Boston, MA
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Boston profile


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 694,583 people and 179 constituent neighborhoods, Boston is the largest community in Massachusetts. Much of the housing stock in Boston was built prior to World War II, making it one of the older and more historic cities in the country.

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 89.70% of the workforce employed in white-collar jobs, well above the national average. Overall, Boston is a city of professionals, service providers, and sales and office workers. There are especially a lot of people living in Boston who work in office and administrative support (11.60%), management occupations (11.50%), and sales jobs (8.50%).

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 is a major college town. As is often the case in college towns, the many students that live in Boston have a strong influence on the local culture and music scene. In fact, Boston is one of only a few big cities that are also major college towns. This combination of big city status and thousands of college students gives Boston, on one hand, a sophisticated style, while on the other also providing lots of diversions and entertainment for students. In fact, Boston is one of the biggest "college towns" in America. This elevates both the status of the city and the knowledge sector of the local economy, which is sustained by a steady output of new college graduates every spring.

This makes it a good place to live for young singles in their 20s and 30s and who have undergraduate or graduate degrees and are starting their professional careers. Although Boston is a large city, this demographic is significant enough that young professionals will find many others like themselves here, with really good opportunities for friendships, recreation, romance, and more.

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.

One downside of living in Boston, however, is that residents on average have to contend with a long commute, spending on average 31.92 minutes every day commuting to work. It is, however, a pedestrian-friendly city. Many of its neighborhoods are dense enough and have amenities close enough together that people find it feasible to get around on foot. In addition, local public transit is widely used. For those who would prefer to avoid driving entirely and leave their car at home, it may be an option to use the transit instead.

One of the benefits of being a big city like Boston is having a public transportation system, but in Boston the transit system is the mode of choice for lots of people getting to and from work every day. You will find many people using the subway for their daily commute, even though other transportation options exist. If you ask these commuters, many will tell you that not having to drive in the snarl of big city traffic is one of main reasons for leaving the car at home, or even not owning a car at all. With so many people taking the subway Boston benefits from a reduction in air pollution and traffic.

Boston is one of the most well-educated cities in the nation. 47.39% of adults in Boston have at least a bachelor's degree. Compare that to the average community in America, which has just 21.84% with a bachelor's degree or higher.

The per capita income in Boston in 2010 was $39,686, which is middle income relative to Massachusetts, and wealthy relative to the rest of the US. This equates to an annual income of $158,744 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 19.36% of the city’s residents. Important ancestries of people in Boston include Irish, Italian, German, English, and Haitian.

In addition, Boston has a lot of people living here who were born outside of the US (28.35%).

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