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Aging population expected to slow growth in Massachusetts over long term, UMass Donahue Institute study finds.

The UMass Donahue Institute’s Population Estimates Program released a comprehensive population growth study showing that the Massachusetts population will increase by 4.4 percent from 2010 to 2030, growing by 290,589 over the 20-year term to a new total of 6,838,254. The newly released report, Long-term Population Projections for Massachusetts Regions and Municipalities was developed by researchers at the UMass Donahue Institute and Dr. Henry Renski, Associate Professor of Regional Planning and Director for the UMASS Center for Economic Development at UMass Amherst, through support from the Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth.

The study found that the population aged 65 and over will increase by over half a million (548,699), changing from 14% of the state’s total population in 2010 to 21% by 2030. At the opposite end, the population aged 19 and under  is expected to decrease by 84,000 people, changing from 25% of the state population to just 22% by 2030.

Some areas of the state, including the Greater Boston, Central, and MetroWest regions are predicted to grow at rates well above the state average while others, including regions in Western Massachusetts, are expected to remain nearly level or even lose population if recent trends in migration, fertility, and mortality continue.

The findings, which are the first statewide detailed population projections to be released publically since 2003, form the basis for an interactive map the group developed, which forecasts population changes over time for every city and town in the state.

“I am very gratified that the University of Massachusetts Donahue Institute in conjunction with Dr. Henry Renski of UMass has developed these long-term projections for our Commonwealth and its municipalities,” said Secretary of the Commonwealth William F. Galvin, who requested the report, “This data will be a critical basis for thinking and planning by state and local officials as they look at where Massachusetts can be over the coming two decades.”

The Institute's Population Estimates Program is funded by the Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth and is a project of the UMass Donahue Institute’s Economic and Public Policy Research unit.  The program functions as the State Data Center for Massachusetts and as the state liaison to the Population Division of the U.S. Census Bureau through the Federal-State Cooperative for Population Estimates (FSCPE).

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