Equity and Innovation Report

Chapter 3: Second Quintile

The Second Quintile - Largest Share of Newcomers
THE SECOND QUINTILE Largest Share of Newcomers


The second 20 percent of households experienced the least change over the past decade in their overall demographic and housing profile, though this quintile remains the most varied in terms of its people and households. It includes single adults living alone, households without children, and lower-skilled workers who are becoming more credentialed by working on further degrees or certificates. Households in this quintile are highly mobile and more likely to be recent immigrants.


Neighborhoods with the greatest share of households in the second quintile

Infographic: Cambridge Highlands 35.7%.
Infographic: Agassiz 29.7%.
Infographic: Riverside 26.7%.

Sources: 2005–2009 and 2014–2018 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates.

Chart 3.2: Share of Population Recently Moved from Another Country, 2018

The second quintile has the largest share of new immigrants.

People and Households (2009-2018)

Though the second quintile remains majority white, close to half are now people of color. The largest generational shift in this quintile came with a slight increase in millennials aged 25 to 34; the group grew from 27 percent to 33 percent of the population. While 53 percent of households in the second quintile continue to be headed by a single person living alone, families with children declined from 18.6 percent to 13 percent of households over the past decade. Families with children in this quintile are more likely than they were a decade ago to be two-parent households: 62.3 percent of these families are headed by a married couple, up from 56.4 percent in 2009.

Households in the second quintile have seen the second-largest relative gains, with their average income up 23.5 percent and the top earners’ incomes up 27 percent over the decade, when adjusted for inflation.


Least demographic change

Infographic: From 2009 to 2018 white non-Latinx went from 54% to 52%, Black went from 16% to 18%, Asian stayed at 17%, Latinx went from 9.7% to 9.9%, Another race/AIAN went from 3% to 4%.


Fewer student-aged residents

Infographic: From 2009 to 2018 under 18 went from 15% to 14%, 18 to 24 went from 12% to 8.5%, 25 to 34 went from 27% to 33%, 35 to 64 stayed at 30%, 65+ went from 15% to 14.5%.

Household Type

Fewer families with children

Infographic: From 2009 to 2018 families with children went from 19% to 13%, families without children went from 17% to 19.5%, nonfamilies went from 12% to 14%, living alone went from 52% to 53%.

Sources: 2005–2009 and 2014–2018 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates.

Housing and Community (2009-2018)

Households in this quintile have made income gains, and the number of households that own their homes outright has increased, but two-thirds of owners spend at least 30 percent of their income on housing. Income gains largely benefited homeowners rather than renters, as the share of cost-burdened owners fell from 61 to 45 percent. More than 40 percent of this quintile have lived in their current home less than two years. Among those who have moved in the past year, 35 percent moved from another state and a quarter from another country.


More homes owned without a mortgage

Infographic: From 2009 to 2018 renter went from 73% to 69%, owned with a mortgage went from 15% to 14%, owned free and clear went from 12% to 17%.

Housing Costs as a Share of Income

Declining cost burden

Infographic: From 2009 to 2018 up to 30% of income went from 30% to 36%, 30% to 49% of income went from 36% to 39%, greater than 50% of income went from 34% to 25%.

Lived in Current Home for:

More recent movers

Infographic: From 2009 to 2018 less than 2 years went from 38% to 40.5%, 2 to 9 years went from 13% to 11%, 10 years or more stayed at 26%.

Sources: 2005–2009 and 2014–2018 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates.

Education and Jobs (2009-2018)

The share of adults in this quintile with a bachelor’s degree or higher increased from 59 percent to 68 percent — nearly all attributable to more adults with a master’s or higher degree. This quintile has the highest share of those employed in the nonprofit sector, with 18 percent in education, 17 percent in the innovation cluster, and 10 percent in management.

Educational Attainment

Large increase in adults with at least a bachelor’s degree

Infographic: From 2009 to 2018 high school or less went from 27% to 21%, some college/associate degree went from 14% to 11%, bachelor's degree or higher went from 59% to 68%.

Top Occupations

Only quintile with top employment in education

Infographic: In 2019 16% education, 14% innovation, 11% office & admin. In 2018 18% education, 17% innovation, 10% management.

Employment Sector

Quintile with the largest share of workers in the nonprofit sector

Sources: 2005–2009 and 2014–2018 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates.

We have adjusted the standard naming conventions established by the U.S. Census Bureau in the following ways: “Hispanic/Latino” ethnicity is referred to as “Latinx”; “Black” refers to “Black/African American”; “Asian” includes “Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander”; “Multiracial” refers to “Two or More”; and “Another race/AIAN” includes “Some Other” and American Indian/Alaska Native.” For more about our terminology on race and ethnicity »