Report title: The Economic Geography of Southeastern Massachusetts

Authors: Elise Rapoza, Michael Goodman, David Borges, Holly Stickles, and Trevor Mattos

Report date: August 2019

Issue areas: economic geography; cluster analysis; economic development, labor markets, public policy

Summary & key findings: A detailed analysis of commuting patterns, industrial composition, and media markets reveals that much of southeastern Massachusetts and the vast majority of the state of Rhode Island are part of a shared functional economic region. For lack of a better term, this cross-border region is referred to here as SouthCoastal New England. The cities and towns in this region are home to a common labor force, a common media market, and share key industrial strengths. Both sides of the border also share important cultural connections to the Portuguese and Lusophone community, among others, and rely heavily on ocean resources, which fuel significant economic and scientific activities on both sides of the border. There are, however, distinct sub-regional labor market areas, as defined by commuting patterns. The PPC’s analysis revealed three commuting zones that intersect this economic region; the Greater Providence and the SouthCoast commuting zones are contained in this region and the remainder is contained within Greater Boston.

Report link: Report