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 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.

One of the nice things about Boston is that it is nautical, which means that parts of it are somewhat historic and touch the ocean or tidal bodies of water, such as inlets and bays. Because of this, visitors and locals will often go to these areas to take in the scenery or to enjoy waterfront activities.

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.

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.

The citizens of Boston are among the most well-educated in the nation: 45.28% of adults in Boston have a bachelor's degree or even advanced degree, whereas the average US city has 21.84% holding at least a bachelor's 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.