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. Boston has a large stock of pre-World War II architecture, 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.

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.

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 citizens of Boston are among the most well-educated in the nation: 47.39% 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 $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.