Demographic / Economic Data

Strength in Numbers 2017 Edition- JUST RELEASED!

The 495 MetroWest Partnership is pleased to announce the latest edition of our demographic report for the region's 35 communities. Over the course of a year, the region has experienced significant growth in a number of notable areas, demonstrating the region's continued transformation into one of Massachusetts' most promising areas for employers, jobs, and quality of life.  Highlights include:

-Over $23 Billion in annual payroll;

-Nearly 7% population growth over five years; and

-A 2.1% growth in regional employers.


Read the FULL REPORT for further details!


Strength in Numbers 2016 Edition

Highlights include:

-A $1.5 billion increase in regional payroll;

-Unemployment far below state and national averages; and

-A 3.5% growth in regional employers.

These highlights are only a small sampling of the region's achievements during the past year. To view the full report, click here.

If communities or employers in the 495/MetroWest region are interested in specific town data, please contact the Partnership staff.

2015 Strengthening Numbers:

The Partnership's 2015 Demographic Report for the 495/MetroWest Region

The Partnership is pleased to announce that the 495/MetroWest region's numbers have only strengthened since last year.  In addition to valuable regional analysis, this year we are also offering individual community data for our 35 municipalities!  Be sure to check out the full report and contact Partnership staff for community specific information.  Here are some of the highlights:

  • Regional Annual Payroll jumped from $19 Billion to over $21 Billion in this year's report.
  • The 459/MetroWest region is responsible for 1 in every 11 jobs in Massachusetts.
  • The Region has a very well educated workforce, with over 53% holding a bachelor's degree or higher.
  • Business confidence continues to be high, with 70% of responding employers believing the economy will improve over the year.

2013 Strength in Numbers 

The 495/MetroWest Partnership is pleased to release Strength In Numbers, providing an important update to the region’s demographic data.

This report was developed in pursuit of the Partnership’s mission.  We recognize the strength in numbers, and the 495/MetroWest region’s numbers demonstrate the value of our 33 communities to the overall economic strength of the Commonwealth. Given our educated workforce, payroll numbers, jobs and employers, the 495/MetroWest region continues to offer a high return on investment for the Commonwealth, a vibrant and diverse employment base, and an excellent quality of life.

Just a few of the region’s impressive numbers include:

• 1 in every 12 jobs in Massachusetts is located in the 495/MetroWest region.
• $19 billion annual payroll, or 1 in every 10 payroll dollars in the Commonwealth.
• 55.8% of the 495/MetroWest region’s population has earned bachelor’s degree or higher.
• The 495/MetroWest region’s unemployment rate has been consistently lower than both the state’s and nation’s.

The Partnership is pleased to aggregate these important statistics in our effort to ensure the region’s continued economic success and prosperity.

Read More


2010 Economic, Demographic and Housing Trends in 495/MetroWest Region


This report, 2010 Economic, Demographic and Housing Trends in 495-MetroWest Region, is an ongoing commitment by the 495/MetroWest Partnership and our charitable trust to provide policymakers with data and quantitative analysis illustrating the importance of our regional economy.


The authors, Dr. Henry Renski and Kim McKee at the UMass Amherst Center for Economic Development within the Dept. of Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning, succeed admirably at this goal, showing the strength of our region despite the turbulence of the economy over the last few years.  While this report offers a comprehensive analysis of our region’s payroll, population, housing, unemployment, and employment data, it is most important at putting the 495/MetroWest region into context with these tough economic times, particularly on the importance of our region’s key economic clusters of information technologies and advanced manufacturing.  An executive summary is available for download, as well as the full report and appendices in order to provide extensive details on the 495/MetroWest region’s importance to the state economy.


2008 Economic Indicators 







The 495/MetroWest region is composed of 32 municipalities populated by more than 500,000 people. During the last decade, the region added around 55,000 people, which translates into a 12.1% growth rate, double the rate the Commonwealth experienced as a whole. Ten municipalities account for nearly 60% of the region’s population. 




The region boasts a high density of highly skilled residents, as almost 50% of those aged 25 or older hold a bachelor’s degree, while around 20% have also achieved a graduate or professional degree.


Population Growth


According to the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) the region is on track to add an additional 90,000 people between 2000 and 2030.   


Regional Economy*


Labor Force


The 495/MetroWest region has a labor force of 288,552 workers, a slightly larger number than the 285,500 jobs that exist in the region. Currently the region is an importer of labor, but trends clearly show a narrowing of the gap between jobs and the labor force.


Regional Employment and Employment Growth


The region has consistently outperformed the Commonwealth in job creation as its share of state employment now represents one out of every eleven jobs in Massachusetts.


In 2006, the region’s employment totaled 285,500, a 1.3% increase from 2005 and just below the historical peak of 285,700 in 2001. In just 27 years from 1980-2001, employment rose from 180,000 to 285,500, an increase of 105,500 jobs, or a growth rate of 58.6%.


The region’s growth is projected to accelerate over the years ahead. MAPC projects that some of the highest percentage job growth in Eastern Massachusetts will take place in the region.  The region is on track to add nearly 41,000 jobs by 2030.


Employment/Economic Diversity


The 495/MetroWest region has a robust and diverse economy across several 

different employment sectors. The 285,500 jobs in the region are concentrated primarily in three North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) supersectors: Trade, Transportation, & Utilities (21%), Professional & Business Services (18.8%), and Manufacturing (15.6%). These three sectors total more than 55% of jobs in the region.


Location quotient analysis is a commonly utilized economic analysis method that gauges the relative concentration or specialization of one or more industries or industrial sectors in a given region. An analysis of the 495/MetroWest region revealed concentrations of employment greater than existed statewide in five NAICS supersectors, most notably Manufacturing, which has a 63% higher concentration of jobs than existed statewide, Professional & Business Services, which has a 24% higher concentration of jobs, and Trade, Transportation & Utilities, which has a 16% higher concentration of jobs.   


The number of establishments, or separate places of work, more than doubled in the region between 1980 and 2006, growing at a faster rate than the Commonwealth. By 2006, 8.5% of all Massachusetts establishments were located in the 495/MetroWest region, up from 6.8% in 1980.


Regional Payroll


In 2006, the 495/MetroWest region generated a record payroll ($16.4 billion), up 5.7% ($800 million) from 2005. The region provides one out of every ten payroll dollars in the Massachusetts economy. The region’s total payroll climbed from $2.6 billion in 1980 to $16.4 billion in 2006, a 540% increase, which compares favorably with the 368% gain for the state and the 244% gain for the country over the same period of time. 


Around 65% of the region’s payroll dollars are generated by the Professional & Business Services ($4.2 billion), Manufacturing ($3.7 billion), and Trade, Transportation & Utilities ($2.6 billion) supersectors.  


The average wage for the region was $57,600, above the state ($52,400) and national ($42,500) averages by a substantial margin. The three supersectors with the highest average annual wage include Information ($88,400), Manufacturing ($84,100), and Professional & Business Services ($64,100).


*Source: 2008 Economic Indicators for the 495/MetroWest Region Dunne, Meaney, Sjuib et al, MetroWest Economic Research Center (MERC), Framingham State College, Copyright 2008


Regional Commercial/Industrial Real Estate


The region is home to some of Massachusetts’ largest companies including EMC, Sepracor, Bose, Staples, TJX, IBM, BJ’s Wholesale Clubs, and Boston Scientific.  The region boasts a robust commercial real estate market with nearly 106 million square feet of leasable office and industrial space. 

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