2020 Census Data Show Weston Growing and Changing…Slowly

Black Lives Matter march, June 2020, Weston, MA

Yesterday’s Boston Globe presented the census data for 2020 versus 2010 in the state of Massachusetts. While Weston’s houses may be supersizing, our overall population size is not. Massachusetts as a whole grew 7.4% in population during the decade but Weston slowed its roll to 5.2%.

As noted in the “parent article,” Massachusetts’ population is shifting with one town in western Massachusetts (Middlefield) losing almost 26.1% of its population (I feel a road trip coming on…why exactly are people bailing out?), while Wellfleet and Hopkinton are getting crowded (not really, but growing fast at 29.7% and 25.7% respectively). And just forget Nantucket and Chilmark on Martha’s Vineyard–at 40% population growth, the islands must be slowly sinking. Also, Chilmark will get a special road (boat) trip from the Owl–that is one very white place compared to overall Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. What’s going on there? Done with speculation? You can see the full info here.

In the usual highly-graphically-challenged style of the Owl, the research department (me) pulled out the Weston diversity numbers.

All data from https://www.bostonglobe.com/2021/08/12/metro/new-census-data-see-how-each-mass-town-has-changed/?s_campaign=breakingnews:newsletter.

What sticks out to you? Yes, we are less White than 10 years ago, though one has to be careful on this “White” descriptor. For example, you might find that someone of Brazilian descent would describe themself as “White” rather than “Latino”. Why? Because the country was colonized by the Portuguese and has numerous immigrants from Italy, Germany, and Japan. Would a Japanese-descent Brazilian be Latino or Asian? How about a Portuguese-Italian Brazilian? But I digress…

Some of the diversity numbers may also be affected by the ummm…political climate of the former administration. The Owl won’t say more there but to say that some folks were a little more nervous about reporting their cultural backgrounds would be more than a little true. But let’s get to the fun stuff:

We have one Hawaiian/Pacific Islander here in Weston who was not here 10 years ago. My only question there is why in the world would you leave your island home for February in New England? Please see photo below. We also almost doubled our number of American Indian/Alaska Natives living in town. The Owl can hardly wait to see how we match up with other towns on this, but alas she must clean her house before Nana Owl arrives tomorrow.

Dear NH/PI, what are you thinking? February in Hawaii…Photo by Karsten Winegeart on Unsplash

Along with statewide changes in population, there will be the usual political re-districting. Some lines in western Massachusetts will surely be re-drawn. On the bright side, Massachusetts will not lose any congressional seats. You can learn more about upcoming redistricting at https://www.madrawingdemocracy.org/. This is not a political endorsement nor declaration of any kind.

More soon. Adam, please correct any statistical errors, thank you.

3 comments

  • This information is so important. Thanks for the super-speedy analysis — you beat the Office Of Jury Commissioner, that’s for sure! (But only because we have to wait for them to report on the “18 and older population. And, of course, we have to do the whole state. Middleton included.)

  • Two comments:
    + Box-checking is getting much more complicated. I know so many people of diverse backgrounds. Also the boxes themselves make less and sense – Eg., what is “Asian”? “White”? “Hispanic”? The terms cover such a wide range of nationalities and heritage to become close to meaningless.
    + Looking the the data, the towns that are losing population are in the center and the west of the state. The towns gaining population are in the east, in particular, the cape and islands. Which is why, of course, the Commonwealth is tilting into the sea.

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