Apr 10, 2023 - News

Greater Boston’s growing Black population

The Boston metropolitan area became home to the largest foreign-born Black population in the nation as communities outside of Boston proper added residents, according to a new report by Boston Indicators.

Why it matters: Greater Boston’s Black population is larger than an initial glance at U.S. census data suggests, the report indicates.

  • The shift may be easily missed if one only pays attention to those self-identifying as Black, as opposed to the larger swath of people who select Black, multiracial and other categories.

The report notes the population growth is a sign of the potential for Black residents to gain more political power — whether that means more visibility in media or more representation in government outside of Boston proper.

Driving the news: Boston’s metro area’s Black population grew from around 380,000 in 2010 to 485,000 in 2020, in large part because of immigration, per research from BI, the research arm of the Boston Foundation.

  • Boston lost residents, but Brockton, Randolph and other communities saw major gains that drove up the region’s Black population overall.

Zoom in: The Black population is more diverse than ever. It includes recently arrived Nigerians, Kenyans, Dominicans and Haitians, and U.S.-born residents of Haitian, Cape Verdean and Jamaican descent.


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