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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 24, 2018 includes estimates for Massachusetts cities and towns as of July 1, 2017. 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 2017 Population Estimates Release and to see information for other cities and towns in the U.S., click here.

Download the updated report on 2018 Estimates.

Interactive Dashboard
2018 Census Bureau Sub-County Population Estimates for Massachusetts

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According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2018 Sub-County Population Estimates, 22 out of Massachusetts’ 26 cities or towns with populations of 50,000 or more increased in population from July 1, 2017 to July 1, 2018. Boston led the group in terms of total gained with an estimated 6,307 person increase over the year, while Framingham was the fastest-growing large place in terms of percentage growth, with a 1.7% population increase. Table 1 shows the estimated numerical change and percent change from July 1, 2017 to July 1, 2018 for cities and towns in Massachusetts with populations over 50,000 and how they rank nationally in terms of percent change among cities that had populations over 50,000 in 2017.

Table 1: Estimated Population and Population Change for Massachusetts Cities and Towns > 50,000, Including National Percent Change Rankings for Cities >50,000 in 2017

Table description.

Geographic Area July 1 Population Estimate Change 2017 to 2018 National Rank out of 758 cities >50,000 in 2016
2017 2018 Number Percent
Framingham 71,866 73,123 1,257 1.70% 116
Weymouth 56,744 57,719 975 1.70% 122
Cambridge 117,133 118,977 1,844 1.60% 144
Plymouth 59,907 60,803 896 1.50% *
Boston 688,276 694,583 6,307 0.90% 253
Methuen 50,334 50,698 364 0.70% 305
Lynn 94,095 94,654 559 0.60% 328
Haverhill 63,669 64,041 372 0.60% 330
Taunton 56,970 57,296 326 0.60% 332
Peabody 53,008 53,278 270 0.50% 347
Somerville 81,159 81,562 403 0.50% 351
Fall River 89,274 89,661 387 0.40% 374
Chicopee 55,363 55,582 219 0.40% 387
Lawrence 80,062 80,376 314 0.40% 389
Springfield 154,498 155,032 534 0.30% 409
New Bedford 94,990 95,315 325 0.30% 411
Quincy 94,317 94,580 263 0.30% 433
Worcester 185,417 185,877 460 0.20% 441
Brockton 95,659 95,777 118 0.10% 488
Brookline 59,266 59,310 44 0.10% *
Waltham 62,919 62,962 43 0.10% 506
Newton 88,855 88,904 49 0.10% 514
Medford 57,783 57,765 -18 0.00% 540
Lowell 111,728 111,670 -58 -0.10% 552
Malden 61,071 61,036 -35 -0.10% 553
Revere 54,163 53,821 -342 -0.60% 723

* 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, 2017 to July 1, 2018 Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Population Division. Release Date: May 23, 2019

In the United States overall, 69% of the 766 incorporated places over 50,000 persons increased in population from 2017 to 2018, with an average 1.2% increase among growing places, an average -0.4% change in places with decreasing populations, and an average 0.7% increase for all 766 places. The most significant growth was seen in parts of the South and West, particularly in Texas which counted eight places in the Top-25 fastest growing places by annual percent-change.

Map 1. Massachusetts Sub-County Population Estimates, July 1, 2018

Figure description.

Massachusetts Sub-County Population Estimates, July 1, 2017

Citation: UMass Donahue Institute. Source: Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2017. U.S. Census Bureau Population Division. Release Date: May 23, 2019.

Map 2. Estimated Annual Percent Change, July 1, 2017 to July 1, 2018 by Massachusetts Municipality

Figure description.

Estimated Annual Percent Change, July 1, 2016 to July 1, 2017 by Massachusetts Municipality

Citation: UMass Donahue Institute. Source: Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2017. U.S. Census Bureau Population Division. Release Date: May 23, 2019.

Among the 351 individual cities and towns in Massachusetts, the U.S. Census Bureau estimates that 287 municipalities, 82% of all, increased in population between July 1, 2017 and July 1, 2018. The largest population gains from 2017 to 2018 were estimated in Boston (6,307), Cambridge (1,844), and Framingham (1,257).

Percentage-wise, the fastest growers of the year were mostly small- to mid-sized towns and cities, including many in Middlesex, Bristol, Worcester and other counties close to Boston. The table below shows the top 25 fastest growing municipalities in the state in terms of percentage change from 2017 to 2018.

Table 2: Top 25 Massachusetts Cities and Towns by Percent Population Change 2017 to 2018

Table description.

City or Town County July 1 Estimate Change
2017-2018
Percent Change
2017-2018
2017 2018
Sudbury Middlesex 18,826 19,627 801 4.30%
Sharon Norfolk 18,307 18,943 636 3.50%
Stoneham Middlesex 21,994 22,729 735 3.30%
Lunenburg Worcester 11,302 11,657 355 3.10%
Burlington Middlesex 27,881 28,742 861 3.10%
West Boylston Worcester 8,002 8,215 213 2.70%
Dighton Bristol  7,706 7,891 185 2.40%
Hingham Plymouth 23,414 23,923 509 2.20%
Middleton Essex 9,850 10,050 200 2.00%
Stow Middlesex 7,085 7,214 129 1.80%
Framingham Middlesex 71,866 73,123 1,257 1.70%
Williamstown Berkshire 7,856 7,993 137 1.70%
Weymouth Norfolk 56,744 57,719 975 1.70%
Bolton Worcester 5,286 5,376 90 1.70%
Shrewsbury Worcester 37,340 37,973 633 1.70%
Swampscott Essex 14,976 15,227 251 1.70%
Andover Essex 35,803 36,403 600 1.70%
Hopkinton Middlesex 17,974 18,269 295 1.60%
Rutland Worcester 8,705 8,846 141 1.60%
Westminster Worcester 7,759 7,884 125 1.60%
Cambridge Middlesex 117,133 118,977 1,844 1.60%
Berkley Bristol  6,697 6,802 105 1.60%
Norfolk Norfolk 11,805 11,988 183 1.60%
Hubbardston Worcester 4,716 4,787 71 1.50%
Plymouth Plymouth 59,907 60,803 896 1.50%

UMass Donahue Institute Population Estimates Program. Source: Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2018. U.S. Census Bureau Population Division. May 23, 2019.

The municipalities showing the greatest estimated population loss during the year were Revere (-342), Chelsea (-173), and Pittsfield (-147)1. In general, towns in Berkshire and other Western Massachusetts counties showed the greatest percent decreases along with some of the towns in Barnstable County on Cape Cod.

1) Note that while Revere and Chelsea are estimated to have lost population between 2017 and 2018 according to Census estimates, both cities have grown cumulatively since April 1, 2010. Chelsea ranks as the 6th fastest growing city in Massachusetts, by increase in population count, since the 2010 Census.

Map 3. Cumulative Change in Population from 2010-2018 by Massachusetts Municipality

Figure description.

Cumulative Change in Population from 2010-2017 by Massachusetts Municipality

Citation: UMass Donahue Institute. Source: Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2017. U.S. Census Bureau Population Division. Release Date: May 23, 2019.

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 (76,797), Cambridge (13,801), Somerville (5,911), Everett (5,230), and Lowell (5,142). By percent change, the largest gains from 2010 to 2018 were estimated in Boxborough (27.9%), Hopkinton (22.5%), Burlington (17.3%), Lunenburg (15.7%), and Littleton (14.7%).

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. Data for all towns are available in the downloads section of this page.

Table 3: Massachusetts 25 Fastest Growing Cities and Towns by Numeric Population Change, April 1, 2010 Base to July 1, 2018

Table description.

City or Town County April 1, 2010 Base July 1, 2018 Population Change Rank Change
Boston Suffolk 617,786 694,583 76,797 1
Cambridge Middlesex 105,176 118,977 13,801 2
Somerville Middlesex 75,651 81,562 5,911 3
Everett Middlesex 41,650 46,880 5,230 4
Lowell Middlesex 106,528 111,670 5,142 5
Chelsea Suffolk 35,170 40,160 4,990 6
Worcester Worcester 181,009 185,877 4,868 7
Framingham Middlesex 68,325 73,123 4,798 8
Plymouth Plymouth 56,468 60,803 4,335 9
Lynn Essex 90,333 94,654 4,321 10
Burlington Middlesex 24,495 28,742 4,247 11
Lawrence Essex 76,348 80,376 4,028 12
Watertown Middlesex 31,977 35,954 3,977 13
Weymouth Norfolk 53,762 57,719 3,957 14
Newton Middlesex 85,114 88,904 3,790 15
Billerica Middlesex 40,225 43,784 3,559 16
Methuen Essex 47,320 50,698 3,378 17
Hopkinton Middlesex 14,909 18,269 3,360 18
Andover Essex 33,071 36,403 3,332 19
Natick Middlesex 33,012 36,229 3,217 20
Haverhill Essex 60,878 64,041 3,163 21
North Andover Essex 28,358 31,296 2,938 22
Beverly Essex 39,504 42,312 2,808 23
Arlington Middlesex 42,819 45,624 2,805 24
Shrewsbury Worcester 35,559 37,973 2,414 25

UMass Donahue Institute. Source: Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2017. U.S. Census Bureau Population Division. Release Date: May 23, 2019.

Table 4: Massachusetts 25 Fastest Growing Cities and Towns by Cumulative Percent Population Change, April 1, 2010 Base to July 1, 2018

Table description.

City or Town County April 1, 2010 Base July 1, 2018 Population Change Percent Change Rank Change
Boxborough Middlesex 4,996 6,388 1,392 27.90% 1
Hopkinton Middlesex 14,909 18,269 3,360 22.50% 2
Burlington Middlesex 24,495 28,742 4,247 17.30% 3
Lunenburg Worcester 10,076 11,657 1,581 15.70% 4
Littleton Middlesex 8,926 10,241 1,315 14.70% 5
Salisbury Essex 8,290 9,489 1,199 14.50% 6
Seekonk Bristol  13,722 15,702 1,980 14.40% 7
Chelsea Suffolk 35,170 40,160 4,990 14.20% 8
Cohasset Norfolk 7,540 8,541 1,001 13.30% 9
Cambridge Middlesex 105,176 118,977 13,801 13.10% 10
Everett Middlesex 41,650 46,880 5,230 12.60% 11
Lynnfield Essex 11,593 13,041 1,448 12.50% 12
Watertown Middlesex 31,977 35,954 3,977 12.40% 13
Boston Suffolk 617,786 694,583 76,797 12.40% 14
Berlin Worcester 2,868 3,220 352 12.30% 15
Middleton Essex 8,987 10,050 1,063 11.80% 16
Plainville Norfolk 8,273 9,230 957 11.60% 17
Nantucket Nantucket 10,172 11,327 1,155 11.40% 18
Dighton Bristol  7,089 7,891 802 11.30% 19
Sudbury Middlesex 17,675 19,627 1,952 11.00% 20
Rutland Worcester 7,979 8,846 867 10.90% 21
West Newbury Essex 4,234 4,691 457 10.80% 22
Westford Middlesex 21,962 24,296 2,334 10.60% 23
Swampscott Essex 13,780 15,227 1,447 10.50% 24
North Andover Essex 28,358 31,296 2,938 10.40% 25

UMass Donahue Institute. Source: Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2017. U.S. Census Bureau Population Division. Release Date: May 23, 2019.

 

Resources and Downloads

Interactive Dashboard: 2018 Census Bureau Sub-County Population Estimates for Massachusetts

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