Demographics and Diversity






The MetroWest region is home to more than 3 million residents, with small but fast-growing minority groups, a high proportion of foreign-born residents in some local areas, and an overall aging population. Demographic trends are important to understand because they impact the economy, health care needs and outcomes, what services government and nonprofits provide, and many other local and national concerns.

"MetroWest" is not a formal set of government boundaries, but a name adopted for a set of communities lying west of Boston. Different groups have their own definitions of what is included, but our definition of MetroWest encompasses 39 cities and towns: Acton, Ashland, Bedford, Bellingham, Boxborough, Carlisle, Concord, Dedham, Dover, Framingham, Franklin, Groton, Harvard, Holliston, Hopkinton, Hudson, Lexington, Lincoln, Littleton, Marlborough, Maynard, Medfield, Medway, Milford, Millis, Natick, Needham, Sherborn, Southborough, Stow, Sudbury, Walpole, Waltham, Wayland, Wellesley, Westborough, Westford, Weston, and Westwood.

Though Framingham, with 73,000 people, and Waltham, with 63,000, are the largest localities in MetroWest, they are not the fastest growing: Hopkinton, Boxborough and Littleton all grew more than 25% between 2000 and 2018.

Waltham, Framingham, Lexington and Westborough are all centers of diversity and immigration, with foreign-born residents making up between 27-28% of the population. Immigration is a driver of population growth and the diversity of these communities likely reflects a welcoming climate while also pointing to the need to continue to engage diverse populations in local government and decision-making.

The region’s population overall has grown 10% since 2000, similar to the state but below the national rate of growth (16%). Growth was fastest among Asian residents (105%), African Americans (95%) and Hispanics (92%), though the region as a whole remained majority white (78%).

Overall, 18% of the region’s population was foreign-born and 23% spoke a foreign language at home – both a bit higher than state and national rates and up since 2000.

Like the state and nation, the region’s population is aging, with the fastest growing group being people ages 60-84. This group increased in size by 37% from 2000 to 2014-18, illustrating the need for robust social and health related support services for aging residents to live in their homes or have access to affordable alternatives and care. The population between 20 and 39 has increased by 7% nationally, but decreased by 1% in MetroWest.

The percentage of residents over 65 living alone is 39%, consistent with state and national rates. 





INDICATORS TREND
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


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