|A new Boston Indicators report tracking the Black population of Greater Boston shows a shift in growth away from Boston proper to the suburbs.
But not our suburbs.
“As recently as 1980, 76 percent of the region’s Black population lived in Boston,” the authors write. “Driven by factors like rising housing costs in Boston, this started to change, and in more recent years we’ve seen a growing suburbanization of our region’s Black population."
By 2020, almost two-thirds (64 percent) of the region’s Black population lived outside of Boston proper.
?But that growth has been concentrated in a subset of cities and towns primarily north and south of Boston -- not here.
Between 2010 and 2020 the Black population in Newton grew just 1.5% (growing from 3% to 4.2% of the total population); in Needham 1.1% (from 1.3% to 2.4%); in Watertown 1.3% (from 3.7% to 4.9%); and in Wellesley .5% (from 2.4% to 2.9%). (See Map #3.
“Many higher-income suburbs continue to be less welcoming, either explicitly through exclusionary zoning rules or implicitly through cultural norms and institutions that are less appealing for Black families looking to create community,” the authors add.
Which is what makes what Lexington may do noteworthy
And the same Boston Indicators report shows Black residential makeup in Lexington is even worse than in our footprint, growing just .4% over a decade (from 2.0% to 2.4% of the total population).
But a Globe editorial today notes that Lexington Town Meeting may be on the verge of significantly altering its zoning in a meaningful way