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Western Massachusetts Population Getting More Diverse

Susan Strate, the Population Estimates Program manager for the UMass Donahue Institute’s Economic and Public Policy Research group was quoted in a Republican article examining changes in the racial and ethnic makeup of Western Massachusetts’ Pioneer Valley. While population numbers have remained constant, the region has become more diverse, and consequentially younger.

According to the population estimates data released last week by the Census Bureau, Hampden County which is 66.6 percent non-Hispanic white, down from 67.8 in 2010, has 5.9 percent of its populationunder the age of 5, the second highest percentage in the state behind Boston’s Suffolk County.
“So what you are going to see is the greater the white alone, non-Hispanic, population is, the older that area is going to tend to be and the smaller the population of children under the age of 5,” Strate said Thursday. “It goes hand in hand.”

By contrast, Franklin County is 92 percent white non-Hispanic, a figure virtually unchanged since 2010, and has just 4.6 percent of its population under the age of 5, Strate said.

Hampshire County has a low median population, a function of its colleges and university. It is 85 percent non-Hispanic white, down a percentage point from 2010, but has the lowest percentage of its population under 5 years of age of any county in the state: 3.6 percent.

Read article: Western Massachusetts Population Getting More Diverse

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