Population, Race and Ethnicity
Shirley is a Census-designated place in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, with a population of 1,782. According to the most recent estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau, 85.60% of residents identify as white, 1.00% as Black or African American, 0.00% as American Indian or Alaska Native, 1.50% as Asian, 0.00% as Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander, 2.60% as Hispanic or Latino, and 9.30% as some other race or combination of races.
Nationally, some 61.1% of Americans identify as white, 12.3% as Black or African American, 0.7% as American Indian or Alaska Native, 5.4% as Asian, 0.2% as Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander, 17.8% as Hispanic or Latino, and 2.6% as some other race or combination of races.
Census respondents are also asked to report ancestry. Some of the most commonly reported ancestries in Shirley include American, Irish, English, German, and Italian. Measured by location quotient — comparing the Census-designated place share to the national share — some of the most highly concentrated ancestries in Census-designated place are Other Arab, French Canadian, and Finnish.
Native and foreign-born population
An estimated 88.70% of Shirley residents are native-born, meaning they were born in the United States, Puerto Rico, a U.S. Island Area, or abroad to a U.S. citizen. Of the 11.30% of the population that is foreign-born, 66.70% have become naturalized U.S. citizens. Nationwide, 86.5% of Americans are native-born. And of the 13.5% of Americans who are foreign-born, 48.5% have become naturalized U.S. citizens.
The population of Shirley is older than the United States as a whole. The median age is 53.4 years, 15.5 years more than the national median age of 37.9 years. An estimated 18.50% of the population is 65 years and over, compared to 15.2% of the U.S. population.
Family and household composition
Family and household composition also varies heavily across the United States. In Shirley, 35.30% of households are occupied by married-couple families, compared to the 48.3% national figure. Some 2.10% of households are occupied by single male householders, 14.70% by single female householders, and 48.00% by non-family occupants. Nationwide, 4.9% of households are occupied by single male householders, 12.6% by single female householders, and 34.3% by non-family occupants. An estimated 47.00% of heads of household own their homes, compared to the national homeownership rate of 63.8%.
English is by far the most commonly spoken language in Massachusetts and across the U.S. as a whole. Similarly, in Shirley, 98.8% of local residents aged 5 and up speak English exclusively, or, if they are multilingual, speak English very well. For context, 90.8% of the 5 and older population across Massachusetts only speaks English, or speak it very well, and 91.5% of the same age group nationwide do.
Residents of Shirley are less likely than the typical American to be married. Of all local residents aged 15 and older, 34% are currently married, compared to 48.1% of Americans nationwide in the same age group. Across Massachusetts as a whole, 46.5% of residents 15 and older are married.
Divorce is far more common in Shirley than it is across the U.S. as a whole. According to Census estimates, 21.2% of residents 15 and older are divorced — compared to 10.8% of the U.S. population in the same age group. In Massachusetts, 9.5% of the 15 and older population is divorced.
An estimated 29.6% of Shirley residents 15 and older have never married, compared to one-third of all Americans in the same age group.
In Shirley, 11.1% of the 18 and older civilian population are veterans — compared to 7.5% of adult civilians nationwide and 5.8% of the civilian population in all of Massachusetts.
In Shirley, adults are more likely to have a high school education than the typical American adult, but are less likely to have a four-year college education. Among Shirley residents 25 and older, 96.30% have a high school diploma or equivalent, and 18.80% have a bachelor's degree or higher, compared to 87.7% and 31.5% of adults nationwide, respectively. Across Massachusetts, 90.4% of adults have graduated high school, and 42.9 have a bachelor’s degree.
The typical household in Shirley earns $59,933 a year, about $400 less than the national median of $60,293 and $17,400 less than the median household income across the state of $77,378.
Serious financial hardship is about as common in Shirley than it is nationwide. The local poverty rate stands at 13.60%, while the national poverty rate is 14.1%. Across the state as a whole, 10.8% of the population lives below the poverty line.
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