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The People

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) estimates that by 2040, Charlton will be home to as many as 16,000 people. However, MassDOT also predicts that over the next twenty years, Charlton will witness significant job growth, and similar forecasts can be found for the towns around Charlton, too.

Charlton’s current population is fairly well distributed across age cohorts (Fig. 4.). Overall, its population is slightly older than that of Worcester County and its average household is slightly larger, but the differences are small. About 63 percent of the population consists of working-age people, and most people (72 percent) are members of family households. Approximately 30 percent of Charlton households (1,531/5,074) have dependent children under 18.

Fig. 5 (next page) illustrates that Charlton households tend to enjoy a favorable economic position relative to other communities around them. The Town’s median household income – measured for all households, families, or non-families – consistently exceeds that of the surrounding towns. Just over half of all Charlton households have incomes of $100,000 or more, and this is not the case in any of the towns around it. From available demographic data, it seems that Charlton is a “buy-up” community among towns in southwest Worcester County. It draws more incoming households than its neighbors, and when people leave Charlton, they are generally not looking for a home elsewhere in Worcester County, but either in another Massachusetts county or relocating out of state.