Brookline, Massachusetts

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Brookline, Massachusetts

Introduction to Brookline, Massachusetts

Brookline, Massachusetts, in Norfolk county, is 3 miles SW of Boston, Massachusetts. The town includes numerous distinct neighborhoods and areas. It's also known for upscale stores and village pubs and numerous large estates. It's bordered on three sides by the city of Boston and is regarded as a commuter suburb. Brookline includes a large number of Russian immigrants and a prominent Jewish culture.

The town is home to a large number of professionals and academics and is known for its liberalism. It features one of the oldest country clubs in the United States. The community is recognized for having excellent schools. President John F. Kennedy was born in Brookline.

Brookline History

The first European settlements were established during the early 1600's and the area was known as the Hamlet of Muddy River. In 1705 it was incorporated as Brookline. The name was given due to the brooks that established the town borders with the former towns of Roxbury and Brighton which are now included in the city of Boston. Throughout the years, the citizens of Brookline have refused to let their town become part of Boston. The Brookline-Boston annexation debate of 1873 resulted in the city keeping its independence from Boston.

The railroad arrived during the middle of the 19th century. A large portion of the city was developed as a streetcar suburb which included numerous apartment buildings made from bricks. During the 19th century the town was popular for summer homes for Boston's wealthy citizens.

Brookline Attractions

  • The Edward Devotion House is regarded as one of the oldest colonial buildings in the city.
  • The Country Club is an exclusive sporting club and features a well known golf course and has hosted the U.S. Open on several occasions.
  • Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site.
  • Larz Anderson Park features the Larz Anderson Auto Museum and a one-room school house from the colonial era.
  • The John F. Kennedy National Historic site was the birthplace of President Kennedy. It features household furnishings, numerous photographs and a variety of mementos.
  • St. Aidan's Church is the location where John F. Kennedy was Christened and the Kennedy family were parishioners. The church has been closed.
  • Coolidge Corner is a popular retail area which includes cafes and theaters and features the historic S.S. Pierce Building as well as the Coolidge Corner Theatre.
  • The Longyear Museum features exhibits on the life of Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of Christian Science.
  • Brookline Village is an historic area and includes numerous restaurants.
  • Washington Square includes notable restaurants and taverns.
  • Matt Murphy's Pub is regarded as one of the best Irish pubs in the area.

Brookline Activities

The town includes numerous parks. The Larz Anderson Park includes an outdoor skating rink and is popular for sledding. Residents enjoy the entertainment and professional sports located in the Boston area.

Higher Education

The city is home to Newbury College, New England Institute of Art, Pine Manor College and parts of Boston University.

Brookline Transportation

The city is served by the Logan International Airport located in Boston. The city includes light rail service.

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High Points

Brookline strengths, compared to Peers (similar size places nationally) or State (other places in Massachusetts):

Category Trophy
Public Transportation Use
(vs. Peers)
Top 1% trophy Brookline Public Transportation Use
College Educated Adults
(vs. Peers)
Top 1% trophy Brookline College Educated Adults
Well-Paid Single Women
(vs. Peers)
Top 1% trophy Brookline Well-Paid Single Women
Well-Paid Single Men
(vs. Peers)
Top 3% trophy Brookline Well-Paid Single Men
Walking and Biking to Work
(vs. Peers)
Top 4% trophy Brookline Walking and Biking to Work
Median Family Income
(vs. Peers)
Top 5% trophy Brookline Median Family Income
Racial Diversity
(vs. State)
Top 6% Brookline Racial Diversity
Low Property Crime
(vs. Peers)
Top 12% Brookline Low Property Crime

Comparative Profile of Brookline, Massachusetts

Comparing Brookline to similar size places nationwide (Peers) and to other places in Massachusetts (State):

Ratings range from 1 (lowest) to 10 (highest).

The People

Characteristic Compared
to Peers
to State
Well-Paid Single Women 10 10
Female Share of the Population 10 10
Well-Paid Single Men 10 10
Senior Citizens 6 5
Racial Diversity 5 10
Age of the Population 5 1
Children Under 5 Years Old 1 2
Male Share of the Population 1 1


Characteristic Compared
to Peers
to State
Portion of People Married 2 1
Average Household Size 1 1


Characteristic Compared
to Peers
to State
College Educated Adults 10 10
Median Family Income 10 9
People in Middle Class or Better 7 4
People Above Poverty 6 2

Commute & Sprawl

Characteristic Compared
to Peers
to State
Public Transportation Use 10 10
Working at Home 10 9
Walking and Biking to Work 10 10
Short Commute Times 3 5


Characteristic Compared
to Peers
to State
People Living Alone 10 10
Studio & One-Bedroom Rentals 10 10
Seasonal and Vacation Housing 9 5
Affordability of Rents 1 1
Housing Recently Built 1 1
Affordability of Property Taxes 1 1


Characteristic Compared
to Peers
to State
Low Property Crime 9 4

Detailed pages on related topics: Colleges in Brookline, Graduate Schools in Brookline
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Brookline Almanac

Category Value
Nearest Large City 3 miles SW of Boston, Massachusetts
County Norfolk
Standard Zip Codes 02445, 02446
P.O. Box Zip Codes 02447
Phone Area Codes 617
Time Zone Eastern (-5 hours from GMT)
Daylight Savings The city observes Daylight Saving Time.
Latitude 42.331
Longitude -71.121

Brookline Climate

Nearest Weather Stations

  • Temp ranges are avg daily min and max for the month
  • Precipitation is rainfall (and rainfall equiv of snowfall)
Distance 5.9 miles
Jan Temp 22 to 37 F
Apr Temp 41 to 56 F
Jul Temp 66 to 82 F
Oct Temp 46 to 62 F
Annual Precip 42.5 inches
Distance 8 miles
Jan Temp 18 to 34 F
Apr Temp 37 to 56 F
Jul Temp 62 to 81 F
Oct Temp 43 to 60 F
Annual Precip 51.1 inches
Distance 12.5 miles
Jan Temp 20 to 37 F
Apr Temp 38 to 57 F
Jul Temp 62 to 81 F
Oct Temp 42 to 62 F
Annual Precip 49.8 inches
Detailed pages on related topics: Colleges in Brookline, Graduate Schools in Brookline
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Brookline Population (2000)

Category Count Percent
Total Population 57,107 100%
Male 25,832 45.2%
Female 31,275 54.8%
Under 18 9,503 16.6%
18+ 47,604 83.4%
65+ 7,108 12.4%
Median Age 34.5
Average Family Size 2.86
White 46,304 81.1%
African-American 1,566 2.7%
Asian 7,325 12.8%
American Indian & Alaskan 71 0.1%
Other 578 1%
Mixed Race 1,247 2.2%
Hispanic (included in categories above) 2,018 3.5%

Estimated Brookline Population Growth 2000-2005

Category Value
Est. 2005 Population 55,590
Growth -1,517
Growth % -2.7%

Brookline Ancestry

(From 2000 Census, as reported by individuals)

Note: This is national, not racial, ancestry, so, e.g., the Census doesn't have categories for Hispanic and African-American people. CityTownInfo is currently gathering additional ancestry data for this site.
Ancestry Percent
Other (often includes Hispanic and African American) 28.2%
Irish 11.2%
Russian 9.2%
English 5.7%
US/American 5.6%
Italian 5.5%
German 5.4%
Polish 3.2%
Eastern European 2.4%
European 1.9%
Greek 1.6%
French (except Basque) 1.4%
Scottish 1.4%
Israeli 1.2%
Hungarian 1%
British 1%
Canadian 0.8%
Swedish 0.8%
French Canadian 0.8%
Ukrainian 0.7%
Scotch-Irish 0.7%
Iranian 0.7%
Portuguese 0.6%
Romanian 0.6%
Norwegian 0.6%
Austrian 0.6%
Haitian 0.5%
Lithuanian 0.5%
Dutch 0.4%
African 0.3%
Latvian 0.3%
Lebanese 0.3%
Brazilian 0.3%
Armenian 0.3%
Egyptian 0.3%
Czech 0.3%
Swiss 0.3%
Australian 0.3%
Cape Verdean 0.2%
Welsh 0.2%
Turkish 0.2%
Northern European 0.2%
Moroccan 0.2%
Jamaican 0.2%
Danish 0.2%
Arab/Arabic 0.2%
Czechoslovakian 0.2%
Detailed pages on related topics: Colleges in Brookline, Graduate Schools in Brookline
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Neighborhood and Nearby Area Names

According to the US Postal Service, Brookline, its neighborhoods, and/or surrounding areas are also referred to as:

Boston College (02467)
Brookline Village (02447)
Chestnut Hill (02467)

Note that not all alternate names are acceptable for use in US Post Office addresses.

Nearby Cities and Towns

Location Pop. Median Family
Income (2000)
Brookline 57,107 $92,993
Belmont 24,194 $95,057
Boston 589,141 $44,151
Cambridge 101,355 $59,423
Newton 83,829 $105,289
Somerville 77,478 $51,243
Watertown 32,986 $67,441

Brookline Public Libraries

Brookline Public Library
Brookline, Massachusetts
(617) 730-2370
Library Web Site

library logo

More Information for Librarians

Starbucks in Brookline

(As of 2005)
874 Commonwealth Ave
Brookline Village
15 Harvard Street
Brookline-Washington Sq.
1655 Beacon Street
Coolidge Corner
277 Harvard St
473 Havard Street
183 Grove St
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Brookline High Schools (2004)

Serves 1,925 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 11.8

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City, State Similarity   1 Person Houses 65+ College Grads Commute Minutes Family Income Kids 0-4 Non White Pop. Poverty Prop. Crime Seasonal Housing Viol. Crime
      loose loose loose loose loose loose loose loose loose loose loose loose
1. Alameda, California 87.4   32.2% 13.3% 42.2% 31 $68,625 5.6% 43.1% 72,259 8.2% 30.9 0.5% 4.7
2. Quincy, Massachusetts 86.2   37.6% 16.3% 31.8% 33 $59,735 5.1% 20.4% 88,025 7.3% 19.1 0.5% 4.3
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Historic Brookline


Home of Mrs. Mary Baker Eddy between 1900 and 1910

Select a photo to view (Source):

Home of Mrs. Mary Baker Eddy between 1900 and 1910

Home of Mrs. Mary Baker Eddy between 1908 and 1910

Along the River Way (Longwood) between 1900 and 1901

Additional Resources

Large City Map

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