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City Expert: Boston's Rapid Growth 'Striking'

This article is more than 12 years old.

Boston has grown in population over the past 10 years, as have most other cities around the state, according to the latest Census figures.

Harvard University economics Prof. Edward Glaeser is the author of a recently published book on urban economics, "Triumph of the City." He spoke of Boston's population "triumph" last decade.

"Among the most striking facts to me is that Boston, for the first time in over 120 years, has been growing more quickly … than the state as a whole," he said during Wednesday's Morning Edition.

Boston connects intelligent people through density, proximity to information and the state’s status as the third richest state in the nation, according to Glaeser.

The other rationale for growth: “Boston has been a magnet for immigrants,” Glaeser said.

Hispanic populations accounted for 80 percent of the 28,000 population increase in the urban core.

“We’re starting of course from being not the most diverse state in the nation,” he said. “And that means there’s plenty of room to grow. And I think this region has a lot to gain from welcoming people from different cultures, different civilizations.”

Glaeser was also surprised by the large population increase in Worcester County. Worcester boasts not only a city experience, but also affordable housing — a feature that is often a rarity for families living in Boston, according to Glaeser.

But Glaeser says that Boston will continue to see growth because of its particular makeup.

“Innovation, new ideas, being smart is only going to get more important in years to come. And that’s Boston’s comparative advantage,” he said.


This program aired on March 23, 2011.

Bob Oakes Senior Correspondent
Bob Oakes was a senior correspondent in the WBUR newsroom, a role he took on in 2021 after nearly three decades hosting WBUR's Morning Edition.



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