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The Boston Globe

Ideas

Boston’s population boom speeds up

What happened to make the city lose hundreds of thousands of people—and why it’s now growing at its fastest pace in years

In 2013, Boston is a denser city than in decades, and its gravitational pull only seems to be increasing. According to figures released last month, the city is now growing faster than its suburbs—and, in fact, faster than any urban area northeast of New Jersey. Over a two-year span culminating in July 2012, Boston grew 3.1 percent from the official 2010 count, the Census Bureau estimates, to 636,479 people.

It’s not just the city proper. If you look at the other New England cities of 50,000 people or more—noted on these maps—you see that in general, the closer these sizable cities were to Boston, the faster they grew. (An exception: the similarly fast-growing cities along southern Connecticut’s I-95 and commuter rail corridor, which fall into the orbit of New York City.) This is an acceleration of a trend that began in 2000-2010, when Boston grew faster than the rest of New England for the first time in more than a century.

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