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Overview

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.

People

Total Population 78,595
Male Share of the Population 49.8%
Female Share of the Population 50.2%
Senior Citizens 9.4%
Employed Population 16+ 48,912
Age of the Population 31

Families

% of people married 32%
Average household size 2

Education and Earnings

Population % with Bachelor Degree or Higher 57.3%
Median Earnings25+ $45,482
Median Earnings Without High School Qualification $25,446
Median Earnings With High School Degree $30,307

Wealth

Median Family Income $79,263
% Above Poverty Level 85.3%
% Below Poverty Level 14.7%

Commute & Sprawl

Average Commute Time 30 minutes
% Working from Home 3.8%
% Walking and Biking to Work 16.7%
% Using Public Transportation 32.3%

Housing

People Living Alone 31.6%
Median Gross Rent $1,521
Median House Value $469,200

Ancestry

Other(often includes Hispanic and African American) 27%
US/American 0.8%
English 7.3%
Irish 18.1%

Source: American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, 2015, www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/.

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

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 Population Median Family Income
Arlington 44,128 $128,930
Boston 650,281 $62,775
Cambridge 107,916 $104,454
Chelsea 37,581 $50,655
Everett 43,885 $54,238
Medford 57,136 $91,532

Source: American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, 2015, www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/.

Somerville Public Libraries

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

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More Information for Librarians

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Somerville High Schools

(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

Additional Details
Somerville Colleges
Somerville colleges and trade schools.
Study Online in Somerville
Historic Somerville

photo

Old powder house (North Somerville) between 1890 and 1901
Additional Resources
Info for Somerville Government Officials


Are you an official in the Somerville government or quasi-government agency such as the chamber of commerce, visitors bureau or economic development council? If so, visit our information page for government officials to see how CityTownInfo can support you.

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