So, a lot of ink was spilled when the Census Bureau released data a couple years ago that showed Boston was losing population.

Subsequently, it was discovered that, in fact, population had increased.

Same thing happened on a state-level, if memory serves me correctly.

In fact, Massachusetts has gained population, over the past fifteen years.

However, as a lot of people point out, accurately, this is only because of “immigration” from foreign-born individuals. If you only count those people who were born and lived here, we’ve had a net loss in population.

Well, I always felt there was an underlying racism to this argument, since it always seems to come from the usual suspects (a lot of the time, commenters on the Boston Herald’s message boards, for example). (Also, because I’ve never heard anyone say, “Those lousy Canadians are taking all our jobs!”)

Turns out, the truth is a bit more interesting.

Here are the immigration patterns for the past thirty-plus years.

Foreign-Born Change: Top Ten Countries 1980-2000

Rank

Country

1980

Country

1990

Country

2000

1

Canada

78,211

Portugal

70,814

Portugal

66,627

2

Portugal

75,077

Canada

52,438

Dominican Republic

46,744

3

Italy

55,461

Italy

38,288

Canada

40,247

4

U.K.

30,610

U.K.

26,807

China

39,255

5

Ireland

23,155

China

20,367

Brazil

36,669

6

Greece

17,801

Ireland

20,224

Haiti

33,862

7

Poland

16,923

Dominican Republic

19,514

Vietnam

30,457

8

Soviet Union

16,170

Haiti

18,804

Italy

28,319

9

Germany

15,158

Soviet Union

15,350

India

28,086

10

China

9,868

Germany

14,229

U.K.

25,403

All Others

162,548

All Others

276,898

All Others

397,314

Total

500,982

Total

573,733

Total

772,983

Okay, first thoughts … what’s up with Portugal???

Second thoughts – wow, there’s a lot of Dominicans coming to Massachusetts.

Third thoughts – if you add up the #’s from the top ten, the number of people coming from Western Europe still outweigh the number of people coming from “non-Western European” countries.

It’s amazing to see the number of Vietnamese, Haitian, and Brazilian people, especially considering that 30 years ago, none of them were in the top 10.

Here’s one organization’s projection of what Massachusetts’ population will look like, in the year 2050:

White, not Hispanic — Mexican — Other Hispanic — Black — Asian — Other
5,148,885 — 184,729 — 2,969,510 — 894,846 — 1,303,070 — 162,823

This is data from the fairus.org website. FAIR is an “immigration reform” organization, which I gather from their site to mean becoming more strict in immigration policies (they want to lower the # of legal immigrants to 300,000 per year, for example).

But that’s not important. What is important is, wow, there’s a lot of different people in Massachusetts. And they come from places you might not expect or assume.

Comments

comments

Call Now