Emerging Trends

 

Brookline Today

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.

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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.

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