Document Type

Fact Sheet

Publication Date



Massachusetts has lower poverty rates compared to the US average. But, like the US, child poverty rates far exceed those of working age adults (ages 18-64) and those 65 and older.

Child poverty rates differ considerably across Massachusetts’ ten largest cities, ranging from 11.1% in Quincy to 41.0% in Springfield. Boston has the highest poverty rates for those who are 65 and older. Even though most over 65 and older are not employed, this group has lower poverty rates than “working-age” adults in six of the cities. In Boston, Lowell, Lynn, and Quincy, elder poverty rates are higher than those 18 to 64 years old.


Who is poor in Massachusetts? How does the Commonwealth fare compared to the US in terms of poverty rates? Which Massachusetts cities have the lowest and highest poverty rates? Researchers at the Center for Social Policy have created eight one-page fact sheets on poverty in the Massachusetts using the recently released 5-year sample of the American Community Survey. Each of the one-page fact sheets provides information of poverty among a particular demographic groups (age, gender, race/ethnicity, education level, nativity, and family status), comparing Massachusetts rates to that in the US, providing the distribution of the whole population and the total poor population, and comparing poverty rate in the 10 largest Massachusetts cities.

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