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ERIC Number: EJ792517
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2002
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0895-6405
Changing Faces: How the Demographic Revolution Plays out in New England's Largest Metro Area
Stevenson, Mary Huff; Bluestone, Barry
Connection: The Journal of the New England Board of Higher Education, v17 n2 p18-21 Fall 2002
At the end of World War II, Greater Boston was one of the least diverse metropolitan areas in the United States. In 1950, the "minority" population of only one of its 154 towns and cities exceeded 5 percent and that was the city of Boston, at only 5.3 percent. In the second half of the century, the region rapidly became multiracial and multicultural. By the 2000 Census, Boston itself was "majority minority," with 50.5 percent minority residents, and dozens of cities and towns in the region boasted a rainbow of races and ethnic groups. Lowell, which was only 0.2 percent minority in 1950, had a minority population of more than 37 percent in 2000. The old white European "Immigrant City" of Lawrence, which was but 0.3 percent minority in 1950, has become a new, largely Hispanic "Immigrant City" with a "minority" population of nearly 66 percent. This demographic revolution, along with dramatic changes in the area's industry mix, has contributed to the economic and social renaissance of the region. Greater Boston has been transformed from an economic basket case hemorrhaging industries and jobs throughout much of the period before the 1980s to a vibrant metropolitan region based on high technology and professional services--the knowledge industries of the 21st century. Yet the fruits of the metro region's prosperity have been unevenly distributed. Workers with limited education, particularly those who are members of racial or ethnic minorities (i.e., groups other than non-Hispanic whites), continue to confront significant barriers. The nature of these barriers varies by race, ethnicity and gender so policies to reduce inequality must be tailored to each group. Only by attacking all barriers to improved earnings for minorities and women can there be hope to reduce the enormous earnings gaps that continue to detract from the otherwise exceptional economic record of the Greater Boston region. (Contains 4 figures.)
New England Board of Higher Education. 45 Temple Place, Boston, MA 02111. Tel: 617-357-9620; Fax: 617-338-1577; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Massachusetts