Counties in Massachusetts With the Most Rapid Population Decline

Exploring the 5 Counties in Massachusetts With the Most Rapid Population Decline

Massachusetts boasts a diverse blend of history, culture, and economic vibrancy. With a population exceeding 6.9 million, it ranks as the 15th most populous state in the United States.

Nevertheless, demographic shifts across its counties vary, with some witnessing substantial growth in the last decade while others grapple with population decline. Here, We delve into the five Massachusetts counties experiencing the most pronounced decrease in population, based on the latest census data.

County2010 Population2020 PopulationPopulation ChangePercentage Change
Berkshire131,219.00128,369-2,850-2.17%
Franklin71,372.0070,927-445-0.62%
Suffolk722,023.00820,7095,3840.65%
Hampden463,490.00466,5271,9630.39%
Nantucket10,172.0015,479500.32%

Berkshire County

Berkshire County, situated in the westernmost part of the state and sharing borders with New York, Vermont, and Connecticut, is renowned for its picturesque natural landscapes, cultural attractions, and outdoor recreational opportunities.

However, it faces the challenge of being the Massachusetts county with the highest population decline, both in terms of percentage and absolute numbers.

Over the decade from 2010 to 2020, Berkshire County’s population decreased by 2.17%, going from 131,219 to 128,369 residents. This translates to a loss of 2,850 people over the span of 10 years. Additionally, the county experienced a further decline of 762 people between 2021 and 2022, as per the most recent estimates.

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Franklin County

Franklin County, situated in the western part of the state and bordering New Hampshire and Vermont, holds the distinction of being the least populous county in Massachusetts, tallying a population of 70,927 in 2020.

Notably, it ranks as the second county experiencing the largest population decline in percentage terms, witnessing a decrease of 0.62% from 2010 to 2020, dropping from 71,372 to 70,927—a loss of 445 people over the span of a decade. Recent estimates reveal an additional decline of 1,808 people between 2021 and 2022.

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Counties in Massachusetts With the Most Rapid Population Decline

Suffolk County

Suffolk County is situated in the eastern part of Massachusetts, covering the city of Boston and its neighboring towns. It ranks as the fourth most populous county in the state, boasting a population of 820,709 as of 2020.

Remarkably, Suffolk County experienced the third-largest percentage decline in population, registering a 0.65% decrease from 2010 to 2020, dropping from 722,023 to 820,709.

This translates to a loss of 5,384 individuals over the span of a decade. Additionally, the county saw a further decline of 5,384 people between 2021 and 2022, according to the latest estimates.

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Hampden County

Hampden County is situated in the central part of Massachusetts, sharing a border with Connecticut. As of 2020, it ranks as the eighth most populous county in the state, boasting a population of 466,527.

Notably, Hampden County experienced a population decline of 0.39% from 2010 to 2020, dropping from 463,490 to 466,527—a decrease of 1,963 individuals over the decade. The trend continued, with the county losing an additional 1,808 people between 2021 and 2022, as per the latest estimates.

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Nantucket County

Nantucket County, situated in the southeastern part of Massachusetts, encompasses the Nantucket island and its surrounding islets. With a population of 15,479 in 2020, it stands as the second least populous county in the state.

Over the decade from 2010 to 2020, it experienced the fifth-largest percentage population decline among Massachusetts counties, dropping by 0.32% from 10,172 to 15,479, marking a loss of 50 individuals.

Additionally, the county continued to see a decline, losing another 50 people between 2021 and 2022, according to the latest estimates.

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Conclusion

Massachusetts is a state characterized by diversity and dynamism, with distinct regions experiencing varied population trends. Over the past decade, certain counties have witnessed notable growth, while others have grappled with a decline in population.

The causes behind this population decline differ across counties, encompassing economic, demographic, environmental, and cultural factors.

These elements collectively influence the overall quality of life, well-being, and future outlook for residents and communities. Consequently, it becomes crucial to comprehend the root causes and repercussions of the population decline and to devise strategies for addressing these challenges.

References

usafacts.org, newbedfordguide.com, malegislature.gov

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With more than two years of expertise in news and analysis, Eileen Stewart is a seasoned reporter. Eileen is a respected voice in this field, well-known for her sharp reporting and insightful analysis. Her writing covers a wide range of subjects, from politics to culture and more.