An Initiative for Massachusetts Smaller Cities


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The One Lynn Early Childhood Education Initiative

The Lynn Housing Authority and Neighborhood Development will work with various public, private, and nonprofit sector partners to create the One Lynn Early Childhood Education Initiative, focused on the impact of early education readiness on students’ future success in school. Specifically, the collaborative effort will seek to increase Lynn’s kindergarten readiness percentage from 40 to 60 percent in three years, and raise the amount of licensed day cares in the city from 47 to 75 percent over a period of ten years. Partners of the initiative include Lynn Family & Children’s Services, Lynn Community Health Center, Lynn Public Schools, and Mass Law Reform Institute.

map of massachusetts showing lynn

Learn about Lynn

Leather tanners set up shop in Lynn in the 1630s. Shoemakers soon followed, and by the mid-19th century, Lynn was America’s leading shoe producer. Today, the shoe manufacturers are long gone, and the prosperity they helped create has faded. Yet Lynn has managed to preserve many of its past strengths, while adjusting to a new set of realities.

photo of lynn

Census figures show that after peaking at 102,320 in 1930, Lynn’s population declined steadily to 78,471 in 1980 before rebounding to 90,329 in 2010. The 2010 Census also shows:

Lynn MA
Persons under 18 years 24.90% 21.70%
Persons 65 years and over 11.40% 13.80%
American Indian and Alaska Native 0.70% 0.30%
Asian alone 7.00% 5.30%
Black or African-American alone 12.80% 6.60%
Hispanic or Latino 32.10% 9.60%
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander 0.10% 0.00%
Two or more races 5.00% 2.60%
White alone 57.60% 80.40%
White alone (not Hispanic or Latino) 47.60% 76.10%

“From the congested heart of the industrial district tenement roofs, spires, and brick walls rise in a chaotic jumble to the distant city heights, in fantastic contrast with the great woods and the several quiet lakes which lie, surprisingly, within the limits of this noisy machine city.”

Massachusetts: A Guide to Its Places and People, 1937

photo of lynnphoto of lynnphoto of lynn

Lynn’s foreign-born population grew by 30.6% between 2001 and 2011, and the Latino portion of the population grew by 83.7%. The Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (2007-2011) estimates that 29.6% of Lynn’s population is foreign born:

  • 8.6% born in Africa
  • 15.7% born in Asia
  • 12.6% born in Europe
  • 61.5% born in Latin America
  • 1.4% born in Northern America
  • 0.1% born in Oceania

According to the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey five-year estimates for 2007-2011:

  • The homeownership rate was 48%, compared with 63.6% statewide.
  • Lynn’s median home value is $268,300, compared with $343,500 statewide.
  • Median household is $44,367, compared with $65,981 statewide.
  • 78.7% of Lynn residents 25 and older have graduated from high school, compared with 88.9% statewide.
  • 17.2% of residents have earned a bachelor’s degree, compared with 38.7% statewide.
  • 19.2% of Lynn residents are below the poverty level, compared with 10.7% statewide.
link to city data snapshot of Lynn

Compare a range of demographic data for Lynn’s low- and moderate-income populations. 
Use the tool

in-depth data dashboard pdfs

Check out detailed stats on income, employment, education, health, and more provided by Clark University researchers for the Working Cities Challenge.

photo of lynn

According to the Massachusetts Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development, as of June 2013, Lynn’s unemployment rate was 8.6%, compared with 7.4% statewide. The city’s employment base is a mix of old and new. General Electric has had a presence in Lynn since the late 19th century and still manufactures jet engines at its River Works plant. Clark University researchers have found that Lynn’s five largest employers are:

  • Lynn Public School
  • City of Lynn
  • All Care Visiting Nurse Association
  • Greater Lynn Senior Services, Inc.
  • Lynn Community Health, Inc.

North Shore Community College, which employs more than 400 people at its Lynn campus, also fills an important need by serving as a center for workforce development. Each year its Lynn campus helps thousands of area residents acquire skills and training.

Alignment LPS is a collaborative effort by the Lynn Public schools and community-based organizations to coordinate community resources in support of student success, supported by the Race to the Top grant. It represents a core strategy of the Wraparound Zone Initiative (funded by Race to the Top), which seeks to build schools’ ability to eliminate barriers to learning by addressing physical, social, and emotional health needs.

The Lynn Community Health Center is a nonprofit, multicultural, community health center serving 37,000 patients per year in downtown Lynn and its neighborhoods.

Municipal agencies, private investors, and community groups are collaborating on a number of economic and community development initiatives, including Lynn’s waterfront and the Economic Development & Industrial Corporation of Lynn (which focuses its efforts on revitalizing downtown, establishing commuter ferry service, and attracting new artists).