As admitted applicants consider where they’d like to pursue their graduate studies, I thought I’d pass along two of my favorite little facts about immigration to Massachusetts and the Boston area.
The first, which I have read in more than one place, is that the most common language spoken in Massachusetts homes, aside from English, is Portuguese. In the towns nearest to Tufts, many of the Portuguese speakers would be from Brazil. But the state has a long history of immigration from countries with Portuguese-speaking populations. There’s even an organization that provides services to the Portuguese-speaking community (Massachusetts Association of Portuguese Speakers) which tells us about immigration patterns: Most Portuguese speakers in the greater Boston and Lowell areas come from Brazil, Cape Verde, or Portugal, but the area also has attracted newcomers from Angola, Guinea Bissau, Macau, Mozambique, São Tome/Principe and East Timor. Check out the MAPS website for more details.
And my other favorite little fact is that the Boston area has the third-largest Haitian population in the U.S., after Miami (similar climate), and New York (more of most immigrant groups than most U.S. cities). There’s a group called the Haitian Coalition that supports the community, which is well-established in the area and is becoming active in mainstream politics. Both my kids are at schools with large Haitian populations, and are well familiar with the sounds of Kreyol.
The Boston area is well known for its waves of Irish immigrants, and for a large Italian-American population, too. The area’s immigration profile is way more complex than its reputation might lead us to believe.
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