Introduction to Boston, Massachusetts

Boston, also known as "Beantown" or "The Hub," is one of the largest cities in the United States, and the largest city in both Massachusetts and New England (Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut). Boston is also the capital of the The Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Boston is located on the eastern Massachusetts coast, at the mouth of the Charles River which separates Boston from Cambridge, and is on Boston Harbor. The Boston Metropolitan area is home to many Fortune 500 company headquarters, including well-recognized names such as Raytheon, Staples, TJX, and EMC. The Boston economy is founded on the education, health care, finance, and technology (information technology and biotechnology) industries. Some of the nation's most well-regarded teaching hospitals are based in Boston, including Massachusetts General Hospital, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and Brigham and Women's Hospital. Boston is also home to mutual fund giant Fidelity Investments.

Boston is a city of neighborhoods, from Allston to Roxbury, with the Back Bay, Beacon Hill, Charlestown, Dorchester, East Boston, the North End, and more in between. Each has its own unique character, history, and charm. Boston is physically a relatively compact city and it is a good walking city. It is relatively easy to walk from one of the neighborhoods all the way to the Boston waterfront on Boston Harbor.

Boston History

Boston was founded in 1630 by Puritan colonists from England. Most early settlers of Boston were Puritans, who placed their strong "Puritan ethic" stamp on the city. The Puritans who came to Boston were not terribly tolerant of "other" religions. Many of the surrounding colonies were founded by people fleeing the persecution of the Puritans.

Boston, and the surrounding area, is rich in early American colonial history as well as the history of the American Revolution. The Revolutionary War started outside of Boston, in Concord and Lexington, Massachusetts. Some key dates in Boston's history include:

  • In 1620, the Pilgrims landed in Plymouth, south of Boston, where they founded Plymouth Colony, which would later be incorporated into the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1691
  • In 1635, America's first school, Boston Latin School, was founded
  • In 1636, America's first college, Harvard, was founded in nearby Cambridge
  • On March 5, 1770, the Boston Massacre, an early precursor to the American Revolution, happened in downtown Boston
  • On December 16, 1773, another precursor to the American Revolution, the Boston Tea Party, happened in Boston Harbor when colonists dumped tea off of of three ships to protest English taxation
  • On the night of April 18/19, 1775, Paul Revere, William Dawes, and Samuel Prescott made the famous "Midnight Ride" to warn the militias at Lexington and Concord of the approach of British army troops from Boston
  • On April 19, 1775, the "shot heard around the world", the first shots of the American Revolutionary War, happened at the Old North Bridge in nearby Concord, and during the Battle of Lexington and Concord
  • April 19, 1775 through March 17, 1776 was the British occupation of Boston - the Siege of Boston
  • On June 17, 1775, was the Battle of Bunker Hill, an early battle of the Revolution War
  • In 1822, Boston was chartered as a city
  • In 1872, The Great Boston Fire started. The fire took twelve hours to contain and destroyed approximately 65 acres of Boston's downtown
  • In 1876, Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone in Boston
  • In 1917, John F. Kennedy was born in the Boston neighborhood of Brookline

Boston Arts and Culture

Boston is a major center for arts and culture. Boston offers museums, the performing arts, and much more. Some of Boston's more notable museums include:

  • The Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University
  • The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
  • The John F. Kennedy Library and Museum
  • The Museum of Fine Arts
  • The Museum of Science
  • The New England Aquarium

For patrons of the performing arts, Boston has many wonderful attractions. Some of the more notable include:

  • The American Repertory Theatre in nearby Cambridge
  • The Bank of America Pavilion, home to world-class acts of all musical genres every summer on Boston Harbor
  • The Boston Ballet
  • The Boston Chamber Music Society
  • The Boston Children's Museum
  • The Boston Lyric Opera
  • The Boston Pops
  • The Boston Symphony Orchestra
  • The Colonial Theatre
  • The Cutler Majestic Theatre at Emerson College
  • The Wang Center for the Performing Arts
  • The Handel & Haydn Society
  • The Huntington Theatre Company
  • The Shubert Theatre
  • The Wilbur Theatre

The Boston area also plays host to numerous festivals every year, including First Night Boston, the Boston Arts Festival, the Boston Blues Festival, the Boston Wine Festival, Boston Harborfest, the Boston Pops 4th of July Concert and Fireworks, St. Patrick Day Parade, and much more.

Boston Sports and Leisure

No city in the United States is as crazy about their sports as Boston. Boston sports fans are legendary for their devotion to their teams. Boston has plenty to offer to fill every sports fan's appetite. Boston is home to the following major sports teams:

  • Baseball - The Major League Baseball (MLB), five-time World Series Champion Boston Red Sox. For individuals who like Minor League Baseball action, the Pawtucket Red Sox play an hour southwest of Boston in Pawtucket, Rhode Island; and the Lowell Spinners play forty minutes northwest of Boston in Lowell, Massachusetts. The Pawtucket Red Sox are a Triple-A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox, and the Lowell Spinners are a Class A Short-Season affiliate of the Boston Red Sox.
  • Basketball - The National Basketball Association (NBA) and sixteen-time NBA champion (most in NBA History) Boston Celtics.
  • Football - The National Football League (NFL), five-time AFC Champion and three-time Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots play close by in Foxboro, Massachusetts.
  • Hockey - The National Hockey League (NHL) and five-time Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins. The American Hockey League (AHL) Providence Bruins play an hour southwest of Boston in Providence, Rhode Island.
  • Soccer - The Major League Soccer (MLS) New England Revolution play close by in Foxboro, Massachusetts. In addition, the United Soccer League (USL) USL-W Division Boston Renegades play thirty minutes to the west of Boston in Framingham, Massachusetts.
  • Tennis - The World Team Tennis (WTT) Boston Lobsters.

Boston is also home to the world famous Boston Marathon that is run from Hopkinton to Boston in April of every year.

If an individual's interest turns to outdoor activities, Boston has a lot to offer. Boston is only a couple of hour drive from many of the northeast's premier ski areas in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont. In addition, wonderful beaches lie a short distance to the north of Boston (north shore) and the south of Boston (south shore). Cape Cod and the Islands of Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket, all popular summer destinations, are an hour and a half south of Boston. Boston also offers the highest concentration of National Park sites in the country, with 12 located within 30 miles of downtown.

Boston "Must See" Attractions

Boston has attractions too numerous to do justice in a simple list. Some of Boston's more notable and unique attractions include:

  • Boston Duck Tours, a tour of Boston on board an authentic, renovated World War II amphibious landing vehicle
  • The Boston Common, the country's oldest public park
  • The Boston Tea Party Ship and Museum
  • Faneuil Hall Marketplace (also known as Quincy Market)
  • Fenway Park, home to the Boston Red Sox
  • The Freedom Trail, Boston's 2.5 mile walk through history along the red brick road to 12 historic sites
  • The John F. Kennedy Library and Museum
  • The Old North Bridge in nearby Concord
  • The Old North Church, Boston's oldest church building where the signal was given to launch Paul Revere's ride on April 18, 1775
  • The Paul Revere House/Hichborn House
  • The U.S.S. Constitution and USS Constitution Museum

Boston at Night

If interests turn more to the evening dining and nightclub scene, Boston takes a back seat to no city. The city is full of wonderful eating establishments that span the spectrum of ethnic cuisine. Nearby Cambridge also offers an excellent dining scene. For Boston's night club scene, good places to head include the Faneuil Hall Marketplace area, the Kenmore Square/Fenway Park Area, Allston, and nearby Cambridge. The Boston Globe "Calendar" section is a good source of information on events and happenings, as is the The Boston Phoenix.



Total Population679,413
Male Share of the Population48.1%
Female Share of the Population51.9%
Senior Citizens11.2%
Employed Population 16+363,503
Age of the Population32


% of people married30.2%
Average household size2

Education and Earnings

Population % with Bachelor Degree or Higher48%
Median Earnings25+$48,787
Median Earnings Without High School Qualification$22,218
Median Earnings With High School Degree$30,405


Median Family Income$75,476
% Above Poverty Level79.8%
% Below Poverty Level20.2%

Commute & Sprawl

Average Commute Time31 minutes
% Working from Home3.3%
% Walking and Biking to Work16.9%
% Using Public Transportation33.4%


People Living Alone36.3%
Median Gross Rent$1,539
Median House Value$487,300


Other(often includes Hispanic and African American)41.7%
West Indian6.7%
Cape Verdean2.3%
French Except Basque1.8%
Trinidad Tobago0.6%
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Boston Almanac

CountySuffolk County
Standard Zip Codes02109, 02111, 02115, 02116, 02133, 02199, 02203, 02222, 02283, 02108, 02110, 02113, 02114, 02210, 02215, 02284, 02127, 02128, 02118, 02163, 02119, 02126, 02122, 02129, 02131, 02134, 02135, 02132, 02130, 02121, 02125, 02136, 02124, 02120
P.O. Box Zip Codes2205, 2298, 2112, 2117, 2196, 2123, 2228, 2137
Company Zip Codes2217, 2266, 2204, 2295, 2297, 2201, 2206, 2211, 2212, 2241, 2293
Phone Area Codes617, 77, 81, 97, 83, 39, 857, 50, 86, 78, 19, 87, 79, 000, 76, 781, 08, 339, 46, 18, 73, 74, 978, 16
Time ZoneAmerica/New_York
Approximate Latitude42.37
Approximate Longitude-71.05

Boston Climate

Nearest Weather Stations


  • Temp ranges are avg daily min and max for the month
  • Precipitation is rainfall (and rainfall equiv of snowfall)

Distance2.3 miles
Jan Temp22 to 37 F
Apr Temp41 to 56 F
Jul Temp66 to 82 F
Oct Temp46 to 62 F
Annual Precip42.5 inches
Distance10.2 miles
Jan Temp18 to 34 F
Apr Temp37 to 56 F
Jul Temp62 to 81 F
Oct Temp43 to 60 F
Annual Precip51.1 inches
Distance11.3 miles
Jan Temp20 to 37 F
Apr Temp38 to 57 F
Jul Temp62 to 81 F
Oct Temp42 to 62 F
Annual Precip49.8 inches

Nearby Cities and Towns

LocationPopulationMedian Family Income

Boston Public Libraries

Boston Public Library
Boston, Massachusetts
(617) 536-5400

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Boston Hospitals

Faulkner Hospital
1153 Centre Street
Tufts Medical Center
800 Washington Street
Caritas Carney Hospital
2100 Dorchester Avenue
Boston Medical Center - East Newton Campus
88 East Newton Stret
Brigham And Women's Hospital
75 Francis Street
Massachusetts General Hospital
55 Fruit Street
Massachusetts Eye And Ear Infirmary
243 Charles Street
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center - East Campus
330 Brookline Avenue
Boston Medical Center - Menino Campus
818 Harrison Avenue
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center - West Campus
110 Francis Street
Children's Hospital Boston
300 Longwood Avenue
New England Baptist Hospital
125 Parker Hill Avenue
Dana-farber Cancer Institute
44 Binney Street

Boston Public Schools

Josiah Quincy
885 Washington Street
ZIP: 2111
(617) 635-8497
Total Enrollment 789
Eliot Elementary
16 Charter Street
ZIP: 2113
(617) 635-8545
Total Enrollment 453
Boston Latin
78 Ave Louis Pasteur
ZIP: 2115
(617) 635-8895
Total Enrollment 2439
Edward M. Kennedy Academy For Health Careers (horace Mann Ch
360 Huntington Avenue, C/o 102 Cahners Hall
ZIP: 2115
(617) 373-8576
Total Enrollment 359
Quincy Upper School
152 Arlington Street
ZIP: 2116
(617) 635-8940
Total Enrollment 497
Snowden International School At Copley
150 Newbury Street
ZIP: 2116
(617) 635-9989
Total Enrollment 389
William Mckinley
90 Warren Avenue
ZIP: 2116
(617) 635-9976
Total Enrollment 381
380 Shawmut Avenue
ZIP: 2118
(617) 635-8471
Total Enrollment 601
Carter Developmental Center
396 Northampton Street
ZIP: 2118
(617) 635-9832
Total Enrollment 30
Joseph J Hurley
70 Worcester Street
ZIP: 2118
(617) 635-8489
Total Enrollment 342
Dudley Street Neighborhood Charter School
6 Shirley Street
ZIP: 2119
(617) 227-8055
Total Enrollment 220
Kipp Academy Boston Charter School
384 Warren Street
ZIP: 2119
(617) 238-7300
Total Enrollment 288
Helen Y. Davis Leadership Academy Charter Public School
23 Leonard Street
ZIP: 2122
(617) 474-7950
Total Enrollment 224
Brooke Charter School Mattapan
150 American Legion Highway
ZIP: 2124
(617) 268-1006
Total Enrollment 460
Up Academy Charter School Of Dorchester
35 Westville Street
ZIP: 2124
(617) 635-8810
Total Enrollment 625
Margarita Muniz Academy
20 Child Street
ZIP: 2130
(617) 470-6907
Total Enrollment 229
The English High
144 Mcbride Street
ZIP: 2130
(617) 635-8979
Total Enrollment 559
Boston Arts Academy
174 Ipswich Street
ZIP: 2215
(617) 635-6470
Total Enrollment 441
Fenway High School
174 Ipswich Street
ZIP: 2215
(617) 635-9911
Total Enrollment 328
Match Charter Public School
1001 Commonwealth Avenue
ZIP: 2215
(617) 232-0300
Total Enrollment 895

Boston Private Schools

Park Street School
67 Brimmer St
ZIP: 2108
Total Enrollment 170
The Advent School
15 Brimmer St
ZIP: 2108
Total Enrollment 182
Torit Language Center Montessori
41 Bromfield St
ZIP: 2108
Total Enrollment 7
St John School
9 Moon St
ZIP: 2113
Total Enrollment 177
Beacon Hill Nursery School
74 Joy St
ZIP: 2114
Total Enrollment 10
Boston Children's School
8 Whittier Pl
ZIP: 2114
Total Enrollment 7
Commonwealth School
151 Commonwealth Ave
ZIP: 2116
Total Enrollment 150
Kingsley Montessori School
30 Fairfield St
ZIP: 2116
Total Enrollment 143
Learning Project Elementary School
107 Marlborough St
ZIP: 2116
Total Enrollment 117
The Newman School
247 Marlborough St
ZIP: 2116
Total Enrollment 250
Cathedral Grammar School
595 Harrison Ave
ZIP: 2118
Total Enrollment 132
Cathedral High School
74 Union Park St
ZIP: 2118
Total Enrollment 266
British School Of Boston
416 Pond St
ZIP: 2130
Combined Elementary And Secondary
Total Enrollment 288
Mount Saint Joseph Academy
617 Cambridge St
ZIP: 2134
Total Enrollment 191
Boston Trinity Academy
17 Hale St
ZIP: 2136
Combined Elementary And Secondary
Total Enrollment 234
Boston University Academy
1 University Rd
ZIP: 2215
Total Enrollment 160
Frances Jacobson Early Childhood Center
477 Longwood Ave
ZIP: 2215
Total Enrollment 6
Kids Are People Elementary School
530 Commonwealth Ave
ZIP: 2215
Total Enrollment 72
Winsor School
103 Pilgrim Rd
ZIP: 2215
Combined Elementary And Secondary
Total Enrollment 434
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Historic Boston


Daniel Webster Statue (State House grounds) between 1900 and 1905

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Daniel Webster Statue (State House grounds) between 1900 and 1905

Horace Mann statue (State House grounds) between 1900 and 1906

Memorial Hall (State House) c1904.

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