Boston is not only one of America’s most historic and iconic cities; it’s the economic capital of New England. Since 1630, it's evolved from a seafaring community, centered on fishing and trade, into a thriving center of finance, technology, and entrepreneurship. The city is home to twelve Fortune 500 companies, including General Electric, Liberty Mutual, State Street Corp., Wayfair, and Iron Mountain.
The city is a leading financial hub, with major corporations such as Fidelity Investments, John Hancock/Manulife Financial, and Wellington Management lending and investing billions of dollars for companies and individuals throughout the region. Venture capitalists have also poured more than $21 billion into local tech firms, giving Boston the third largest startup culture in the country, behind only San Francisco, New York, and Los Angeles, which it frequently overtakes.
Life sciences have also exploded. Three of the four top hospitals funded by the National Institutes of Health are located in the area, along with over 1,000 additional biotech companies. The city’s schools and universities also employ over 65,000 people, which has helped fuel Boston’s shift from a blue-collar to white-collar economy.
The growth of the city’s technical, scientific, and professional service sectors has led to an increased demand for high-skill workers, and wages have risen sharply as a result. In fact, Boston’s workforce is one of the best paid in America. Since 1990, the city’s per capita income has been at least 25 percent higher than the rest of the United States. In 2020, it was 44 percent higher.
But pay isn’t the only reason people love living in Boston. Its powerful service economy helps fund a wide range of attractions, amenities, and cultural institutions including:
Bostonians are wicked smart. Over half the city has earned a Bachelor’s degree, and anyone interested in furthering their education has over 40 colleges and universities to choose from, including Harvard, MIT, Tufts, and Wellesley. But Boston’s public education is incredible too. The city’s school system is top ranked, with a 10:1 student-teacher ratio, strong college-prep courses, and one of the country’s lowest dropout rates.
Boston is a big city, but a small town: only 48.4 square miles. Most of its attractions can be reached on foot. In fact, it’s one of the few cities where people still walk to work rather than drive. With an extensive public transportation system and trails linking its major neighborhoods, Boston is a place for people who enjoy fresh air and exercise.
There are 210 public parks, playgrounds, and athletic fields in Boston, including two golf courses, seventeen fountains, and sixteen historic cemeteries. Boston Common may be the city’s largest and most famous park, but there are dozens of others in each of its twenty-three neighborhoods, most within walking distance from the average household.
The city’s park system is also incredibly well connected, enabling people to walk around the city, from the Back Bay Fens to Franklin Park, surrounded almost entirely by nature.
Ardent Sports Culture
Few towns support their teams as strongly as Boston. It has some of the most devoted sports fans in the world. While some cities are into football and others are into baseball, Boston’s equally devoted to all its major teams: the Red Sox, Celtics, Patriots, and Bruins.
Game days are crazy, with fans crowding stadiums, sports bars, and hangouts to cheer on their players. Sports brings Boston together. No matter where you come from, as long as you love the game, you’re part of the community.
Foodies love living in Boston. While the city's famous for seafood, such as lobster rolls, clam chowder, and dollar-oyster deals, there’s not much they don't serve here. There’s Vietnamese food in Dorchester, Caribbean food in Jamaica Bay, and Armenian food in Watertown.
Boston's also home to one of America’s oldest Chinatowns, which is where you'll find the city’s best dumplings, dim sum, and egg tarts. If you’re in the mood for something exotic, try sauteed duck tongue in Maggi sauce or deep-fried pig intestines. They taste better than they sound.
However, if Asian food’s not your thing, there are plenty of local favorites to try as well, including:
Boston Cream Pies. Two layers of custard-soaked sponge cake, covered in rum syrup and chocolate.
Boston Baked Beans. Stewed or boiled with pork and beef, then flavored with molasses.
Yankee Pot Roast. Slow-roasted beef served with seasoned vegetables, covered in rich gravy.
Roast Beef Sandwiches. Thinly shaved roast beef stuffed into an onion roll with a unique spread of mayonnaise, barbecue sauce, and American cheese.
Fenway Frank. A juicy, carefully broiled sausage topped with relish, mustard, and ketchup. The food of choice for Red Sox fans.
Boston is also where you’ll find some of the best Irish and Italian food in the country. Irish stew, fish and chips, and shepherd's pie are staples at the city’s pubs, such as The Druid, The Burren, Mr. Dooley’s, and J.J. Foley’s. On the North Side, South Side, and Cambridge you’ll find handmade pasta, meaty Bolognese, cannoli filled with sweet ricotta cheese, and mouth watering pizza made in both traditional and modern styles.
Boston's hospitals are consistently top ranked and staffed by some of the nation's best doctors. Its infant, neonatal, and maternal mortality rates are extremely low. Health insurance is affordable and residents can choose from 25 hospitals within Boston's city limits, not to mention 20 additional community health centers and dozens more healthcare providers across the river. Not surprisingly, with such great access to medical services, Massachusetts is one of the healthiest states in the nation, behind only Hawaii and Vermont.
Rich and Magnificent Museums
With so many great schools and educated citizens, it’s not surprising Boston has a lot of museums. Paul Revere’s House, the Old State House, and the Boston Tea Party Museum help bring the history of the American Revolution to life. People passionate about America’s visual artists can visit the Danforth Museum, Harvard Art Museums, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, or the Institute for Contemporary Art to see works by modern and classical painters, sculptors, and photographers.
Children can develop hands-on knowledge at the Discovery Museum, Children’s Museum, and Fruitlands Museum, or get an inside look at the American political system at the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the U.S. Senate. Families can explore the natural world at the Stone Zoo, New England Aquarium, and the Mass Audubon Wildlife Sanctuaries. Or get a taste of high sea combat at Battleship Cove and the U.S.S. Constitution.
Boston certainly knows how to unwind after a long day. Whether it’s a quiet drink, a banging club, or raucous comedy, however you like to have fun, Boston’s got you covered.
Dance Clubs. Techno, EDM, Top 40, hip-hop ‒ Boston’s clubs go hard every night, from sunset until early morning. There are underground clubs with hard-spinning DJs and mega-clubs where you can rock out to some of the city’s best and loudest bands.
Theater District. Home of the Boston Opera House, Emerson Colonial Theatre, and Paramount Theater, it’s the place to go to see classic ballet and Broadway hits, such as Don Quixote, Into the Woods, and the Lion King.
Comedy Shows. Visit the Wilbur theater to laugh along with some of the biggest names in comedy such as Sara Silverman, Trevor Noah, David Cross, and Leslie Jones. There are also a number of smaller clubs like Improv Boston or Improv Asylum, where you can experience the antics of the city's up and coming comedians.
Historic Taverns. Grab a drink at the Green Dragon, the same spot where Paul Revere and Samuel Adams helped plot the American Revolution. Boston also has a slew of other bars dating back to the 18th century, including the Warren Tavern and the Bell in Hand. Experience history over a beer!
Hatch Shell. Boston’s most unique musical venue, located on the Esplanade overlooking the Charles River. It’s where to go for the Boston Pops Independence Day Concert and the Landmarks Orchestra Summer Concerts, presented free of charge every year. There’s no seating, so bring a blanket and arrive early if you want a spot close to the stage.
Moving to Boston
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