These Are The 10 Best Boston Suburbs


We analyzed over 32 places around Boston to identify the most kickass place to live.

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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:

  1. Cambridge (Photos)
  2. Newton (Photos)
  3. Melrose (Photos)
  4. Somerville (Photos)
  5. Medford (Photos)
  6. Waltham (Photos)
  7. Newburyport (Photos)
  8. Franklin Town (Photos)
  9. Watertown Town (Photos)
  10. 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.

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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.

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1. Cambridge

Cambridge, Massachusetts

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 106,844
Unemployment Rate: 5.8%
Median Home Price: $552,600
Median Income: $75,909

2. Newton

Newton, Massachusetts

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 86,945
Unemployment Rate: 5.7%
Median Home Price: $715,000
Median Income: $118,639

3. Melrose

Melrose, Massachusetts

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 27,509
Unemployment Rate: 4.8%
Median Home Price: $423,500
Median Income: $86,409

4. Somerville

Somerville, Massachusetts

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 77,560
Unemployment Rate: 6.5%
Median Home Price: $449,100
Median Income: $66,866

5. Medford

Medford, Massachusetts

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 56,981
Unemployment Rate: 6.7%
Median Home Price: $392,700
Median Income: $77,868

6. Waltham

Waltham, Massachusetts

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 61,908
Unemployment Rate: 6.3%
Median Home Price: $411,400
Median Income: $73,162

7. Newburyport

Newburyport, Massachusetts

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 17,662
Unemployment Rate: 8.7%
Median Home Price: $435,100
Median Income: $83,149

8. Franklin Town

Franklin Town, Massachusetts

Source: Flickr

Population: 32,393
Unemployment Rate: 6.9%
Median Home Price: $381,600
Median Income: $101,980

9. Watertown Town

Watertown Town, Massachusetts

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 32,880
Unemployment Rate: 7.7%
Median Home Price: $438,900
Median Income: $86,461

10. Braintree Town

Braintree Town, Massachusetts

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 36,543
Unemployment 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:

Detailed List Of The Best Burbs To Live Around Boston

City Rank Population Unemployment Rate Median Home Price Median Income
Cambridge 1 106,844 5.8% $552,600 $75,909
Newton 2 86,945 5.7% $715,000 $118,639
Melrose 3 27,509 4.8% $423,500 $86,409
Somerville 4 77,560 6.5% $449,100 $66,866
Medford 5 56,981 6.7% $392,700 $77,868
Waltham 6 61,908 6.3% $411,400 $73,162
Newburyport 7 17,662 8.7% $435,100 $83,149
Franklin Town 8 32,393 6.9% $381,600 $101,980
Watertown Town 9 32,880 7.7% $438,900 $86,461
Braintree Town 10 36,543 8.3% $368,100 $87,500
Winthrop Town 11 17,992 8.9% $355,800 $64,169
Beverly 12 40,370 7.0% $366,500 $73,980
Quincy 13 92,920 9.4% $342,600 $62,710
Woburn 14 38,826 7.0% $365,500 $77,883
Peabody 15 51,868 6.1% $331,000 $62,234
Boston 16 639,594 10.0% $379,500 $54,485
Amesbury Town 17 16,554 6.9% $311,800 $76,463
Weymouth Town 18 54,815 9.4% $316,200 $69,099
Methuen Town 19 48,159 8.0% $279,100 $68,587
Malden 20 60,309 11.0% $328,800 $55,523
Salem 21 42,321 9.5% $303,100 $59,044
Marlborough 22 39,141 6.9% $299,400 $71,424
Gloucester 23 29,237 10.0% $362,200 $60,229
Everett 24 42,758 10.1% $311,900 $51,056
Chelsea 25 37,084 11.2% $261,200 $48,725
Haverhill 26 61,769 9.1% $256,600 $61,208
Revere 27 53,258 10.4% $305,500 $50,900
Lynn 28 91,289 10.9% $251,000 $47,195
Lowell 29 108,491 11.5% $228,000 $49,164
Lawrence 30 77,364 13.5% $211,900 $34,496
Taunton 31 56,056 10.4% $239,500 $52,225
Brockton 32 94,267 13.6% $221,200 $48,569

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