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 685,094 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 that has a very high percentage of its residents over 18 years old who are college students. Naturally, collegiate life has a major influence on the local Boston culture, lifestyle and music scene. In fact, Boston is one of only a few big cities that are also major college towns. The combination of big city status and thousands of college students gives Boston on one hand, a sophisticated style, while on the other also provides a youthful feel and lots of diversions and entertainment for students. Believe it or not, Boston is one of the biggest "college towns" in America, generating lift to the economy of the entire region, and issuing forth thousands of newly-minted college students every spring, powering the innovation economy, the arts, and a lively club scene.

Not only is Boston a city with many college students, but it also retains many recent graduates who are looking to start new careers, creating a very large population of people who are young, single, educated, and upwardly-mobile. That’s because Boston is full of single people in their 20s and 30s and who have undergraduate or graduate degrees and are starting careers in professional occupations. This makes Boston a great place for young, educated career starters looking to find many people like themselves, with good opportunities for friendships, socializing, romance, and fun. In fact, Boston is one of the top larger cities in America for educated single professionals to flock.

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.

Boston, like many big cities in America, has a public transportation system, but the citizens of Boston are lucky because theirs is one of the most extensive and widely used. Many commuters choose to leave their cars at home and instead use the subway to get to and from work. In fact, for some people it is feasible to forgo car ownership entirely, avoiding the cost and headache of driving in heavy traffic. The benefits include reduced air pollution and load on the road network.

The education level of Boston ranks among the highest in the nation. Of the 25-and-older adult population in Boston, 47.39% 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 $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.

Boston also has a high percentage of its population that was born in another country: 28.35%.

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