Eastie’s population grows but doesn’t reach predicted levels

The Boston Planning & Development Agency (BPDA) Research Division and the Office of Digital Cartography and GIS today released the preliminary findings of the 2020 U.S. Census data, which found the total population of East Boston grew by 6.3 percent from 2010 to 2020 while the total population in Boston grew 9.4 percent with 675,647 current residents.

There are now 43,066 residents living in the neighborhood, up from the 40,508 residents reported during the 2010 Census.

Like the last census, Eastie is still a minority majority neighborhood with the largest share of Hispanic residents in 2020 than any other Boston neighborhood at 50.4 percent.

However, while the Hispanic population here increased 1.3 percent between 2010 and 2020 and rose from 21,419 to 21,700 the Latino population’s share in the neighborhood dropped from 53 percent in 2010 to 50.4 percent.

Citywide, the Hispanic population grew by 16.9 percent from 2010 to 2020. The Hispanic population grew 226 percent in the South Boston Waterfront and 181 percent in Chinatown. Dorchester added the most Hispanic residents with 5,878 but the Hispanic population fell in Jamaica Plain 5 percent since 2010.

The white population was 4.7 percent and went from 15,051 residents to 15,760 residents. The white population’s share decreased slightly from 37.2 percent to 36.6 percent between 2010 and 2020.

Citywide, the white population grew by 3.8 percent from 2010 to 2020. The white population grew 169 percent in the South Boston Waterfront and 107 percent in Chinatown. South Boston added the most White residents with 4,206. The white population fell 20 percent in Allston and 16 percent in Hyde Park. The North End had the highest share of white residents in 2020 with 86 percent.

Eastie’s black population increased 9.4 percent and went from 1,283 to 1,403 since 2010 and now make up 3.3 percent of the population.

The largest increase in the neighborhood were from people that responded to the 2020 Census as “other” or those who are “multiple” races. That population increased in Eastie 69.2 percent and went from 1,342 residents to 2,271 and now make up 5.3 percent of the neighborhood, up from 3.3 percent.

The second largest increase was among the Eastie Asian or Pacific Islander population, which rose 36.7 percent and went from 1,413 residents to 1,932 residents with a share of the population at 4.5 percent, up from 3.5 percent in 2010.

However, when compared to predictions from the American Community Survey (ACS) Eastie’s population did not grow as expected.

The ACS is a demographics survey program conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau. It regularly gathers information previously contained only in the long form of the decennial census, such as ancestry, citizenship, educational attainment, income, language proficiency, migration, disability, employment, and housing characteristics. These data are used by many public-sector, private-sector, and not-for-profit stakeholders to allocate funding, track shifting demographics, plan for emergencies, and learn about local communities.

The ACS predicted Eastie would have a population of 47,263 residents in the 2020 Census.

However, the ACS’s prediction of a 16 percent increase in Eastie’s population was off by 9.75 percent.

The ACS also predicted Eastie’s Hispanic population would increase 25 percent between 2010 and 2020 and be at 26,707 residents but this was also off by 23 percent. 

They also predicted the neighborhood’s black population would decrease but it increased; mixed race residents would decrease but it exploded; and the Asian population would be larger than the Census showed.

A summary of the preliminary findings can be found at http://www.bostonplans.org/research/2020-census and a more detailed analysis is available on the BPDA’s website.

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