NEW BEDFORD — New Bedford officially has more than 100,000 residents for the first time since last century, according to U.S. Census data from 2020 released yesterday — and Fall River's population hit 94,000.

New Bedford's population grew from 95,000 in 2010 to 101,079 in 2020 — an increase of around 6,000 residents, representing 6% growth in the past decade.

The Whaling City reached its peak population of more than 121,000 in 1920, according to that year's census, and has been declining gradually ever since.

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Last year saw New Bedford struggle to complete the count of its residents amid the pandemic, with a response rate of just 56 percent in August.

Fall River's population grew from under 89,000 in 2010 to 94,000 in 2020. The increase of around 5,200 residents represents 5.9% growth since 2010.

The population of Bristol County went up 5.6%, growing to 579,000 in 2020 from 548,000 in 2010.

Overall, Massachusetts' population grew by around half a million people, or around 7%, since 2010, with over seven million residents in 2020.

This mirrors the population growth of the U.S. as a whole, which grew by 7.1% to 331.4 million people in 2020, according to census data.

The percentage of adults over 18 in Bristol County, 79.7%, was slightly lower than the 80.6% of adults aged 18 and over in Massachusetts as a whole — although both were higher than the 77.9% proportion of adults in the U.S. population.

Meanwhile 67.6% of Massachusetts people listed their race as just white in 2020, down from 76.1% in 2010, while the proportion of biracial and mixed-race people more than doubled, from 1.9% in 2010 to 4.7% in 2020.

Those listed as Hispanic or Latino grew from 9.6% of the population in 2010 to 12.6% in 2020.

Asian people became the state's third-largest ethnic group in 2020, with 7.2% of the population claiming Asian heritage as opposed to 5.3% in 2010.

More information about the latest census data release is available at

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