Downtown's population increased 54% between 2010 and 2017 - to 17,581 - according to a profile of the neighborhood released yesterday by the BPDA, which says the number of residents should continue to increase as the more than 2,100 new housing units approved by the city between 2014 and 2018 are completed.
The profile, which covers an area that includes both Downtown Crossing and Chinatown, shows very few blacks and Hispanics among those residents, however: 56% of downtown residents are white and 32% are Asian, with just 3% black and 6% Hispanic. Across all of Boston, whites make up 45% of the population and Asians 9%, compared to 23% for blacks and 19% for Hispanics.
The study does not say whether the Asian population downtown is shrinking as Chinatown is transformed from a place where immigrants could start out into the preserve of luxury high rises, but says the percentage of residents who were born in another country decreased from 38% in 2010 to 32% in 2017.
According to the profile, 61% of downtown residents have at least a bachelor's degree, compared to 47% citywide. The top employment fields for downtown residents in 2017: Management, business and finance, and sales.
Downtown residents are less likely than people elsewhere to own a car - just 44% do, compared to 66% in Boston as a whole. But despite the rise of services such Uber and Lyft, the number of car owners downtown decreased only slightly from 2010 - when 45% of downtown residents reported owning at least one car.
Also, only 41% of downtown condos were owner occupied. In total, the area had about 7,600 housing units - 4,400 of them condos, the rest apartments.
Despite the growth in residences, downtown remains a business district as well: The BPDA reported nearly 185,000 jobs downtown in 2015 - a ratio of almost 18 jobs per resident.