Our Community

East Boston is one of the fastest-changing and most diverse neighborhoods in Boston, with a total counted population of 40,508 in 2010. It is bordered by Chelsea, Revere, and the Boston Harbor. Consisting primarily of working families, over the years East Boston has been a home to immigrants from many parts of the world, most recently from Italy, Latin America, Vietnam, and Morocco.

2 Mural in East Boston of our Immigrant History

Neighborhood of Immigrants

According to the 2010 Census, 51% of East Boston residents are foreign born. The top five countries of origin are El Salvador, Colombia, Brazil, Mexico, and Italy. Nineteen percent of the immigrants are naturalized citizens.

East Boston is a multilingual neighborhood. Fifty-seven percent of East Boston households speak only Spanish.

Changing Racial Composition

East Boston’s non-white population grew from 24% in 1990 to 50% in 2000 to 63% in 2010. Of this, Latinos comprised 18% of the population in 1990, 39% in 2000, and 53% today. While East Boston makes up 7% of Boston’s total population, it is home to more than 20% of the city’s Latino population, the largest Latino community in Boston.

11 Maverick Square

Challenges We Face

Income

Many residents work in service occupations, one of the lowest paid sectors of the economy and hardest hit by the economic downturn. In 2009, the median household income in East Boston ranged from $16,445 in Maverick Landing to $58,290 in Orient Heights.

Rising Rents

Rents in East Boston rose 22% in just one year (2012-2013) according to the Boston Business Journal.  For the past years, East Boston proposed and approved economic development projects has had a serious impact on the makeup of the community that will be felt for generations to come. These projects anticipate creating more than 900 luxury apartments, with developers seeking $3,000 rents. Currently only 8% of East Boston residents that make more than $125,000 a year will be able to afford these rents without being “rent burdened”.

Education

Thirty-five percent of residents have less than a high school education and only 16% have a Bachelor’s degree or higher. Only 55% of East Boston High School students are graduating within 4 years, and the dropout rate for the 2006-07 school year was 11.3%, compared with 3.8% for the state.

Political leadership

East Boston’s political leadership does not reflect its new constituents. The local political leadership’s power-base is concentrated in a particular geographic area of East Boston, populated mostly by non-Hispanic Whites. Also, with 70% of residents being renters, there is little incentive for local politicians to be accountable to potentially transient residents.

13 View of the Chelsea Creek from the Condor Street Urban Wild in East Boston

Neighborhood Organizing

Both the diversity of our neighborhood and the challenges we face led us to create Neighbors United for a Better East Boston. Click here for more information on who we are and how we began.