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. 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 89.49% 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. 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.

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 is that it can take a long time to commute to work. In Boston, the average commute to work is 31.48 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.

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.