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Massachusetts Population Estimates Program

Massachusetts Population Estimates by City and Town

On an annual basis, the U.S. Census Bureau develops updated population estimates for cities, towns, and other sub-county geographies. To create these estimates, the Census Bureau takes the county-level estimates released earlier this year, distributes the household population to each town based on updated housing unit estimates, and adds the updated group quarters population for each.

The U.S. Census Bureau’s most recent sub-county population estimates release on May 21, 2020 includes estimates for Massachusetts cities and towns as of July 1, 2019. The sections below provide detail on Massachusetts’ city and town populations, population change in the past year, and cumulative change since the last Census count in 2010.

For more information on the U.S. Census Bureau’s Vintage 2019 Population Estimates Release and to see information for other cities and towns in the U.S., click here.

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2019 Census Bureau Sub-County Population Estimates for Massachusetts

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According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2019 Sub-County Population Estimates, 10 out of Massachusetts’ 26 cities or towns with populations of 50,000 or more in 2018 increased in population from July 1, 2018 to July 1, 2019. Framingham led the group in terms of total gained with an estimated 1,507 person increase over the year, and was also the fastest-growing large place in terms of percentage growth, with a 2.1% population increase. The City of Boston, which has led the state in terms of numeric growth in the state every other year since 2010, this year ranked second behind Framingham. In terms of annual percentage growth among places with populations over 50,000 in Massachusetts, Boston ranked 6th this year, behind Framingham, Plymouth, Cambridge, Weymouth, and Methuen, which ranked 1st through 5th, respectively. This shift in population growth away from Boston may be reflective of the decreasing immigration in the state as a whole over the past few years – as estimated in the Census Bureau’s latest county-level population release - and also reflects a greater increase in housing units in these fastest growing communities relative to other places in the state. Table 1 shows the estimated numerical change and percent change from July 1, 2018 to July 1, 2019 for cities and towns in Massachusetts with populations over 50,000 in 2018 and how they rank nationally in among other large incorporated places in the U.S.

Table 1: Estimated Population and Population Change July 1, 2018 to July 1, 2019 for Massachusetts Cities and Towns > 50,000, Including National Percent Change Rankings for Cities >50,000 in 2018

Table description.

Geographic Area July 1 Population Estimate Change 2018 to 2019 National Rank out of 774 cities >50,000 in 2018
2018 2019 Number Percent
Framingham 72,909 74,416 1,507 2.1% 75
Boston 691,147 692,600 1,453 0.2% 392
Cambridge 118,151 118,927 776 0.7% 266
Plymouth 60,771 61,528 757 1.2% *
Weymouth 57,511 57,746 235 0.4% 333
Methuen 50,565 50,706 141 0.3% 369
Taunton 57,365 57,464 99 0.2% 412
Haverhill 63,926 64,014 88 0.1% 427
Quincy 94,403 94,470 67 0.1% 460
Somerville 81,357 81,360 3 0.0% 479
New Bedford 95,371 95,363 -8 0.0% 483
Brockton 95,723 95,708 -15 0.0% 486
Peabody 53,092 53,070 -22 0.0% 496
Lynn 94,336 94,299 -37 0.0% 495
Brookline 59,188 59,121 -67 -0.1% *
Waltham 62,563 62,495 -68 -0.1% 520
Lawrence 80,112 80,028 -84 -0.1% 519
Fall River 89,630 89,541 -89 -0.1% 518
Worcester 185,555 185,428 -127 -0.1% 505
Medford 57,554 57,341 -213 -0.4% 613
Newton 88,641 88,414 -227 -0.3% 574
Malden 60,735 60,470 -265 -0.4% 632
Chicopee 55,424 55,126 -298 -0.5% 661
Lowell 111,362 110,997 -365 -0.3% 598
Revere 53,483 53,073 -410 -0.8% 727
Springfield 154,329 153,606 -723 -0.5% 643

* Plymouth and Brookline are not included in the Census Bureau's national rankings because they are towns, not cities.
UMass Donahue Institute. Source: Annual Estimates of Resident Population Change for Incorporated Places of 50,000 or More in 2018, Ranked by Percent Change: July 1, 2018 to July 1, 2019 Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Population Division. Release Date: May 21, 2020

In the United States overall, 62% of the 774 incorporated places over 50,000 persons increased in population from 2018 to 2019, with an average 0.6% increase among all 774 places. The most significant growth was seen in parts of the South and West, particularly in Texas which counted seven places in the Top-25 fastest growing places by annual percent-change.

Map 1. Massachusetts Sub-County Population Estimates, July 1, 2019

Figure description.

Massachusetts Sub-County Population Estimates, July 1, 2019

Citation for map: UMass Donahue Institute
Source Data: Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2019. U.S. Census Bureau Population Division. May 21, 2020.

Map 2. Estimated Annual Percent Change, July 1, 2018 to July 1, 2019 by Massachusetts Municipality

Figure description.

Estimated Annual Percent Change, July 1, 2018 to July 1, 2019 by Massachusetts Municipality

Citation for map: UMass Donahue Institute
Source Data: Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2019. U.S. Census Bureau Population Division. May 21, 2020.

Among the 351 individual cities and towns in Massachusetts, the U.S. Census Bureau estimates that 154 municipalities, or just 44%, increased in population between July 1, 2018 and July 1, 2019. This percentage is in contrast to the Vintage 2018 estimates released by the Bureau in May of 2019, when 287 municipalities, or 82% of all, were estimated as increasing. Again here we see the effects of a downward revision of the immigration component in the county-level estimates to which the municipal estimates are controlled. The largest population gains from 2018 to 2019 were estimated in Framingham (1,507) Boston (1,453), Franklin (886), and Cambridge (776), representing a shift in population growth from the largest urban centers in the state, like Cambridge and Boston, into smaller cities and nearby towns like Framingham, Franklin, Foxborough, and others located mostly in Middlesex, Norfolk, and Plymouth Counties.

Percentage-wise, the fastest growers of the year were mostly small- to mid-sized towns and cities, including many in Middlesex, Worcester, Norfolk, and Plymouth. The table below shows the top 25 fastest growing municipalities in the state in terms of percentage change from 2018 to 2019.

Table 2: Top 25 Massachusetts Cities and Towns by Percent Population Change 2018 to 2019

Table description.

City or Town County July 1 Estimate Change
2018-2019
Percent Change
2018-2019
2018 2019
Maynard  Middlesex 10,634 11,336 702 6.6%
Foxborough  Norfolk 17,637 18,399 762 4.3%
Lincoln  Middlesex 6,785 7,052 267 3.9%
Hingham  Plymouth 23,949 24,679 730 3.0%
Franklin  Norfolk 33,201 34,087 886 2.7%
North Reading  Middlesex 15,471 15,865 394 2.5%
Westford  Middlesex 24,219 24,817 598 2.5%
Framingham  Middlesex 72,909 74,416 1,507 2.1%
Nantucket  Nantucket 11,198 11,399 201 1.8%
Westwood  Norfolk 16,113 16,400 287 1.8%
Mansfield  Bristol 24,073 24,470 397 1.6%
Shrewsbury  Worcester 37,902 38,526 624 1.6%
Hopkinton  Middlesex 18,203 18,470 267 1.5%
Norwood  Norfolk 29,306 29,725 419 1.4%
Reading  Middlesex 25,075 25,400 325 1.3%
Plymouth  Plymouth 60,771 61,528 757 1.2%
Middleborough  Plymouth 25,163 25,463 300 1.2%
Canton  Norfolk 23,600 23,805 205 0.9%
Cambridge  Middlesex 118,151 118,927 776 0.7%
Bridgewater  Plymouth 27,441 27,619 178 0.6%
Chelmsford  Middlesex 35,202 35,391 189 0.5%
Needham  Norfolk 31,221 31,388 167 0.5%
Amherst  Hampshire 39,757 39,924 167 0.4%
Weymouth  Norfolk 57,511 57,746 235 0.4%
Boston  Suffolk 691,147 692,600 1,453 0.2%

UMass Donahue Institute. Source data: Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2019. U.S. Census Bureau Population Division. May 21, 2020

Map 3. Cumulative Change in Population from 2010-2019 by Massachusetts Municipality

Figure description.

Cumulative Change in Population from 2010-2019 by Massachusetts Municipality

Citation for map: UMass Donahue Institute
Source Data: Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2019. U.S. Census Bureau Population Division. May 21, 2020.

Since the last census in 2010, the largest cumulative population gains have occurred within the already dense Suffolk, Middlesex, and Essex counties as well as portions of Worcester and Norfolk counties, while most population loss was experienced in Berkshire, Franklin, and Barnstable counties. The municipalities with the largest cumulative population gains since the 2010 Census include Boston (74,808), Cambridge (13,779), Framingham (6,093), Somerville (5,659), and Plymouth (5,060). Everett and Lowell, while still included in the top 10 growers since the last Census, have shifted further down in rank in the 2019 vintage estimates, possibly as a result of diminishing international immigration in the state overall in the current estimates year compared to last. By percent change, the largest gains from 2010 to 2019 were estimated in Hopkinton (23.9%), Burlington (16.9%), Lunenburg (16.5%), Boxborough (15.6%), and Salisbury (15.0%).

Table 3 lists the 25 fastest growing MCDs in Massachusetts since April 1, 2010 by population growth and is followed by a table of the 25 fastest growing MCDs by percentage growth (Table 4).

Table 3: Massachusetts 25 Fastest Growing Cities and Towns by Numeric Population Change, April 1, 2010 Base to July 1, 2019

Table description.

City or Town County April 1, 2010 Base July 1, 2019 Population Change Rank Change
Boston  Suffolk 617,792 692,600 74,808 1
Cambridge  Middlesex 105,148 118,927 13,779 2
Framingham  Middlesex 68,323 74,416 6,093 3
Somerville  Middlesex 75,701 81,360 5,659 4
Plymouth  Plymouth 56,468 61,528 5,060 5
Everett  Middlesex 41,553 46,451 4,898 6
Worcester  Worcester 180,891 185,428 4,537 7
Chelsea  Suffolk 35,181 39,690 4,509 8
Lowell  Middlesex 106,525 110,997 4,472 9
Burlington  Middlesex 24,492 28,627 4,135 10
Weymouth  Norfolk 53,762 57,746 3,984 11
Lynn  Essex 90,324 94,299 3,975 12
Watertown Middlesex 31,986 35,939 3,953 13
Lawrence  Essex 76,343 80,028 3,685 14
Hopkinton  Middlesex 14,909 18,470 3,561 15
Methuen  Essex 47,328 50,706 3,378 16
Newton  Middlesex 85,089 88,414 3,325 17
Andover  Essex 33,071 36,356 3,285 18
Haverhill  Essex 60,878 64,014 3,136 19
Billerica  Middlesex 40,235 43,367 3,132 20
Natick  Middlesex 33,012 36,050 3,038 21
Shrewsbury  Worcester 35,561 38,526 2,965 22
Westford  Middlesex 21,962 24,817 2,855 23
Stoneham  Middlesex 21,286 24,126 2,840 24
North Andover  Essex 28,358 31,188 2,830 25

UMass Donahue Institute. Source data: Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2019. U.S. Census Bureau Population Division. May 21, 2020

Table 4: Massachusetts 25 Fastest Growing Cities and Towns by Cumulative Percent Population Change, April 1, 2010 Base to July 1, 2019

Table description.

City or Town County April 1, 2010 Base July 1, 2019 Population Change Percent Change Rank Change
Hopkinton  Middlesex 14,909 18,470 3,561 23.9% 1
Burlington  Middlesex 24,492 28,627 4,135 16.9% 2
Lunenburg  Worcester 10,076 11,736 1,660 16.5% 3
Boxborough  Middlesex 5,012 5,793 781 15.6% 4
Salisbury  Essex 8,290 9,534 1,244 15.0% 5
Seekonk  Bristol 13,722 15,770 2,048 14.9% 6
Littleton  Middlesex 8,910 10,227 1,317 14.8% 7
Cohasset  Norfolk 7,540 8,548 1,008 13.4% 8
Stoneham  Middlesex 21,286 24,126 2,840 13.3% 9
Cambridge  Middlesex 105,148 118,927 13,779 13.1% 10
Westford  Middlesex 21,962 24,817 2,855 13.0% 11
Berlin  Worcester 2,868 3,240 372 13.0% 12
Chelsea  Suffolk 35,181 39,690 4,509 12.8% 13
Middleton  Essex 8,987 10,110 1,123 12.5% 14
Watertown  Middlesex 31,986 35,939 3,953 12.4% 15
Plainville  Norfolk 8,273 9,293 1,020 12.3% 16
Dighton  Bristol 7,104 7,967 863 12.1% 17
Westwood  Norfolk 14,625 16,400 1,775 12.1% 18
Lynnfield  Essex 11,593 12,999 1,406 12.1% 19
Boston  Suffolk 617,792 692,600 74,808 12.1% 20
Maynard  Middlesex 10,112 11,336 1,224 12.1% 21
Nantucket  Nantucket 10,172 11,399 1,227 12.1% 22
Rutland  Worcester 7,979 8,938 959 12.0% 23
Everett  Middlesex 41,553 46,451 4,898 11.8% 24
Hingham  Plymouth 22,155 24,679 2,524 11.4% 25

UMass Donahue Institute. Source data: Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2019. U.S. Census Bureau Population Division. May 21, 2020

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Interactive Dashboard: 2019 Census Bureau Sub-County Population Estimates for Massachusetts

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