Thinking about moving to Boston?
Thinking about moving to Boston and you presently live out of state? Perhaps you live in the Boston burbs and are downsizing. In the video below it provides you with 7 must knows you need to know about Boston proper.
Ford Realty Inc
My name is John Ford and I’m the broker/owner of Ford Realty Inc. located in Boston’s Beacon Hill at 137 Charles St. I moved to Boston over 20 years ago from Westchester, New York. As I know look back I truly feel this was one of my smartest decisions.
Please feel free to call me anytime if you’re thinking of moving to Boston on my cell at 617-595-3712, office 617-720-5454. Please check out our 2021 and 2022 Google Reviews
|State capital city|
|City of Boston|
|From top, left to right: Downtown (from the Boston Harbor); Acorn Street on Beacon Hill; Old State House; Massachusetts State House; Fenway Park ballgame; Back Bay (from the Charles River)|
|Nickname(s): See Nicknames of Boston|
|Motto(s): Sicut patribus sit Deus nobis (Latin)|
‘As God was with our fathers, so may He be with us’
|Wikimedia | © OpenStreetMap|
|Wikimedia | © OpenStreetMapInteractive maps of Boston|
|Coordinates: 42°21′N 71°03′WCoordinates: 42°21′N 71°03′W|
|Historic countries||Kingdom of England|
Commonwealth of England
Kingdom of Great Britain
|Historic colonies||Massachusetts Bay Colony, Dominion of New England, Province of Massachusetts Bay|
|Incorporated (town)||September 7, 1630|
(date of naming, Old Style)[a]
|Incorporated (city)||March 19, 1822|
|Named for||Boston, Lincolnshire|
|• Type||Strong mayor / Council|
|• Mayor||Michelle Wu (D)|
|• Council||Boston City Council|
|• Council President||Edward M. Flynn (D)|
|• State capital city||89.62 sq mi (232.11 km2)|
|• Land||48.34 sq mi (125.20 km2)|
|• Water||41.28 sq mi (106.91 km2)|
|• Urban||1,770 sq mi (4,600 km2)|
|• Metro||4,500 sq mi (11,700 km2)|
|• CSA||10,600 sq mi (27,600 km2)|
|Elevation||141 ft (43 m)|
|• State capital city||675,647|
|• Rank||24th in the United States|
1st in Massachusetts
|• Density||13,976.98/sq mi (5,396.54/km2)|
|• Metro||4,941,632 (10th)|
|Time zone||UTC−5 (EST)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−4 (EDT)|
|ZIP Codes||show53 ZIP Codes|
|Area codes||617 and 857|
|GNIS feature ID||617565|
|Primary Airport||Logan International Airport|
|Commuter Rail||MBTA Commuter Rail|
|Rapid Transit||MBTA subway|
Boston (US: /ˈbɔːstən/, UK: /ˈbɒstən/), officially the City of Boston, is the capital and most populous city of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in the United States and 24th-most populous city in the country. The city proper covers about 48.4 square miles (125 km2) with a population of 675,647 in 2020, also making it the most populous city in New England. It is the seat of Suffolk County (although the county government was disbanded on July 1, 1999). The city is the economic and cultural anchor of a substantially larger metropolitan area known as Greater Boston, a metropolitan statistical area (MSA) home to a census-estimated 4.8 million people in 2016 and ranking as the tenth-largest MSA in the country. A broader combined statistical area (CSA), generally corresponding to the commuting area and including Providence, Rhode Island, is home to some 8.2 million people, making it the sixth most populous in the United States.
Boston is one of the oldest municipalities in the United States, founded on the Shawmut Peninsula in 1630 by Puritan settlers from the English town of the same name. It was the scene of several key events of the American Revolution, such as the Boston Massacre, the Boston Tea Party, the Battle of Bunker Hill, and the siege of Boston. Upon American independence from Great Britain, the city continued to be an important port and manufacturing hub as well as a center for education and culture. The city has expanded beyond the original peninsula through land reclamation and municipal annexation. Its rich history attracts many tourists, with Faneuil Hall alone drawing more than 20 million visitors per year. Boston’s many firsts include the United States’ first public park (Boston Common, 1634), first public or state school (Boston Latin School, 1635) first subway system (Tremont Street subway, 1897), and first large public library (Boston Public Library, 1848).
Today, Boston is a thriving center of scientific research. The Boston area’s many colleges and universities make it a world leader in higher education, including law, medicine, engineering and business, and the city is considered to be a global pioneer in innovation and entrepreneurship, with nearly 5,000 startups. Boston’s economic base also includes finance, professional and business services, biotechnology, information technology and government activities. Households in the city claim the highest average rate of philanthropy in the United States; businesses and institutions rank among the top in the country for environmental sustainability and investment. The city has one of the highest costs of living in the United States as it has undergone gentrification.
- 6Public safety
- 10Parks and recreation
- 11Government and politics
- 15International relations
- 16See also
- 19Further reading
- 20External links
Prior to European colonization, modern-day Boston was originally inhabited by the indigenous Massachusett. There were small Native communities throughout what became Boston, who likely moved between winter homes inland along the Charles River (called Quinobequin, meaning “meandering,” by the Native people), where hunting was plentiful and summer homes along the coast where fishing and shellfish beds were plentiful. Through archeological excavations, one of the oldest Native fishweirs in New England was found on Boylston Street. Native people constructed it to trap fish several thousand years ago.
Boston’s early European settlers had first called the area Trimountaine (after its “three mountains”, only traces of which remain today) but later renamed it Boston after Boston, Lincolnshire, England, the origin of several prominent colonists. The renaming on September 7, 1630 (Old Style),[b] was by Puritan colonists from England who had moved over from Charlestown earlier that year in quest for fresh water. Their settlement was initially limited to the Shawmut Peninsula, at that time surrounded by the Massachusetts Bay and Charles River and connected to the mainland by a narrow isthmus. The peninsula is thought to have been inhabited as early as 4000 BC.
In 1629, the Massachusetts Bay Colony‘s first governor John Winthrop led the signing of the Cambridge Agreement, a key founding document of the city. Puritan ethics and their focus on education influenced its early history; America’s first public school, Boston Latin School, was founded in Boston in 1635.
John Hull and the pine tree shilling played a central role in the establishment of the Massachusetts Bay Colony and the Old South Church in the 1600s. In 1652 the Massachusetts legislature authorized John Hull to produce coinage. “The Hull Mint produced several denominations of silver coinage, including the pine tree shilling, for over 30 years until the political and economic situation made operating the mint no longer practical.” King Charles II for reasons which were mostly political deemed the “Hull Mint” high treason which had a punishment of being hanged, drawn and quartered. “On April 6, 1681, Edward Randolph petitioned the king, informing him the colony was still pressing their own coins which he saw as high treason and believed it was enough to void the charter. He asked that a writ of Quo warranto (a legal action requiring the defendant to show what authority they have for exercising some right, power, or franchise they claim to hold) be issued against Massachusetts for the violations.”
Boston was the largest town in the Thirteen Colonies until Philadelphia outgrew it in the mid-18th century. Boston’s oceanfront location made it a lively port, and the city primarily engaged in shipping and fishing during its colonial days. However, Boston stagnated in the decades prior to the Revolution. By the mid-18th century, New York City and Philadelphia surpassed Boston in wealth. During this period, Boston encountered financial difficulties even as other cities in New England grew rapidly.
Revolution and the siege of Boston
Main articles: Boston campaign and Siege of BostonIn 1773, a group of angered Bostonian citizens threw a shipment of tea by the East India Company into Boston Harbor as a response to the Tea Act, in an event known as the Boston Tea Party.
The weather continuing boisterous the next day and night, giving the enemy time to improve their works, to bring up their cannon, and to put themselves in such a state of defence, that I could promise myself little success in attacking them under all the disadvantages I had to encounter.
William Howe, 5th Viscount Howe, in a letter to William Legge, 2nd Earl of Dartmouth, about the British army’s decision to leave Boston, dated March 21, 1776.Map showing a British tactical evaluation of Boston in 1775.
Many of the crucial events of the American Revolution occurred in or near Boston. Boston’s penchant for mob action along with the colonists’ growing lack of faith in either Britain or its Parliament fostered a revolutionary spirit in the city. When the British parliament passed the Stamp Act in 1765, a Boston mob ravaged the homes of Andrew Oliver, the official tasked with enforcing the Act, and Thomas Hutchinson, then the Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts. The British sent two regiments to Boston in 1768 in an attempt to quell the angry colonists. This did not sit well with the colonists. In 1770, during the Boston Massacre, British troops shot into a crowd that had started to violently harass them. The colonists compelled the British to withdraw their troops. The event was widely publicized and fueled a revolutionary movement in America.
In 1773, Parliament passed the Tea Act. Many of the colonists saw the act as an attempt to force them to accept the taxes established by the Townshend Acts. The act prompted the Boston Tea Party, where a group of angered Bostonian citizens threw an entire shipment of tea sent by the East India Company into Boston Harbor. The Boston Tea Party was a key event leading up to the revolution, as the British government responded furiously with the Coercive Acts, demanding compensation for the destroyed tea from the Bostonians. This angered the colonists further and led to the American Revolutionary War. The war began in the area surrounding Boston with the Battles of Lexington and Concord.
Boston itself was besieged for almost a year during the siege of Boston, which began on April 19, 1775. The New England militia impeded the movement of the British Army. Sir William Howe, then the commander-in-chief of the British forces in North America, led the British army in the siege. On June 17, the British captured the Charlestown peninsula in Boston, during the Battle of Bunker Hill. The British army outnumbered the militia stationed there, but it was a pyrrhic victory for the British because their army suffered irreplaceable casualties. It was also a testament to the skill and training of the militia, as their stubborn defence made it difficult for the British to capture Charlestown without suffering further irreplaceable casualties.
Several weeks later, George Washington took over the militia after the Continental Congress established the Continental Army to unify the revolutionary effort. Both sides faced difficulties and supply shortages in the siege, and the fighting was limited to small-scale raids and skirmishes. The narrow Boston Neck, which at that time was only about a hundred feet wide, impeded Washington’s ability to invade Boston, and a long stalemate ensued. A young officer, Rufus Putnam, came up with a plan to make portable fortifications out of wood that could be erected on the frozen ground under cover of darkness. Putnam supervised this effort, which successfully installed both the fortifications and dozens of cannon on Dorchester Heights that Henry Knox had laboriously brought through the snow from Fort Ticonderoga. The astonished British awoke the next morning to see a large array of cannons bearing down on them. General Howe is believed to have said that the Americans had done more in one night than his army could have done in six months. The British Army attempted a cannon barrage for two hours, but their shot could not reach the colonists’ cannons at such a height. The British gave up, boarded their ships and sailed away. Boston still celebrates “Evacuation Day” each year. Washington was so impressed, he made Rufus Putnam his chief engineer.
Post-revolution and the War of 1812
Boston, as the Eagle and the Wild Goose See It, 1860, by J.W. Black, the first recorded aerial photograph
After the Revolution, Boston’s long seafaring tradition helped make it one of the nation’s busiest ports for both domestic and international trade. Boston’s harbor activity was significantly curtailed by the Embargo Act of 1807 (adopted during the Napoleonic Wars) and the War of 1812. Foreign trade returned after these hostilities, but Boston’s merchants had found alternatives for their capital investments in the interim. Manufacturing became an important component of the city’s economy, and the city’s industrial manufacturing overtook international trade in economic importance by the mid-19th century. A network of small rivers bordering the city and connecting it to the surrounding region facilitated shipment of goods and led to a proliferation of mills and factories. Later, a dense network of railroads furthered the region’s industry and commerce.State Street, 1801
During this period, Boston flourished culturally, as well, admired for its rarefied literary life and generous artistic patronage, with members of old Boston families—eventually dubbed Boston Brahmins—coming to be regarded as the nation’s social and cultural elites. They are often associated with the American upper class, Harvard University; and the Episcopal Church.
Boston was an early port of the Atlantic triangular slave trade in the New England colonies, but was soon overtaken by Salem, Massachusetts and Newport, Rhode Island. Boston eventually became a center of the abolitionist movement. The city reacted strongly to the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850, contributing to President Franklin Pierce‘s attempt to make an example of Boston after the Anthony Burns Fugitive Slave Case.
In 1822, the citizens of Boston voted to change the official name from the “Town of Boston” to the “City of Boston”, and on March 19, 1822, the people of Boston accepted the charter incorporating the city. At the time Boston was chartered as a city, the population was about 46,226, while the area of the city was only 4.8 square miles (12 km2).
In the 1820s, Boston’s population grew rapidly, and the city’s ethnic composition changed dramatically with the first wave of European immigrants. Irish immigrants dominated the first wave of newcomers during this period, especially following the Great Famine; by 1850, about 35,000 Irish lived in Boston. In the latter half of the 19th century, the city saw increasing numbers of Irish, Germans, Lebanese, Syrians, French Canadians, and Russian and Polish Jews settling in the city. By the end of the 19th century, Boston’s core neighborhoods had become enclaves of ethnically distinct immigrants with their residence yielding lasting cultural change. Italians became the largest inhabitants of the North End, Irish dominated South Boston and Charlestown, and Russian Jews lived in the West End. Irish and Italian immigrants brought with them Roman Catholicism. Currently, Catholics make up Boston’s largest religious community, and the Irish have played a major role in Boston politics since the early 20th century; prominent figures include the Kennedys, Tip O’Neill, and John F. Fitzgerald.
Between 1631 and 1890, the city tripled its area through land reclamation by filling in marshes, mud flats, and gaps between wharves along the waterfront. The largest reclamation efforts took place during the 19th century; beginning in 1807, the crown of Beacon Hill was used to fill in a 50-acre (20 ha) mill pond that later became the Bulfinch Triangle and Haymarket Square. The present-day State House sits atop this lowered Beacon Hill. Reclamation projects in the middle of the century created significant parts of the South End, the West End, the Financial District, and Chinatown.The Old City Hall was home to the Boston city council from 1865 to 1969.General view of Boston, by J. J. Hawes, c. 1860s–1880sHaymarket Square, 1909
After the Great Boston fire of 1872, workers used building rubble as landfill along the downtown waterfront. During the mid-to-late 19th century, workers filled almost 600 acres (240 hectares) of brackish Charles River marshlands west of Boston Common with gravel brought by rail from the hills of Needham Heights. The city annexed the adjacent towns of South Boston (1804), East Boston (1836), Roxbury (1868), Dorchester (including present-day Mattapan and a portion of South Boston) (1870), Brighton (including present-day Allston) (1874), West Roxbury (including present-day Jamaica Plain and Roslindale) (1874), Charlestown (1874), and Hyde Park (1912). Other proposals were unsuccessful for the annexation of Brookline, Cambridge, and Chelsea.
Many architecturally significant buildings were built during these early years of the 20th century: Horticultural Hall, the Tennis and Racquet Club, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Fenway Studios, Jordan Hall, and the Boston Opera House. The Longfellow Bridge, built in 1906, was mentioned by Robert McCloskey in Make Way for Ducklings, describing its “salt and pepper shakers” feature.
Boston went into decline by the early to mid-20th century, as factories became old and obsolete and businesses moved out of the region for cheaper labor elsewhere. Boston responded by initiating various urban renewal projects, under the direction of the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) established in 1957. In 1958, BRA initiated a project to improve the historic West End neighborhood. Extensive demolition was met with strong public opposition, and thousands of families were displaced.
The BRA continued implementing eminent domain projects, including the clearance of the vibrant Scollay Square area for construction of the modernist style Government Center. In 1965, the Columbia Point Health Center opened in the Dorchester neighborhood, the first Community Health Center in the United States. It mostly served the massive Columbia Point public housing complex adjoining it, which was built in 1953. The health center is still in operation and was rededicated in 1990 as the Geiger-Gibson Community Health Center. The Columbia Point complex itself was redeveloped and revitalized from 1984 to 1990 into a mixed-income residential development called Harbor Point Apartments.
By the 1970s, the city’s economy had begun to recover after 30 years of economic downturn. A large number of high-rises were constructed in the Financial District and in Boston’s Back Bay during this period. This boom continued into the mid-1980s and resumed after a few pauses. Hospitals such as Massachusetts General Hospital, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and Brigham and Women’s Hospital lead the nation in medical innovation and patient care. Schools such as the Boston Architectural College, Boston College, Boston University, the Harvard Medical School, Tufts University School of Medicine, Northeastern University, Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Wentworth Institute of Technology, Berklee College of Music, the Boston Conservatory, and many others attract students to the area. Nevertheless, the city experienced conflict starting in 1974 over desegregation busing, which resulted in unrest and violence around public schools throughout the mid-1970s.
Boston is an intellectual, technological, and political center but has lost some important regional institutions, including the loss to mergers and acquisitions of local financial institutions such as FleetBoston Financial, which was acquired by Charlotte-based Bank of America in 2004. Boston-based department stores Jordan Marsh and Filene’s have both merged into the New York City–based Macy’s. The 1993 acquisition of The Boston Globe by The New York Times was reversed in 2013 when it was re-sold to Boston businessman John W. Henry. In 2016, it was announced General Electric would be moving its corporate headquarters from Connecticut to the Seaport District in Boston, joining many other companies in this rapidly developing neighborhood.
In 2016, Boston briefly shouldered a bid as the US applicant for the 2024 Summer Olympics. The bid was supported by the mayor and a coalition of business leaders and local philanthropists, but was eventually dropped due to public opposition. The USOC then selected Los Angeles to be the American candidate with Los Angeles ultimately securing the right to host the 2028 Summer Olympics.
Boston has an area of 89.63 square miles (232.1 km2)—48.4 square miles (125.4 km2) (54%) of land and 41.2 square miles (106.7 km2) (46%) of water. The city’s official elevation, as measured at Logan International Airport, is 19 ft (5.8 m) above sea level. The highest point in Boston is Bellevue Hill at 330 feet (100 m) above sea level, and the lowest point is at sea level. Boston is situated on Boston Harbor, an arm of Massachusetts Bay, itself an arm of the Atlantic Ocean.
The geographical center of Boston is in Roxbury. Due north of the center we find the South End. This is not to be confused with South Boston which lies directly east from the South End. North of South Boston is East Boston and southwest of East Boston is the North End.— Author, Unknown – A common local colloquialismPanoramic map of Boston (1877)
Boston is surrounded by the Greater Boston metropolitan region. It is bordered to the east by the town of Winthrop and the Boston Harbor Islands, to the northeast by the cities of Revere, Chelsea and Everett, to the north by the cities of Somerville and Cambridge, to the northwest by Watertown, to the west by the city of Newton and town of Brookline, to the southwest by the town of Dedham and small portions of Needham and Canton, and to the southeast by the town of Milton, and the city of Quincy. The Charles River separates Boston’s Allston-Brighton, Fenway-Kenmore and Back Bay neighborhoods from Watertown and the majority of Cambridge, and the mass of Boston from its own Charlestown neighborhood. The Neponset River forms the boundary between Boston’s southern neighborhoods and Quincy and Milton. The Mystic River separates Charlestown from Chelsea and Everett, and Chelsea Creek and Boston Harbor separate East Boston from Downtown, the North End, and the Seaport.
Boston is sometimes called a “city of neighborhoods” because of the profusion of diverse subsections; the city government’s Office of Neighborhood Services has officially designated 23 neighborhoods. More than two-thirds of inner Boston’s modern land area did not exist when the city was founded. Instead, it was created via the gradual filling in of the surrounding tidal areas over the centuries, with earth from leveling or lowering Boston’s three original hills (the “Trimountain”, after which Tremont Street is named) and with gravel brought by train from Needham to fill the Back Bay.
Downtown and its immediate surroundings consist largely of low-rise masonry buildings (often Federal style and Greek Revival) interspersed with modern highrises, in the Financial District, Government Center, and South Boston. Back Bay includes many prominent landmarks, such as the Boston Public Library, Christian Science Center, Copley Square, Newbury Street, and New England’s two tallest buildings: the John Hancock Tower and the Prudential Center. Near the John Hancock Tower is the old John Hancock Building with its prominent illuminated beacon, the color of which forecasts the weather. Smaller commercial areas are interspersed among areas of single-family homes and wooden/brick multi-family row houses. The South End Historic District is the largest surviving contiguous Victorian-era neighborhood in the US. The geography of downtown and South Boston was particularly affected by the Central Artery/Tunnel Project (known unofficially as the “Big Dig“) which removed the elevated Central Artery and incorporated new green spaces and open areas.
Boston’s skyline in the background, with fall foliage in the foreground
|Climate chart (explanation)|
|JFMAMJJASOND 3.4 3723 3.2 3925 4.2 4631 3.6 5641 3.3 6750 3.9 7660 3.3 8266 3.2 8065 3.6 7358 4 6248 3.7 5238 4.3 4229Average max. and min. temperatures in °FPrecipitation totals in inches|
Under the Köppen climate classification, depending on the isotherm used, Boston has either a humid subtropical climate (Köppen Cfa) under the −3 °C (26.6 °F) isotherm or a humid continental climate under the 0 °C isotherm (Köppen Dfa). The city is best described as being in a transitional zone between the two climates. Summers are typically warm and humid, while winters are cold and stormy, with occasional periods of heavy snow. Spring and fall are usually cool to mild, with varying conditions dependent on wind direction and jet stream positioning. Prevailing wind patterns that blow offshore minimize the influence of the Atlantic Ocean. However, in winter areas near the immediate coast will often see more rain than snow as warm air is drawn off the Atlantic at times. The city lies at the transition between USDA plant hardiness zones 6b (most of the city) and 7a (Downtown, South Boston, and East Boston neighborhoods).
The hottest month is July, with a mean temperature of 74.1 °F (23.4 °C). The coldest month is January, with a mean temperature of 29.9 °F (−1.2 °C). Periods exceeding 90 °F (32 °C) in summer and below freezing in winter are not uncommon but rarely extended, with about 13 and 25 days per year seeing each, respectively. The most recent sub-0 °F (−18 °C) reading occurred on January 7, 2018, when the temperature dipped down to −2 °F (−19 °C). In addition, several decades may pass between 100 °F (38 °C) readings, with the most recent such occurrence on July 22, 2011, when the temperature reached 103 °F (39 °C). The city’s average window for freezing temperatures is November 9 through April 5.[c] Official temperature records have ranged from −18 °F (−28 °C) on February 9, 1934, up to 104 °F (40 °C) on July 4, 1911. The record cold daily maximum is 2 °F (−17 °C) on December 30, 1917, while, conversely, the record warm daily minimum is 83 °F (28 °C) on August 2, 1975, and July 21, 2019.A graph of cumulative winter snowfall at Logan International Airport from 1938 to 2015. The four winters with the most snowfall are highlighted. The snowfall data, which was collected by NOAA, is from the weather station at the airport.
Boston’s coastal location on the North Atlantic moderates its temperature but makes the city very prone to Nor’easter weather systems that can produce much snow and rain. The city averages 43.6 inches (1,110 mm) of precipitation a year, with 49.2 inches (125 cm) of snowfall per season. Most snowfall occurs from mid-November through early April, and snow is rare in May and October. There is also high year-to-year variability in snowfall; for instance, the winter of 2011–12 saw only 9.3 in (23.6 cm) of accumulating snow, but the previous winter, the corresponding figure was 81.0 in (2.06 m).[d]
Fog is fairly common, particularly in spring and early summer. Due to its location along the North Atlantic, the city often receives sea breezes, especially in the late spring, when water temperatures are still quite cold and temperatures at the coast can be more than 20 °F (11 °C) colder than a few miles inland, sometimes dropping by that amount near midday. Thunderstorms occur from May to September, that are occasionally severe with large hail, damaging winds and heavy downpours. Although downtown Boston has never been struck by a violent tornado, the city itself has experienced many tornado warnings. Damaging storms are more common to areas north, west, and northwest of the city. Boston has a relatively sunny climate for a coastal city at its latitude, averaging over 2,600 hours of sunshine per annum.
|hidevteClimate data for Boston, Massachusetts (Logan Airport), 1991−2020 normals,[e] extremes 1872−present[f]|
|Record high °F (°C)||74|
|Mean maximum °F (°C)||58.3|
|Average high °F (°C)||36.8|
|Daily mean °F (°C)||29.9|
|Average low °F (°C)||23.1|
|Mean minimum °F (°C)||4.8|
|Record low °F (°C)||−13|
|Average precipitation inches (mm)||3.39|
|Average snowfall inches (cm)||14.3|
|Average precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in)||11.8||10.6||11.6||11.6||11.8||10.9||9.4||9.0||9.0||10.5||10.3||11.9||128.4|
|Average snowy days (≥ 0.1 in)||6.6||6.2||4.4||0.8||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.2||0.6||4.2||23.0|
|Average relative humidity (%)||62.3||62.0||63.1||63.0||66.7||68.5||68.4||70.8||71.8||68.5||67.5||65.4||66.5|
|Average dew point °F (°C)||16.5|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||163.4||168.4||213.7||227.2||267.3||286.5||300.9||277.3||237.1||206.3||143.2||142.3||2,633.6|
|Percent possible sunshine||56||57||58||57||59||63||65||64||63||60||49||50||59|
|Average ultraviolet index||1||2||4||5||7||8||8||8||6||4||2||1||5|
|Source 1: NOAA (relative humidity, dew point and sun 1961−1990)|
|Source 2: Weather Atlas (UV)|
|showClimate data for Boston, Massachusetts|
See or edit raw graph data.
See also: History of the Irish in Boston, History of Italian Americans in Boston, History of African Americans in Boston, Chinese Americans in Boston, Dominican-Americans in Boston, Vietnamese in Boston, and LGBT culture in Boston
|* = population estimate.|
Source: United States census records and Population Estimates Program data.
Source: U.S. Decennial Census
Per capita income in the Greater Boston area, by US Census block group, 2000. The dashed line shows the boundary of the City of Boston.Map of racial distribution in Boston, 2010 U.S. Census. Each dot is 25 people: White, Black, Asian, Hispanic, or Other (yellow)
In 2020, Boston was estimated to have 691,531 residents living in 266,724 households—a 12% population increase over 2010. The city is the third-most densely populated large U.S. city of over half a million residents, and the most densely populated state capital. Some 1.2 million persons may be within Boston’s boundaries during work hours, and as many as 2 million during special events. This fluctuation of people is caused by hundreds of thousands of suburban residents who travel to the city for work, education, health care, and special events.
In the city, the population was spread out, with 21.9% at age 19 and under, 14.3% from 20 to 24, 33.2% from 25 to 44, 20.4% from 45 to 64, and 10.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 30.8 years. For every 100 females, there were 92.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.9 males. There were 252,699 households, of which 20.4% had children under the age of 18 living in them, 25.5% were married couples living together, 16.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 54.0% were non-families. 37.1% of all households were made up of individuals, and 9.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.26 and the average family size was 3.08. From an estimate in 2005, Boston has one of the largest per capita LGBT populations in the United States.
The median household income in Boston was $51,739, while the median income for a family was $61,035. Full-time year-round male workers had a median income of $52,544 versus $46,540 for full-time year-round female workers. The per capita income for the city was $33,158. 21.4% of the population and 16.0% of families were below the poverty line. Of the total population, 28.8% of those under the age of 18 and 20.4% of those 65 and older were living below the poverty line. Boston has a significant racial wealth gap with White Bostonians having an median net worth of $247,500 compared to an $8 median net worth for non-immigrant Black residents and $0 for Dominican immigrant residents.
In 1950, Whites represented 94.7% of Boston’s population. From the 1950s to the end of the 20th century, the proportion of non-Hispanic Whites in the city declined. In 2000, non-Hispanic Whites made up 49.5% of the city’s population, making the city majority minority for the first time. However, in the 21st century, the city has experienced significant gentrification, during which affluent Whites have moved into formerly non-White areas. In 2006, the US Census Bureau estimated non-Hispanic Whites again formed a slight majority but as of 2010, in part due to the housing crash, as well as increased efforts to make more affordable housing more available, the non-White population has rebounded. This may also have to do with increased Latin American and Asian populations and more clarity surrounding US Census statistics, which indicate a non-Hispanic White population of 47 percent (some reports give slightly lower figures).
|Hispanic or Latino (of any race)||19.6%||17.5%||10.8%||2.8%||0.1%|
|Two or more races||2.6%||3.9%||–||–||–|
Chinatown, with its paifang gate, is home to many Chinese and also Vietnamese restaurants.U.S. Navy sailors march in Boston’s annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Irish Americans constitute the largest ethnicity in Boston.Boston gay pride march, held annually in June
People of Irish descent form the largest single ethnic group in the city, making up 15.8% of the population, followed by Italians, accounting for 8.3% of the population. People of West Indian and Caribbean ancestry are another sizable group, at over 15%.
In Greater Boston, these numbers grew significantly, with 150,000 Dominicans according to 2018 estimates, 134,000 Puerto Ricans, 57,500 Salvadorans, 39,000 Guatemalans, 36,000 Mexicans, and over 35,000 Colombians. East Boston has a diverse Hispanic/Latino population of Salvadorans, Colombians, Guatemalans, Mexicans, Dominicans, Puerto Ricans, and even Portuguese-speaking people from Portugal and Brazil. Hispanic populations in southwest Boston neighborhoods are mainly made up of Dominicans and Puerto Ricans, usually sharing neighborhoods in this section with African Americans and Blacks with origins from the Caribbean and Africa especially Cape Verdeans and Haitians. Neighborhoods such as Jamaica Plain and Roslindale have experienced a growing number of Dominican Americans.
|other West Indian||6.92%||1.96%||0.90%||+4.97%||+6.02%|
Demographic breakdown by ZIP Code
|Rank||ZIP code (ZCTA)||Per capita|
|1||02110 (Financial District)||$152,007||$123,795||$196,518||1,486||981|
|2||02199 (Prudential Center)||$151,060||$107,159||$146,786||1,290||823|
|3||02210 (Fort Point)||$93,078||$111,061||$223,411||1,905||1,088|
|4||02109 (North End)||$88,921||$128,022||$162,045||4,277||2,190|
|5||02116 (Back Bay/Bay Village)||$81,458||$87,630||$134,875||21,318||10,938|
|6||02108 (Beacon Hill/Financial District)||$78,569||$95,753||$153,618||4,155||2,337|
|7||02114 (Beacon Hill/West End)||$65,865||$79,734||$169,107||11,933||6,752|
|8||02111 (Chinatown/Financial District/Leather District)||$56,716||$44,758||$88,333||7,616||3,390|
|10||02467 (Chestnut Hill)||$53,382||$113,952||$148,396||22,796||6,351|
|11||02113 (North End)||$52,905||$64,413||$112,589||7,276||4,329|
|12||02132 (West Roxbury)||$44,306||$82,421||$110,219||27,163||11,013|
|13||02118 (South End)||$43,887||$50,000||$49,090||26,779||12,512|
|14||02130 (Jamaica Plain)||$42,916||$74,198||$95,426||36,866||15,306|
|15||02127 (South Boston)||$42,854||$67,012||$68,110||32,547||14,994|
|18||02136 (Hyde Park)||$28,009||$57,080||$74,734||29,219||10,650|
|20||02128 (East Boston)||$23,450||$49,549||$49,470||41,680||14,965|
|21||02122 (Dorchester–Fields Corner)||$23,432||$51,798||$50,246||25,437||8,216|
|22||02124 (Dorchester-Codman Square–Ashmont)||$23,115||$48,329||$55,031||49,867||17,275|
|23||02125 (Dorchester-Uphams Corner–Savin Hill)||$22,158||$42,298||$44,397||31,996||11,481|
|24||02163 (Allston-Harvard Business School)||$21,915||$43,889||$91,190||1,842||562|
|25||02115 (Back Bay, Longwood, Museum of Fine Arts/Symphony Hall area)||$21,654||$23,677||$50,303||29,178||9,958|
|29||02121 (Dorchester-Mount Bowdoin)||$18,226||$30,419||$35,439||26,801||9,739|
|30||02120 (Mission Hill)||$17,390||$32,367||$29,583||13,217||4,509|
According to a 2014 study by the Pew Research Center, 57% of the population of the city identified themselves as Christians, with 25% attending a variety of Protestant churches and 29% professing Roman Catholic beliefs; 33% claim no religious affiliation, while the remaining 10% are composed of adherents of Judaism, Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism, Baháʼí and other faiths.
As of 2010, the Catholic Church had the highest number of adherents as a single denomination in the Greater Boston area, with more than two million members and 339 churches, followed by the Episcopal Church with 58,000 adherents in 160 churches. The United Church of Christ had 55,000 members and 213 churches.
The city has a Jewish population of an estimated 248,000 Jews within the Boston metro area. More than half of Jewish households in the Greater Boston area reside in the city itself, Brookline, Newton, Cambridge, Somerville, or adjacent towns.
See also: Major companies in Greater Boston
|Top publicly traded Boston companies for 2018|
(ranked by revenues)
with City and U.S. ranks
Source: Fortune 500
|Top City Employers|
Source: MA Executive Office of Labor
and Workforce Development
|1||Brigham and Women’s Hospital|
|2||Massachusetts General Hospital|
|3||Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center|
|4||Boston Children’s Hospital|
|5||Boston Medical Center|
|6||Boston University School of Medicine|
|8||Floating Hospital for Children|
|9||John Hancock Life Insurance Co.|
|10||Liberty Mutual Group Inc.|
Distribution of Greater Boston NECTA Labor Force (2016) Nat’l resources & mining (0%) Construction (5%) Manufacturing (8%) Trade, transportation & utilities (15%) Information (3%) Finance & real estate (8%) Professional & business services (15%) Educational & health services (28%) Leisure & hospitality (9%) Other services (4%) Government (4%)
A global city, Boston is placed among the top 30 most economically powerful cities in the world. Encompassing $363 billion, the Greater Boston metropolitan area has the sixth-largest economy in the country and 12th-largest in the world.
Boston’s colleges and universities exert a significant impact on the regional economy. Boston attracts more than 350,000 college students from around the world, who contribute more than US$4.8 billion annually to the city’s economy. The area’s schools are major employers and attract industries to the city and surrounding region. The city is home to a number of technology companies and is a hub for biotechnology, with the Milken Institute rating Boston as the top life sciences cluster in the country. Boston receives the highest absolute amount of annual funding from the National Institutes of Health of all cities in the United States.
The city is considered highly innovative for a variety of reasons, including the presence of academia, access to venture capital, and the presence of many high-tech companies. The Route 128 corridor and Greater Boston continue to be a major center for venture capital investment, and high technology remains an important sector.
Tourism also composes a large part of Boston’s economy, with 21.2 million domestic and international visitors spending $8.3 billion in 2011. Excluding visitors from Canada and Mexico, over 1.4 million international tourists visited Boston in 2014, with those from China and the United Kingdom leading the list. Boston’s status as a state capital as well as the regional home of federal agencies has rendered law and government to be another major component of the city’s economy. The city is a major seaport along the East Coast of the United States and the oldest continuously operated industrial and fishing port in the Western Hemisphere.
In the 2018 Global Financial Centres Index, Boston was ranked as having the thirteenth most competitive financial services center in the world and the second most competitive in the United States. Boston-based Fidelity Investments helped popularize the mutual fund in the 1980s and has made Boston one of the top financial centers in the United States. The city is home to the headquarters of Santander Bank, and Boston is a center for venture capital firms. State Street Corporation, which specializes in asset management and custody services, is based in the city. Boston is a printing and publishing center—Houghton Mifflin Harcourt is headquartered within the city, along with Bedford-St. Martin’s Press and Beacon Press. Pearson PLC publishing units also employ several hundred people in Boston. The city is home to three major convention centers—the Hynes Convention Center in the Back Bay, and the Seaport World Trade Center and Boston Convention and Exhibition Center on the South Boston waterfront. The General Electric Corporation announced in January 2016 its decision to move the company’s global headquarters to the Seaport District in Boston, from Fairfield, Connecticut, citing factors including Boston’s preeminence in the realm of higher education. Boston is home to the headquarters of several major athletic and footwear companies including Converse, New Balance, and Reebok. Rockport, Puma and Wolverine World Wide, Inc. headquarters or regional offices are just outside the city.
In 2019, a yearly ranking of time wasted in traffic listed Boston area drivers lost approximately 164 hours a year in lost productivity due to the area’s traffic congestion. This amounted to $2,300 a year per driver in costs.