State immigration rate twice national average

March 25, 2017 GMT

Immigrants landing in Massachusetts at nearly twice the national rate helped boost the state’s population to 6.8 million, with Suffolk and Middlesex counties leading the way, new estimates show.

“We are drawing people from around the world — India, Asia and even Africa,” said Secretary of State William F. Galvin. “We’re drawing them because of the strong economy, our hospitals and colleges.”

Galvin could not say if all the immigrants are here legally, saying under Census rules they “count everybody.”

The latest population figures show the “international migration rate” — new arrivals from outside the country — grew by 6 percent from 2015 to 2016. The national rate for the same period is 3.1 percent.

That accounts for more than 230,000 new residents in the Bay State, Galvin’s office said.

Overall, the state’s population makes it the fastest-growing in New England. The most growth was seen in Suffolk and Middlesex counties; Barnstable, Berkshire and Franklin counties saw declines.