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Wellesley, Massachusetts


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Wellesley, Massachusetts

Introduction to Wellesley, Massachusetts

Wellesley is located in eastern Massachusetts in Norfolk County. It's recognized as part of the Greater Boston area. Wellesley is home to the prestigious Wellesley College.

History

During the 1630's a small group of settlers purchased land from two Indian Chiefs named Nehoiden and Maugus. The settlement became known as Dedham. Approximately 75 years later a portion of Dedham was established as a town named Needham. The western portion took the name West Needham and was a farming community during the majority of the 18th and 19th centuries. The railroad was brought to the area in the 1830's and its arrival dramatically changed the town.

Businessmen from Boston frequented the town and brought their modern type of life to the area. In 1881 the residents of West Needham were successful in convincing the Massachusetts legislature to change the name of their town to Wellesley. In 1914 Wellesley became the first town in the country to create zoning laws. In the 1920's Wellesley was considered to be one of the primary suburbs of the city of Boston and became a major shopping area. The town prospered during the 20th century.

Subject

Transportation

The MBTA provides rail service for Wellesley, including transportation to Boston. Wellesley is served by the Logan International Airport.

Attractions

The Wellesley College Botanic Gardens is comprised of the Margaret C. Ferguson Greenhouses, The Alexandra Botanic Gardens and the Walter Hunnewell Arboretum. The arboretum features more than 500 species of plants, a topiary garden and a collection of greenhouses which feature over 1000 plant species.

The Elm Bank Reservation was formerly the estate of Benjamin Pierce Cheney who founded American Express. The Massachusetts Historical Society is located at the reservation. Other noteworthy attractions in the area include:

  • Historic district in the vicinity of Cottage Street
  • Wesley Town Hall

Higher Education

Wellesley is home to Wellesley College, Babson College and Massachusetts Bay Community College. Wellesley College is a liberal arts college for women and was established in 1875. Wellesley College is considered to be one of the prominent liberal arts colleges in the country. The beautiful campus of Wellesley college is situated on 500 acres of land. The campus features Lake Waban, woodlands and meadows. The college is well known for the numerous former students who have obtained high positions in prominent corporations.

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High Points

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

Category Trophy
Median Family Income
(vs. Peers)
Top 1% trophy Wellesley Median Family Income
Well-Paid Single Women
(vs. Peers)
Top 1% trophy Wellesley Well-Paid Single Women
College Educated Adults
(vs. Peers)
Top 1% trophy Wellesley College Educated Adults
Low Property Crime
(vs. Peers)
Top 2% trophy Wellesley Low Property Crime
Well-Paid Single Men
(vs. Peers)
Top 2% trophy Wellesley Well-Paid Single Men
Low Violent Crime
(vs. Peers)
Top 3% trophy Wellesley Low Violent Crime
People in Middle Class or Better
(vs. Peers)
Top 4% trophy Wellesley People in Middle Class or Better
Walking and Biking to Work
(vs. Peers)
Top 8% Wellesley Walking and Biking to Work
Public Transportation Use
(vs. Peers)
Top 10% Wellesley Public Transportation Use
Racial Diversity
(vs. State)
Top 14% Wellesley Racial Diversity

Comparative Profile of Wellesley, Massachusetts

Comparing Wellesley 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 10 10
Well-Paid Single Men 10 10
Age of the Population 8 4
Children Under 5 Years Old 7 9
Senior Citizens 7 7
Racial Diversity 3 9
Male Share of the Population 1 1

Families

Characteristic Compared
to Peers
Compared
to State
Portion of People Married 10 9
Average Household Size 7 7

Wealth

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

Commute & Sprawl

Characteristic Compared
to Peers
Compared
to State
Working at Home 10 9
Walking and Biking to Work 10 10
Public Transportation Use 10 10
Short Commute Times 5 7

Housing

Characteristic Compared
to Peers
Compared
to State
Seasonal and Vacation Housing 9 6
People Living Alone 3 4
Studio & One-Bedroom Rentals 2 4
Affordability of Property Taxes 1 1
Affordability of Rents 1 1
Housing Recently Built 1 2

Crime

Characteristic Compared
to Peers
Compared
to State
Low Property Crime 10 7
Low Violent Crime 10 9

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Wellesley Almanac

Category Value
Nearest Medium City 5 miles SW of Newton, Massachusetts (center to center)
Nearest Large City 12 miles W of Boston, Massachusetts
County Norfolk
Standard Zip Codes 02481, 02482
P.O. Box Zip Codes 02457
Phone Area Codes 781
Time Zone Eastern (-5 hours from GMT)
Daylight Savings The city observes Daylight Saving Time.
Latitude 42.296
Longitude -71.293

Wellesley 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 FRAMINGHAM
Distance 6.4 miles
Jan Temp 16 to 36 F
Apr Temp 38 to 58 F
Jul Temp 63 to 84 F
Oct Temp 40 to 63 F
Annual Precip 45.8 inches
Station WALPOLE 2
Distance 9.2 miles
Jan Temp 18 to 36 F
Apr Temp 37 to 58 F
Jul Temp 62 to 83 F
Oct Temp 41 to 62 F
Annual Precip 46.5 inches
Station BEDFORD
Distance 12.9 miles
Jan Temp 16 to 35 F
Apr Temp 36 to 58 F
Jul Temp 60 to 83 F
Oct Temp 39 to 62 F
Annual Precip 46.9 inches
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Wellesley Population (2000)

Category Count Percent
Total Population 26,613 100%
Male 11,651 43.8%
Female 14,962 56.2%
Under 18 6,675 25.1%
18+ 19,938 74.9%
65+ 3,710 13.9%
Median Age 37.6
Average Family Size 3.14
White 23,947 90%
African-American 426 1.6%
Asian 1,691 6.4%
American Indian & Alaskan 22 0.1%
Other 141 0.5%
Mixed Race 383 1.4%
Hispanic (included in categories above) 617 2.3%

Estimated Wellesley Population Growth 2000-2005

Category Value
Est. 2005 Population 26,978
Growth 365
Growth % 1.4%

Wellesley 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
Irish 20.6%
Other (often includes Hispanic and African American) 14.2%
English 13.4%
Italian 9.6%
German 6.3%
US/American 4.6%
Russian 3.5%
Scottish 2.5%
Polish 2%
French (except Basque) 1.9%
Scotch-Irish 1.8%
European 1.8%
British 1.7%
Greek 1.4%
Swedish 1.3%
Norwegian 1.2%
Eastern European 0.9%
French Canadian 0.8%
Canadian 0.8%
Lithuanian 0.7%
Armenian 0.7%
Dutch 0.6%
Hungarian 0.6%
Romanian 0.5%
Portuguese 0.5%
Czech 0.4%
Austrian 0.4%
Ukrainian 0.4%
Northern European 0.3%
Welsh 0.3%
Lebanese 0.3%
Belgian 0.3%
Jamaican 0.2%
Icelander 0.2%
Danish 0.2%
Swiss 0.2%
Yugoslavian 0.2%
Egyptian 0.2%
Finnish 0.2%
Scandinavian 0.2%
Czechoslovakian 0.2%
Detailed pages on related topics: Colleges in Wellesley, Graduate Schools in Wellesley
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Neighborhood and Nearby Area Names

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

Babson Park (02457)
Wellesley Hills (02481)

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)
Wellesley 26,613 $134,769
Dover 5,558 $157,168
Natick 32,170 $85,715
Needham 28,911 $107,570
Newton 83,829 $105,289
Sherborn 4,200 $136,211
Weston 11,469 $181,041

Wellesley Public Libraries

Library
Wellesley Free Library
530 WASHINGTON ST.
Wellesley, Massachusetts
(781) 235-1610

library logo

More Information for Librarians

Starbucks in Wellesley

(As of 2005)
68A Central Street
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Featured Colleges in the Wellesley Area (QuickSchools™)

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Wellesley High Schools (2004)

WELLESLEY SR HIGH
50 RICE STREET
781-446-6290
Title I eligible, not participating.
Serves 1,065 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 12.8

Wellesley Colleges

Click school name for a detailed profile.

Babson College

Massachusetts Bay Community College

Wellesley College

(List of Massachusetts Colleges)

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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. Winchester, Massachusetts 91.4   22% 17.1% 64.9% 30 $110,226 7.3% 6.9% 20,810 2.6% 12.2 0.6% 0.8
2. Needham, Massachusetts 90.5   23.4% 18% 64.9% 29 $107,570 7.4% 5.2% 28,911 2.5% 8.5 0.5% 0.3
3. Westfield, New Jersey 90.1   19.3% 13.5% 62.5% 35 $112,145 8% 10% 29,644 2.7% 11.7 0.4% 0.1
4. Ridgewood, New Jersey 89.4   18.5% 12.2% 66.7% 36 $121,848 7.8% 12.2% 24,936 3% 8.3 0.4% 0.2
5. Andover, Massachusetts 89   21.5% 12.3% 62.5% 31 $104,820 6.6% 8.4% 31,247 3.9% 11.9 0.7% 0.3
6. Bernardsville, New Jersey 88.9   21.1% 12.7% 59.6% 33 $126,601 7.6% 6.1% 7,345 2.8% 11.3 0.5% 0.3
7. Morris, New Jersey 88.8   21.8% 15.4% 63.6% 30 $116,866 7.2% 11.4% 21,796 3.8% 7.7 0.6% 1.1
8. Wayland, Massachusetts 88.6   16% 14.3% 68.3% 32 $113,671 7.2% 7.8% 13,100 2.5% 8.5 0.7% 0.3
9. Denville, New Jersey 88.3   23.6% 15% 44% 30 $90,651 7.2% 7.4% 15,824 2.8% 11.8 1.2% 0.9
10. Rye Brook, New York 88.1   18.5% 17.3% 54.3% 33 $111,287 7.8% 8% 8,602 2.9% 11.9 1.1% 0.4
11. Montvale, New Jersey 88   17.2% 12.6% 55.3% 29 $104,047 7% 7.2% 7,034 0.9% 7.3 0.5% 1
12. Berkeley Heights, New Jersey 87.8   14.7% 16.4% 52.3% 32 $118,862 8% 10.4% 13,407 2.1% 6.5 0.6% 0.5
13. Long Hill, New Jersey 87.4   18.2% 12.6% 49.3% 31 $103,037 7.7% 7.2% 8,777 3.3% 12 0.4% 0.6
14. Moorestown, New Jersey 87.2   21% 16.4% 52.5% 27 $94,844 6.4% 10.8% 19,017 3.4% 22.9 0.5% 1.3
15. Summit, New Jersey 87.1   24% 13.1% 61.6% 34 $117,053 8.6% 12.2% 21,131 4.2% 18.5 0.5% 0.6
16. Vienna, Virginia 87   19.2% 13.6% 56.4% 30 $93,043 6.5% 18.9% 14,453 2.5% 16.3 0.4% 1.2
17. Wyckoff, New Jersey 86.3   14.7% 15.8% 56.6% 32 $117,864 7.2% 5.5% 16,508 1.8% 7.5 0.4% 0.4
18. Lincoln, Massachusetts 85.9   15.8% 11% 69.2% 26 $87,842 9.5% 12.8% 8,056 0.8% 3.5 0.9% 0.4
19. Oakland, New Jersey 85.8   12.8% 12.7% 41.4% 32 $93,695 7.8% 5.2% 12,466 1.7% 8.8 0.4% 0.6
20. Easton, Massachusetts 85.7   20.7% 9.4% 39.6% 30 $82,190 6.5% 8.1% 22,299 2% 7.2 0.5% 0.4
21. Bernards, New Jersey 85.7   26.5% 12.5% 67.4% 33 $135,806 8% 10.8% 24,575 1.3% 6.8 0.8% 0.1
22. Rockville Centre, New York 85.7   26.8% 16.3% 50.1% 37 $103,315 6.6% 9.1% 24,568 5% 11.5 0.7% 0.5
23. North Andover, Massachusetts 85.6   24.9% 13.4% 50.3% 30 $91,105 7% 6.3% 27,202 2.9% 7.2 0.5% 0.4
24. Fair Haven, New Jersey 85.3   15.5% 10.3% 61.8% 36 $109,760 9% 6.1% 5,937 2.3% 7.9 0.4% 0.7
25. Montville, New Jersey 85.2   16.6% 10.8% 51.2% 30 $105,394 6.9% 15% 20,839 3.8% 10.4 0.4% 0.3
26. River Vale, New Jersey 85   15.3% 13.4% 48.5% 35 $105,919 6.9% 7.7% 9,449 2.8% 2.9 0.4% 1.3
27. Pleasantville, New York 84.6   25.3% 13.3% 56.5% 36 $105,227 7% 9.6% 7,172 4.4% 1 0.4% 0.3
28. Northborough, Massachusetts 84.4   17% 9.8% 51% 27 $90,480 7.3% 7% 14,013 2.8% 10.9 0.4% 0.4
29. Scotts Valley, California 83.9   22.8% 13.8% 40.9% 32 $88,573 6.8% 11.4% 11,385 2.5% 23.3 1.2% 1.3
30. Hamilton, Massachusetts 83.9   15.7% 10.4% 52.5% 32 $79,886 6.9% 5.8% 8,315 5.3% 9 3.8% 1
31. Franklin Lakes, New Jersey 83.7   8.7% 11.2% 52.9% 33 $142,930 6.7% 8.6% 10,422 3.2% 10.9 0.4% 0.2
32. Kinnelon, New Jersey 83.5   9.4% 9% 57.4% 35 $110,593 7.5% 4.4% 9,365 2.6% 9.1 0.6% 0.6
33. Thousand Oaks, California 82.6   19.6% 11.1% 42.2% 27 $86,041 6.7% 14.9% 117,005 5% 15.6 0.5% 1.4
34. Roxbury, New Jersey 82.6   18.1% 9.9% 33.9% 35 $83,409 7.1% 7.4% 23,883 2.7% 14.2 0.4% 1.1
35. Key Biscayne, Florida 82.2   27.7% 15.6% 64.9% 24 $107,610 7.3% 4.5% 10,507 8.3% 17.8 20.1% 0.9
36. Canton, Massachusetts 82.1   25.4% 16.9% 44.7% 32 $82,904 6.3% 7.5% 20,775 3.4% 11.1 0.4% 1.7
37. Shrewsbury, Massachusetts 82   25.2% 13.5% 46.1% 28 $77,674 7.8% 10.9% 31,640 4.8% 13.7 0.7% 1.2
38. Laguna Niguel, California 81.8   20.5% 8.9% 47.8% 31 $93,613 7% 16.5% 61,891 4.1% 12.4 0.8% 1.2
39. Franklin Park, Pennsylvania 81.8   13.3% 9.4% 60% 27 $94,521 6.9% 5% 11,364 3.1% 7.5 0.5% 0.3
40. Bloomingdale, New Jersey 81.7   22% 11.9% 25.7% 31 $75,433 6.7% 4.5% 7,610 3.4% 12 1.3% 0.4
41. Westborough, Massachusetts 80.9   25.2% 11.6% 53.2% 28 $94,610 7.2% 11.8% 17,997 4.7% 15 0.7% 1.7
42. Aurora, Ohio 80.6   18.9% 15.5% 41.3% 28 $78,876 6.6% 4.3% 13,556 3.6% 11.4 0.9% 0.4
43. Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin 80.5   19.4% 10.6% 27.2% 28 $71,452 6.2% 5.9% 16,136 3.2% 17.9 1.1% 0.9
44. Hudson, Ohio 80.4   12.2% 9.4% 66.5% 28 $107,612 6.5% 5.3% 22,439 1.7% 10.7 1.3% 0.2
45. North Kingstown, Rhode Island 80.1   22.4% 11.8% 40.3% 26 $69,559 6.9% 4.3% 26,326 7.1% 16.9 2.5% 1.6
46. Broadview Heights, Ohio 79.7   27.3% 15% 36.7% 27 $69,343 6.2% 5% 15,967 3.2% 6.8 0.6% 1.2
47. San Clemente, California 77.9   23.2% 13.1% 36.1% 29 $76,261 6.5% 12.1% 49,936 7.6% 15 3.7% 1.6
48. Stow, Ohio 77   23.8% 12% 36.2% 25 $67,822 6.6% 4.8% 32,139 4% 21.8 0.4% 0.4
49. Plainville, Massachusetts 76.7   26.2% 12.1% 28.3% 31 $68,640 6.8% 3.2% 7,683 4% 12.9 0.7% 1
50. Jeffersontown, Kentucky 75   25.5% 10.8% 32.6% 23 $60,951 7.2% 13.3% 26,633 4.3% 17.5 1% 1.3
51. Daphne, Alabama 72.9   23.6% 10.3% 37.5% 26 $61,563 6.5% 14.7% 16,581 4.5% 21.8 1% 1.4
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Historic Wellesley

photo

President's House Oakwoods between 1902 and 1920

Select a photo to view (Source):

President's House Oakwoods between 1902 and 1920

Shakespeare House between 1900 and 1920

Lake Waban (Wellesley College) c1908 (est.)

Additional Resources

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