Boston, Massachusetts

Boston, Massachusetts


City in the United States
State Massachusetts
County Suffolk County
Coordinates 42°21’37″N, 71°3’28″WL
Surface 232.14 km²
– country 125.41 km²
– water 106.73 km²
(April 1, 2020)
(5388 inhabitant/km²)
– agglomeration 7,559,060
Mayor Michelle Wu (D)

According to ehuacom, Boston is the capital and largest city of the US state of Massachusetts. It is also considered the unofficial capital of New England. In the year 2010, Boston had a population of 617,594. The entire Greater Boston metropolitan area, which extends into New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Connecticut, has a population of 6,057,826 (2000 census). The city is located in Suffolk County. The inhabitants are called Bostonians.

Boston is one of the oldest and wealthiest cities in the United States, with an economy based on financial services, insurance, education, high- tech products and research, and medical services and research (for example, through Boston’s world-renowned specialty hospitals). Michelle Wu has been mayor of Boston since 2021. She succeeded Democrat Marty Walsh.


The Boston Massacre in 1770

Boston was founded in 1630 by Puritan settlers on the peninsula that the local Native Americans called Shawmut. The settlers named the new settlement Boston, after the town of the same name in Lincolnshire, England, where some of them came from.

Boston is the cradle of the American Revolution. The first skirmishes leading to the revolution took place there on March 5, 1770, when British soldiers opened fire on protesting civilians. This event is known as the Boston Massacre.

With the Boston Tea Party on December 16, 1773, the residents of Boston began a boycott of the tax on imported products such as tea, instituted by the British Parliament under the Townshend Act of 1767.

The first battles of the American Revolutionary War took place in the early morning of April 19, 1775 at Lexington and Concord, two locations 20 to 30 kilometers west of Boston.

After the declaration of independence in 1776, Boston became a prosperous port. It officially became a town (city) in 1822. In the second half of the nineteenth century it developed into an important industrial city with, among other things, considerable textile, shoe and machine factories.

The city’s economy deteriorated in the 1920s and 1930s, when many industries left the state for regions with lower labor costs.

The 1960s saw strong growth in the financial, medical and education sectors. Boston also became a cradle for the then-new computer industry, boosted by the presence of MIT, Harvard, and other universities. The area where this new industry emerged was sometimes referred to as Route 128, named after the ring road around Boston on which many of the new businesses were located. Since then, the high-tech industry has expanded greatly, and now Boston is also a center for medical technology, biotechnology, and cleantech.

Boston made world headlines in 2013 because of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings. On April 15, 2013, there were two explosions, both on the sidewalks of Boylston Street in Boston, just before the finish line of the marathon. Several people were injured and three people were killed. The marathon was stopped after the explosions. Two more victims were killed in subsequent shootings, including one of the perpetrators.



Population density and elevation above sea level in Greater Boston (2010). Boston is vulnerable to sea level rise due to climate change.

Boston is located on the Atlantic Ocean in the northeastern United States, about 300 kilometers northeast of New York as the crow flies . It is about the same latitude as Marseille and Rome. The city is located at the westernmost point in Massachusetts Bay, which forms a natural harbor here (Boston Harbor). The town’s main river is the Charles, which rises in Hopkinton. Including Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technologylie on the banks of the Charles. The river also separates downtown Boston from the university city of Cambridge and the Charlestown borough. Other major rivers in the Boston area include the Neponset, which separates South Boston from Quincy and Milton, and the Mystic, north of Charlestown.

Boston is a very compact city. The total area is 232.1 km², of which 125.4 km² (54%) consists of land and 106.7 km² (46%) of water. Although Boston is only the 22nd largest city in the United States by population , it is the fourth most populous city in the country, not counting commuter cities.

Bellevue Hill is the highest natural point in the city at 101 meters high. The lowest point is at sea level.

Administrative division

Boston is divided into twenty-one neighborhoods:

  1. Allston / Brighton
  2. Back Bay
  3. Bay Village
  4. Beacon Hill
  5. Charlestown
  6. Chinatown / Leather District
  7. Dorchester
  8. Downtown / Financial District
  9. East Boston
  10. Fenway/Kenmore
  11. Hyde Park
  12. Jamaica Plain
  13. Mattapan
  14. Mission Hill
  15. North End
  16. Roslindale
  17. Roxbury
  18. South Boston
  19. South End
  20. West End
  21. West Roxbury


In January the average temperature is −1.9 °C, in July it is 23.1 °C. Annual average precipitation is 1054.4 mm (data based on the measurement period 1961-1990).


The population increased from 18,320 in 1790 to 801,444 in 1950. This was mainly due to a rapid growth in the middle of the 19th century: between 1840 and 1880 the population almost quadrupled. After 1950 the population fell again to 562,994 in 1980. In recent decades the number of inhabitants has grown again. In 2008 the population is estimated at 609,023, although on some days this can rise to about 1.2 million due to the important regional function that the city fulfills.

About 14.4% of Boston’s population is Hispanic and Hispanic, 25.3% of African origin and 7.5% of Asian origin. Often referred to as the capital of “Irish America”, the Irish are the largest ethnic group in the city. They constitute 15% of the total population.

37.1% of the population consists of single -person households; 10.4% are older than 65 years. Unemployment is 2.9 % (census figures 2000).


The “Boston Public Garden” in downtown Boston is the oldest city park in the United States (1837)

Boston is an important cultural center. The Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Boston Ballet are world famous.

The city’s tallest building is the John Hancock Tower, designed by noted architect Henry N. Cobb of the architectural firm I.M. Pei and partners. The building is named after John Hancock Insurance, an insurance company based in the building. John Hancock was an important statesman of the Boston Tea Party era.


The city has a number of museums, including the Museum of Fine Arts and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. Twelve works of art were stolen from the latter museum on March 18, 1990, including three works by Rembrandt, one Vermeer and one by Govaert Flinck. There is a significant reward for those who can provide information leading to the return of these works of art. There is also the Museum of Science – one of the best science museums in the world – and the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum. Also Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technologynearby Cambridge have their own museums. The objects on display usually come from bequests from wealthy alumni.


The Massachusetts State House in Boston

By American standards, Boston is a very old city. There are still many buildings and places from the time of the American Revolutionary War.

Tourists in town can follow the Freedom Trail, a walking route of approximately 4 kilometers, indicated by a red line on the sidewalks, which connects the main attractions. The route begins on Boston Common, the oldest public park in America, originally used for cattle grazing, as an army camp for British soldiers, and as a gallows field. Other highlights along the Freedom Trail include the State House, which is home to the Massachusetts state government; the Old Granary Cemetery, where revolutionaries like Samuel Adams, John Hancock, and Paul Revere are buried; the Old South Meeting House, a church where citizens made the decisions that led to the Boston Tea Party; the Old State House, which was the seat of the British governor before the revolution. The Boston Massacre took place in front of the building; Faneuil Hall, a market building also used for meetings, along with the adjacent Quincy Market, it is now a tourist area with many shops and small restaurants; the North End, the oldest part of Boston, now a neighborhood with many Italian immigrants, with the Old North Church, whose tower was built in 1775was used by the revolutionaries to signal with light signals that the English army was on its way to confiscate weapons from the patriots. This gave the patriots an opportunity to prepare for the arrival of the British, which resulted in the first battles of the Revolution, at Lexington and Concord; and the USS Constitution, the oldest officially active warship of the United States Navy, which took part in the War of 1812 against the British.

Other places of interest are:

  • Fenway Park, the baseball stadium of the Boston Red Sox
  • The world famous Arnold Arboretum in Jamaica Plain
  • Fort Independence on Castle Island, a fort built in 1634 by the English settlers to protect Boston Harbor.

Theater & Music

In the theater district south of Boston Common, the park in downtown Boston, are major theaters worth seeing, such as the Wang Center for the Performing Arts and the Cutler Majestic Theater. Near the Boston Symphony Hall (1900), the concert hall of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, is the New England Conservatory.

Boston has also produced some well-known music artists such as the bands The Pixies, Aerosmith, Boston, Dropkick Murphys and New Kids on the Block and musicians Jonathan Richman and Donna Summer.


Boston has several professional sports teams:

  • the Boston Red Sox – baseball, Major League Baseball (MLB), won the World Series 86 years after their previous championship in 2004, and again in 2007, 2013, and 2018. The Red Sox play at Fenway Park.
  • the New England Patriots – American Football, National Football League (NFL), winners of the Super Bowl in 2002, 2004, 2005, 2015, 2017 and 2019.
  • the Boston Celtics – basketball, National Basketball Association (NBA), record holder with 17 championship titles
  • the Boston Bruins – Ice Hockey, National Hockey League (NHL). The club has won the Stanley Cup six times, most recently in 2011.
  • the New England Revolution – soccer, Major League Soccer (MLS)

Since 1897, the Boston Marathon has been held every year on Patriot’s Day, the third Monday in April. The match begins in Hopkinton, and ends in downtown Boston. On April 15, 2013, a bomb attack was carried out during this marathon, killing 3 and injuring 176 (including minor injuries).


Boston College

Map of Boston Universities and Colleges

A subway of the Red Line

The ” Big Dig ” aerial view looking north, with the Zakim Bunker Hill Bridge over the Charles in progress

There are over a hundred universities and colleges in the Boston area [source?].

The main ones are:

  • Harvard University (Cambridge)
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT, Cambridge)
  • Berklee College of Music
  • Boston Conservatory
  • Boston University
  • Boston College
  • Brandeis University (Waltham)
  • Northeastern University
  • Emerson College
  • University of Massachusetts (financially supported by the State of Massachusetts)
  • Suffolk University
  • Tufts University (Somerville, Medford)
  • Wellesley College (Wellesley)
  • Bentley University (Waltham)
  • Babson College (Wellesley)
  • Regis College (Weston)

Traffic and transport

Boston is an important seaport with an open connection to the Atlantic Ocean.

Logan International Airport is located on reclaimed land on the north side of the harbor, just a few miles from the center of town, and is served by three tunnels (the new Ted Williams tunnel, and the old Callihan and Sumner tunnels).. Two of the planes involved in the September 11, 2001 attacks had taken off from Logan Airport.

Three major Interstate Highways connect Boston to the rest of the country:

  • Interstate 90 – Westbound: Via Cleveland and Chicago all the way to Seattle.
  • Interstate 95 – South: via New York and Washington DC to Miami; north: via Maine to the Canadian border.
  • Interstate 93 – North: via New Hampshire and Vermont to the Canadian border.

Amtrak operates a high-speed rail service, called the Acela, from Boston’s South Station to New York and Washington. On March 14, 1887, a train accident occurred on the Dedham – Boston route.

Local public transportation in Boston is provided by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA). The subway opened in 1897, and is the oldest underground in the United States. Boston’s subway is simply referred to as The T by locals. The MBTA also has city buses and commuter trains to the suburbs.

On December 31, 2007, Boston officially shut down a massive construction project colloquially referred to as the ” Big Dig.” The main aim of the project was to tunnel the Cross Town Express Way, a major highway built right through the inner city in the 1950s over a monstrous viaduct, through tunnels. A third tunnel under Boston Harbor (the Ted Williams Tunnel) and a bridge over the Charles are also part of the project. It is the most expensive road construction project in United States history. However, traffic is now flowing well.

Town twinning

  • Barcelona (Spain)
  • Belo Horizonte (Brazil)
  • Dublin (Ireland)
  • Haifa (Israel)
  • Hangzhou (China)
  • Kyoto (Japan)
  • Melbourne (Australia)
  • Nagoya (Japan)
  • Padova (Italy)
  • Sekondi-Takoradi (Ghana)
  • Shannon (Ireland)
  • Strasbourg (France), since 1960
  • Taipei (Taiwan)
  • Amsterdam (Netherlands)

Nearby places

The figure below shows nearby places within a 12 km radius of Boston.


Arlington (12 km)

Belmont (10 km)

Brookline (4km)

Cambridge (6km)

Chelsea (9km)

Dedham (11 km)

Everett (10 km)

Malden (12 km)

Medford (11 km)

Milton (5 miles)

Needham (12 km)

Newton (10 km)

Quincy (10 km)

Somerville (5 miles)

Watertown (9 km)

Winthrop (11 km)

Boston, Massachusetts