Who we are is an integral component of what makes us healthy. In terms of demographic make up, Massachusetts has several characteristics that support a healthy community. On the plus side, we are incredibly educated - we have the highest percentage of college graduates in the country. In sheer dollars and cents, we make more than most of our fellow Americans. We are rich in diversity with 25% of residents being immigrants or racial minorities or both.

Demographic information is also necessary to plan for the public health and medical systems of tomorrow. We must be cognizant of an aging population, the prevalence of disability, and the thousands of people who speak different languages.

Who are the residents of Massachusetts? How many are they, and what are the social and economic conditions of their lives? This chapter attempts to provide some answers to these questions.

In this Chapter

  • Population
  • Gender
  • Marital Status
  • Age
  • Race and Ethnicity
  • Foreign Born
  • Language
  • Disability
  • EOHHS Regions
  • Income
  • Poverty
  • Unemployment
  • Industry and Occupation
  • Education
  • Policy Perspective: Public Policy and Demographic Change in Massachusetts by Barry Bluestone, PhD, Dean, School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs, Northeastern University and Mary Huff Stevenson, PhD, Professor, Department of Economics, University of Massachusetts Boston

Data Sources for this Chapter

Researchers or members of the public looking for more detailed and technical information on demographics should look at these sources. All of them contain information specific to Massachusetts.

List of Figures and Tables in Chapter 1

Download these figures in .jpeg format to use in your own presentations.


This information is provided by the Department of Public Health.