetts Earnings by Educational Attainment

Name Average Male Female
Overall$46,368$53,462$39,574
Less Than High School$24,464$28,835$19,683
High School Grad$32,940$40,613$26,056
Some College$39,791$47,788$33,314
Bachelors Degree$58,534$71,149$48,961
Graduate Degree$74,841$93,146$63,911

$46,368

Average Earnings

$53,462

Average Male

$39,574

Average Female

Massachusetts Language

Massachusetts Language by Age

Massachusetts Language

77.27% of Massachusetts residents speak only English, while 22.73% speak other languages. The largest non-English language is OtherIndoEuro, which is spoken by 8.70% of the population.

Massachusetts Poverty

Massachusetts Poverty by Race

Name Total In Poverty Poverty Rate
White4,808,630367,9087.65%
Hispanic705,799201,45328.54%
Black467,354101,29421.67%
Other268,69881,51530.34%
Asian391,29055,87014.28%
Multiple193,93836,85719.00%
Native13,5173,01622.31%
Islander1,84629115.76%

11.39%

Overall Poverty Rate

10.17%

Male Poverty Rate

12.53%

Female Poverty Rate

Poverty in Massachusetts

The race most likely to be in poverty in Massachusetts is Other, with 30.34% below the poverty level.

The race least likely to be in poverty in Massachusetts is White, with 7.65% below the poverty level.

The poverty rate among those that worked full-time for the past 12 months was 1.25%. Among those working part-time, it was 12.72%, and for those that did not work, the poverty rate was 22.26%.

Massachusetts Poverty Rate by Education

Name Poverty
Less Than High School25.02%
High School12.23%
Some College8.90%
Bachelors or Greater4.26%

Massachusetts Poverty Rate by Employment Status and Sex

Name Poverty
Female Unemployed30.17%
Male Unemployed23.45%
Female Employed5.63%
Male Employed3.68%

Massachusetts Income

Massachusetts Income by Household Type

Name Median Mean
Households$70,954$97,295
Families$90,180$116,766
Married Families$108,698$137,400
Non Families$40,726$59,709

Massachusetts Marital Status

Massachusetts Marital Status

Marriage Rates

46.4%

Overall Marriage Rate

48.6%

Male Marriage Rate

44.3%

Female Marriage Rate

Massachusetts Married by Age and Sex

Massachusetts Marriage

The age group where males are most likely to be married is 55To64, while the female age group most likely to be married is 35To44.

Massachusetts Marital Status by Race

Massachusetts Veterans

Massachusetts Veterans by War

340,288

Number of Veterans

321,371

Male Veterans

18,917

Female Veterans

Name Veterans
Vietnam118,700
Korea44,116
First Gulf War40,679
Second Gulf War37,198
World War II30,213

Massachusetts Veterans by Age

Name Veterans
75+101,740
65 to 7489,777
35 to 5467,598
55 to 6458,877
18 to 3422,296

Massachusetts Veterans by Race

Name Veterans % of Total
White316,2577.30%
Black12,8873.56%
Hispanic9,4201.89%
2 or More4,3613.78%
Other2,9141.46%
Asian2,8830.89%
Indian8227.59%
Hawaiian1649.87%

Massachusetts Veterans by Education

6.21%

Veteran Poverty Rate

28.05%

Veteran Disability Rate

Massachusetts Employment Status

Massachusetts Employment by Age

67.5%

Labor Force Participation

62.8%

Employment Rate

6.8%

Unemployment Rate

Massachusetts Employment by Race

Massachusetts Employment by Education

Massachusetts Nativity

Massachusetts Citizenship Status

Data Sources
  1. Massachusetts State Data Center
  2. US Census State Population Estimates - Most recent state estimates from the Census Bureau's Population Estimates Program
  3. US Census County Population Estimates - Most recent county estimates from the Census Bureau's Population Estimates Program
  4. American Community Survey (2009 - 2013)
  5. Census QuickFacts
  6. Historical Populations of States and Counties (1790 - 1990)