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Research Report

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Southbridge is a town of 17,673 residents, of whom 6,012, or 36.1%, identify as Latino or Hispanic, according to the 2020 Decennial Census. Statewide, Latino residents contribute 12.6% of the total population. In addition, there are slightly more than 10,000 White residents, making up 56.7% of Southbridge’s population, while Black, Asian, and other residents collectively account for only 7.2% of the town’s population.

Between the 2010 and 2020 Decennial Censuses, the Latino population increased by 44.0%, while the White population decreased by 12.3%. The smaller Black population increased by 43.2%, while the Asian population increased by 6.1%. The increase in the town’s Latino population almost exactly equaled that of Latinos statewide, which increased by 41.4%. The White population’s decline in Southbridge greatly outpaced the statewide trend of a 4.7% decline.

The remainder of this profile uses 2017-2021 American Community Survey data in order to analyze the demographic and economic characteristics presented in this profile. Because the Black and Asian populations are smaller, they are omitted when their population estimates are too small for some characteristics.

Interestingly, despite having a sizeable Latino population, Southbridge has a very small foreign-born population, making up only 5.0% of town residents. By comparison, foreign-born residents of Massachusetts make up 17.3% of the statewide population, and Latinos are 32.1% foreign-born.

The Latino population in Southbridge is predominantly made up of Puerto Ricans. Of those with Puerto Rican origins, 54.9% were born within the continental United States and 45.1% were born on the island of Puerto Rico. Nevertheless, it should be noted that all Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens from birth, so they are not included in foreign-born estimates. Other Latino groups with a presence in Southbridge include residents with Mexican, Dominican, Colombian, and Peruvian origins. Statewide, the five largest Latino populations in Massachusetts in order of size are Puerto Ricans, Dominicans, Salvadorans, Guatemalans, and Mexicans.

Community Engaged/Serving

Part of the UMass Boston Community-Engaged Teaching, Research, and Service Series. //



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