People in poverty (<100% poverty threshold) by city and town ("County Subdivision") in Massachusetts

Change Indicator

Why This Indicator Matters

When wages are low and incomes aren’t enough to afford the basics, children face significant obstacles to opportunity right from the start, and in some communities in Massachusetts, more than one out of every four children lives below the official federal poverty line. These children are more likely to be at risk for many long-term challenges. Children may be living in substandard housing, or may be exposed to environmental contaminants in the community or even in the home. Children may experience psychological stress from housing instability, or even be at risk of homelessness. Families may have limited access to affordable and healthy food. Families may struggle to get affordable high-quality child care. All of these challenges can have long-term impacts on children’s development and their physical and mental health. See MassBudget’s report, Obstacles on the Road to Opportunity: Finding a Way Forward.

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Data Provided By
Note: Non-consecutive years appear adjacent in the trend line
because one or more years have been deselected.


Number – Number of people of all ages under 100% of the federal poverty level.

Percent – Percent of people under 100% of the federal poverty level.

S – Number suppressed if estimate is less than ten.

Poverty status defined by family: either everyone in the family is in poverty or no one in the family is in poverty. Family income is then compared to the Census Bureau’s poverty threshold.

Data Source:

U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates, Table B17024. Updated May 2019 with 2013-2017 data.


These are estimates based on a survey, and they may be highly unreliable for towns with small populations due to small sample sizes.

When comparing estimates over time, researchers recommend comparing time periods that do not include overlapping years.