Nearly 59,000 people live in Brookline today. The town experienced a 2.8% population increase from 2000 to 2010, with growth heavily concentrated on both ends of the age spectrum. There was a 21% increase in the number of children aged 9 and younger, and a 40% increase in the number of 55 to 64 year olds. Brookline continues to have a high concentration of 20-34 years olds, who make up 32% of the total population.
The Changing Face of Brookline
Brookline residents have unique demographic characteristics, and the population continues to evolve.
A female majority: Brookline is 55% female, with females outnumbering males in nearly every age group. Brookline’s unusual gender skew is most significant for 20-29 year olds, who are 62% female.
Large and growing professional class: Since 2000, the percentage of individuals in professional occupations increased from 73% to 77% of the total adult workforce. Statewide, only 43% of workers are in this category.
Increasing diversity: Brookline is more racially diverse than it was ten years ago, with 23% of residents identifying as a race other than white in 2010. Brookline’s Asian population grew most significantly, increased from 12.8% to 15.6% of the total population. Asian residents include American-born individuals, recent immigrants, and adopted children from with roots in many parts of Asia.
An international community: A large internationally born population adds another layer of diversity to our community; 26% of Brookline residents were born outside the United States.
Living in Brookline
Brookline is almost equally split between renter-occupied (51%) and owner-occupied (49%) housing. Both housing types are in high-demand, with just 3.8% of rental units and 1.3% of owner-occupied units vacant in 2010. Residential property values have been relatively resilient through the recession, and rental rates increased well above the rate of inflation.
More people in the same space: The average household size grew from 2.18 to 2.27 individuals over the decade, counter to a trend of shrinking households in the region, state, and nation. This shift can be explained by an increase in the number of families in Brookline, a growing average family household size, and fewer singles opting to live alone.
Larger share of income: Brookline residents are paying more of their income on housing than they did a decade ago; 49% of renters pay 30% or more of their income on rent, and 34.5% of homeowners spend 30% or more of their income on a mortgage.
Affordable housing scarce: Brookline public housing has multi-year waiting lists, and residents with federal and state housing vouchers struggle to find property owners willing to accept these vouchers.