Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Somerville's Diversity

SomerVision Wordle
Somerville values diversity. In the SomerVision Wordle we often use, “diversity” appears in a large font size, meaning it was one of the most mentioned values among SomerVision participants. But, how diverse is Somerville and how are our demographics shifting?

Recently, the City worked with the Metropolitan Area Planning Council and Somerville Community Corporation to complete “The Dimensions of Displacement,” a report that looks at potential displacement risks along the Green Line Extension corridor and gathered current demographic information to help track future changes. So, what did the data reveal about diversity in Somerville?

Somerville is more diverse than the Boston-Cambridge-Quincy census statistical area it is part of. People of color make up 31% of Somerville’s population, versus 25% in the census area. Somerville saw a large increase in its population of color from 1980 to 2000. Since 2000, Somerville has continued to grow more diverse, but at a slower rate.





Comparing out-migration (people moving out of Somerville) to in-migration (people moving in to Somerville) shows that Asians and Blacks are moving into Somerville at higher rates than they are moving out. Meanwhile Whites and people identifying as Other are leaving Somerville at higher rates than they are moving in. Somerville’s Hispanic population has had little change. There also hasn’t been much change in the rates that foreign-born residents are moving in and out of the City.

What about socioeconomic diversity? Households earning over $40,000 per year are leaving the City at higher rates than they are moving in, while households making under $40,000 per year are moving into Somerville at a higher rate.


This snapshot of Somerville's current demographics gives us a baseline to compare future populations to, allowing us to see how policies and projects (especially the GLX) are affecting people. Did any of this data debunk any notions you had about Somerville or did it confirm what you already knew?

1 comment:

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