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Somerville, Massachusetts


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Somerville, Massachusetts

Introduction to Somerville, Massachusetts

Somerville Massachusetts is an industrial city located northwest of Boston and adjacent to the city of Cambridge. A population of well over 70,000 living within an area comprising slightly over 4 square miles makes Somerville the most densely populated city in New England. Once part of neighboring Charlestown, Somerville became incorporated as a separate town in 1842 and in 1872 the town was incorporated as a city. The ensuing years saw the city's population grow in leaps and bounds, aided by the establishment of street car lines and a burgeoning prominence of heavy industry which took root in the city. Like its neighbor Cambridge, Somerville is defined by its city squares, which mark the neighborhood boundaries and also house unique centers of business and entertainment. Among these are Davis Square, Ball Square, Union Square, Teele Square, and Magoun Square.

Attractions in the Somerville Area

Home to a thriving arts community, Somerville hosts a series of arts-related events throughout the year. ArtBeat takes place in the midst of the summer heat (third weekend in July), when artists and patrons converge on Davis Square to celebrate one of the area's largest arts festivals. Featured are music, crafts, dance, food, and much more. The Somerville Arts Council hosts events which showcase community involvement in homegrown arts. One example is the Illuminations Tour, an annual trolley tour of holiday light displays. One of Somerville's most notable cultural sites is the Somerville Museum, which chronicles Somerville's roots with historical exhibits and artistic displays.

Neighboring Cambridge, home to both Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), is rich in cultural attractions of its own. Among them are the Longfellow House (former home of the famed poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow), the Museum of Science, Harvard's Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, and the Busch-Reisinger Museum. The greater Boston metropolitan area boasts many world-class attractions, including the following:

  • The Freedom Trail
  • Old North Church
  • Faneuil Hall
  • Fenway Park (home of the Boston Red Sox)
  • The New England Aquarium
  • The USS Constitution
  • The Museum of Fine Arts
  • The Boston Children's Museum
  • Franklin Park Zoo
  • John Hancock Tower
  • John Fitzgerald Kennedy Library
  • Paul Revere House
  • Prudential Center

Boston is also a world-class center for professional sports. Major league teams resident in the city include the Boston Celtics, holders of numerous NBA basketball championships; baseball's Boston Red Sox (MLB), and the National Hockey League's Boston Bruins. Also in the city are the Boston Cannons of Major League Lacrosse (MLL) and the Boston Lobsters of World Team Tennis (WTT). The town of Foxboro (30 miles to the southwest) is the home of the NFL's New England Patriots and Major League Soccer's New England Revolution.

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High Points

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

Category Trophy
Public Transportation Use
(vs. Peers)
Top 1% trophy Somerville Public Transportation Use
Walking and Biking to Work
(vs. Peers)
Top 2% trophy Somerville Walking and Biking to Work
Racial Diversity
(vs. State)
Top 6% Somerville Racial Diversity
Well-Paid Single Women
(vs. Peers)
Top 17% Somerville Well-Paid Single Women
College Educated Adults
(vs. Peers)
Top 19% Somerville College Educated Adults

Comparative Profile of Somerville, Massachusetts

Comparing Somerville 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
Compared
to State
Well-Paid Single Women 9 8
Well-Paid Single Men 8 7
Male Share of the Population 6 5
Racial Diversity 6 10
Female Share of the Population 5 6
Senior Citizens 4 3
Age of the Population 2 1
Children Under 5 Years Old 1 2

Families

Characteristic Compared
to Peers
Compared
to State
Average Household Size 3 2
Portion of People Married 1 1

Wealth

Characteristic Compared
to Peers
Compared
to State
College Educated Adults 9 8
People in Middle Class or Better 5 2
Median Family Income 5 2
People Above Poverty 5 1

Commute & Sprawl

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

Housing

Characteristic Compared
to Peers
Compared
to State
Studio & One-Bedroom Rentals 10 10
People Living Alone 8 9
Affordability of Property Taxes 4 6
Seasonal and Vacation Housing 4 2
Affordability of Rents 2 2
Housing Recently Built 1 1

Crime

Characteristic Compared
to Peers
Compared
to State
Low Property Crime 8 3
Low Violent Crime 6 3

Detailed pages on related topics: Colleges in Somerville
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Somerville Almanac

Category Value
Nearest Large City 2 miles NW of Boston, Massachusetts
County Middlesex
Standard Zip Codes 02143, 02144, 02145
Phone Area Codes 617
Time Zone Eastern (-5 hours from GMT)
Daylight Savings The city observes Daylight Saving Time.
Latitude 42.387
Longitude -71.1

Somerville Climate

Nearest Weather Stations

Notes:
  • Temp ranges are avg daily min and max for the month
  • Precipitation is rainfall (and rainfall equiv of snowfall)
Station BOSTON LOGAN INTL AP
Distance 4.5 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
Station READING
Distance 9.1 miles
Jan Temp 16 to 35 F
Apr Temp 35 to 58 F
Jul Temp 60 to 83 F
Oct Temp 39 to 62 F
Annual Precip 48.3 inches
Station HINGHAM
Distance 14.2 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 Somerville
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Somerville Population (2000)

Category Count Percent
Total Population 77,478 100%
Male 37,730 48.7%
Female 39,748 51.3%
Under 18 11,495 14.8%
18+ 65,983 85.2%
65+ 8,099 10.5%
Median Age 31.1
Average Family Size 3.06
White 59,635 77%
African-American 5,035 6.5%
Asian 4,990 6.4%
American Indian & Alaskan 171 0.2%
Other 3,840 5%
Mixed Race 3,757 4.8%
Hispanic (included in categories above) 6,786 8.8%

Estimated Somerville Population Growth 2000-2005

Category Value
Est. 2005 Population 74,963
Growth -2,515
Growth % -3.2%

Somerville 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) 19.8%
Irish 16.3%
Italian 13.7%
Portuguese 7.7%
Brazilian 5.5%
English 4.5%
German 3.7%
Haitian 3.1%
US/American 2.9%
Polish 1.9%
French (except Basque) 1.8%
French Canadian 1.8%
Greek 1.6%
Russian 1.6%
Scottish 1.2%
Scotch-Irish 1%
Canadian 0.9%
European 0.8%
Swedish 0.6%
Eastern European 0.6%
Cape Verdean 0.6%
British 0.5%
Dutch 0.5%
Hungarian 0.5%
Lithuanian 0.4%
Jamaican 0.4%
African 0.4%
Norwegian 0.4%
Ukrainian 0.3%
Albanian 0.3%
Danish 0.3%
Barbadian 0.2%
Arab/Arabic 0.2%
Armenian 0.2%
Turkish 0.2%
Lebanese 0.2%
West Indian 0.2%
Welsh 0.2%
Czech 0.2%
Romanian 0.2%
Scandinavian 0.2%
Finnish 0.2%
Detailed pages on related topics: Colleges in Somerville
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Neighborhood and Nearby Area Names

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

East Somerville (02143)
West Somerville (02144)
Winter Hill (02145)

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)
Somerville 77,478 $51,243
Arlington 42,389 $78,741
Boston 589,141 $44,151
Cambridge 101,355 $59,423
Chelsea 35,080 $32,130
Everett 38,037 $49,876
Medford 55,765 $62,409

Somerville Public Libraries

Library
Somerville Public Library
79 HIGHLAND AVENUE
Somerville, Massachusetts
(617) 623-5000
Library Web Site

library logo

More Information for Librarians

Starbucks in Somerville

(As of 2005)
Davis Square Plaza
260 Elm Street
711-723 Somerville Ave
Detailed pages on related topics: Colleges in Somerville
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Featured Colleges in the Somerville Area (QuickSchools™)

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Request info from multiple schools, by clicking the Request Info links.

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Somerville High Schools (2004)


(Sorted by Number of Students)

SOMERVILLE HIGH
81 HIGHLAND AVENUE
617-625-6600
Serves 1,666 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 12.2

PROSPECT HILL ACADEMY CHARTER SCHOOL
15 WEBSTER AVENUE
617-284-7800
A Charter School.
Title I eligible, not participating.
Serves 733 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 10.8

FULL CIRCLE HIGH SCHOOL
11 OTIS STREET
617-625-6600
A Non-traditional School
Serves 50 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 6.3

Somerville Colleges

(List of Massachusetts Colleges)

Detailed pages on related topics: Colleges in Somerville
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Limit Results to One State?

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 89.6   32.2% 13.3% 42.2% 31 $68,625 5.6% 43.1% 72,259 8.2% 30.9 0.5% 4.7
2. Malden, Massachusetts 89.5   32.2% 13.9% 26.2% 32 $55,557 5.8% 27.9% 56,340 9.2% 26.2 0.3% 7.3
3. Salem, Massachusetts 88.9   34.9% 14.1% 31.1% 29 $55,635 5.6% 14.6% 40,407 9.7% 26.3 0.4% 2.1
4. Waltham, Massachusetts 88.6   34.3% 13.1% 38.4% 25 $64,595 4.7% 17% 59,226 7% 14.4 0.5% 1.6
5. Hoboken, New Jersey 88.5   41.8% 9% 59.4% 38 $67,500 3.2% 19.2% 38,577 11% 37.5 0.3% 3.7
6. Burbank, California 88.4   33.5% 12.8% 29% 27 $56,767 5.7% 27.8% 100,316 10.5% 28.4 0.4% 2.6
7. Culver City, California 88.4   34.4% 13.9% 41.2% 27 $61,451 5.5% 40.8% 38,816 8.6% 31.2 0.2% 3.8
8. San Rafael, California 88.2   32.3% 14.4% 43.6% 32 $74,398 5.8% 24.2% 56,063 10.2% 35.2 0.5% 3.5
9. Weehawken, New Jersey 87.2   35.6% 12.2% 37.5% 35 $52,613 4.8% 27% 13,501 11.4% 28.8 0.3% 1.8
10. Decatur, Georgia 84.7   39.4% 13.3% 56% 27 $65,064 5.8% 34.4% 18,147 11.7% 41.3 0.3% 3.9
11. Claremont, California 84.1   25.2% 14.6% 52.4% 27 $78,389 4.3% 26.5% 33,998 8% 26.6 0.4% 2.3
12. Belleville, New Jersey 83.6   27.9% 13.4% 21.7% 29 $55,212 5.9% 30.6% 35,928 8.2% 23.5 0.2% 2.8
13. Torrance, California 83.2   27.5% 14.1% 36.4% 27 $67,098 5.7% 40.8% 137,946 6.4% 26.4 0.3% 2
14. Edgewater, New Jersey 82.1   39.2% 8.9% 51.4% 38 $72,692 5.6% 32.9% 7,677 8.6% 20.5 0.5% 1.8
15. Temple Terrace, Florida 79.7   29.4% 11.9% 43.5% 24 $56,809 5.5% 19.5% 20,918 7.2% 38.6 0.5% 3.5
16. Edgewater Park, New Jersey 76.8   27.7% 13% 19.6% 27 $52,016 5.9% 31.9% 7,864 8.6% 30 0.1% 3.7
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Historic Somerville

photo

Old powder house (North Somerville) between 1890 and 1901

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