Demographics and Statistics FAQ

The source for all the information found below is the U. S. Bureau of the Census, unless stated otherwise. Most population count data is from the 2010 U. S. Census. Measures of population characteristics come from the Census Bureau's American Community Survey program (ACS). Figures from the American Community Survey are updated annually. Employment information from the Massachusetts Executive Office of  Labor and Workforce Development is updated quarterly for job counts and monthly for unemployment.

What is the population of Cambridge?

The 2010 U.S. Census recorded 105,162 residents, a 3.8% increase from the 2000 U. S. Census. The 2000 decennial census found that the population of Cambridge was 101,355. The population of Cambridge in 1990 was 95,802, up from 95,322 in 1980 and down from the 1950 peak of 120,740.

The Census Bureau releases estimates of the population between decennial censuses. The 2015 population estimate, current as of July 1, 2015, totaled 110,402. The 2010-2014 American Community Survey provided a population estimate of 106,844.

How many households reside in Cambridge?

The 2010 Census found 44,032 households in Cambridge, including 17,420 family households or 39.6% or the total. The 2000 U. S. Census recorded 42,615 households in Cambridge, including 17,595 families, 41.3% of the total.  The 1990 U. S. Census recorded 39,405 households in Cambridge, including 17,575 families, 44.6% of the total.

What is the average size of Cambridge households?

The average household size was 2.00 persons in 2010, 2.03 persons in 2000, and 2.08 persons in 1990.

How many Cambridge residents reside in group quarters?

As of the 2010 Census 17,102 Cambridge residents or 16.3% of the total, lived in group quarters. As of the 2000 Census 14,663 Cambridge residents, or 14.5%, lived in group quarters. Residents of group quarters include all persons residing in dormitories, hospitals, nursing homes, jails and group homes. All persons who do not reside in group quarters reside in households. The majority of group quarters residents, over 90% of those recorded in 2010, were college dormitory residents.

How densely populated in Cambridge?

In 2010 Cambridge had a population density of 16,469 persons per square mile and 7,406 housing units per square mile. These figures are equivalent to 26 people and 12 housing units per acre. According to the United States Census Bureau, as of the 2010 U. S. Census, Cambridge is the 10th densest incorporated city in the United States.

How highly educated are Cambridge residents?

According to the 2011 - 2015 American Community Survey data on the level of education, 75.0% of the population over 25 has either a four year bachelor degree or a graduate degree, 9.8% has either an Associate degree or some college course work, 9.5% has a high school diploma and 5.6% does not have a high school diploma.

How many Cambridge residents are current college or graduate students?

According to the 2011 - 2015 American Community Survey, 31.3% of the population 18 or older is enrolled full-time or part-time in a college or graduate school degree program. The 2016 Annual Town Gown Reports submitted by Cambridge College, Harvard University, Hult International Business School, Lesley University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology indicate that these institutions have 14,632 undergraduate students and 21,459 graduate students attending.  Of these 11,516 undergraduates and 11,160 graduate students reside in Cambridge, either in institutional housing or off campus.

How many Cambridge residents were born in a foreign country?

According to the 2011 - 2015 American Community Survey, 27.1%% of Cambridge residents are foreign born and 10.7% are naturalized citizens. Cambridge has long served as a port of entry for immigrants from around the world.

How racially diverse is Cambridge?

The 2010 U. S. Census found that 66.6% of Cambridge residents are White, 11.7% Black, 15.1% Asian or Pacific islander and 6.6% classified themselves as some other race or a member of two or more races. Hispanics total 7.6% of the population. 62.1% of the population is White and Non-Hispanic. Among those under 18 44.2% are White Non-Hispanic.

Sixty-eight percent of 2000 residents were White, 12% Black, 12% Asian or Pacific Islander, 3% described their race as "Other" and 5% selected two or more races. Seven percent of all residents were of Hispanic background. Sixty-five percent of 2000 residents were White non-Hispanic. Slightly less than 50% of residents under 18 were White non-Hispanic.

Seventy-five percent of all 1990 residents were White; 14% Black, 8% Asian and 3% of other races, including American Indian. Seven percent of all residents were of Hispanic background. Seventy-two percent of 1990 residents were White non-Hispanic.

Hispanics can be members of any racial group and are measured separately from race.

How ethnically diverse is Cambridge?

Major ancestry groups reported by the 2011 - 2015 American Community Survey include Irish (13.0%), German (9.1%), English (8.3%), Italian (8.0%), Polish (3.7%), Russian (3.2%), West Indian (3.0%), Subsaharan African (3.1%), French (2.8%), and Portuguese (2.3%). Note that the Census allows people to claim more than one ancestry.

What languages, other than English, are most often spoken in Cambridge?

Major languages and language groups other than English recorded by the 2011 - 2015 American Community Survey include Spanish (6.5%), Chinese (5.0%), French including Haitian Kreyol (3.8%), African Languages (2.3%), and Portuguese (1.9%).

The Cambridge Public School Department reports that for the 2016 - 2017 school year over 100 students speak the following foreign languages at home: Spanish (5.2%), Haitian Kreyol (2.9%), Amharic (2.6%), Bengali (2.3%, Arabic (2.2%), and Cantonese (1.7%).

What is the median income of Cambridge residents?

According to the 2011 - 2015 American Community Survey, median family income totaled $104,454, in inflation adjusted dollars, up from $84,557 in 1999 and $73,831 in 1989. This represents an increase of 23.5% from 1999 and 41.5% from 1989 in inflation adjusted dollars.

The 2011 - 2015 American Community Survey indicates that the state median family income was $87,085 and the national median income was $66,011.

Cambridge median household incomes rose from $68,273 in 1999 to $79,416 in 2011 - 2015 in inflation adjusted dollars, a 16.3% increase. In 1989 median household income stood at $61,184 in inflation adjusted dollars, indicating an increase of 29.8%.

The 2011 - 2015 American Community Survey indicates that the state median household was $68,563 and the national median household income was $53,889.

All figures adjusted to the 2015 level using the change in the Research Series Consumer Price Index for all urban wage earners (CPI-U-RS).

The U. S. Department of Housing & Urban Development estimates that the 2016 Metropolitan Boston area median income for a family of four is $98,100 per year.

What is the poverty rate in Cambridge?

According to the 2011 - 2015 American Community Survey 14.0% of all persons and 9.0% of all families had incomes below the poverty line. Among families, 13.2% of those with children under 18 and 32.8% of female headed families with children under 18 fell under the poverty line.

How many housing units are found in Cambridge?

The Census Bureau recorded 47,291 housing units while conducting the 2010 Census.

The Cambridge Assessing and Community Development Department’s Buildout Database housing tally, current as of July 1, 2016, totaled 52,820. This figure includes development since 2010 and units currently under construction. In addition, the total includes all graduate student apartment-style housing owned by universities, including these units in the count whether or not the units are tax exempt or counted as housing units by the Census Bureau.

How many Cambridge units are rented and how many are owner occupied?

As reported by the 2010 Census, 65.4% of units are rented and 34.6% are owner occupied (including owner occupied condominiums). Approximately 14.7% of the entire housing stock is subsidized in some form.

What is the mix of Cambridge residential building types?

According the Cambridge Community Development Department, in 2016 single family dwellings accounted for 7.2% of housing units, two family buildings for 13.2%, three family buildings for 11.8%, four to six unit buildings for 9.5%, buildings with over six units up to 50 units 19.4% and buildings with 51 or units 38.9%. Condominiums, regardless of their building type, included for 27.6% of the housing stock. Units located in mixed use buildings were 11.8% of the stock.

How much does it cost to buy a home in Cambridge?

The 2015 median market rate sales price of a single family home was $1,253,000, for a two family $1,100,000, and for a condominium $600,000.

How much does it cost to rent an apartment in Cambridge?

According to’s rent index as of April 13, 2017, the monthly median asking rent for market rate Cambridge apartment was $2333 for a one bedroom unit, $2,746 for a two bedroom unit and $3,079 for a three bedroom unit. Note that these are advertised rents, may not reflect the rates paid for units surveyed and do not include landlord givebacks. These rates also do not reflect median charges for the entire population of Cambridge apartments, including long term and subsidized tenants.

How many people work in Cambridge?

The Massachusetts Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development reported an average of 120,594 jobs in Cambridge during the third quarter of 2016. This figure includes only employees for whom the unemployment tax is paid; it does not include self-employed persons or sole proprietors.

The 2011 - 2015 American Community Survey reports that 126,544 persons worked in Cambridge. The ACS figure includes all those employed in the city, including the self-employed, sole proprietors, and other categories of workers who are ineligible for unemployment compensation (Note that these figures represent persons who work in Cambridge, not employed City residents).

What are the predominant industries in Cambridge?

On average during 2015, according to the Massachusetts Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development, 27.7% of employed persons in Cambridge worked in Professional and Technical Services, 24.1% in Educational Services, 9.5% in Health Care and Social Assistance, 8.6% in Accommodation and Food Services and 5.1% in Retail Trade.

How many business are located in Cambridge?

On average during the third quarter of 2016, according to the Massachusetts Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development, 5,010 private business establishments paid unemployment tax for employees. This figure does not include self-employed persons. According to the 2011 - 2015 American Community Survey 3,313 Cambridge residents are self-employed in an unincorporated business.

What is the average annual wage in Cambridge?

During the third quarter of 2016, according to the Massachusetts Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development, the average annual wage earned in Cambridge was $110,032. 

What are the predominant occupations of Cambridge residents?

According to the 2011 - 2015 American Community Survey, many Cambridge residents worked in Computer, Engineering, and Science Occupations (20.5%), Education, Training and Library (15.5%), Management Occupations (12.8%), Service Occupations (9.6%), and Office and Administrative Support (8.9%).

What is the unemployment rate of Cambridge residents?

During February 2017, according to the Massachusetts Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development, the unemployment rate in Cambridge stood at 2.4% (unadjusted). For up to date unemployment information, visit the Labor Force and Unemployment Rates page on the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development website.

For More Information

For more information about socioeconomic and demographic statistics about Cambridge, please contact Cliff Cook,, Planning Information Manager, at 617/349-4656.