What is an Environmental Justice Population?
In Massachusetts, an environmental justice population is a neighborhood where one or more of the following criteria are true:
- the annual median household income is 65 percent or less of the statewide annual median household income
- minorities make up 40 percent or more of the population
- 25 percent or more of households identify as speaking English less than "very well"
- minorities make up 25 percent or more of the population and the annual median household income of the municipality in which the neighborhood is located does not exceed 150 percent of the statewide annual median household income.
The Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) uses data from the 2019 American Community Survey to identify environmental justice population areas in Massachusetts. Policy makers and state agencies can then use this information to communicate more effectively with communities affected by their work.
Communities in Massachusetts with EJ populations
List of Massachusetts Cities & Towns with Environmental Justice Populations
This list summarizes EJ criteria (E=English Isolation, I=Income and M=Minority) and block group (that is, a neighborhood) by city and town. Updated November 2022.
Interactive maps about environmental justice populations
The environmental justice map viewer is an interactive map that displays the 2020 EJ block groups, based upon demographic criteria developed by the state's Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA).
The languages spoken map shows census tracts where at least 5% of the population has speakers who report they do not speak English "very well". Users can also display block groups classified as EJ using the English language isolation criteria. Click on a tract (in pink) to find which languages other than English are spoken in this area.