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March 31, 2023

Worcester County population up slightly in 2022, bucking statewide trend

Photo | Timothy Doyle Madison Properties' SOMA development under construction in February

Worcester County’s population grew slightly between July 2021 and July 2022, while the state lost 7,716 residents, according to data released Thursday by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Worcester County saw its population grow by 795 people, or 0.1%, to 862,927, according to annual estimates of the resident population for counties in Massachusetts. It was the second largest population gain in the state behind Norfolk County, which added 839 people, a 0.12% increase.

The commonwealth saw a 0.11% decrease in population overall, dropping to 6,981,974. Suffolk County lost the most people at 5,384, while Dukes County, which is  Martha’s Vineyard, lost 1.4% of its population.

The State House News Service reported on Thursday area economists affiliated with the MassBenchmarks Journal reported Thursday that Massachusetts has a declining labor force and shrinking working age population and needs to focus on competitiveness issues in the areas of housing, transportation, and high costs relative to other states.

"With little or no labor force or working age population growth, the state’s employers are having to draw on labor from elsewhere," according to the latest MassBenchmarks bulletin. "Recent growth in the size of neighboring New Hampshire's labor force (in contrast to the Massachusetts decline) may exemplify that Massachusetts is bringing in labor from other states, whether in-commuting or working remotely."

New Hampshire’s population grew by 7,726, or 0.5%, over the same time period.

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