Boston, MA
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Living in Boston


Boston is a very large coastal city (i.e. on the ocean, a bay, or inlet) located in the state of Massachusetts. With a population of 667,137 people and 179 constituent neighborhoods, Boston is the largest community in Massachusetts. Boston has an unusually large stock of pre-World War II architecture, making it one of the older and more historic cities.

Housing costs in Boston are among some of the highest in the nation, although real estate prices here don't compare to real estate prices in the most expensive communities in Massachusetts.

Boston is a decidedly white-collar city, with fully 89.49% of the workforce employed in white-collar jobs, well above the national average. Overall, Boston is a city of professionals, sales and office workers, and service providers. There are especially a lot of people living in Boston who work in office and administrative support (12.38%), management occupations (10.59%), and sales jobs (8.64%).

Also of interest is that Boston has more people living here who work in computers and math than 95% of the places in the US.

In addition, Boston also has a very large population of students, making it a major college town. As often the case, having so many students around has a strong influence on the local culture. In fact, Boston is one of only a few big cities that are also major college towns, making it one of the nation's prominent intellectual centers. In addition, the presence of thousands of college students gives Boston a sophisticated style, and provides lots of diversions and entertainment for students. Being a big "college town" not only means that Boston has a burgeoning arts, music, and nightclub scene, but the innovation sector of the local economy receives a great boost from both the intellectual output of the faculty and the thousands of enthusiastic students who graduate every spring.

Boston is also nautical, which means that parts of it are somewhat historic and touch the ocean or tidal bodies of water, such as inlets and bays. Such areas are often places that visitors and locals go for waterfront activities or taking in the scenery.

In Boston, however, the average commute to work is quite long. On average, people spend 31.48 minutes each day getting to work, which is significantly higher than the national average. One bright side is that local public transit is widely used, so it may be an option to avoid the headache of driving in the heavy traffic by leaving the car at home and taking transit. In addition, the city is also quite pedestrian-friendly, because many neighborhoods are very dense and have amenities close enough together that people find it feasible to get around on foot.

Boston is a big city, and with that comes lots of benefits. One benefit is that most big cities have public transit, but Boston really shines when it comes to the extensiveness and use of its public transit system. More than most large American cities, Boston citizens use public transit daily to get to and from work. And while there are transportation options, most people in Boston ride the subway. Whereas in some cities one is destined to sit in traffic every morning to get to work and every evening to get home, in Boston a lot leave their cars at home (if they even choose to own one), and hop a ride on the subway.

The education level of Boston ranks among the highest in the nation. Of the 25-and-older adult population in Boston, 45.28% have at least a bachelor's degree. The typical US community has just 21.84% of its adults holding a bachelor's degree or graduate degree.

The per capita income in Boston in 2010 was $35,728, which is middle income relative to Massachusetts, and wealthy relative to the rest of the US. This equates to an annual income of $142,912 for a family of four. However, Boston contains both very wealthy and poor people as well.

Boston is an extremely ethnically-diverse city. The people who call Boston home describe themselves as belonging to a variety of racial and ethnic groups. The greatest number of Boston residents report their race to be White, followed by Black or African-American. Boston also has a sizeable Hispanic population (people of Hispanic origin can be of any race). People of Hispanic or Latino origin account for 18.81% of the city’s residents. Important ancestries of people in Boston include Italian, English, German, and Haitian.

Foreign born people are also an important part of Boston's cultural character, accounting for 27.31% of the city’s population.

The most common language spoken in Boston is English. Other important languages spoken here include Spanish and Chinese.