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 most recent estimate, current as of July 1, 2012, totaled 106,471.

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 2010 - 2012 American Community Survey data on the level of education, 74.3% of the population over 25 has either a four year bachelor degree or a graduate degree, 10.1% has either an Associate degree or some college course work, 9.7% has a high school diploma and 6.0% does not have a high school diploma.

How many Cambridge residents are current college or graduate students?

According to the 2010 - 2012 American Community Survey, 29.7% of the population 3 or older is enrolled in a full time or part time in college or graduate school degree programs. The 2013 Annual Town Gown Reports submitted by Cambridge College, Harvard University, Lesley University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology indicate that these institutions have 14,775 undergraduate students and 21,058 graduate students attending, not all of whom are resident in Cambridge.

How many Cambridge residents were born in a foreign country?

According to the 2010 - 2012 American Community Survey, 28.1% of Cambridge residents are foreign born and 10.6% 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 2010 - 2012 American Community Survey include Irish (14.5%), English (9.0%), German (9.4%), Italian (9.1%), Polish (4.0%), West Indian (3.6%), Russian (3.8%), French (2.9%), Subsaharan African (2.8%), and Portuguese (2.6%). 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 2010 - 2012 American Community Survey include Spanish (5.4%), French, including Haitian Creole (4.3%), Chinese (4.8%), Portuguese (2.1%), and African Languages (1.7%).

What is the median income of Cambridge residents?

According to the 2010 - 2012 American Community Survey median family income totaled $94,100, in inflation adjusted dollars up from $81,885 in 1999 and $68,622 in 1989. This represents an increase of 14.9% from 1999 and 37.2% from 1989 in inflation adjusted dollars.

The U. S. Department of Housing & Urban Development estimates that the 2013 Boston area median income for a family of four is $94,400 per year. The 2009 - 2011 American Community Survey indicates that the national family median income was $62,112.

Median household incomes rose from $66,116 in 1999 to $70,757 in 2010 - 2012 in inflation adjusted dollars, a 7.0% increase. In 1989 median household income stood at $58,868 in inflation adjusted dollars, indicating an increase of 20.2% increase over the next twenty years.

All figures adjusted to the 2012 level using the change in the Research Series Consumer Price Index for all urban wage earners (CPI-U-RS).


What is the poverty rate in Cambridge?

According to the 2010 - 2012 American Community Survey 14.4% of all persons and 9.9% of all families had incomes below the poverty line. Among families 13.5% of those with children under 18 and 36.1% 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.

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% 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's Housing Profile, in 2010 single family dwellings accounted for 7.5% of housing units, two family buildings for 14.3%, three family buildings for 12.6%, four to six unit buildings for 10.1%, buildings with over six units up to 50 units 20.2% and buildings with 51 or units 35.2%. Condominiums, regardless of their building type, included for 27.0% of the housing stock. Units located in mixed use buildings were 5.6% of the stock, and rooming houses accounted for 2.4% of housing units.

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

The 2012 median market rate sales price of a single family home was $810,850, for a two family $775,000, and for a condominium $445,500.

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

According to a September 2012 survey of and, the median monthly rents sought for market rate Cambridge apartments were $2,300 for a one bedroom unit, $2,800 for a two bedroom unit and $3,175 for a three bedroom unit. 

Note that these are advertised rents and may not reflect the rates paid for units.  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 a quarterly average of 111,466 jobs in Cambridge during  second quarter of 2013. This figure includes only employees for whom the unemployment tax is paid; it does not include self employed persons or sole proprietors. The 2010 - 2012 American Community Survey reports that 118,669 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 the second quarter of 2013, according to the Massachusetts Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development, 27.3% of employed persons in Cambridge worked in Professional and Technical Services, 25.4% in Educational Services, 10.0% in Health Care and Social Assistance, 8.4% in Accommodation and Food Services and 5.2% in Retail Trade.

How many business are located in Cambridge?

On average during the second quarter of 2013, according to the Massachusetts Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development, 4,508 private business establishments paid unemployment tax for employees. This figure does not include self employed persons. According to the 2010 - 2012 American Community Survey 3,328 Cambridge residents are self-employed.

What is the average annual wage in Cambridge?

During the second quarter of 2013, according to the Massachusetts Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development, the average annual wage earned in Cambridge was $100,516.

What are the predominant occupations of Cambridge residents?

According to the 2010 - 2012 American Community Survey, many Cambridge residents worked in Computer, Engineering, and Science Occupations (20.0%), Education, Training and Library (16.0%), Management Occupations (11.9%), Service Occupations (9.8%), and Office and Administrative Support (8.7%).

What is the unemployment rate of Cambridge residents?

During November 2013, according to the Massachusetts Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development, the unemployment rate in Cambridge stood at 4.2% (unadjusted). For up to date unemployment information, visit the Labor Force and Unemployment Rates page linked to the Economic Data page of the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development.

For More Information

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