Dig into stories built on data in By the Numbers.

Explore the data that explains and shapes life in Massachusetts, including the latest CommonWealth Beacon Poll.

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Study finds Boston shoplifting rates up from pre-pandemic levels

Retailers group calls for stronger sanctions for repeat offenders

With Black Friday signaling the arrival of the holiday shopping season, a new report says shoplifting rates in Boston are up compared to levels before the pandemic, though the city has avoided the spike in retail theft that several major US cities have experienced. 

Mass. parents split on post-high school plans

Poll finds gap in expectations based on race, income

When parents of grade-school children consider what those children will want to do after high school, a new poll finds the strongest indicator is the parents’ own resume and bank account. 

Putting Massachusetts exceptionalism to the test

CommonWealth Beacon poll shows where we stand out – for better and worse

Is Massachusetts a beacon for the rest of the country? Yes and no is the split decision rendered by Massachusetts residents in a CommonWealth Beacon poll released last week, a finding pored over on The Codcast by MassINC Polling Group president Steve Koczela and UMass Boston political science professor Erin O’Brien.

Healey said abortion and LGBTQ-friendly policies make the state more competitive. Residents agree.

CommonWealth Beacon poll finds strong support for the socially liberal policies

In April, Gov. Maura Healey made an impassioned pitch to residents of other states: Massachusetts is the place to live, she said, if you care about abortion access and other civil rights. Results from the new CommonWealth Beacon poll suggest Bay State residents agree.

What regional differences reveal about Mass.

State is subdivided on politics and policy

Poll results illuminate clear political regions within the state: Blue in Boston and its suburbs and in western Massachusetts; between them, a collar of red across central Massachusetts and wrapping north towards the New Hampshire border and down into the South Coast.

Troubling signs for Biden in deep blue Massachusetts

Job approval in the state is 17 points below his vote total in 2020

President Biden is looking shaky in the Bay State, where just 47 percent now say they approve of the job he is doing as president — 46 percent say they disapprove.

Mass. residents say they support right-to-shelter law, sort of

Poll finds support drops when asked about migrant crisis

Massachusetts residents are strongly in favor of the state’s unique right-to-shelter law, but there is significantly less support for the law being used to provide emergency housing for migrants, according to a new CommonWealth Beacon poll.

Mass. residents bullish on future — with some big asterisks

Poll shows broad optimism amid big concerns over housing and high cost of living

More than half of Massachusetts residents think the state’s best days are ahead, or already here, and more than two thirds say their family enjoys a good quality of life, according to a new CommonWealth Beacon poll.

How dissatisfied are riders with the T?

Poll indicates 62% believe subway service is poor or fair

A NEW POLL indicates MBTA riders are not happy with the transit authority’s service, with the slow-zone plagued subway and trolley system receiving the worst marks. The poll of 1,000 Massachusetts residents in the MBTA service area found that nearly two-thirds were unimpressed with the subway and trolley system – 27 percent said its service…

Poll finds rising concern about immigration in Mass.

10% say immigration is most important issue facing state

IMMIGRATION IS suddenly showing up on the radar screens of Massachusetts residents. The MassINC Polling Group often begins its polls with a broad-based question asking respondents what they think is the most important issue facing Massachusetts right now. Typically, the top three answers are the economy/jobs, the cost of living, and housing. The order of…

Reports find systemwide breakdown in MBTA track repair efforts

‘Ghost’ defects may have led workers to ignore reports of problems

TWO NEW REPORTS trace the eruption of slow zones on the MBTA to a systemwide breakdown in track repair efforts brought about by poor communication between engineers identifying rail defects and the employees assigned to fix them. Phillip Eng, the T’s general manager, said policies and procedures have been put in place to address the…

Boston Public School parents worry about high school options

New poll finds declining confidence in BPS meeting its commitments

JUST OVER HALF of Boston Public School parents are satisfied with their options among the district’s available high schools, a new survey found, with fewer parents than ever before saying BPS lives up to its commitments as the school district remains under the harsh scrutiny of skeptical state education officials. Parents said their chief concerns…


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