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as they are not already marked [by their skin color]” (McCormack 2005, 665). These
women may be more likely to pass as middle-class and as a result, would be reluctant to
be identified as a welfare recipient in any context (research or otherwise). The Greater
Boston area was chosen as a field location because it contains a range of neighborhood
types, including predominantly white lower working class, predominantly black lower
working class, multiethnic lower working class, predominantly white and middle class,
in close proximity in which white women on welfare may theoretically reside.
The “Greater Boston,” area, comprised of Essex, Middlesex, Suffolk, and Norfolk
counties, has a population of over 4.9 million residents and is the tenth largest metro-
politan area in the United States. 6 Greater Boston includes Boston city proper, which
has a population of 617,594. 7 The city has a population density of 11,900 people per
squaremile,rankingjustbehindNewYorkCity,Chicago,andSanFrancisco. 8 Thereare
twenty-one official neighborhoods in the city of Boston: Allston/Brighton, Back Bay,
BayVillage,BeaconHill,Charlestown, Chinatown/LeatherDistrict, Dorchester,Down-
tapan, Mission Hill, North End, Roslindale, Roxbury, South Boston, South End, West
End, and West Roxbury.
Percentage of the Population by Race and Ethnicity
Figure 9.2 Racial and ethnic breakdown of the city of Boston, Massachusetts.
Boston's overall racial demographics are 53.9% white, 17.5% Latino or Hispanic,
cific Islander. 9 The city's overall ethnic population includes 15.8% Irish, 8.3% Italian,
and 6.4% West Indian. 10 In 2010 the median household income was $50,683 11 com-
pared to Massachusetts' median household income of $64,509. 12 In 2000, Boston was
ranked 13th and 20th for the most racially segregated metropolitan area for blacks
and Hispanics. 13 The Boston Indicators Project found that “almost one in five African
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