Big city living isn’t for everyone–but at the same time, urban areas certainly have their perks.
There’s the culture, the food, the arts, the food, the energy, and you know, the food. But there are drawbacks. There’s traffic, expensive parking, expensive housing–pretty much, expensive everything, depending on which big city you’re looking at.
But that’s where the suburbs come in–they have all of the benefits of being near big cities, without actually having to be big cities.
Of course, not all suburbs of Boston are created equally, which is precisely why we set out to find the best ones. So without further ado, here are the 10 best suburbs around Boston:
- Cambridge (Photos)
- Newton (Photos)
- Melrose (Photos)
- Somerville (Photos)
- Medford (Photos)
- Waltham (Photos)
- Newburyport (Photos)
- Franklin Town (Photos)
- Watertown Town (Photos)
- Braintree Town (Photos)
If you happen to be a resident of Cambridge, you’re probably not too surprised to find it on the top our list.
We’ll tell you what makes each of these 10 Boston ‘burbs better than the rest–but first, a bit about our methodology. Or read about the worst suburbs of Boston.
How We Determined The Best Suburbs Around Boston
Figuring out the best ‘burbs around Boston was pretty simple; we just needed to list several things that people like, and then find out which cities have the most of those things.
We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible:
- Low unemployment rate
- High Median household incomes
- Population density (lots of things to do)
- High home values
- A lot of college educated people
Then we used the 2010-2014 American Community Survey to research each suburb. FYI: We defined a suburb based on the Census’s designation of being part of an “Urban Cluster,” but not the main city of said urbanized area. For example, the Census considers all of these places to be part of the Boston, Ma–Nh–Ri Urbanized Area.
Additionally, we limited the analysis to non-CDPs that have over 5,000 people. This left us with a grand total of 32 suburbs to evaluate around Boston.
We ranked each place with scores from 1 to 32 in each category, where 1 was the “best.
Next, we averaged the rankings for each place to create a quality of life index.
And finally, we crowned the city with the best quality of life index the “Best Suburb near Boston.” We’re lookin’ at you, Cambridge.
Read on below to learn more about what it’s like to live in the best of the best. Or skip to the end to see the list of all the suburbs ranked from best to worst.
Population: 106,844Unemployment Rate: 5.8%
Median Home Price: $552,600
Median Income: $75,909
Population: 86,945Unemployment Rate: 5.7%
Median Home Price: $715,000
Median Income: $118,639
Population: 27,509Unemployment Rate: 4.8%
Median Home Price: $423,500
Median Income: $86,409
Population: 77,560Unemployment Rate: 6.5%
Median Home Price: $449,100
Median Income: $66,866
Population: 56,981Unemployment Rate: 6.7%
Median Home Price: $392,700
Median Income: $77,868
Population: 61,908Unemployment Rate: 6.3%
Median Home Price: $411,400
Median Income: $73,162
Population: 17,662Unemployment Rate: 8.7%
Median Home Price: $435,100
Median Income: $83,149
8. Franklin Town
Population: 32,393Unemployment Rate: 6.9%
Median Home Price: $381,600
Median Income: $101,980
9. Watertown Town
Population: 32,880Unemployment Rate: 7.7%
Median Home Price: $438,900
Median Income: $86,461
10. Braintree Town
Population: 36,543Unemployment Rate: 8.3%
Median Home Price: $368,100
Median Income: $87,500
Welcome to the ‘Burbs
We said it once and we’ll say it again–life in the big city isn’t for everyone. At least not all the time.
So if you’re hankering for some of the amenities of a larger city like Boston, but don’t want to deal with the drawbacks, one of these suburbs might just be for you.
For more Massachusetts reading , check out:
- These Are The 10 Worst Cities For Dating In Massachusetts
- These Are The 10 Best Places To Live In Massachusetts
- These 10 Massachusetts Cities Probably Think They’re Smarter Than You
Detailed List Of The Best Burbs To Live Around Boston