Massachusetts Population 2021

6,912,240
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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.

Moving forward to the present day, the Massachusetts population is the 3rd most densely populated area in the United States, despite being the 7th smallest state in the country. Massachusetts also has a fairly healthy population growth rate of 0.75% annually, which ranks 28th in the United States.

Massachusetts Area and Population Density

With a surface area of just 10,555 square miles or 27,336 square kilometers, Massachusetts is the seventh smallest state in the USA. 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.

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.

The largest counties in Massachusetts are Middlesex and Worcester Counties, with over 1 million residents in Middlesex County and approximately 800,000 residing in Worcester County.

Massachusetts Gender and Religion Statistics

The median age is 39.4 years of age over the entire population of Massachusetts. The gender ratio is approximately 51.5% female and 48.5% male. In terms of religious preferences in the state, 58% prefer Christian based faiths, 9% are affiliated with non-Christian based faiths, and 32% are unaffiliated with any faith.

Massachusetts Boundary, Census, and Statehood 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 Demographics

According to the most recent ACS, the racial composition of Massachusetts was:

  • White: 78.07%
  • Black or African American: 7.63%
  • Asian: 6.60%
  • Other race: 4.18%
  • Two or more races: 3.26%
  • Native American: 0.22%
  • Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander: 0.04%

Massachusetts Population History

The earliest set of recorded population figures can be traced back to 1790, and after 170 years of colonization, there were already 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.

Massachusetts Population Growth

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.

Based on percentages taken from the 2010 US Census, Massachusetts has the 10th largest percentage of Asian Americans in relation to total 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 in 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 Growth Rate

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Massachusetts Population Rank

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Massachusetts Population 2021

Massachusetts Facts

Middlesex County

  • Population1,618,160
  • Density1978.62 per sq km
  • Growth Since 20107.33%
  • State Population Rank1
  • % of State23.41%

Massachusetts County Population Changes

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 growth 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%.

Massachusetts Population Growth Rate by County

Middlesex County

  • Population1,618,160
  • Density1978.62 per sq km
  • Growth Since 20107.33%
  • State Population Rank1
  • % of State23.41%

Massachusetts Population Density by County

Population by Race

Race Population Percentage
White5,348,53978.07%
Black or African American522,3577.63%
Asian452,4366.60%
Some Other Race286,6194.18%
Two or More Races223,0353.26%
American Indian and Alaska Native14,7640.22%
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander2,8040.04%
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Massachusetts Population by Race

Massachusetts Population Pyramid 2021

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Massachusetts Median Age

39.5


Total

37.9


Male

40.9


Female

Massachusetts Adults

There are 5,479,290 adults, (1,107,090 of whom are seniors) in Massachusetts.

Massachusetts Age Dependency

56.7

Age Dependency Ratio

25.3

Old Age Dependency Ratio

31.4

Child Dependency Ratio

Massachusetts Sex Ratio

Female

3,526,350

51.48%

Male

3,324,210

48.52%

Massachusetts Population by Age

Massachusetts Renter vs Owner Occupied by Household Type

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Massachusetts Household Types

Type Owner Renter
Married81.5%18.5%
All62.4%37.6%
Male54.5%45.5%
Female44.9%55.1%
Non Family44.5%55.5%

62.4%

Rate of Home Ownership

Massachusetts Households and Families

Type Count Average Size Owned
All2,617,5002.5262.4
Married1,231,7703.281.5
Non Family958,1971.3344.5
Female315,5623.2444.9
Male111,9703.2454.5

3.12

Average Family Size

2.52

Average Household Size

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Massachusetts Households by Type

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Education Attained Count Percentage
Less Than 9th Grade208,4604.36%
9th to 12th Grade233,4844.88%
High School Graduate1,148,52024.02%
Some College738,48415.44%
Associates Degree363,6657.61%
Bachelors Degree1,151,87024.09%
Graduate Degree937,19519.60%
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Massachusetts Educational Attainment by Sex (over 25)

Massachusetts Educational Attainment by Race

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Name Total High School Bachelors
White3,612,6203,401,9901,693,740
Hispanic454,183323,06488,736
Black329,719282,06386,689
Asian307,599263,218187,863
Other Race171,807118,40324,831
Multiple Races98,49280,33235,086
Native American9,7837,9732,070
Islander1,6801,406623

The highest rate of high school graduation is among white people with a rate of 94.17%.

The highest rate of bachelors degrees is among asian people with a rate of 61.07%.

Massachusetts Educational Attainment by Race

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Name Average Male Female
Overall$51,928$60,492$43,697
Less Than High School$26,978$31,566$21,586
High School Grad$36,973$44,512$28,546
Some College$42,469$51,971$35,774
Bachelors Degree$63,834$77,340$53,542
Graduate Degree$82,404$102,691$71,508

$51,928

Average Earnings

$60,492

Average Male

$43,697

Average Female

Massachusetts Earnings by Educational Attainment

Massachusetts Language by Age

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Massachusetts Language

76.16% of Massachusetts residents speak only English, while 23.84% speak other languages. The non-English language spoken by the largest group is Spanish, which is spoken by 9.13% of the population.

Massachusetts Language

Massachusetts Poverty by Race

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Name Total In Poverty Poverty Rate
White4,745,550325,3856.86%
Hispanic783,134192,18924.54%
Black500,26593,57718.71%
Other278,36966,37223.84%
Asian429,93255,29812.86%
Multiple213,68834,96016.36%
Native14,2673,17522.25%
Islander2,58433212.85%

10.29%

Overall Poverty Rate

9.16%

Male Poverty Rate

11.37%

Female Poverty Rate

Poverty in Massachusetts

The race most likely to be in poverty in Massachusetts is Hispanic, with 24.54% below the poverty level.

The race least likely to be in poverty in Massachusetts is White, with 6.86% below the poverty level.

The poverty rate among those that worked full-time for the past 12 months was 1.18%. Among those working part-time, it was 11.60%, and for those that did not work, the poverty rate was 21.05%.

Massachusetts Poverty

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Name Poverty
Less Than High School23.59%
High School11.70%
Some College8.51%
Bachelors or Greater3.98%

Massachusetts Poverty Rate by Education

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Name Poverty
Female Unemployed26.98%
Male Unemployed22.87%
Female Employed5.12%
Male Employed3.21%

Massachusetts Poverty Rate by Employment Status and Sex

Massachusetts Income by Household Type

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Name Median Mean
Households$81,215$111,498
Families$103,126$133,746
Married Families$123,694$156,038
Non Families$46,467$68,415
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Income by Household Type

Massachusetts Marital Status

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Marriage Rates

46.6%

Overall Marriage Rate

48.7%

Male Marriage Rate

44.6%

Female Marriage Rate

Massachusetts Married by Age and Sex

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Massachusetts Marriage

The age group where males are most likely to be married is Over 65, while the female age group most likely to be married is 45-54.

Massachusetts Marital Status by Race

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Massachusetts Marital Status

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303,534

Number of Veterans

283,981

Male Veterans

19,553

Female Veterans

War Veterans
Vietnam108,438
Second Gulf War44,277
First Gulf War42,041
Korea33,840
World War II16,866

Massachusetts Veterans by War

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Age Group Veterans
75+93,025
65 to 7480,850
35 to 5457,808
55 to 6450,191
18 to 3421,660

Massachusetts Veterans by Age

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Name Veterans % of Total
White278,9536.38%
Black12,8463.29%
Hispanic10,1481.82%
2 or More4,5003.54%
Asian3,3260.91%
Other2,9651.43%
Indian8377.25%
Hawaiian1074.75%

Massachusetts Veterans by Race

Massachusetts Veterans by Education

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5.96%

Veteran Poverty Rate

28.46%

Veteran Disability Rate

Massachusetts Veterans by Education

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67.3%

Labor Force Participation

64%

Employment Rate

4.8%

Unemployment Rate

Massachusetts Employment by Age

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Massachusetts Employment by Race

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Massachusetts Employment by Education

Origin of Non-Citizens

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

Origin of Naturalized Citizens

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60.33%

Born in Massachusetts

83.23%

Native Born

16.77%

Foreign Born

7.82%

Non Citizen

8.95%

Naturalized

Place of Birth

83.23% of Massachusetts residents were born in the United States, with 60.33% having been born in Massachusetts. 7.82% of residents are not US citizens. Of those not born in the United States, the largest percentage are from Latin America.

Massachusetts Place of Birth