These Are The 10 Best Neighborhoods In Boston, MA For 2018


We used science and data to determine which neighborhoods in Boston are the best of the best.

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Do you like your neighborhood? Is it friendly, and where everyone knows their neighbors? No matter if you live in the sticks or in an apartment building in downtown Boston, you have a little pocket that you can call home. And each neighborhood is different.

Smaller neighborhoods usually have obvious benefits — less crime, a slower pace of life, and a lower cost of living. But not all Boston neighborhoods are created equal. Some are better than others. But which ones?

Instead of relying on public opinion and speculation, we wanted to get the facts straight and find out which neighborhoods in Boston are the best. If you’re in one of the places we’re about to highlight, odds are you know you’ve got it made.

Here are the best neighborhoods in Boston for 2018:

  1. Back Bay-Beacon Hill (Homes)
  2. Central (Homes)
  3. West Roxbury (Homes)
  4. Charlestown (Homes)
  5. South End (Homes)
  6. South Dorchester (Homes)
  7. South Boston (Homes)
  8. Jamaica Plain (Homes)
  9. Roslindale (Homes)
  10. Hyde Park (Homes)

Read on to see how we determined the places around Boston that deserve a little bragging rights or maybe you’re interested in the worst neighborhoods in Boston.

If you’re thinking of moving to elsewhere in Massachusetts check out:

How do you determine the top neighborhoods in Boston for 2018?

In order to rank the best neighborhoods in Boston, we had to determine what criteria defines a ‘best’.

Using crime, census, and extrapolated BLS data, we arrived at the following set of criteria:

  • High incomes
  • Low unemployment rates
  • Low crime
  • High home prices
  • High population densities (A proxy for things to do)

We limited the analysis to neighborhoods with over 1,000 people.

We then ranked each neighborhood with scores from 1 to 16 in each category, where 1 was the best.

Next, we averaged the rankings for each neighborhood to create a best neighborhood index.

And finally, we crowned the neighborhood with the lowest best neighborhood index the ‘Best City Neighborhood In Boston.’ We’re lookin’ at you, Back Bay-Beacon Hill.

Read on below to learn more about what it’s like to live in the best places Boston has to offer. Or skip to the end to see the list of all the neighborhoods in the city from best to worst.

1. Back Bay-Beacon Hill

Back Bay-Beacon Hill Boston, MA

Population: 28,472
Median Income: $89,036
Median Home Value: $690,728

Beacon Hill is a historic neighborhood in Boston, Massachusetts. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, the population of Boston’s Beacon Hill neighborhood is 9,023.
More on Back Bay-Beacon Hill: Real Estate | Data

2. Central

Central Boston, MA

Population: 32,335
Median Income: $88,233
Median Home Value: $495,250

Central Square is a section of the neighborhood of East Boston in Boston, Massachusetts, United States. The square begins at the intersection of Bennington Street and Meridian Street, continues up Meridian to its intersection with White Street, and includes all the area to the left. The squares intersecting streets also include Border, Saratoga, and Eutaw Street. It is within close proximity of the entrance to the Sumner Tunnel, which motorists take to downtown Boston.
More on Central: Real Estate | Data

3. West Roxbury

West Roxbury Boston, MA

Source: Public domain

Population: 32,318
Median Income: $89,072
Median Home Value: $382,652

West Roxbury is a neighborhood in Boston, Massachusetts bordered by Roslindale to the northeast and Hyde Park to the southeast. West Roxbury is often mistakenly confused with Roxbury, but the two are not connected. West Roxbury is separated from Roxbury by Jamaica Plain and Roslindale.
More on West Roxbury: Real Estate | Data

4. Charlestown

Charlestown Boston, MA

Source: Public domain

Population: 16,916
Median Income: $88,581
Median Home Value: $395,300

Charlestown is the oldest neighborhood in Boston, Massachusetts, United States. Originally called Mishawum by the Massachusett, it is located on a peninsula north of the Charles River, across from downtown Boston, and also adjoins the Mystic River and Boston Harbor. Charlestown was laid out in 1629 by engineer Thomas Graves, one of its early settlers, in the reign of Charles I of England. It was originally a separate town and the first capital of the Massachusetts Bay Colony.
More on Charlestown: Real Estate | Data

5. South End

South End Boston, MA

Source: Public domain

Population: 33,842
Median Income: $70,286
Median Home Value: $494,278

The South End is a neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts. It is bordered by Back Bay, Chinatown, and Roxbury. It is distinguished from other neighborhoods by its Victorian style houses and the many parks in and around the area. The South End is the largest intact Victorian row house district in the country, which is made up of over 300 acres. Eleven residential parks are scattered around the South End. In 1973, the South End was listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The construction of the South End began in 1849 when the neighborhood was built on tidal marshes.
More on South End: Real Estate | Data

6. South Dorchester

Population: 65,577
Median Income: $52,158
Median Home Value: $315,266

Dorchester is a historic neighborhood comprising more than 6 square miles in Boston, Massachusetts, United States. Originally, Dorchester was a separate town, founded by Puritans who emigrated in 1630 from Dorchester, Dorset, England. This dissolved municipality, Boston’s largest neighborhood by far, is often divided by city planners in order to create two planning areas roughly equivalent in size and population to other Boston neighborhoods.
More on South Dorchester: Real Estate | Data

7. South Boston

South Boston Boston, MA

Population: 36,275
Median Income: $75,794
Median Home Value: $316,521

South Boston is a densely populated neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts, located south and east of the Fort Point Channel and abutting Dorchester Bay. South Boston, most popularly known as Southie, was once a predominantly working class Irish Catholic community, but has become increasingly desirable among young professionals and families.
More on South Boston: Real Estate | Data

8. Jamaica Plain

Jamaica Plain Boston, MA

Source: Public domain

Population: 44,519
Median Income: $72,222
Median Home Value: $327,286

Jamaica Plain is a neighborhood of 4.4 square miles in Boston, Massachusetts, US. Founded by Boston Puritans seeking farm land to the south, it was originally part of the town of Roxbury. The community seceded from Roxbury as a part of the new town of West Roxbury in 1851, and became part of Boston when West Roxbury was annexed to Boston in 1874. In the 19th century, Jamaica Plain became one of the first streetcar suburbs in America and home to a significant portion of Boston’s Emerald Necklace of parks, designed by Frederick Law Olmsted. According to the 2010 Census, it had a population of 37,468.
More on Jamaica Plain: Real Estate | Data

9. Roslindale

Population: 35,472
Median Income: $71,782
Median Home Value: $281,449

Roslindale is a primarily residential neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts, bordered by Jamaica Plain, Hyde Park, West Roxbury and Mattapan. It is served by an MBTA Commuter Rail line, several MBTA bus lines and the MBTA Orange Line in nearby Jamaica Plain. Roslindale has its own branch of the Boston Public Library, the neighborhood is covered by Boston Police District E-5 in West Roxbury, Boston EMS Ambulance 17 is stationed in Roslindale, and the Boston Fire Department has a station on Canterbury Street which houses Ladder 16, Engine 53 & District Chief 12. Roslindale’s original Engine Company 45, was deactivated on April 10, 1981 due to budget cuts. The portion of the Arnold Arboretum south of Bussey Street is located in Roslindale.
More on Roslindale: Real Estate | Data

10. Hyde Park

Hyde Park Boston, MA

Population: 34,381
Median Income: $63,651
Median Home Value: $297,552

Hyde Park is the southernmost neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts, United States. It is home to a diverse range of people, housing types and social groups. It is an urban location with suburban characteristics.

Hyde Park is covered by Boston Police Department District E-18 located in Cleary Square, and the Boston Fire Department station on Fairmount Avenue is the quarters of Ladder Company 28 & Engine Company 48. Boston EMS Ambulance Station 18 is located on Dana Avenue. Hyde Park also has a branch of the Boston Public Library.
More on Hyde Park: Real Estate | Data

Putting A Bow On Our Analysis Of Boston

If you’re measuring the neighborhoods in Boston where crime is low and everyone wants to live, this is an accurate list.

If you’re curious, here are the worst places in Boston:

  1. North Dorchester
  2. Mattapan
  3. Fenway-Kenmore

For more reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Neighborhoods In Boston

Rank Neighborhood Population Home Prices Crimes Per 100k Unemployment Rate
1 Back Bay-Beacon Hill 28,472 $690,728 1,143 3.5%
2 Central 32,335 $495,250 1,143 4.4%
3 West Roxbury 32,318 $382,652 2,311 4.5%
4 Charlestown 16,916 $395,300 1,584 4.4%
5 South End 33,842 $494,278 1,371 6.6%
6 South Dorchester 65,577 $315,266 3,323 10.4%
7 South Boston 36,275 $316,521 2,479 4.9%
8 Jamaica Plain 44,519 $327,286 2,607 5.9%
9 Roslindale 35,472 $281,449 3,174 6.7%
10 Hyde Park 34,381 $297,552 3,284 7.9%
11 Allston-Brighton 64,061 $292,216 3,215 4.4%
12 East Boston 41,683 $255,072 3,478 8.1%
13 Roxbury 61,727 $288,077 3,658 10.7%
14 Fenway-Kenmore 38,161 $270,562 3,352 5.9%
15 Mattapan 37,166 $234,000 3,904 11.3%
16 North Dorchester 26,867 $303,227 3,340 7.0%

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