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 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.

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 is that it can take a long time to commute to work. In Boston, the average commute to work is 31.92 minutes, which is quite a bit higher than the national average. On the other hand, local public transit is widely used in the city, so leaving the car at home and taking transit is often a viable alternative. In addition, it is also a pedestrian-friendly city. Many of Boston’s neighborhoods are dense enough 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.

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.

Foreign born people are also an important part of Boston's cultural character, accounting for 28.35% of the city’s population.

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