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News & Updates

Research: Boston in Context

Aug 15, 2013

The BRA’s Research Division has a wealth of demographic information available online. The division's most recent report released in June compares demographic, economic, and housing characteristics in Boston’s neighborhoods and planning districts with the state and the rest of the country. The report is a compilation of 2010 Census data and 2006-2010 ACS data. Key Report Comparisons:
  • The median age for Boston is 32.1 years old, which is significantly lower than both the U.S. (37.1) and Massachusetts (39.0).  That being said there is a lot of variability by neighborhood. Fenway (22.8), Allston (24.8), and Brighton (28.1) all have median ages below 30, where as the median age in West Roxbury is over 42 years old.
  • 47% of Boston is white, non-Hispanic, compared to 63.7% of the U.S. and 76.1% of Massachusetts.
  • 42.5% of Boston residents 25 or older have a college degree, compared to 27.9% of the U.S.  Over 80% of residents in Back Bay (84.8%) and Beacon Hill (87%) have college degrees.
  • Nearly 76% of Boston residents lived in the same house they did a year ago, compared to 84.2% of the U.S. and 86.1% of Massachusetts.  On the other hand, 6.7% of Boston residents moved to Boston within the last year from another state or abroad, compared to 3.2% of those residing in Massachusetts and 3.0% in the U.S.
  • 33.9% of Boston’s housing units are owner occupied, compared to 65.1% of the U.S. and 62.3% of Massachusetts.  Allston, Chinatown, Mission Hill and Fenway all have high concentrations of renters.   In West Roxbury about 64% of the residences are owner occupied.

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