Massachusetts' ethnic mosaic
Ever since the Pilgrims landed, waves of immigrants have come to Massachusetts, weaving themselves into the fabric of cities and towns with their food, music, idioms, and culture.
By far the largest, and most defining, were Irish, tens of thousands of whom crossed the ocean in the mid-19th century to escape famine. Many moved south of Boston, settling in coastal suburbs that became known as the Irish Riviera. Statewide, nearly one in four residents are of Irish descent, newly released Census data show.
Until the late 19th century, immigrants to Boston were almost exclusively from western Europe, primarily England, Scotland, and Ireland. But in the 1880s, immigrants began arriving from Poland, Russia, and especially Italy. Like the Irish before them, they settled in Boston, then gradually migrated outward.
In recent decades, an influx of immigrants from Portugal and Cape Verde, Asia, and an array of Spanish-speaking countries have settled in Massachusetts, creating vibrant clusters across the state that endure today -- from Puerto Ricans in Holyoke to the Portuguese in the New Bedford area. - Peter Schworm
Clusters of interest
-- Text by Peter Schworm
|French (except Basque)||8.6%|
|West Indian (excluding Hispanic origin groups)||1.6%|
|Black or African American||6.1%|
|American Indian and Alaska Native||0.2%|
|Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander||0.0%|
|Hispanic or Latino (of any race)||8.3%|
|Other Hispanic or Latino||4.0%|
See census website for more.
NOTE: The US Census's American Community Survey numbers are estimates based on sample data collected from January 1, 2005 to December 31, 2009. The data are estimates, not counts, unlike the US Census, whose numbers are released every 10 years. Because they are estimates, the data has margins of error, which generally are larger with smaller communities or groups.