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Immigrant demographics

Data and research about Boston’s diverse immigrant populations.

Have questions? Contact: 

IMMIGRANT ADVANCEMENT
1 CITY HALL SQUARE, ROOM 806
BOSTON, MA 02201-2030

Overview

Overview

Boston has more than 690,000 residents. In the City, 29% of our population is foreign-born and many are the children of immigrants. Of the entire population, 15% of residents have limited English proficiency, and 35% speak a language other than English at home. The top three spoken languages are Spanish, Mandarin-Chinese, and Haitian.

Most common languages spoken (2019)
Source: 2019 American Community Survey (PUMS), BPDA Research Division Analysis

Other common countries of origin include Jamaica, India, and Cabo Verde.

Race and Ethnicity 2019 MOIA

In the City, 28% of foreign-born immigrants in Boston are Hispanic/Latino, 27% are Black/African American, and 26% are Asian/Pacific Islander.

Top 10 Countries MOIA

Source: 2019 American Community Survey (PUMS), BPDA Research Division Analysis 

In service and blue collar jobs, immigrant workers double that of native-born residents. Blue collar occupations include natural resources, construction, repair, and production.

Immigrants struggle to integrate into the labor market because they lack a general understanding of the market. They have limited access to employment and have difficulties transferring skills for certification/re-certification.

Employment 2019 MOIA

Source: 2019 American Community Survey (PUMS), BPDA Research Division Analysis 

In this map, the font size is proportional to the foreign-born population within each neighborhood. Nearly half of East Boston residents are foreign-born. Over one third of Downtown, Allston, Mattapan, and Dorchester residents are foreign-born.

MOIA

Source: 2019 American Community Survey (PUMS), BPDA Research Division Analysis 

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