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 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%
2010620,70231,5615.36%
2000589,14114,8582.59%
1990574,28311,2892.01%
1980562,994-78,077-12.18%
1970641,071-56,126-8.05%
1960697,197-104,247-13.01%
1950801,44430,6283.97%
1940770,816-10,372-1.33%
1930781,18833,1284.43%
1920748,06077,47511.55%
1910670,585109,69319.56%
1900560,892112,41525.07%
1890448,47785,63823.60%
1880362,839112,31344.83%
1870250,52672,68640.87%
1860177,84040,95929.92%
1850136,88143,49846.58%
184093,38331,99152.11%
183061,39218,09441.79%
182043,2989,51128.15%
181033,7878,85035.49%
180024,9376,61736.12%
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
White348,906
Black or African American167,282
Asian61,490
Some Other Race45,492
Two or More Races32,410
American Indian and Alaska Native2,577
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander122

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

Boston Population Pyramid 2018

0k0k0k0k0k0k0k0k Male Population0k0k0k0k0k0k0k0k Female Population757065605550454035302520151050

Boston Median Age

31.7


Total

31.1


Male

32.3


Female

Lancaster Adults

There are 572,053 adults in Boston.

Boston Age Dependency

37.4

Age Dependency Ratio

14.7

Old Age Dependency Ratio

22.7

Child Dependency Ratio

Boston Housing Indicators

Indicator Value
Median Number of Rooms (per House)
4.3
Houses Without Mortgage
22,759
Houses With Mortgage
67,123
Vacancy Rate
7.9
Median Rent
1,369
Median Home Value
423,200
Renter-Occupied Units
169,442
Owner-Occupied Units
89,882
Total Housing Units
281,417

This chart shows the employment and labor force participation rates in Boston for residents over 16 years of age. The 2015 unemployment rate is 5.5% and the labor force participation rate is 68.7%.

Boston Family/Household Indicators

Indicator Value
Average Household Size
2.35
Average Family Size
3.15
Total Households
259324
Married Couple Households
69647
Male Householder (no wife) Families
11265
Female Householder (no husband) Families
43286
Non Family Households
135126
Total Families
124198
Households With Own Children
53635
Unmarried Partner Households (Opposite Sex)
6.3
Unmarried Partner Households (Same Sex)
0.8

Boston Income Distribution

Indicator Value
Under $10,000
30,417
$10,000 to $14,999
18,159
$15,000 to $24,999
23,143
$25,000 to $34,999
18,139
$35,000 to $49,999
25,402
$50,000 to $74,999
38,276
$75,000 to $99,999
26,159
$100,000 to $149,999
38,176
$150,000 to $199,999
18,538
Over $200,000
22,915

Boston Household Income

Income

Median

Mean

Boston

Massachusetts

$58,516

$70,954

$89,236

$97,295

Under 10k10k - 15k15k - 25k25k - 35k35k - 50k50k - 75k75k - 100k100k - 150k150k - 200kOver 200k00.0450.090.1350.18

Boston Education Data

Boston Educational Attainment (over 25)

Indicator Value Percentage
Less Than 9th Grade
34,8327.84%
9th to 12th Grade
28,8106.49%
High School Graduate
94,54821.28%
Some College
59,36513.36%
Associates Degree
20,6644.65%
Bachelors Degree
113,85425.63%
Graduate Degree
92,18220.75%