Population growth lagged in 2 districts

Census to affect voting regions

By Matt Carroll
Globe Staff / March 24, 2011

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US Representatives John W. Olver and William R. Keating represent districts whose populations grew at a slower rate over the past decade than those of any of their colleagues from Massachusetts, while US Representatives James P. McGovern and Niki Tsongas represent districts whose populations grew at a faster clip, according to US Census data released Tuesday.

The populations of all 10 congressional districts grew, from a low of 1.7 percent in Olver’s district to a high of 4.8 percent in McGovern’s district. The state’s overall population climbed 3 percent to more than 6.5 million. However, the population dropped in Western Massachusetts and on Cape Cod. A number of cities gained population, with nearly 25 percent of the state’s growth occurring in five cities: Boston, Worcester, Revere, Lawrence, and Quincy.

The census figures are the basic building blocks that will be used to redesign the state’s legislative and congressional districts in the fall. Because Massachusetts did not see as much population growth between 2000 and 2010 as other states, it will lose one of its congressional seats.

In yesterday’s paper, the Globe used incorrect census data in a story and in a chart reporting the change in population in the 10 districts. The analysis compared the population in the congressional districts as they existed in 2000 to the numbers released Tuesday. To accurately assess the change in the districts, however, the analysis should have compared the new numbers with the population in the districts as redrawn in 2001.

Matt Carroll can be reached at Follow him on Twitter at @globemattc.