New England is home to some 14 million people, who are unevenly distributed around the region. The majority of New England’s population is centered in southern New England. Massachusetts  is most populated, with 6.4 million people (or almost half of the region’s population) within its borders. Connecticut  is next with 3.5 million, followed by New Hampshire  and Maine  with a 1.3 million each, Rhode Island  with a little over 1 million, and Vermont  with just 600,000 people. That’s the same number of residents who live in Boston , New England’s largest city. The central Massachusetts city of Worcester  is the region’s second-largest city, with a population of 175,000. Just behind that are the cities of Providence , the capital of Rhode Island (171,000); and Springfield , in Western Massachusetts (150,000); followed by Connecticut’s largest cities, Bridgeport  (136,000), New Haven  (123,000), and the state capital of Hartford  (124,000). Connecticut’s smaller cities—Stamford  and Waterbury —both ring in just a tad over 100,000, as does Manchester, New Hampshire , the only city of any size in northern New England. Portland , Maine’s largest city, counts 62,000 people, while Burlington, Vermont , has just 39,000.
At present, the Gross Domestic Product of New England is about $640 billion—equal to about 20 percent of the economic output of the United States, and equivalent to whole countries such as India or Mexico. Individual citizens tend to be better off than their countrymen as well. At $68,000, the annual median household income for Connecticut  is the highest in the country—with Massachusetts  (65,000) and New Hampshire  (64,000) not far behind. (Maine , on the other hand, struggles near the bottom of the list with $46,000.) The average wage for workers spans between $900 and $1200 per week, comfortably above the national average (wages in Eastern Massachusetts and Connecticut are the highest, Rhode Island  and Western Massachusetts the lowest). And the unemployment rate in New England was 8.1 percent at the height of the recession in 2009, well below the national average of 9.7 percent (Vermont  is lowest with 6.8 percent).
As could be expected from a region that prides itself on its medical sector, New England is also healthier than the rest of the country. Buoyed by Massachusetts’ new law requiring mandatory health insurance, the percentage of people without medical insurance is about 10 percent region-wide, compared with a national average of 15 percent—and disease statistics are correspondingly lower as well. And as might be expected from a socially liberal populace, marriage rates are among the lowest in the nation, at about 10 percent, compared with a national average of 16 percent. That said, once New Englanders do marry, they tend to stay together—the divorce rate for the region is just over 1 percent, compared to a national average that’s twice that high.
The relative affluence of the region does have its downsides. New England’s cost of living is the highest in the country (with the exception of Alaska), with goods and services averaging about 25 percent higher than the national average. One contributor to that is the high cost of housing—due to lack of space and high regulations on development, home prices in New England have shot up in recent years, with the median home price in some affluent towns around Boston  topping $1 million. In part because of costs, the region has seen an exodus of population in past decades, with a net loss of tens of thousands of residents to the so-called Sun Belt of the South and Southwest United States. The region’s population losses, however, have been offset by an influx of recent immigrants, especially from Central and South America and Eastern Europe, making the net change in population almost zero.