Racial Equity
Change in Population by Race/Ethnicity
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Source: U.S. Census Bureau

What does this measure?

The percentage change of residents within a geographic area, broken down by racial and ethnic groups.

Why is this important?

Population measures provide insight on the changing size and face of communities. The racial and ethnic composition of a community can offer insight into its levels of diversity, which can bring with it challenges and opportunities.

How is our county performing?

Worcester County has grown more diverse since 2008-12. Its Latino population grew the fastest, 43%, from about 75,200 residents in 2008-12 to 107,200 in 2018-22. The Black or African American population increased 38%, from 32,400 to 44,700, and the Asian population grew 37%, from 32,000 to 43,900. The White population decreased 3% but still makes up 78% of the population with 671,300 residents. Worcester County's growing diversity outpaced both the state and nation.

While White residents were the largest racial group in every municipality in Worcester County in 2018-22. The cities of Worcester and Fitchburg are population centers for the Latino population, with about 50,200 (6%) and 12,700 (31%) Latino residents, respectively.

Why do these disparities exist?

The composition of the U.S. population is becoming more racially and ethnically diverse as people of color grow in representation and will be a majority within the next two decades. Latino, Asian and multiracial groups are experiencing the largest growth with Latino's rapid increase caused largely by immigration. Latino immigrants who enter the U.S. tend to be younger and of child-bearing age.

Notes about the data

Rate is percentage change from 2008-12. The multiyear 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. However, because the information came from a survey, the samples responding to the survey were not always large enough to produce reliable results, especially in small geographic areas. CGR has noted on data tables the estimates with relatively large margins of error. Estimates with three asterisks have the largest margins, plus or minus 50% or more of the estimate. Two asterisks mean plus or minus 35%-50%, and one asterisk means plus or minus 20%-35%. For all estimates, the confidence level is 90%, meaning there is 90% probability the true value (if the whole population were surveyed) would be within the margin of error (or confidence interval). The survey provides data on characteristics of the population that used to be collected only during the decennial census.

The Census Bureau asks people to identify their race (White, African-American, etc.) separate from their ethnicity (Hispanic or non-Hispanic). So the totals for these categories cannot be added together, as people show up in both a racial and ethnic group. Data for this indicator are released annually in December.

Change in Total Population by Race/Ethnicity, 2018-22
AsianBlack or African AmericanHispanicWhite
Worcester County37%38%43%-3%
Athol-20%***182%***6%**2%
Clinton29%***-29%***37%10%
Fitchburg-39%***90%*53%-11%
Gardner47%**39%**26%*-1%
Northbridge26%***144%***226%**-2%
Southbridge-48%***76%**18%-10%
Spencer111%***49%***2%***-0%
Webster-56%***118%*392%*-8%
Westborough58%33%***37%*-1%
Worcester37%27%39%-9%
Massachusetts36%12%39%-4%
Additional Worcester County localities
AshburnhamN/A***-25%***-4%***1%
Auburn284%***-70%***82%**-1%
Barre-100%***817%***356%***-1%
Berlin89%***6%***23%***19%
Blackstone119%***117%***-7%***-5%
Bolton165%**-100%***186%***4%
Boylston63%***50%***-11%***10%
Brookfield-33%***N/A***3,600%***-2%
Charlton-33%***N/A***57%***-1%
Douglas71%***-51%***488%***4%
Dudley579%***107%***18%***-2%
East BrookfieldN/A***0%***N/A***-5%
Grafton2%*29%***126%**1%
Hardwick-31%***-98%***140%***-10%
Harvard41%***7%***132%***-1%
Holden-27%**647%***246%*5%
Hopedale-82%***944%***207%***-2%
Hubbardston127%***N/A***515%***-7%
Lancaster-59%***-41%**31%*11%
Leicester-73%***203%***-22%**-5%
Lunenburg-35%***51%***91%***9%
Mendon-48%***69%***-35%***4%
Milford7%**157%***33%-11%
Millbury225%***73%***-9%***-7%
Millville29%***-52%***-29%***-1%
New Braintree-33%***1,050%***0%***-13%
Northborough45%*246%***9%***-3%
North BrookfieldN/A***48%***13%***2%
OakhamN/A***N/A***-10%***-17%
Oxford-24%***302%***57%**-6%
Paxton-48%***-35%***-53%***10%
Petersham-59%***N/A***925%***-9%
Phillipston-100%***67%***-72%***-1%
Princeton-100%***-78%***20%***3%
Royalston-85%***N/A***-100%***38%*
Rutland-5%***-48%***-8%***16%
Shrewsbury59%76%*90%*-8%
Southborough48%*-66%***145%**-3%
Sterling-12%***-16%***115%***1%
Sturbridge107%***740%***-23%***0%
Sutton213%***655%***302%***-3%
Templeton26%***75%***95%***1%
Upton290%***2,563%***724%***-5%
Uxbridge-32%***137%***262%***1%
WarrenN/A***N/A***343%***-7%
West Boylston183%***-31%**6%**-2%
West Brookfield-100%***-100%***N/A***5%
Westminster121%***-100%***17%***13%
Winchendon53%***62%**92%***-7%
Leominster20%*21%*11%1%

Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Notes: Rate is percentage change from 2008-12. The Census Bureau asks people to identify their race (white, African-American, etc.) separate from their ethnicity (Hispanic or non-Hispanic). So the totals for these categories cannot be added together, as people show up in both a racial and ethnic group. 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%.




Total Population by Race/Ethnicity, 2018-22
AsianBlack or African AmericanHispanicWhite
Worcester County43,90344,660107,201671,257
Athol86***62***761**11,032
Clinton281***254***2,41013,025
Fitchburg724***2,980*12,72128,698
Gardner678**496**1,761*18,067
Northbridge176***151***1,370**14,809
Southbridge201***874**6,36312,301
Spencer80***116***489***11,073
Webster176***1,056*2,985*13,735
Westborough5,741704***1,387*13,276
Worcester13,83926,13950,220125,111
Massachusetts487,600498,785879,2965,075,525
Additional Worcester County localities
Ashburnham54***48***250***5,855
Auburn453***78***814**15,461
Barre0***55***283***5,239
Berlin108***36***81***3,217
Blackstone177***286***342***8,053
Bolton353**0***223***4,828
Boylston169***15***139***4,507
Brookfield6***13***74***3,269
Charlton24***82***733***12,537
Douglas29***17***394***8,640
Dudley428***546***523***10,385
East Brookfield33***21***109***1,979
Grafton1,617*341***1,222**15,669
Hardwick11***1***283***2,463
Harvard361***418***670***5,603
Holden405**493***1,100*17,494
Hopedale22***94***209***5,675
Hubbardston109***121***123***3,967
Lancaster61***336**719*7,454
Leicester56***409***442**9,984
Lunenburg112***225***460***10,613
Mendon36***27***175***5,881
Milford755**1,196***3,53822,133
Millbury641***180***500***11,836
Millville18***25***36***2,994
New Braintree2***23***8***939
Northborough1,718*515***627***12,229
North Brookfield6***74***43***4,581
Oakham0***21***18***1,481
Oxford102***221***573**12,288
Paxton49***131***200***4,572
Petersham12***5***41***1,077
Phillipston0***5***16***1,876
Princeton0***17***84***3,333
Royalston2***0***0***1,406*
Rutland284***67***302***8,598
Shrewsbury9,0251,372*1,885*25,504
Southborough1,691*51***411**7,987
Sterling22***69***271***7,716
Sturbridge341***126***285***8,932
Sutton141***83***189***8,611
Templeton72***14***156***7,862
Upton312***426***445***6,710
Uxbridge81***220***384***13,172
Warren163***53***133***4,659
West Boylston85***301**501**6,750
West Brookfield0***0***124***3,693
Westminster53***0***120***8,013
Winchendon434***136**405***9,002
Leominster1,288*2,835*6,07133,403

Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Notes: The Census Bureau asks people to identify their race (white, African-American, etc.) separate from their ethnicity (Hispanic or non-Hispanic). So the totals for these categories cannot be added together, as people show up in both a racial and ethnic group. 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
Arts, Entertainment and Recreation Establishments 1
Increasing
Average Charitable Contribution 0
Maintaining
Households With Internet Access 1
Increasing
Protected Land 10 Not Applicable*
Voter Participation Rate -1
Decreasing
Voter Registration Rate 0
Maintaining
Arrest Rate by Race/Ethnicity -1
Decreasing
Change in Total Population 1
Increasing
Change in Population by Race/Ethnicity 1
Increasing
Foreign-Born Population 1
Increasing
Language Diversity 1
Increasing
Population by Age -1
Decreasing
Households by Type 0
Maintaining
Single-Parent Families by Race/Ethnicity -1
Decreasing
Median Household Income 0
Maintaining
Household Income by Race/Ethnicity 0
Maintaining
80/20 Income Ratio 0
Maintaining
Income in Relation to Poverty Level 0
Maintaining
People Living in Poverty 0
Maintaining
People Living in Poverty, by Education Level 1
Increasing
People Living in Poverty, by Age 1
Increasing
People Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity 1
Increasing
Homeownership Rates, by Race/Ethnicity 1
Increasing
Overall Housing Cost Burden -1
Decreasing
Cost of Rent, by Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*
Median Home Value by Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*
Homelessness 10 Not Applicable*
Households Receiving SNAP by Race/Ethnicity 1
Increasing
Household Receiving Temporary Assistance 0
Maintaining
Households Without Vehicles 0
Maintaining
Education Levels of Adults by Race/Ethnicity 1
Increasing
Change in Employment by Sector 10 Not Applicable*
Change in Average Salary by Sector 10 Not Applicable*
Female to Male Earnings Ratio 0
Maintaining
Unemployment Rate by Race/Ethnicity -1
Decreasing
Employer Size 1
Increasing
Business Ownership, by Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*
Self-Employment Revenue 0
Maintaining
People Entering/Leaving County for Work 1
Increasing
Early Prenatal Care by Mother's Race/Ethnicity 1
Increasing
Preterm Births 10 Not Applicable*
Infant Mortality by Mother's Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*
Children with Elevated Blood Lead Levels -1
Decreasing
Prevalence of Children with Asthma 1
Increasing
People with Disabilities 1
Increasing
People Without Health Insurance -1
Decreasing
Cancer Incidence 0
Maintaining
Diabetes Incidence -1
Decreasing
Substance Abuse Treatment Admissions 1
Increasing
Opioid Overdose Mortality Rate 1
Increasing
Children Living in Poverty 0
Maintaining
Children Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity -1
Decreasing
Economically Disadvantaged Students 1
Increasing
Disengaged Youth -1
Decreasing
Prekindergarten Participation -1
Decreasing
Student Performance on Grade 3 English, by Student Subgroup -1
Decreasing
Student Performance on Grade 8 Math, by Student Subgroup -1
Decreasing
Student Performance on Grade 10 English, by Student Subgroup -1
Decreasing
Student Performance on Grade 10 Math, by Student Subgroup -1
Decreasing
High School Cohort Graduation Rate, by Student Group 1
Increasing
Arrest Rate by Race/Ethnicity -1
Decreasing
Change in Population by Race/Ethnicity 1
Increasing
Single-Parent Families by Race/Ethnicity -1
Decreasing
Household Income by Race/Ethnicity 0
Maintaining
People Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity 1
Increasing
Homeownership Rates, by Race/Ethnicity 1
Increasing
Cost of Rent, by Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*
Median Home Value by Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*
Households Receiving SNAP by Race/Ethnicity 1
Increasing
Education Levels of Adults by Race/Ethnicity 1
Increasing
Unemployment Rate by Race/Ethnicity -1
Decreasing
Business Ownership, by Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*
Early Prenatal Care by Mother's Race/Ethnicity 1
Increasing
Infant Mortality by Mother's Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*
Children Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity -1
Decreasing
Student Performance on Grade 3 English, by Student Subgroup -1
Decreasing
Student Performance on Grade 8 Math, by Student Subgroup -1
Decreasing
Student Performance on Grade 10 English, by Student Subgroup -1
Decreasing
Student Performance on Grade 10 Math, by Student Subgroup -1
Decreasing
High School Cohort Graduation Rate, by Student Group 1
Increasing





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