An Initiative for Massachusetts Smaller Cities


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The Connecting Downtown Taunton Workforce and Economic Development Initiative

The Connecting Downtown Taunton Workforce and Economic Development Initiative, led by the City of Taunton, will create a new downtown workforce center, with a particular focus on the healthcare, hospitality, and food production industries. The center will provide a central location for workforce development with programming that reflects the diverse needs of both the lower-income population and a wide range of Greater Taunton employers. The main goal of the initiative is to promote local economic competitiveness while improving lower-income residents’ ability to prepare for, and obtain, quality employment, while simultaneously revitalizing the downtown neighborhood in which they live. The City’s partners include the Taunton Business Improvement District/ Downtown Taunton Foundation, Bristol County Savings Bank, Bristol Community College, and the Southeastern Regional Planning & Economic Development District.

map of massachusetts showing taunton

Learn about Taunton

The "Silver City" nickname is a throwback to the days when Taunton produced fine-quality silverware and jewelry for discerning buyers worldwide. Today, although Reed & Barton still maintains an administrative presence, an outlet store, and a small production facility, most silversmiths have closed their doors and shifted production offshore. Gone, too, are the companies that once produced stoves, machine tools, textile machinery, and steam locomotives.

photo of taunton

Census figures show that Taunton's population is significantly higher than it was during the mid-1900s. It was at 40,109 in 1950 and 55,874 in 2010.

Taunton MA
Persons under 18 years 22.8% 21.7%
Persons 65 years and over 13.5% 13.8%
American Indian and Alaska Native 0.3% 0.3%
Asian alone 1.0% 5.3%
Black or African-American alone 5.0% 6.6%
Hispanic or Latino 5.5% 9.6%
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander <0.1% 0.0%
Two or more races 3.0% 2.6%
White alone 87.23% 80.4%
White alone (not Hispanic or Latino) 84.5% 76.1%

The median age of Taunton's residents is 40, which is the same as the state median age but quite high compared with other Working Cities. There are small but rapidly growing percentages of Asian, Latino, and African American residents. The biggest ethnic groups are Portuguese, English, Irish, Polish, and French.

“About the Green, an elm-fringed rectangle, is concentrated the business and civic life of Taunton; but for fifty square miles the city stretches out in fertile acres, broken by rocky outcrops and dotted by quiet residential sections and factories. … Its manufactures include textile machinery and products, machine drills and tools, marine engines, electrical specialties, minor hardware, silver jewelry, Britannia metalware and pewterware, stoves, stove linings, ceramic products, leather novelties, and medicines. But it has plenty of elbow room and that is why despite its busy manufactures the city has an air of tranquil leisure and placidity. ”

Massachusetts: A Guide to Its Places and People, 1937

photo of tauntonphoto of tauntonphoto of taunton

According to the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey five-year estimates for 2007-2011, 11.0% of Taunton residents are foreign born, compared with 14.7% statewide:

  • 10.8% born in Africa
  • 7.4% born in Asia
  • 59.8% born in Europe
  • 19.4% born in Latin America
  • 2.7% born in Northern America
  • 0.0% born in Oceania

The American Community Survey also shows that:

  • The homeownership rate is 62.5%, compared with 63.6% statewide.
  • Taunton’s median home value is $275,100, compared with $343,500 statewide.
  • Median home prices increased 38% from 2000 to 2011, from $185,909 to $256,700, despite the economic downturn.
  • The median household income is $53,401, compared with $65,981 statewide.
  • 81.8% of Taunton residents 25 years and over have graduated high school, compared with 88.9% statewide.
  • 19.6% of residents have earned a bachelor’s degree, compared with 38.7% statewide.
  • 12.5% of Taunton residents are below the poverty level, compared with 10.7% statewide.
link to city data snapshot of taunton

Compare a range of demographic data for Taunton’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 taunton

According to the Massachusetts Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development, as of June 2013, Taunton’s unemployment rate was 8.0%, compared with 7.4% statewide. Clark University researchers found that Taunton’s five largest employers are:

  • City of Taunton
  • Taunton School District
  • Jordan’s Furniture, Inc.
  • Perkins Paper, Inc.
  • Agar Supply Co., Inc.

The Downtown Taunton Foundation and the Taunton Business Improvement District, a nonprofit collaborative of businesses and property owners, work together on revitalization and growth. They help the city advance arts and cultural programming, sustainable real estate development, and historic preservation.

The Boys & Girls Club of Taunton is home to one of the most successful inner-city hockey programs in the country. Also, the National Weather Service regional weather forecast office and its Northeast River Forecast Center are both located in Taunton.