Skip to main content
Poverty in Massachusetts by Race
Center for Social Policy Publications
  • Randy Albelda, University of Massachusetts Boston
  • Ferry Cadet
  • Dinghong Mei
Document Type
Fact Sheet
Publication Date
Massachusetts has lower total poverty rates compared to the US average. However, Asian and other minorities in Massachusetts higher poverty rates while Black and White populations have lower poverty rates than compared to US averages. Poverty rates by race differ considerably across Massachusetts’ ten largest cities. For Blacks, the highest poverty rates are in Fall River (41.7%), for Asians it is Boston (30.2%) and for Whites is it s New Bedford (19.4%). Quincy’s poverty rates are the lowest for Whites (8.0%) and other racial groups (11.2%), while Cambridge has the lowest poverty rates for Blacks at 15.2% and Brockton for Asians at 4.5%.

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.

Community Engaged/Serving
No, this is not community-engaged.
Citation Information
Randy Albelda, Ferry Cadet and Dinghong Mei. "Poverty in Massachusetts by Race" (2011)
Available at: