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 694,583 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 89.16% of the workforce employed in white-collar jobs, well above the national average. Overall, Boston is a city of professionals, service providers, and managers. There are especially a lot of people living in Boston who work in management occupations (10.96%), office and administrative support (10.93%), and business and financial occupations (8.67%).

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.

This makes Boston a good place to live for young professionals. With so many people in this demographic, Boston presents many opportunities for single professionals to enjoy themselves, socialize, and to create lasting relationships.

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.

In Boston, however, the average commute to work is quite long. On average, people spend 32.23 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.

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.

Boston is one of the most well-educated cities in the nation. 48.54% 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 $42,010, which is middle income relative to Massachusetts, and wealthy relative to the rest of the US. This equates to an annual income of $168,040 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 19.71% 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 28.55% of the city’s population.

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