Showing posts with label population. Show all posts
Showing posts with label population. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 2, 2023

Dean College among small colleges struggling with enrollment decline per Boston Globe

"For much of recent history, intimate private colleges and universities have thrived here, as much a part of the region’s identity as tumbledown stone walls and scenic coastlines, the local highways bristling with signs signaling that another quintessential New England campus is just an exit away.

But the business model for the small liberal arts school is much less viable these days, as the population of high school graduates continues to decline and more young people are skeptical of, or unable to bear, the hefty cost of a college degree. Already in Massachusetts, more than 20 colleges closed completely or merged into larger institutions since 2014, according to the state Department of Higher Education.

And industry insiders expect more of the smaller or lesser-known schools to fade away, while a handful of private universities boasting massive endowments will continue to flourish.

Two of the nation’s big credit rating agencies reported dire financial outlooks for the year for the higher education sector: Fitch Ratings says conditions in the sector are “deteriorating,” and Moody’s Investors Service says the outlook is “negative.”
Continue reading at the Boston Globe (subscription maybe required)

As has been posted here previously, the demographic trends are/should be well known, school population is declining particularly in the US. There are a variety of reasons all contributing to the decline and some institutions (i.e. small colleges) are going to feel too.

Monday, April 17, 2023

"According to the UN, nearly two-thirds of the world’s population lives in a region where the fertility rate is below the critical 2.1 threshold"

The declining school enrollment (and overall population) in Franklin is a reflection of a trend seen around the world. We share this infographic from Visual Capitalist:
"At the dawn of the 19th century, the world population hit a big milestone: 1 billion people.

Over the next 220 years, the number grew to eight times that, or the 8 billion people who live on the planet today, with half of the growth occurring since 1975.

This continuous climb in global population has been possible thanks to advancements in healthcare and nutrition. However, the UN forecasts that rapid growth will slow down—and may even stop entirely by 2100—because of falling fertility rates.

What does that mean for modern nation states conditioned to expect a constant influx of new citizens and labor to power their economies? And how can those changing economies adapt to a shrinking population?

To understand that, we need to first untangle fertility rates, and why they’re falling."
Continue reading about the fertility rate decline -> 

Saturday, August 27, 2022

Town of Franklin (MA): Five Year Fiscal Forecast (FY 2023-2027) Now Available

The Office of the Town Administrator has released the Five Year Fiscal Forecast for FY23-27. This memorandum provides a synopsis of the financial outlook for each year as well as a "snapshot" of the town today. 


August 15, 2022

To: Town of Franklin

From: Jamie Hellen, Town Administrator

Re: Town Administrator Five-Year Fiscal Forecast FY23-FY27

Welcome to the first “Five-Year Fiscal Forecast” from my office in almost three years. Due to the immense time pressures put on the office during the pandemic in 2020 and 2021, as well as the consistent economic shifts, it was difficult to depict an accurate picture of future town fiscal affairs. As mentioned in this year's budget narrative, I’m committed to getting back on a regular routine with this traditional update now that the country is moving past the regulatory structure of the COVID-19 pandemic. With the global and national economy in the center of everyone’s minds and the start of the new fiscal year (FY23) upon us, summer is a perfect time to hit a quick reset on town fiscal matters and get the view from 30,000 feet. I am hopeful to publish a more comprehensive version later this fall/winter as the Town approaches its annual tax rate hearing in December. By then, staff will have revenue trends through the first quarter of the fiscal year, finalized state aid numbers, and expected new growth figures. The forecast is also a requirement of bond rating agencies.

Quality of life and organization stability in Franklin

Before I dive into the forecast details, I believe it is worth taking a step back for a moment to pause and reflect. Over the past few years, our community, like the rest of the world, has gone through a tremendous disruption. Everyone has dealt with unforeseen adversity, challenge, and loss. Yet despite these professionally and personally challenging times for everyone, the overall quality of life in Franklin, as well as Massachusetts as a whole, could be considered some of the best in the United States.

The Town has exceptional, diverse schools and education opportunities, unprecedented achievement in public education, one of the most prepared local public safety operations in the state, a dedicated and well-trained public works department and countless exceptional

amenities for families and citizens of all ages and backgrounds. The Town is an attractive area for major corporate businesses and has a strong local economy with many diverse economic sectors. The Town continues to make historic investments in open space and recreation to add to the great quality of life in town.

The Town has developed a proven financial management strategy. We have had strong financial audits for many consecutive years. For the first time in the Town’s history, a AAA Bond rating was awarded due to prudent financial management, a diverse economy and well executed financial policies. For details, please visit the S&P Global Rating from May 2022 for the facts surrounding the AAA Bond rating. It is one of the most important documents to read for any member of the community.

From a bird’s eye view, everyone should feel an incredible sense of achievement for being a model community that is supportive, innovative and full of continued promise. We owe an immense amount of gratitude to our municipal and school employees for their incredible dedication over the last three years, by not only weathering a global pandemic, but improving the organization and continuing to succeed at an elite level. The social fabric of the community and citizens remains very good with a positive outlook given the countless events, festivals, community organizations and opportunities for all. As we move into a fiscal year without any COVID-19 restrictions or regulations for the first time in three years, I believe Franklin is more resilient and prepared for the future than we were three years ago. The organization remains very stable.

FY22 Closeout

Fiscal Year 2022 (FY22) closed out on June 30th. July is one of the busiest times for the Finance staff closing out the past fiscal year, entering the new one, working on state required reporting and closing out budgets. I am pleased to report that all departments did a phenomenal job managing their budgets in FY22. As a result, very few year end transfers were required and another sterling financial audit was presented in May for FY21.

The revenue source with the greatest fluctuation to economic conditions, “Local Receipts”, ended up coming in at pre-pandemic levels, which is very good news. This dynamic was predicted and reflected in the FY23 budget revenue assumptions.

This trend is bolstered by a slowly returning local economy. Hotel revenues are now about 60% back to pre-pandemic numbers. The new cannabis excise (sales) tax provided an additional $104,000 in new revenue for less than a half a year of collections. Motor vehicle excise taxes were higher than budgeted due to the valuation of cars increasing. Ambulance receipts have increased due to higher demand for EMS services. As the Town enters FY23, revenues remain steady in this category, but FY24 may need some expenditure adjustments in order to deliver the services that we see trending in demand.

That said, Local Receipts are revenues mostly generated based on consumer behavior (hotels, meals, cannabis, licenses) and public demand (such as ambulance runs or building permits). Thus, they can stabilize or decrease with the changes in consumer patterns and the broader economy. They can also increase, which the Town must consider that staffing or equipment may be needed to adjust to meet those demands. The fees in this category need to mirror the capacity at the staff level to deliver the services.

Indications from the Federal Reserve and leading local economists acknowledge that to quell inflation, policy will be focused on reducing demand for goods, services and products to help ease cost increases. I tend to believe any policy action at the federal or state levels will take a while to settle into the local consumer patterns that drive revenues in local receipts.

Nonetheless, this is an area of revenue that the Town will need to monitor in FY23 heading into FY24 to ensure we have the capacities to meet the demand for services. We'll also need to monitor any major declines in revenues from attempts to quell inflation.

A couple of final statistics to close out FY22: only ten (10) single family homes were built in Franklin during Fiscal Year 2022. By comparison, in 1994, at the Town’s peak, the Town built 172 single family homes. Population in 2021 decreased for the 1st time in over four decades.

Population in 2021 decreased for the 1st time in over four decades
Population in 2021 decreased for the 1st time in over four decades

Town of Franklin Earns AAA Bond Rating
Town of Franklin Earns AAA Bond Rating

Thursday, April 7, 2022

Fertility Rates: Declined for Younger Women, Increased for Older Women (US Census data)

Demographics is a topic coming up from time to time in discussions around Franklin. What is our population? Why is our school population declining? The US Census stats show that our student population decline is not unique to Franklin.

Stable fertility rates 1990-2019 mask distinct variations by age. Learn more in this America Counts story.
Registered United States Census Bureau Logo

America Counts: Stories Behind the Numbers

A mother lays in a hospital bed with her newborn child.
Gray Divider

Fertility Rates: Declined for Younger Women, Increased for Older Women

Overall fertility trends from 1990 to 2019 were relatively stable, compared to previous decades but varied significantly by age, according to a Census Bureau analysis.

The analysis, which looked at Census Bureau and National Center for Health Statistics data, shows fertility rates of women ages 20-24 declined by 43%, while those of women ages 35-39 increased by 67% during the roughly 30-year period.

Read More

Together, the data paint a compelling picture of how the age at which American women give birth has changed over time.

Fertility rates in the United States gradually declined from 1990 to 2019. In 1990, there were about 70.77 births each year for every 1,000 women ages 15-44. By 2019, there were about 58.21 births per 1,000 women in that age group.

Continue reading to learn more about:

  • Fertility trends: 1990-2019
  • Shifting age structures
  • Early 2000s mini birth boom
  • Historical fertility patterns

Help us spread the word about America Counts. Share this story on social media or forward it to a friend.

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You May Be Interested

A pregnant woman lays down on an examination table while hooked up to monitors.

U.S. Births Declined During the Pandemic: Several factors affect the birth rate but the pandemic did have an impact: births declined but began to rise again in March of this year.

Learn More

About America Counts

America Counts tells the stories behind the numbers in a new inviting way. It features stories on various topics such as families, housing, employment, business, education, economy, emergency management, health, populationincome and poverty. Contact our Public Information Office for media inquiries or interviews.

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Saturday, August 28, 2021

COVID-19 pandemic and vaccine updates, including Franklin's vaccine stats - a quick recap

1 - Maura George (@maurageorgemd) tweeted Fri, Aug 27, 2021:
As a mom of 3 little boys, I am desperate to get my kids' childhood back to normal. As a doctor, I want data to know that what we're doing is actually effective. I was floored when I graphed these numbers from ATL schools this week. #maskmandate
Shared from Twitter:

Georgia Dept. of Public Health data ->

COVID-19 cases in Atlanta students, mask mandate
COVID-19 cases in Atlanta students, mask mandate

2. "Children’s hospitals around the country are seeing a surge in Covid-19 patients"
"As the Delta variant grips the country, children who are not yet eligible for vaccination are at higher risk of being infected — especially in places where the virus is surging. A New Orleans children’s hospital had so many Covid-19 patients that a federal “surge team” was called in to bolster an exhausted staff.

Children under 12 may have to wait until the end of the year to get vaccinated. Half of the adolescents in the U.S. have now received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine, the White House said on Friday."
Via the New York Times Friday highlights->

The full article and heart rendering photos can be found ->

3 -  "Why Provincetown’s Response to Its COVID Outbreak Was So Effective"
"Source investigation complements standard contact tracing; it’s not a substitute. When outbreaks are detected, people need to be informed immediately, so they can get tested and ensure they are not unknowingly spreading the virus. Once a cluster is detected, venues should re-evaluate their COVID mitigation measures and ensure that staff are vaccinated and ventilation systems refresh indoor air at least four to six times per hour. High-risk venues should keep lists of patrons, and outreach to customers through social media can be very effective. Mandating that customers are vaccinated, as New York, San Francisco and New Orleans have done, may not suffice to prevent outbreaks. Some European countries are requiring evidence of a negative coronavirus test for unvaccinated people entering indoor entertainment venues.

The Provincetown outbreak occurred as thousands of people arrived to celebrate the Fourth of July, believing their vaccinations would protect them against infection. When infected people began feeling ill, some didn’t immediately attribute their symptoms to COVID-19 because of the widespread belief that breakthrough infections were almost impossible. After the cases emerged, the local health department’s investigation was undoubtedly helped by strong word-of-mouth communication, as many infections affected members of the gay community, a group that for decades has witnessed the effects of the AIDS pandemic. Since then, many local businesses have reassessed their COVID mitigation measures, the town reinstituted an indoor mask mandate and new cases have leveled off."
Also from the New York Times, where the full article can be found ->

4 -CNN’s Leana Wen: ‘Public health is now under attack in a way that it has not been before’

An excerpt from the full interview (which is definitely worth reading to get the full context:
"Yeah. It’s the height of American exceptionalism that we are where we are. I have family in other parts of the world where health-care workers and vulnerable elderly people are begging to get the vaccine. And here, we’re sitting on stockpiles and begging people to take the vaccine.

I think how we got here is complicated, right? I agree with the surgeon general in issuing the advisory about misinformation and disinformation — certainly that plays a big role here. There are individuals out there who are knowingly spreading misinformation. There are others who are clicking and then, unfortunately, sharing misinformation that’s leading to question that and the efficacy of vaccines. That misinformation is taking away people’s freedom to make decisions for themselves and their families.

And I think the Biden administration needs to take some responsibility here, also, for their miscalculation and misjudgment in being so uneasy about vaccine verification and relying on the honor code. Come on. Did they really think that the honor system was going to work during a pandemic when many people behaved so dishonorably? The honor system did not work. And, of course, the unvaccinated are now running around living their lives as if they are vaccinated. And that’s led to the surge that we are now seeing. We lost the powerful incentive to increase vaccines in that really important window."

5 - Via the DPH weekly updates, here is the vaccine statistics by age group for Franklin, Not that the population up to 11 years old is excluded as the vaccine is not yet authorized for them.

Boston Globe article with their coverage on this week's data

My downloaded copy filtered for Franklin data (as of 8/26/21)

The full data file can be found on the MA Gov page

Franklin's vaccine stats as of 8/26/21
Franklin's vaccine stats as of 8/26/21

Monday, August 16, 2021

Population changes for Franklin, MA from 2020 Census Data

"Like the rest of the nation, Massachusetts is getting more diverse, according to data released by the US Census Bureau on Thursday.

The map below shows how each town in Massachusetts has changed from the 2010 Census to the 2020 one. You can see the percent change in population since 2010, or explore each town’s demographic changes individually. The towns that shrunk the most are redder; those that grew are greener."
Continue reading the article online (subscription maybe required)

Overall population growth has slowed and the community has gotten more diverse.

Population change for Franklin, MA from 202 Census Data
Population change for Franklin, MA from 2020 Census Data

Sunday, June 20, 2021

"The annual fertility rate may be dropping — births have fallen for six straight years"

"Luz Portillo, the oldest daughter of Mexican immigrants, has many plans. She is studying to be a skin care expert. She has also applied to nursing school. She works full time, too — as a nurse’s aide and doing eyelash extensions, a business she would like to grow.

But one thing she has no plans for anytime soon is a baby.

Ms. Portillo’s mother had her when she was 16. Her father has worked as a landscaper for as long as she can remember. She wants a career and more control over her life.

“I can’t get pregnant, I can’t get pregnant,” she said she tells herself. “I have to have a career and a job. If I don’t, it’s like everything my parents did goes in vain.”
Continue reading the article online (subscription maybe required)

Thursday, October 1, 2020

Facility Analysis Subcommittee: Long term plan could close 5 school buildings


  • Where are we? Recall that there was an ask if Davis Thayer could be closed to save money?
  • The Facility Analysis Subcommittee was formed and set up their 5 step process. They are still on step 1. A public information session was held in March (before the shutdown). Another public information session will be scheduled for November TBD.
  • A demographic analysis was done and handed over to the architects for use in their facility assessment. Oh, the demographic analysis will be redone with the official Oct 1 numbers. It should be interest for that analysis to see how well the forecast turned out. That would be an update sometime in the future to the Subcommittee (no timeline provided).
  • The work by the subcommittee stopped during the summer after the first preview of the report was presented June 11. Stopped due to the work required by the District to prepare the re-opening plan for all schools in September. Now that schools are back albeit remote and moving to hybrid, there is time for the committee to resume its work.
  • So the architect report gets presented with the data gathered and analyzed. The five options for consideration were presented. Instead of closing one elementary school, the long term report recommendation is to close the three oldest elementary schools, keeping three elementary schools to feed to one central middle school (yes, closing two other middle schools) all feeding to the one high school.
  • How about that for generating some conversation?

Screen captures of the presentation deck shown during the meeting are available.

We all await the copy of the report to be posted to the Schools page so we can read and digest the remainder of it.

As with most meetings in this pandemic period, I took my notes via Twitter during the meeting reporting in real-time via the virtual session.
The Twitter hashtag can be found online  #scfa0930

  • Ready for the SchComm Facility Analysis meeting to start. #scfa0930
  • Meeting bridge just opened  #scfa0930
  • Roll call of committee members but no protocol announcements. Stokes (chair) Pfeffer and Scofield present. Still in step 1 of the 5 step process #scfa0930 added COVID related spacing requirements to analysis
  • Craig Olson, Kaestle Boos to present report. Report to be shared after meeting; preliminary report was shared in May, this is updated from that #scfa0930
  • Data based report, all data pre COVID, #scfa0930 Capturing slides as they are shared, some we'll need to wait for report publication to see, he went to quick only video would have caught
  • Adjusted zoom windows for better screen capture #scfa0930
  • Individual school analysis for each school in report #scfa0930
  • Oak and Keller #scfa0930
  • Kennedy and Parmenter #scfa0930
  • Jefferson #scfa0930
  • Middle schools #scfa0930
  • Enrollment projections not unique to Franklin a national issue with some areas)stares affected more than others #scfa0930
  • Excess capacity in both elementary and middle School levels #scfa0930
  • Key slide of options considered in report
  • The various option slides part 1 of 2 #scfa0930
  • Option slides part 2 of 2 #scfa0930
  • Interesting recommendations to make one middle school, with 3 feeder elementary schools all to the FHS facility #scfa0930
  • Now that the data is out the discussion can commence. Some folks won't like, it will take time to understand the implications #scfa0930
  • Q on Title 1, student dependent, not school dependent. #scfa0930 redistricting is always an issue not so much for the students but for the parents
  • Survey better to do sooner than later, #scfa0930 McKibben working on additional update for his demographics, will include the Oct 1 actual vs his model from last year. COVID is a major variable.
  • Community info session to be scheduled on this, date to SchComm not yet set so it would be after Oct, early Nov, being defined via email. #scfa0930
  • No recommendations to SchCom at this time, motion to adjourn, second, passed 3-0 via roll call
  • That's all for schools for now, soon to be reporting on the listening session at 6:30, catch you there #scfa0930 



long term plan could close 5 school buildings
long term plan could close 5 school buildings

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Wednesday night: 2 important meetings

First meeting: 

Facilities Analysis Sub Committee Meeting
Wednesday, Sep 30 -  5:00 PM

The consultants will come back with the completed facility analysis for review and discussion. This committee had suspended work during the summer due to the preparations required for reopening schools.

Second meeting:

Economic Development Subcommittee - Business Listening & Networking Session #1: Downtown FranklinThe Crossing & Franklin Cultural District
Wednesday, Sep 30 - 6:30 PM

The Market Study provides a lot of insights to what Franklin could do to improve. This is the first of a series of listening sessions to gather input before making the action and priority list.


a recent photo of DelCarte but not directly related to either meeting
a recent photo of DelCarte but not directly related to either meeting

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Franklin Annual Report 2019: Town Clerk

From the Annual Report for 2019

The Town Clerk’s Office is dedicated to providing friendly, professional service to all citizens. I am extremely proud of how well my staff performs and responds to the demands of the office.


The office of town clerk is probably one of the oldest in municipal government. It appears in the Bible in the Book of Acts, Chapter 19, and verse 35 written in A.D. 58. A search of other early written records would no doubt reveal other instances in which mention of this office appears. In Massachusetts, town clerk was one of the earliest offices established in colonial towns although the title itself may not appear in the earliest records. The settlers were well aware of the importance of keeping accurate written records of their agreements and actions including grants of land, regulations governing animals, the collection of taxes and the expenditure of town funds. If your town records date back to the first half of the 17th century, you will probably find that a person was given the specific duty of writing down town orders and will see many entries in the record which include the words “It is ordered by the inhabitants,” or some similar words. Indeed, in Massachusetts, the town clerk was one of the earliest offices established in colonial towns.


Our online service continues to be a success!! This has been a convenient way for the public to request and purchase birth, death and marriage certificates. This improvement has also been a great success for our dog owners who need to license a new dog or who must renew their yearly dog license. These document requests and payment options are available online anytime of the day, seven days a week. To use this service, visit the town website at and follow to the Town Clerk’s Department.


The Town Clerk’s office provides Notary services as a courtesy. Residents seeking Notary Services should call the Town Clerk’s office prior to their visit to ensure that the Notary is available. The following guidelines will be followed in the provision of Notary Service: - Notary Services are available during the normal business hours and are not available in the fifteen (15) minutes prior to the time of closing. - Notary Service is provided on a first-come, first service basis - A valid, government- issued photo identification is required of any customer seeking Notary Service - The document(s) CANNOT already have been signed nor dated - All signers must be present at the time of notarizing - The Notary is stating they have witnessed the document being signed by the individuals present - Notary Service is not available for deeds, mortgages, wills, living wills, living trusts, codicils or depositions. - Certain public documents cannot be copied and notarized. For more information, visit our website.


The total population for FY2019 Census is now 34,693. The following are some past population figures that have been reported over the past years.


Year Population (As of January)

2017 - 33,905

Find the full report online at

Department Spotlight on the Town Clerk
Franklin (MA) Population and Annual Growth percent 1981-2018
Franklin (MA) Population and Annual Growth percent 1981-2018