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    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

    This "heat map" shows shrinking populations in blue, growth in red. Darker colors indicate faster changes, so Boston's 1950s exodus shows as deep blue, while growth makes it dark red today.

    1950-1960
    1960-1970
    1970-1980
    1980-1990
    1990-2000
    2000-2010
    2010-2012
    Average annual change in population

    SOURCE: US Census Bureau

    David Butler/Globe Staff