Boston, Massachusetts Population 2018

Boston is the capital and largest city of Massachusetts in the United States. It's also the largest city in New England and represents the 23rd largest city in the US. Boston was founded in 1630, making it one of the oldest cities in the country, and it was the scene of many important events in the American Revolution. Today, the city is an international center for medicine and higher learning, and this city of 90 square miles is home to one of the most densely populated regions in the United States. The city had a population of 618,000 people in 2010, which has increased to approximately 667,137 in 2016.

The city of Boston is home to an estimated 667,137 people in 2016, although the Greater Boston area is home to an estimated 4.7 million, making it the 10th largest metropolitan area in the United States. As a commuting region, Greater Boston has an even larger population of 8.1 million, which makes it the 6th largest Combined Statistical Area in the country.

Boston has a density of 13,841 people per square mile (5,344/square kilometer), and Greater Boston is the 4th most densely populated region in the United States, after New York Metro Area, Greater Los Angeles and South Florida Metro Area. Somerville, a city just north of Boston and included in its metropolitan area, has the highest population density of 18,431.6 people per square mile.

Interestingly, Boston's actual population fluctuates rapidly between day and night, as well as during special events. It's estimated that 1.2 million people are in the city during work hours, and 2 million during special events in the city, as hundreds of thousands of residents in the suburbs commute to the city for education, health care and work.

Boston Demographics

According to the 2010 Census, the racial/ethnic makeup of Boston was as follows:

  • White: 53.9% (non-Hispanic: 47%)
  • Black or African American: 24.4%
  • Native American: 0.4%
  • Asian: 8.9%
  • Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander: 0.0%
  • Two or more: 3.9%
  • Hispanic or Latino of any race: 17.5%

Whites represented a 94.7% majority of the city's population in 1950, but the percentage of non-Hispanic whites in the region declined for much of the next 50 years. By 2000, non-Hispanic whites accounted for just 49.5% of the population, which made Boston a majority-minority city for the first time in its history. Over the last decade, the city has experienced a great deal of gentrification, and the percentage of non-Hispanic whites was starting to grow. By 2010, this trend reversed once more, partially due to the housing crash, and the minority population rebounded in Boston.

The single largest ethnic group in Boston is Irish, which accounts for 15.8% of the population, followed by Italians with 8.3% of the population. Those of West Indian ancestry account for 6% of Boston's population, and some areas have seen a great deal of immigration from Vietnam recently, while other areas are seeing an increase in the number of Dominican Americans. South Asians account for a substantial amount of Boston's immigration, and the city has the 10th largest Indian population in the United States.

There are also about 25,000 Jews in Boston, or 227,000 in its metropolitan area, while nearby communities like Newton are nearly one-third Jewish.

Boston Population Growth

Boston is experiencing huge growth lately thanks to an immigration boom, and the Boston area gained close to 55,000 residents in the two years following the 2010 Census, according to 2013 estimates from the Census Bureau. This is also the first time Boston's population has passed 600,000 since the 1970s.

While the state's population growth of 1.5% is just behind the nation's rate of 1.7%, Massachusetts as a whole is still doing better than most of the country, and it's now the fastest growing state in the Northeast.

It seems most of the growth in the state is comprised of immigrants, who have been important to the state's growth over the past 10 years. Without immigration, the state's population would have declined.

In 1990, Boston's population was 20% foreign born, but this number has grown to 27% and shows signs of increasing. Recent immigrants to the area come mostly from Latin America and Asia, and many are coming for the science and technology jobs.

Thanks to this immigration boom, Boston's population is also growing younger, as nearly one-third of its residents are 20-34, which is younger than most other major cities in the country.

Boston is growing at its fastest rate in decades, which is transforming the city with more than 5,000 homes in development. While immigrants and young families are moving to Boston, so too are major companies, which are attracted by talented workers in the region.

To keep up with this rapid growth, Boston is now attempting to rapidly expand housing with plans for 30,000 new housing units by 2020. The city's population growth rate of 3.1% is expected to continue through at least 2020, reaching around 780,000 to 790,000 by the next Census in 2020.

Year Population Growth Annual Growth Rate
2017685,0946,6640.98%
2016678,4309,1751.37%
2015669,2558,1521.23%
2014661,1039,0641.39%
2013652,03910,0841.57%
2012641,95511,8831.89%
2011630,0729,3701.51%
2010620,70231,5610.52%
2000589,14114,8580.26%
1990574,28311,2890.20%
1980562,994-78,077-1.29%
1970641,071-56,126-0.84%
1960697,197-104,247-1.38%
1950801,44430,6280.39%
1940770,816-10,372-0.13%
1930781,18833,1280.43%
1920748,06077,4751.10%
1910670,585109,6931.80%
1900560,892112,4152.26%
1890448,47785,6382.14%
1880362,839112,3133.77%
1870250,52672,6863.49%
1860177,84040,9592.65%
1850136,88143,4983.90%
184093,38331,9914.28%
183061,39218,0943.55%
182043,2989,5112.51%
181033,7878,8503.08%
180024,9376,6173.13%
179018,3200.00%

Boston Population in 2018Source: By Robbie Shade (Flickr: Boston's Back Bay) [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Population by Race

Race Population
White353,062
Black or African American169,042
Asian63,408
Some Other Race47,900
Two or More Races33,091
American Indian and Alaska Native2,479
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander176

Data via US Census (2017 ACS 5-Year Survey): Table B03002

Boston Population Pyramid 2018

10,00020,00030,00040,00050,000 Male Population10,00020,00030,00040,00050,000 Female Population80757065605550454035302520151050

Data via US Census (2017 ACS 5-Year Survey): Table S0101

Boston Median Age

32


Total

31.4


Male

32.5


Female

Boston Adults

There are 560,194 adults, (73,594 of whom are seniors) in Boston.

Boston Age Dependency

37.5

Age Dependency Ratio

15.1

Old Age Dependency Ratio

22.4

Child Dependency Ratio

Boston Sex Ratio

Female

347,455

51.92%

Male

321,703

48.08%

Boston Households and Families

Boston Renter vs Owner Occupied by Household Type

Data via US Census (2017 ACS 5-Year Survey): Table S1101

Boston Household Types

Type Owner Renter
Married58%42%
All35.3%64.7%
Male33.7%66.3%
Non Family27%73%
Female24.3%75.7%

35.3%

Rate of Home Ownership

Boston Households by Type

Type Count Average Size Owned
All263,2292.3635.3
Non Family136,3441.5127
Married72,3993.2358
Female42,9883.3124.3
Male11,4983.3833.7

3.15

Average Family Size

2.36

Average Household Size

6.5%

Unmarried (Opposite Sex)

0.7%

Unmarried (Same Sex)

Boston Households

Boston Education

Boston Educational Attainment by Sex (over 25)

Education Attained Count Percentage
Less Than 9th Grade34,5357.56%
9th to 12th Grade29,1906.39%
High School Graduate95,68720.93%
Some College60,01813.13%
Associates Degree21,0564.61%
Bachelors Degree119,42626.13%
Graduate Degree97,20121.26%

Boston Educational Attainment by Race

Name Total High School Bachelors
White225,135214,722153,120
Black108,83389,83223,143
Hispanic75,89951,42615,410
Asian42,83632,96421,623
Other Race29,10920,2794,551
Multiple Races18,40012,8615,201
Native American1,5441,199259
Islander12512579

The highest rate of high school graduation is among islander people with a rate of 100.00%.

The highest rate of bachelors degrees is among islander people with a rate of 68.01%.

Boston Earnings by Educational Attainment

Name Average Male Female
Overall$46,495$50,987$42,303
Less Than High School$21,496$26,011$17,650
High School Grad$29,188$32,248$24,761
Some College$35,831$39,239$32,751
Bachelors Degree$60,466$66,946$53,364
Graduate Degree$71,770$81,794$64,753

$46,495

Average Earnings

$50,987

Average Male

$42,303

Average Female

Boston Language

Boston Language by Age

Boston Language

62.40% of Boston residents speak only English, while 37.60% speak other languages. The largest non-English language is Spanish, which is spoken by 16.79% of the population.

Boston Poverty

Boston Poverty by Race

Name Total In Poverty Poverty Rate
Black165,30239,63923.98%
Hispanic124,61539,03531.32%
White273,93533,35912.18%
Asian56,68017,65731.15%
Other46,29415,67333.86%
Multiple31,4927,85124.93%
Native2,40657924.06%
Islander1491812.08%

20.54%

Overall Poverty Rate

18.28%

Male Poverty Rate

22.65%

Female Poverty Rate

Poverty in Boston

The race most likely to be in poverty in Boston is Other, with 33.86% below the poverty level.

The race least likely to be in poverty in Boston is Islander, with 12.08% below the poverty level.

The poverty rate among those that worked full-time for the past 12 months was 1.97%. Among those working part-time, it was 26.13%, and for those that did not work, the poverty rate was 40.61%.

Boston Poverty Rate by Education

Name Poverty
Less Than High School33.40%
High School20.91%
Some College17.16%
Bachelors or Greater7.82%

Boston Poverty Rate by Employment Status and Sex

Name Poverty
Female Unemployed43.52%
Male Unemployed36.52%
Female Employed10.74%
Male Employed6.56%

Boston Income

Boston Income by Household Type

Name Median Mean
Households$62,021$95,114
Families$69,616$109,903
Married Families$111,755$152,536
Non Families$51,659$78,596

Boston Marital Status

Boston Marital Status

Marriage Rates

29.7%

Overall Marriage Rate

31.7%

Male Marriage Rate

27.9%

Female Marriage Rate

Boston Married by Age and Sex

Boston Marriage

The age group where males are most likely to be married is Over65, while the female age group most likely to be married is 55To64.

Boston Marital Status by Race


Data via US Census (2017 ACS 5-Year Survey): Table S1201

Boston Veterans

Boston Veterans by War

16,221

Number of Veterans

15,175

Male Veterans

1,046

Female Veterans

Name Veterans
Vietnam4,944
Second Gulf War3,599
First Gulf War2,122
Korea1,615
World War II798

Boston Veterans by Age

Name Veterans
75+3,894
65 to 743,512
35 to 543,424
55 to 642,829
18 to 342,562

Boston Veterans by Race

Name Veterans % of Total
White11,4013.64%
Black3,6352.81%
Hispanic1,0541.10%
2 or More4341.89%
Other3270.90%
Asian3130.56%
Indian1115.75%

Boston Veterans by Education

13.70%

Veteran Poverty Rate

31.19%

Veteran Disability Rate

Boston Employment Status

Boston Employment by Age

68.9%

Labor Force Participation

63.8%

Employment Rate

7.3%

Unemployment Rate

Boston Employment by Race

Boston Employment by Education

Boston Place of Birth

Origin of Non Citizens

Non citizens include legal permanent residents (green card holders), international students, temporary workers, humanitarian migrants, and illegal immigrants.

Origin of Naturalized Citizens

43.75%

Born in Massachusetts

71.65%

Native Born

28.35%

Foreign Born

14.60%

Non Citizen

Place of Birth

71.65% of Boston residents were born in the United States, with 43.75% having been born in Massachusetts. 14.60% of residents are not US citizens. Of those not born in the United States, the largest percentage are from Latin America.