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Overview

Introduction to Cambridge, Massachusetts

The city of Cambridge is part of the Greater Boston area of Massachusetts. The city is best known for being the home of two world-class universities, Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), located within just two miles of each other. Cambridge is bordered by the city of Boston, located on the other side of the Charles River just 3 miles to the southeast. Other surrounding communities include Somerville (to the north), Watertown (to the west), and Arlington (to the northwest).

Settled in 1630 by a band of Puritans from England, Cambridge was originally called "Newtowne." The founding of Harvard College in 1636 prompted the choice of a new name, one more appropriate for a college town in New England. The name "Cambridge" was chosen due to the familiarity of many of the settlers with Cambridge University in England. The year 1636 also marked the incorporation of the town, which became a city in 1846 when the original town (Old Cambridge) merged with two villages (Cambridgeport and East Cambridge) which had formed to the east along the roads leading to bridges linking the area to Boston. The city's major industrial focus in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries centered on factories (largely furniture and glass) but since that time the emphasis has shifted to technology-based enterprises, including electronics, software, and biotechnology research. Cambridge today is very much a college-influenced community combining a strong mix of cultural and social diversity, intellectual vitality and technological innovation.

Cambridge Area Attractions

The charming neighborhoods ("Squares") of Cambridge are rich in options for shopping, dining, and sightseeing, offering plenty of theatres, museums, and historic sites. Central Square, the seat of city government, contains a variety of international restaurants and music clubs. Kendall Square, home to MIT, is the focal point of the Massachusetts high tech and biotechnology industries. Harvard Square, surrounding the historic brick walls of the nation's oldest university, offers a plethora of cafes, bookstores, boutiques, and entertainment choices. Likewise, Porter and Inman Squares offer a diverse selection of dining options, and many artistic and cultural attractions as well.

Among the many attractions in Cambridge is the Museum of Science, featuring more than 400 interactive exhibits, a planetarium, and a state-of-the-art IMAX Theatre. Harvard's Busch-Reisinger Museum is the nation's only museum devoted specifically to the arts of Central and Northern Europe. The Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, also at Harvard, is one of the world's oldest museums devoted to anthropology. The Longfellow House, a National Historic Site built in 1759, was the home of the celebrated poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and also served as George Washington's headquarters in 1775 and 1776.

Cambridge is home to a number of annual street fairs and festivals. The Cambridge Carnival in Massachusetts, held in August, is a Caribbean-style carnival featuring costumes, music, street-parades, dancing, and food, which represent the diverse cultures of the Caribbean islands. The Cambridge River Festival, held in June, features music, art, food, and a variety of hands-on art-making activities for kids. October's Head of the Charles Regatta is a 2-day regatta where sailing fans can watch racers from all over the world compete along the Charles River. Each September on the weekend after Labor Day Cambridge celebrates the Italian Festival of Saints Cosmas and Damian. Considered one of New England's premier cultural festivals, this large celebration consists of parades, ethnic food, candlelight processions, amusement rides, games, and live entertainment.

On the other side of the Charles River, the neighboring city of Boston is filled with its own long list of attractions. A small sampling of these is listed here:

  • The Boston Symphony Orchestra
  • The Boston Pops
  • The Museum of Fine Arts
  • The Boston Children's Museum
  • Franklin Park Zoo
  • Faneuil Hall
  • The Freedom Trail
  • John Hancock Tower
  • John Fitzgerald Kennedy Library and Museum
  • New England Aquarium
  • Old North Church
  • Paul Revere House
  • Prudential Center
  • The USS Constitution

The city of Boston is also home to a number of major league professional sports teams. Prominent among them are Major League Baseball's Boston Red Sox, who play their games at historic Fenway Park, itself one of the city's major tourist attractions. Also in town are the National Basketball Association's Boston Celtics, holders of one of most storied dynasties in all of sports. Hockey fans can root for the NHL's Boston Bruins, while lacrosse fans can enjoy the Boston Cannons of Major League Lacrosse (MLL). World Team Tennis (WTT) also has a franchise in the city known as the Boston Lobsters. Down the road (about 30 miles to the southwest), the town of Foxboro is home to the National Football League's New England Patriots (winners of three Super Bowls in recent years) and Major League Soccer's New England Revolution.

Demographics

People

Total Population108,757
Male Share of the Population48.8%
Female Share of the Population51.2%
Senior Citizens11.1%
Employed Population 16+61,924
Age of the Population31

Families

% of people married31.9%
Average household size2

Education and Earnings

Population % with Bachelor Degree or Higher74.9%
Median Earnings25+$52,889
Median Earnings Without High School Qualification$27,238
Median Earnings With High School Degree$30,694

Wealth

Median Family Income$107,897
% Above Poverty Level86%
% Below Poverty Level14%

Commute & Sprawl

Average Commute Time25 minutes
% Working from Home6.9%
% Walking and Biking to Work31.6%
% Using Public Transportation28.9%

Housing

People Living Alone38.1%
Median Gross Rent$1,754
Median House Value$629,700

Ancestry

Other(often includes Hispanic and African American)31.8%
Irish12.4%
German8.5%
English8.2%
Italian7.9%
Polish3.3%
West Indian3.3%
African3.2%
Russian2.9%
French Except Basque2.8%
Scottish2.1%
Portuguese2.1%
Haitian2%
Canadian1.7%
Ethiopian1.6%
Arab1.4%
Greek1.2%
Swedish1.1%
Dutch0.8%
Welsh0.7%
Jamaican0.7%
Lithuanian0.7%
Austrian0.6%
Norwegian0.6%
Hungarian0.5%
Lebanese0.5%
Turkish0.5%
Czech0.5%
Ukrainian0.5%
Romanian0.4%
Danishn0.4%
Brazilian0.4%
Swiss0.4%
Iranian0.4%
Finnish0.3%
US/American0.3%
Barbadian0.3%
Cape Verdean0.2%
Somali0.2%
Nigerian0.2%
Israeli0.2%
Australian0.2%
Croatian0.2%
Serbian0.2%
Slovak0.2%
Palestinian0.1%
Syrian0.1%
Albanian0.1%
Trinidad Tobago0.1%
Egyptian0.1%
Moroccan0.1%
Bulgarian0.1%
Latvian0.1%
Kenyan0.1%
Icelander0.1%
South African0.1%
Slovene0.1%
Belgian0.1%
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Cambridge Almanac

CategoryValue
Nearest Large City2 miles NW of Boston, Massachusetts
County Middlesex County, Suffolk County
Standard Zip Codes2138, 2139, 2142, 2140, 2141, 2163
P.O. Box Zip Codes2238
Phone Area Codes508,617,857, 339, 781, 978, 000
Time ZoneAmerica/New_York
Daylight SavingsThe city observes Daylight Saving Time.
Latitude42.375
Longitude-71.106

Cambridge Climate

Nearest Weather Stations

Notes:

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

StationBOSTON LOGAN INTL AP
Distance4.6 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
StationREADING
Distance9.9 miles
Jan Temp16 to 35 F
Apr Temp35 to 58 F
Jul Temp60 to 83 F
Oct Temp39 to 62 F
Annual Precip48.3 inches
StationBEDFORD
Distance11.7 miles
Jan Temp16 to 35 F
Apr Temp36 to 58 F
Jul Temp60 to 83 F
Oct Temp39 to 62 F
Annual Precip46.9 inches

Nearby Cities and Towns

LocationPopulationMedian Family Income
Arlington44,408$132,692
Boston658,279$65,238
Brookline59,180$142,301
Chelsea38,244$53,219
Medford57,180$97,422
Somerville79,507$84,896

Cambridge Public Libraries

Cambridge Public Library
449 BROADWAY
Cambridge, Massachusetts
(617) 349-4040

library logo

More Information for Librarians

Cambridge Hospitals

Cambridge Health Alliance - Cambridge Campus
(Government - District/authority)
1493 Cambridge Street
Mount Auburn Hospital
(Non-profit)
330 Mount Auburn Street
Click the Visit School Site buttons to go directly to a school's website and learn more about the school and programs it has to offer. School website will open in a new tab.
Click the Request Info buttons to request more information from a representative at the school.

Cambridge Public Schools

King Open
850 Cambridge St
(617) 349-6540
Primary
Total Enrollment 485
Morse
40 Granite St
(617) 349-6575
Primary
Total Enrollment 401
Cambridge Rindge And Latin
459 Broadway Ave
(617) 349-6632
High
Total Enrollment 1616
Haggerty
110 Cushing St
(617) 349-6555
Primary
Total Enrollment 290
Martin Luther King Jr.
100 Putnam Ave
(617) 349-6562
Primary
Total Enrollment 294
Peabody
70 Rindge Ave
(617) 349-6530
Primary
Total Enrollment 501
Prospect Hill Academy Charter School
50 Essex St
(617) 284-7800
Other
Total Enrollment 1143
Community Charter School Of Cambridge
245 Bent St
(617) 354-0047
High
Total Enrollment 330
Vassal Lane Upper School
197 Vassal Ln
(617) 349-6550
Middle
Total Enrollment 293
Rindge Avenue Upper School
70 Rindge Ave
(617) 349-4060
Middle
Total Enrollment 252
Cambridge Street Upper School
850 Cambridge St
(617) 349-3050
Middle
Total Enrollment 254
Putnam Avenue Upper School
158 Spring St
(617) 349-7780
Middle
Total Enrollment 241
Benjamin Banneker Charter Public School
21 Notre Dame Ave
(617) 497-7771
Primary
Total Enrollment 353
Cambridgeport
89 Elm St
(617) 349-6587
Primary
Total Enrollment 263
Maria L. Baldwin
28 Sacramento St
(617) 349-6525
Primary
Total Enrollment 364
Graham And Parks
44 Linnaean St
(617) 349-6577
Primary
Total Enrollment 409
John M Tobin
197 Vassal Ln
(617) 349-6600
Primary
Total Enrollment 418
Kennedy-longfellow
158 Spring St
(617) 349-6841
Primary
Total Enrollment 406
Fletcher/maynard Academy
225 Windsor St
(617) 349-6588
Primary
Total Enrollment 271
Amigos School
101 Kinnaird St
(617) 349-6567
Primary
Total Enrollment 334

Cambridge Private Schools

Boston Archdiocesan Choir School
29 Mount Auburn St
Elementary
Total Enrollment 42
The Henry Buckner School
85 Bishop Richard Allen Dr
Elementary
Total Enrollment 6
Fayerweather Street School
765 Concord Ave
Elementary
Total Enrollment 183
Cambridge Montessori School
161 Garden St
Elementary
Total Enrollment 109
St Peter Elementary School
96 Concord Ave
Elementary
Total Enrollment 200
James F Farr Academy
71 Pearl St
Secondary
Total Enrollment 27
Matignon High School
1 Matignon Rd
Secondary
Total Enrollment 440
Cambridge Friends School
5 Cadbury Rd
Elementary
Total Enrollment 182
Buckingham Browne & Nichols School
80 Gerrys Landing Rd
Combined Elementary And Secondary
Total Enrollment 980
Shady Hill School
178 Coolidge Hill
Elementary
Total Enrollment 482
Malik Academy/ Al Bustan Preschool
808 Memorial Dr
Elementary
Total Enrollment 53
Sources :
Additional Details
Cambridge Colleges
Cambridge colleges and trade schools.
Cambridge Graduate Schools
Cambridge Graduate and Business Schools
Study Online in Cambridge
Historic Cambridge

photo

Wadsworth House (Harvard University) c1904.

Select a photo to view (Source):

Wadsworth House (Harvard University) c1904.

Cooper-Frost- Austin House between 1910 and 1920

Riverbank Court between 1900 and 1920

Additional Resources
Info for Cambridge Government Officials


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