Boston, MA

Bostonians are Feeling the Effects of a Swelling Population

Genius Turner
As one of the largest cities on the East Coast, Boston's population continues to swell.(Christina Minniti/CM2B)

With a swelling population, Bostonians find themselves adjusting to the new landscape

Boston, MA — "Buy land," Will Rogers advised. "They ain't making any more of the stuff." Indeed, though neither Massachusetts nor Boston gained more land, this didn't deter almost half a million people from relocating to the Commonwealth. As for Beantown, say 'hello' to roughly 60,000 new Bostonians!

To put the ballooning population in perspective, picture the entire town of, say, Malden or Waltham relocating to Beantown.

According to the 2020 Census, Boston and Massachusetts — as a whole — continue to get bigger. And bigger. "Boston grew swiftly over the decade," the NY Times headline reads. In fact, according to the report:

[Census data] showed that Boston grew 9.3 percent between the 2010 and 2020 counts, a turnaround for the city, and nearly double the growth rate in Massachusetts overall. The city is now home to 675,647 people, according to the census.

Aha! In case you've been wondering lately why it feels like new neighbors keep cropping up, perhaps here's the answer.

Sure, the Commonwealth by area ranks near the very bottom, coming in at the 44th largest out of 50 states. Yet the opposite holds true for its ballooning population — now ranked as the 15th largest in the nation. No wonder realtors around Beantown can be overheard echoing Rogers.

Real estate agent Jared Wilk told the Boston Herald: “It’s been a seller’s market for some time; it’s just on steroids now. I’ve never seen anything like it in my 17 years.”

Michael DiMella, managing partner of Charlesgate Realty Group in Boston, described the effects of the swelling population in more emphatic terms:

Still, there are more buyers than properties, and that’s causing bidding wars. I’ve seen buyers bidding hundreds of thousands of dollars over asking prices. The root cause of that is because we haven’t built enough housing. It’s one of the most supply-constricted markets I’ve seen in my 20-plus year career.

Unlike Buffalo or Baltimore where a steady population decline reflects the “too old, too cold” knock against northeastern cities, not Boston. In fact, Beantown's population is booming.

In short, so far as "booming" and Boston goes, perhaps Tim Logan of the Boston Globe put it best: "a key reason for this is the booming economy of Greater Boston over the last decade, which has made our region a magnet for young people in a way that isn’t as true of [other] places."

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