Counties with the most born-and-bred residents in Massachusetts

Written by:
August 6, 2022
Schlitzer90 // Wikimedia Commons

Counties with the most born-and-bred residents in Massachusetts

The COVID-19 pandemic, rising inflation and a higher cost of living in major cities have combined with opportunities for remote work over the past two years. This combination has fueled a major migration across the country. In the first year of the pandemic, migration out of densely populated, expensive cities like New York and San Francisco was especially notable. Many moved to Sunbelt cities where the weather is warmer and the cost of living significantly lower.

But not everyone who moved in recent years went very far. Analysis of movement out of crowded cities shows that many of those leaving city centers moved into nearby suburbs in the same state, rather than making cross country moves.

Other trends suggest that many people are sticking close to home, remaining in or moving back to the state, or even the town they were born in. Even before the pandemic, the number of younger adults living with their parents was on the rise, mostly due to financial difficulties. This economic hardship was made worse by the pandemic, and resulted in many moving back in with their parents. By the end of 2020, more than half of Americans under the age of 29 were living at home, exceeding the share of young adults living with their parents during the Great Depression.

Apart from the pandemic, many people choose not to leave the state they were raised in, for reasons ranging from wanting to be close to family to not having the resources to leave, to sticking with a lower cost of living.

In order to determine where people stay put, Stacker compiled a list of counties with the most born-and-bred residents in Massachusetts using data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Counties are ranked by the highest percentage of residents that were born in the state according to 2020 5-year estimates.

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Sean Pavone // Shutterstock

#14. Suffolk County

- Population: 801,162
- Born in Massachusetts: 353,292 (44.1% of population)
- Born in a different state: 180,607 (22.5% of population)
--- Midwest (3.1%), Northeast (11.4%), South (5.2%), West (2.8%)
- Born in another country: 237,555 (29.65% of population)
--- Africa (3.04%) , Asia (6.93%), Europe (3.48%), Latin America (15.74%), North America (0.38%), Oceania (0.08%)
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thisisbossi // Wikimedia Commons

#13. Nantucket

- Population: 11,212
- Born in Massachusetts: 5,156 (46.0% of population)
- Born in a different state: 4,108 (36.6% of population)
--- Midwest (4.5%), Northeast (23.9%), South (6.2%), West (2.0%)
- Born in another country: 1,751 (15.62% of population)
--- Africa (0.27%) , Asia (1.94%), Europe (5.40%), Latin America (7.60%), North America (0.19%), Oceania (0.23%)
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Jwgetchell // Wikimedia Commons

#12. Dukes County

- Population: 17,430
- Born in Massachusetts: 8,722 (50.0% of population)
- Born in a different state: 6,329 (36.3% of population)
--- Midwest (4.3%), Northeast (23.7%), South (5.7%), West (2.6%)
- Born in another country: 2,151 (12.34% of population)
--- Africa (0.05%) , Asia (0.72%), Europe (2.51%), Latin America (8.84%), North America (0.22%), Oceania (0.00%)
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Jellymuffin40 // Wikimedia Commons

#11. Middlesex County

- Population: 1,605,899
- Born in Massachusetts: 868,366 (54.1% of population)
- Born in a different state: 362,567 (22.6% of population)
--- Midwest (3.5%), Northeast (12.2%), South (4.0%), West (2.9%)
- Born in another country: 341,278 (21.25% of population)
--- Africa (1.53%) , Asia (9.31%), Europe (3.99%), Latin America (5.72%), North America (0.60%), Oceania (0.10%)
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Jameslwoodward // Wikimedia Commons

#10. Norfolk County

- Population: 703,740
- Born in Massachusetts: 424,400 (60.3% of population)
- Born in a different state: 138,318 (19.7% of population)
--- Midwest (2.9%), Northeast (11.3%), South (3.5%), West (2.0%)
- Born in another country: 130,352 (18.52% of population)
--- Africa (1.35%) , Asia (8.71%), Europe (4.26%), Latin America (3.72%), North America (0.43%), Oceania (0.05%)

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John Phelan // Wikimedia Commons

#9. Hampshire County

- Population: 161,361
- Born in Massachusetts: 98,710 (61.2% of population)
- Born in a different state: 45,720 (28.3% of population)
--- Midwest (3.9%), Northeast (16.6%), South (4.5%), West (3.3%)
- Born in another country: 14,155 (8.77% of population)
--- Africa (0.97%) , Asia (3.80%), Europe (2.14%), Latin America (1.57%), North America (0.23%), Oceania (0.06%)
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Wangkun Jia // Shutterstock

#8. Barnstable County

- Population: 213,505
- Born in Massachusetts: 132,966 (62.3% of population)
- Born in a different state: 60,343 (28.3% of population)
--- Midwest (3.6%), Northeast (18.4%), South (4.1%), West (2.1%)
- Born in another country: 17,985 (8.42% of population)
--- Africa (0.31%) , Asia (1.21%), Europe (2.59%), Latin America (3.83%), North America (0.42%), Oceania (0.06%)
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Bobak // Wikimedia Commons

#7. Essex County

- Population: 787,038
- Born in Massachusetts: 500,203 (63.6% of population)
- Born in a different state: 126,658 (16.1% of population)
--- Midwest (2.2%), Northeast (9.6%), South (2.7%), West (1.6%)
- Born in another country: 137,665 (17.49% of population)
--- Africa (0.93%) , Asia (2.79%), Europe (2.62%), Latin America (10.71%), North America (0.39%), Oceania (0.05%)
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Real Window Creative // Shutterstock

#6. Hampden County

- Population: 466,647
- Born in Massachusetts: 300,242 (64.3% of population)
- Born in a different state: 80,074 (17.2% of population)
--- Midwest (1.3%), Northeast (11.6%), South (3.3%), West (0.9%)
- Born in another country: 40,871 (8.76% of population)
--- Africa (0.58%) , Asia (2.46%), Europe (2.80%), Latin America (2.56%), North America (0.35%), Oceania (0.01%)
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Protophobic // Wikimedia Commons

#5. Berkshire County

- Population: 125,927
- Born in Massachusetts: 81,905 (65.0% of population)
- Born in a different state: 35,013 (27.8% of population)
--- Midwest (3.1%), Northeast (18.5%), South (3.7%), West (2.5%)
- Born in another country: 7,077 (5.62% of population)
--- Africa (0.53%) , Asia (1.47%), Europe (1.77%), Latin America (1.42%), North America (0.37%), Oceania (0.05%)

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Daderot // Wikimedia Commons

#4. Worcester County

- Population: 826,655
- Born in Massachusetts: 549,825 (66.5% of population)
- Born in a different state: 144,923 (17.5% of population)
--- Midwest (2.0%), Northeast (10.8%), South (3.0%), West (1.7%)
- Born in another country: 102,232 (12.37% of population)
--- Africa (1.75%) , Asia (4.02%), Europe (2.28%), Latin America (3.83%), North America (0.45%), Oceania (0.04%)
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Marcbela (Marc N. Belanger) // Wikimedia Commons

#3. Bristol County

- Population: 563,301
- Born in Massachusetts: 376,075 (66.8% of population)
- Born in a different state: 100,040 (17.8% of population)
--- Midwest (1.6%), Northeast (13.1%), South (2.0%), West (1.1%)
- Born in another country: 71,985 (12.78% of population)
--- Africa (1.28%) , Asia (1.68%), Europe (6.53%), Latin America (3.05%), North America (0.22%), Oceania (0.02%)
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AlexiusHoratius // Wikimedia Commons

#2. Franklin County

- Population: 70,529
- Born in Massachusetts: 48,005 (68.1% of population)
- Born in a different state: 18,161 (25.7% of population)
--- Midwest (3.4%), Northeast (16.5%), South (3.5%), West (2.4%)
- Born in another country: 3,306 (4.69% of population)
--- Africa (0.14%) , Asia (1.37%), Europe (1.82%), Latin America (0.87%), North America (0.35%), Oceania (0.14%)
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Schlitzer90 // Wikimedia Commons

#1. Plymouth County

- Population: 518,597
- Born in Massachusetts: 387,327 (74.7% of population)
- Born in a different state: 72,992 (14.1% of population)
--- Midwest (1.9%), Northeast (8.2%), South (2.7%), West (1.3%)
- Born in another country: 50,546 (9.75% of population)
--- Africa (2.89%) , Asia (1.20%), Europe (1.40%), Latin America (3.97%), North America (0.27%), Oceania (0.02%)

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