Census sheds new light on JP

New U.S. Census data provides a detailed picture of JP’s population characteristics.

The BRA last month released a series reports analyzing Boston neighborhoods based on the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS). The ACS information is a “five-year estimate” based on data collected between 2005 and 2009.

According to the report, during that period:

  • Young adults were the largest segment of JP’s population by age. About 36 percent of residents were between the ages of 18 and 35. (Within that group, people between the ages of 25 and 35 account for 27 percent of the overall population.) Youths under 18 made up about 18 percent of the population. People between the ages of 35 and 50 made up 23 percent of the population. People between the ages of 50 and 65 made up about 15 percent. People over 65 accounted for about 9 percent of the population.
  • There were about 7,300 family households in JP—defined as households where two or more people were related. About 63 percent of those households were married couples, but close to 60 percent of married couples had no children under 18. Female and male householders with no spouse present accounted for 39 percent of family households, with female family householders heading up 84 percent of those families. Sixty-three percent of JP residents lived in family households and 38 percent in non-family households.
  • About 8,500 JP residents were born in other countries. About 18,000 were born in Massachusetts and 13,000 were born in other states.
  • Twenty-five percent of the JP’s foreign-born population was from the Dominican Republic; 5 percent was from China; 4 percent was from Jamaica. The report lists the top 20 countries represented in JP.
  • About 30 percent of the JP homes where Spanish was spoken were “linguistically isolated,” meaning no one over the age of 14 spoke English. Less than 10 percent of homes where other languages other than English were spoken were linguistically isolated.
  • About 53 percent of men and 58 percent of women had a bachelor’s degree or higher.
  • About 63 percent of homes were family households and 37 percent were non-family households.
  • About 37 percent of workers were in the fields of education services, health care or social assistance.
  • Even including pre-recession years in the five-year estimate, 8 percent of households made less than $10,000 a year. About 31 percent made more than $100,000 a year. Twelve percent of families lived below the federal poverty level.
  • Over half the people who made less than $50,000 a year paid more than a third of their income for rent.

BRA Deputy Director of Research Mark Melnik said that the data in the report has as high as a 5 percent margin of error. Beginning this year, the Census bureau plans to release five-year ACS reports annually, making it possible to track trends in different population characteristics throughout the decade.

To read the BRA’s full ACS report, see BostonRedevelopmentAuthority.org and select “Research Publications” from the “News and Publications” menu.



Correction: Due to a rounding error, it was reported in different places in the article “Census sheds new light on JP” in the July 22 issue of the Gazette that 38 percent and 37 percent of JP residents live in “non-family” households. The exact percentage from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey estimate is 37.5 percent. The article also failed to note that an estimated 3.6 percent of JP residents live in “group quarters,” a category that often includes non-family households.

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