Financial Security
People Living in Poverty

Increasing


People Living in Poverty

What does this measure?

People with incomes below the poverty line, as a percentage of those for whom poverty status has been determined. Poverty thresholds vary by family composition and year. In 2020, the threshold for a four-person family with two children was $26,246.

Why is this important?

The percentage of people living in poverty is a measure of the overall economic health of a region. It also indicates the level of need for social and government supports within the community.

How is our region doing?

In 2016-20, 8% of MetroWest residents were living in poverty, up from 7% in 2000. Of the three regional counties, Worcester had the highest rate, at 10%, followed by Middlesex at 7% and Norfolk at 6%. Waltham and Milford both had the highest rate, at 9%, with nearly 5,100 and 2,600 residents, respectively, below the poverty line. The City of Framingham was second highest, at 8%, nearly 5,800 residents.

Notes about the data

The multi-year figures are from the Census Bureau's American Community Survey. The bureau combined five years of responses to the survey to provide estimates for smaller geographic areas and increase the precision of its estimates. The survey provides data on characteristics of the population that used to be collected only during the decennial census. Poverty status is not reported for people in institutions, including college dormitories and military barracks, and people in living situations without conventional housing. Data for this indicator are expected to be released in the fourth quarter.

People Living in Poverty
20002006-102011-152016-20
United States12%14%15%13%
Massachusetts9%11%12%10%
Region7%8%9%8%
Middlesex7%8%8%7%
Norfolk5%6%7%6%
Worcester9%10%12%10%
Acton town, Middlesex County3%4%**3%*3%**
Ashland town, Middlesex County2%3%**4%**4%**
Bedford town, Middlesex County2%5%***4%**2%***
Bellingham town, Norfolk County3%5%**3%***3%**
Boxborough town, Middlesex County3%6%***5%***4%***
Carlisle town, Middlesex County2%6%***2%***4%***
Concord town, Middlesex County4%4%**6%*3%**
Dedham town, Norfolk County5%5%*5%*5%*
Dover town, Norfolk County3%2%***1%***0%***
Framingham city, Middlesex County8%9%11%8%
Franklin town, Norfolk County4%*3%*5%**
Groton town, Middlesex County4%2%***3%**4%**
Harvard town, Worcester County2%5%***8%***2%***
Holliston town, Middlesex County3%2%**4%***2%**
Hopkinton town, Middlesex County2%2%***2%**3%**
Hudson town, Middlesex County4%7%*6%*5%*
Lexington town, Middlesex County3%3%*4%*3%*
Lincoln town, Middlesex County1%2%***4%***5%***
Littleton town, Middlesex County4%4%***4%**5%***
Marlborough city, Middlesex County7%8%*7%*7%*
Maynard town, Middlesex County6%4%***9%**5%**
Medfield town, Norfolk County1%2%***4%***3%**
Medway town, Norfolk County2%3%***3%***6%*
Milford town, Worcester County7%8%*11%*9%*
Millis town, Norfolk County3%2%***7%***1%***
Natick town, Middlesex County3%4%*4%*3%*
Needham town, Norfolk County3%4%**3%*2%**
Sherborn town, Middlesex County2%3%***1%***6%***
Southborough town, Worcester County2%1%***4%**5%**
Stow town, Middlesex County3%3%***5%***3%***
Sudbury town, Middlesex County3%2%**2%***2%***
Walpole town, Norfolk County2%5%**3%**4%**
Waltham city, Middlesex County7%11%10%9%
Wayland town, Middlesex County2%2%**5%**3%***
Wellesley town, Norfolk County4%4%*3%*4%*
Westborough town, Worcester County5%4%**4%*4%**
Westford town, Middlesex County2%1%***3%*2%**
Weston town, Middlesex County3%4%**3%**8%**
Westwood town, Norfolk County3%4%**2%***3%**

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 People Living in Poverty
20002006-102011-152016-20
United States33,899,81240,917,51347,749,04340,910,326
Massachusetts573,421658,391748,905653,454
Region189,218221,602261,445230,659
Middlesex92,705108,660124,958112,373
Norfolk29,37739,90244,19941,067
Worcester67,13673,04092,28877,219
Acton town, Middlesex County590800**705*658**
Ashland town, Middlesex County295496**672**794**
Bedford town, Middlesex County300580***499**329***
Bellingham town, Norfolk County384780**504***480**
Boxborough town, Middlesex County137312***243***206***
Carlisle town, Middlesex County111287***124***184***
Concord town, Middlesex County612678**971*465**
Dedham town, Norfolk County1,0371,140*1,168*1,169*
Dover town, Norfolk County165109***33***30***
Framingham city, Middlesex County5,1305,5697,7335,806
Franklin town, Norfolk County1,326*1,032*1,719**
Groton town, Middlesex County376231***350**436**
Harvard town, Worcester County106300***451***110***
Holliston town, Middlesex County471237**548***346**
Hopkinton town, Middlesex County220254***369**629**
Hudson town, Middlesex County8051,325*1,169*914*
Lexington town, Middlesex County1,007959*1,235*1,057*
Lincoln town, Middlesex County67112***299***335***
Littleton town, Middlesex County290302***396**502***
Marlborough city, Middlesex County2,4552,994*2,837*2,829*
Maynard town, Middlesex County582357***932**586**
Medfield town, Norfolk County173189***461***362**
Medway town, Norfolk County278343***398***764*
Milford town, Worcester County1,9082,121*3,146*2,616*
Millis town, Norfolk County230184***545***95***
Natick town, Middlesex County8791,114*1,427*1,169*
Needham town, Norfolk County7051,049**974*716**
Sherborn town, Middlesex County98121***55***266***
Southborough town, Worcester County139124***346**458**
Stow town, Middlesex County157191***314***227***
Sudbury town, Middlesex County466370**286***441***
Walpole town, Norfolk County4721,064**676**1,049**
Waltham city, Middlesex County3,7525,9015,5405,085
Wayland town, Middlesex County322241**610**462***
Wellesley town, Norfolk County885968*850*1,016*
Westborough town, Worcester County805655**781*833**
Westford town, Middlesex County345242***697*465**
Weston town, Middlesex County314433**341**932**
Westwood town, Norfolk County352562**247***456**

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%.




INDICATORS TREND
Early Prenatal Care by Mother's Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Children Living in Poverty Maintaining
Children Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Single-Parent Families Increasing
Single-Parent Families by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Disengaged Youth Decreasing
Reports of Domestic Violence Maintaining
Arts, Entertainment and Recreation Establishments Increasing
Households Without Vehicles Maintaining
Means of Transportation to Work Not Applicable
Households With Internet Access Not Applicable
Voter Participation Rate Increasing
Average Charitable Contribution Maintaining
People Without Health Insurance Decreasing
Drug Poisoning Mortality Rate Increasing
Crimes Against People Decreasing
Incarceration Rates, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Change in Total Population Increasing
Change in Population by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Foreign-Born Population Increasing
Language Diversity Increasing
Population by Age Not Applicable
Change in Population by Age/Gender Not Applicable
Seniors Living Alone Decreasing
People with Disabilities Maintaining
Change in Total Jobs by Sector Not Applicable
Unemployment Rate Increasing
Business Ownership by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Unemployment Rate by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Share of Workers who are Professionals, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Average Salary by Sector Not Applicable
High-Tech Jobs Maintaining
Female to Male Earnings Ratio Maintaining
Prekindergarten Participation Decreasing
School Spending Per Student Maintaining
Student Performance on Grade 3 English, by Student Group Not Applicable
Student Performance on Grade 8 Math by Student Group Not Applicable
Chronically Absent Students Increasing
High School Cohort Graduation Rate by Student Group Increasing
Education Levels of Adults Not Applicable
Education Levels of Adults, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
College Admission Rate, by Race/Ethnicity Decreasing
People Living in Poverty Increasing
People Living in Poverty, by Education Level Not Applicable
People Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Household Receiving Temporary Assistance Maintaining
Participation in Food Assistance by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Median Household Income Maintaining
Median Household Income, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Living Wage Not Applicable
80/20 Income Ratio Maintaining
Access to Financial Services, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Homeownership Rates Increasing
Homeownership Rates, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Cost of Homeownership Increasing
Cost of Homeownership, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Cost of Rent Not Applicable
Cost of Rent, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Homelessness Increasing
Early Prenatal Care by Mother's Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Children Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Single-Parent Families by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Incarceration Rates, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Change in Population by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Business Ownership by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Unemployment Rate by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Share of Workers who are Professionals, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Student Performance on Grade 3 English, by Student Group Not Applicable
Student Performance on Grade 8 Math by Student Group Not Applicable
High School Cohort Graduation Rate by Student Group Increasing
Education Levels of Adults, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
College Admission Rate, by Race/Ethnicity Decreasing
People Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Participation in Food Assistance by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Median Household Income, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Access to Financial Services, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Homeownership Rates, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Cost of Homeownership, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Cost of Rent, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable


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