Demographics And Diversity
Foreign-Born Population


Foreign-Born Population

What does this measure?

The percentage of the population in a region that is foreign-born, which includes anyone who is not a U.S. citizen at birth. People who become U.S. citizens through naturalization are considered foreign-born.

Why is this important?

Foreign-born Americans and their descendants have historically been a main driver of population growth, and that role will only increase in the future. According to the Pew Research Center, new immigrants and their children and grandchildren accounted for 55% of the U.S. population increase from 193 million in 1965 to 324 million in 2015. Pew projects the population will grow to 441 million in 2065 and that 88% of the increase is linked to future immigrants and their descendants. This measure also is a reflection of the composition of a community, which can offer insight into its levels of diversity.

How is our region doing?

In 2014-18, 18% of the population in MetroWest and 17% in Massachusetts was foreign-born, slightly higher than the national rate of 13%. The percentage in both MetroWest and the state increased by 5 percentage points from 2000, while the nation increased by 2 points.

Within the MetroWest region, Framingham and Waltham have the highest percentage of foreign-born residents, 28%, comparable to Boston. It is closely followed by Lexington and Westborough both at 27%, Acton at 26%, and Marlborough at 24%. Westborough and Acton had the greatest increases in rate since 2000, increasing by 13 and 12 percentage points, respectively. Framingham had the largest absolute number of foreign-born residents, at 20,000, followed by Waltham at 18,000.

Notes about the data

The multiyear figures are from the Census Bureau's American Community Survey. The bureau combined 5 years of responses to the survey to provide estimates for smaller geographic areas and increase the precision of its estimates. However, because the information came from a survey, the samples responding to the survey were not always large enough to produce reliable results, especially in small geographic areas. CGR has noted on data tables the estimates with relatively large margins of error. Estimates with three asterisks have the largest margins, plus or minus 50% or more of the estimate. Two asterisks mean plus or minus 35%-50%, and one asterisk means plus or minus 20%-35%. For all estimates, the confidence level is 90%, meaning there is 90% probability the true value (if the whole population were surveyed) would be within the margin of error (or confidence interval). The survey provides data on characteristics of the population that used to be collected only during the decennial census. Data for this indicator are released annually in December.

Foreign-Born Population
United States11%13%13%
Acton town, Middlesex County14%24%26%
Ashland town, Middlesex County10%15%21%
Bedford town, Middlesex County10%16%18%*
Bellingham town, Norfolk County3%8%*7%*
Boxborough town, Middlesex County13%20%21%
Carlisle town, Middlesex County12%13%*14%*
Concord town, Middlesex County8%9%11%*
Dedham town, Norfolk County9%14%14%
Dover town, Norfolk County8%10%*16%
Framingham city, Middlesex County21%27%28%
Franklin town, Norfolk County7%7%
Groton town, Middlesex County4%6%*7%*
Harvard town, Worcester County13%9%*10%*
Holliston town, Middlesex County5%5%*9%
Hopkinton town, Middlesex County6%7%*10%
Hudson town, Middlesex County15%16%17%
Lexington town, Middlesex County16%23%27%
Lincoln town, Middlesex County7%12%*12%*
Littleton town, Middlesex County5%10%*9%*
Marlborough city, Middlesex County16%21%24%
Maynard town, Middlesex County6%11%**10%*
Medfield town, Norfolk County5%6%*8%*
Medway town, Norfolk County5%7%*6%*
Milford town, Worcester County11%19%16%
Millis town, Norfolk County6%12%**8%**
Natick town, Middlesex County10%14%18%
Needham town, Norfolk County10%12%14%
Sherborn town, Middlesex County6%10%**10%*
Southborough town, Worcester County9%17%16%
Stow town, Middlesex County8%6%*9%*
Sudbury town, Middlesex County9%11%12%
Walpole town, Norfolk County6%9%*10%
Waltham city, Middlesex County20%26%28%
Wayland town, Middlesex County9%14%14%
Wellesley town, Norfolk County11%14%16%
Westborough town, Worcester County14%20%27%
Westford town, Middlesex County6%13%15%
Weston town, Middlesex County13%15%18%
Westwood town, Norfolk County9%11%14%

Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Notes: Multiyear results are from rolling American Community Survey. * Margin of error between 20% & 35% of estimate; ** margin of error between 35% & 50%; *** margin of error greater than 50%.

Number of Foreign-Born People
United States31,107,88940,341,89843,539,499
Acton town, Middlesex County2,9155,3766,184
Ashland town, Middlesex County1,4332,4713,740
Bedford town, Middlesex County1,2162,1382,485*
Bellingham town, Norfolk County4921,327*1,111*
Boxborough town, Middlesex County6141,0211,232
Carlisle town, Middlesex County568620*749*
Concord town, Middlesex County1,3991,6672,121*
Dedham town, Norfolk County2,1993,4253,615
Dover town, Norfolk County463542*951
Framingham city, Middlesex County14,15018,44020,352
Franklin town, Norfolk County2,2672,376
Groton town, Middlesex County368643*777*
Harvard town, Worcester County748602*680*
Holliston town, Middlesex County731749*1,305
Hopkinton town, Middlesex County8641,124*1,782
Hudson town, Middlesex County2,6793,1013,352
Lexington town, Middlesex County5,0017,3279,080
Lincoln town, Middlesex County552765*821*
Littleton town, Middlesex County421938*864*
Marlborough city, Middlesex County5,8578,1559,665
Maynard town, Middlesex County5961,172**1,088*
Medfield town, Norfolk County654670*1,055*
Medway town, Norfolk County589848*856*
Milford town, Worcester County3,0185,2654,603
Millis town, Norfolk County447925**645**
Natick town, Middlesex County3,1684,5746,595
Needham town, Norfolk County2,7653,6314,166
Sherborn town, Middlesex County249411**420*
Southborough town, Worcester County7781,6361,632
Stow town, Middlesex County451428*643*
Sudbury town, Middlesex County1,4651,8852,361
Walpole town, Norfolk County1,2602,104*2,481
Waltham city, Middlesex County11,97516,13017,875
Wayland town, Middlesex County1,1611,8321,888
Wellesley town, Norfolk County2,8903,8544,636
Westborough town, Worcester County2,5443,7075,155
Westford town, Middlesex County1,3122,9553,667
Weston town, Middlesex County1,4491,7562,165
Westwood town, Norfolk County1,2561,6882,168

Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Notes: Multiyear results are from rolling American Community Survey. * Margin of error between 20% & 35% of estimate; ** margin of error between 35% & 50%; *** margin of error greater than 50%.

Early Prenatal Care by Mother's Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Children Living in Poverty Not Applicable
Children Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Single-Parent Families Not Applicable
Single-Parent Families by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Disengaged Youth Not Applicable
Reports of Domestic Violence Not Applicable
Arts, Entertainment and Recreation Establishments Not Applicable
Households Without Vehicles Not Applicable
Means of Transportation to Work Not Applicable
Average Travel Time to Work Not Applicable
Households With Internet Access Not Applicable
Voter Participation Rate Not Applicable
Average Charitable Contribution Not Applicable
Protected Land Not Applicable
Drug Poisoning Mortality Rate Not Applicable
Crimes Against People Not Applicable
Incarceration Rates, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Change in Total Population Not Applicable
Change in Population by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Foreign-Born Population Not Applicable
Language Diversity Not Applicable
Population by Age Not Applicable
Change in Population by Age/Gender Not Applicable
Seniors Living Alone Not Applicable
People with Disabilities Not Applicable
Change in Total Jobs by Sector Not Applicable
Unemployment Rate Not Applicable
Average Salary by Sector Not Applicable
High-Tech Jobs Not Applicable
Female to Male Earnings Ratio Not Applicable
Prekindergarten Participation Not Applicable
Student Performance on Grade 3 English, by Student Subgroup Not Applicable
Chronically Absent Students Not Applicable
High School Cohort Graduation Rate by Student Group Not Applicable
Education Levels of Adults Not Applicable
Education Levels of Adults, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
People Living in Poverty Not Applicable
People Living in Poverty, by Education Level Not Applicable
People Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Household Receiving Temporary Assistance Not Applicable
Participation in Food Assistance by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Median Household Income Not Applicable
Median Household Income, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Living Wage Not Applicable
80/20 Income Ratio Not Applicable
Access to Financial Services, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Homeownership Rates Not Applicable
Homeownership Rates, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Cost of Homeownership Not Applicable
Cost of Rent Not Applicable
Homelessness Not Applicable