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BCF’s new database illuminates the numbers behind Brookline

Brookline Community Foundation executive director Aba Taylor, right, moderates a panel at BCF's database launch event. Also pictured, right to left, former Boston Mayor Kim Janey, Brookline Superintendent of Schools Linus Guillory and Brookline for Racial Justice and Equity executive director Raul Fernandez. Photo by Meghan Guidry
November 14, 2023  Updated November 15, 2023 at 2:26 p.m.

The Brookline Community Foundation unveiled its new Community Indicators Database at an event at the Florida Ruffin Ridley School on November 2. It tracks various data about life in Brookline over the years, and compares it to several nearby cities and towns. Check out this video for an overview of the database and this guide to using it. Here’s a sample of some of the indicators:

Language diversity

This indicator tracks the proportion of residents age 5 and older who speak a language other than English at home. In 2000, that number was 29% in Brookline, 21% in Newton and 30% in Everett. In 2017-2021, those numbers rose to 33% in Brookline, 25% in Newton and 62% in Everett.

Older and living alone

In 2012-2016, 45% of Brookline residents age 65 and older lived alone, compared with 38% in Newton and 35% in Everett. In 2017-2021, that number was 47% in Brookline, 32% in Newton and 35% in Everett.

Median household income

In 2000, the median household income in Brookline, measured in 2021 dollars, was $108,503, compared with $139,961 in Newton and $66,134 in Everett. In 2017-2021, that number was $122,356 in Brookline, $164,607 in Newton and $71,510 in Everett.

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Households without vehicles

Brookline has seen its share of households without vehicles rise over the past 20 years, from 20% in 2000 to 28 percent in 2017-2021. In more suburban Newton, that number held largely steady at 7% in 2000 and 6% in 2017-2021. In urban Cambridge, the proportion increased from 28% in 2000 to 33% in 2017-2021.