Population growth and change in Massachusetts 2000 – 2007

Massachusetts’s population grew 1.6% from 2000 to 2007 according to estimates by the United States Census Bureau. Last week the Bureau released estimates for population changes with-in the different races in the 50 states and the United States.

The demographic story for Massachusetts is the familiar one: A slow decline in the number of whites, while the black, Latino and Asian populations are growing rapidly

The table below shows how the different races that make up almost all of Massachusetts population changed from 2000 to 2007.

2007 is the estimate of the population in 2007. 2000 is the counted population in 2000 (the 2000 Census). The next population count will take place in 2010. The “Diff.” column shows the change in absolute numbers from 2000 to 2007. The “% change” column shows the change as a percent. The “% ’07″ and “% ’00″ columns show the shares of the overall population for each race.

The Latino population includes all Hispanics. The black population includes all non-Hispanic blacks, including blacks who also belong to another race (multi-racial blacks make up 8.2% of the overall non-Hispanic black population and is faster growing than the single-race black population (at least in Massachusetts and at least according to the Census Bureau’s estimates (the one-race non-Hispanic population grew by less than 10% from 2000 to 2007))). The white population includes all “Not Hispanic, One Race, White” persons and the Asian segment includes “”Not Hispanic, One Race, Asian” persons.

The columns don’t add up to 100% of the state totals since several thousand people fall outside of the four races included in this table.

  2007 2000 Diff. % change % ’07 % ’00
White 5,142,223 5,257,329 -115,106 -2.2 79.8% 82.8%
Black 415,286 373,196 42,090 11.3% 6.4% 5.9%
Latino 527,859 428,729 99,130 23.1% 8.2% 6.8%
Asian 311,808 243,464 68,344 28.1% 4.8% 3.8%

Had Massachusetts’s white population remained the same in numbers from 2000 to 2007, the state’s population would now be 6,564,861, whites would have made up 80.1% of the population and the state’s population growth would have been 3.4% from 2000 to 2007 instead of 1.6%.

What the estimates don’t reflect are changes within the races. For example, it may be that the state’s African-American population has dwindled or remained stagnant but Haitian and African immigrants have expanded the size of the overall black population. We can’t tell which Asian ethnicities have grown the most. The Hispanic black population is estimated to have grown a lot slower than non-black Hispanic population, perhaps because of more immigration from non-Caribbean Latin America. It’s hard to tell, though, because black Hispanics make up less than 1.5% of the state’s population (the Census Bureau has it that 82% of Hispanics are white, but that’s mostly because of administrative fiat. Almost half of U.S. Hispanics self-reported as Some Other Race in the 2000 Census, but later the Bush Administration simply decided to count members of Some Other Race as Hispanic whites, which is a complete travesty and surely an insult to mestizo and indigenous Hispanics. Since more than 90% of the Some Other Race people are also Hispanic the change didn’t impact the numbers for the white population.).

Update 05/04/2008:

Birth data for Massachusetts suggests rather strongly that the state’s black population growth is driven entirely by immigration from Africa and non-Hispanic Caribbean nations (eg. Jamaica and Haiti).

The table below shows the 2006 “[b]irth Characteristics by Maternal Race and Hispanic Ethnicity” for Massachusetts (it doesn’t distinguish between uni- and multi-racial mothers, but as I noted above, uni-racial persons are much more frequent than multiracial):

  Number Share
White 52,975 68.2%
Black 6,452 8.3%
Latino 10,696 13.8%
Asian 5,469 7%

Please note that the race in question is that of the mother and not the child. For example, a child with a black father and a white mother would likely self-report as either black or black and white. So, the the number and share of white babies are actually lower than the table suggests.

47.9% of the black mothers were immigrants. Corresponding share for whites, Asians, and Latinos: 12.3%, 87.5%, and 49.3%, respectively (another 18.5% of Hispanic mothers were born in Puerto Rico).

Hispanics made up 35.8% of all teenage moms.

The table below shows the racial distribution of immigrant mothers who gave birth in Massachusetts in 2006 (mothers born in Puerto Rico are not included):

Racial distribution of immigrant mothers giving birth in Massachusetts in 2006 (excluding mothers born in Puerto Rico)
  Number Share
White 6,519 31.2%
Black 3,090 14.8%
Latino 5,273 25.2%
Asian 4,788 22.9%

I’m guessing that the white immigrants are mostly Canadians, Russians, Middle Easterners, Bosnians, Albanians, perhaps some Irish and British, and then a sprinkling of other Europeans.

Since Puerto Ricans are immigrants in all but legal name, it makes sense to include them in the tally of births by immigrant mothers (and also because a non-trivial number of women who claim to be Puerto Ricans probably aren’t):

Racial distribution of immigrant mothers giving birth in Massachusetts in 2006 (including mothers born in Puerto Rico)
  Number Share
White 6,519 28.5%
Black 3,090 13.5%
Latino 7,257 31.7%
Asian 4,788 20.9%

The next table shows the racial distribution of U.S. born women who gave birth in Massachusetts in 2006.

Racial distribution of U.S. born mothers giving birth in Massachusetts in 2006 (excluding mothers born in Puerto Rico)
  Number Share
White 46,396 84.9%
Black 3,337 6.1%
Latino 3,438 6.3%
Asian 677 1.2%