Where are the best places in the state of Massachusetts?
To the untrained eye they are the places that have awesome economies. They’re the places in Bay State where people have the best jobs, residents are all above average, and the sun shines the most.
However, here at HomeSnacks, we don’t trust the untrained eye and instead look to data to understand the best places to call home in Massachusetts.
There might be some surprises on this list, but when you look at the unbiased data, it’s hard to argue against.
After analyzing 39 places in Massachusetts, we came up with this list of the best places:
- Newton (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Melrose (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Woburn (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Newburyport (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Waltham (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Beverly (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Cambridge (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Medford (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Gloucester (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Peabody (Photos | Homes For Sale)
Well, it looks like you should check out Newton if you’re thinking of moving to Massachusetts — it’s the best the Bay State has to offer according to the data.
Follow along as we provide more insight into how we reached our overall best places to live in Massachusetts.
For more Massachusetts reading, check out:
- These Are The 10 Best Counties To Live In Massachusetts
- 10 Cheapest Places To Live In Massachusetts
- 10 Best Places To Raise A Family In Massachusetts
Mapping The Best And Worst Places To Live in Massachusetts
The Pressing Question: Size
Before we even started to collect data, we had to answer a tough question: Is it fair to pit Boston with a population of 658,279 against places with a population of 18?
We firmly decided no, that just isn’t fair.
So to create our ranking, we broke places to live into three tiers:
- Cities — Populations over 13,000
- Towns — Populations between 1,000 and 13,000
- Small Towns — Populations below 1,000
This left us with 39 cities, 107 towns, and 14 small towns.
We then decided, no matter how much anyone loves their town, the best places have more of everything and therefore you need to have over 13,000 people to truly be ‘the best’.
You can see those two top tens at the bottom of the post.
How We Calculated The Best Cities To Live In Massachusetts
Now that we had our set of cities, it was time to rank them.
We ranked each place in Massachusetts across a number of criteria from one to 39, with one being the best.
We then took the average rank across all criteria, with the city posting the lowest overall score being crowned the winner of the title “Best Place To Live In Massachusetts”.
The criteria we looked at were:
- Median Home Values
- Median Income
- Population Density (Higher better)
- Unemployment Rate
- Commute Time
- Education Levels
- Health Insurance Coverage
- Poverty rates
After the dust settled, what was the best place to live in Massachusetts? That would be Newton.
If your city or town isn’t among the top 10, jump down to the bottom of the post to see a detailed chart of the best places in Massachusetts.
Otherwise, buckle up for a ride down good living lane with Newton at the end of the cul-de-sac.
Newton is known for having a great education system and has the 22nd shortest commute time.
Additionally, the unemployment rate in Newton is the 2nd lowest in Massachusetts and the median income is the 1st highest in the state.
The Town of Melrose consistently ranks as one of the best places to live. There aren’t any surprises here. Which probably adds credibility to our data, right?
Let’s see why Melrose ranks so high. First of all, the homes in Melrose are the 5th most expensive in the state of Massachusetts, with the average home worth a whopping $437,100. We’re not elitists, nor are we saying that big homes means a better place to live. But price reflects demand, and simply put, a lot of people want to live in Melrose if they can afford it.
Other numbers that stand out: Melrose residents have the 2nd highest income in the state, and the 2nd lowest crime numbers in Massachusetts.
If you live in Woburn, you probably know how great it is already.
Woburn has a stable economy where residents earn a large salary ($83,872). And the crime is really, really low (8th lowest in Massachusetts).
If we could afford to move here, we probably would.
Things can’t get much better than in the town of Newburyport. The crime is the 5th lowest in the entire state, and the residents who live in Newburyport make huge salaries, and almost all of them have great jobs.
The median home costs a cool $461,900 and households make $87,162 which is good for 3rd in Massachusetts.
You might be surprised to see the Town of Waltham so high on the list. Unless you live in Waltham.
The unemployment rate here is really low, and at 5.3%, Waltham residents are some of the hardest working in the state of Massachusetts. When you factor in high home prices, high incomes and low crime, Waltham is doing quite well.
Let’s be honest — Waltham is the kind of place you brag to your friends on Facebook about.
Well, I guess technically 5.7% of Beverly residents who want to have a job can’t find one, so not everyone has a job, but it’s the 10th closest of any city in Massachusetts.
You can tell they take business seriously as they have by far the coolest Chamber of Commerce website we came across in our research.
In addition to its incredibly low unemployment rate, Beverly also ranked well for crime (3rd) and median income ($73,839).
Say what you want about expensive houses. The fact is, homes are priced by demand, and there’s A LOT of demand to live in Cambridge.
The median home costs a cool $629,700 and households make $83,122 which is good for 5th in Massachusetts.
Add that all up and Cambridge places 7th in our ranking of the best places to live in Massachusetts for 2019.
In Medford, everyone loves to call Medford home! The median home value is the 8th highest in Massachusetts.
Additionally, the unemployment rate is the 8th lowest in the state. and the crime rates are some of the lowest in Bay State.
Medford should consider renaming to Paradise Valley in our humble opinion.
It’s obvious why Gloucester ranks 9th in the state for best places to live: they have the 12th lowest unemployment rate and the 11th highest home values.
Plus, they’re known for their quality education and relatively low crime, making Gloucester a great place to live.
Peabody has some of the most employed as well as the highest earning residents in the entire state of Massachusetts. Factor in a very low crime rate, and this Peabody is a real gem.
With high incomes comes a high cost of living, which can been seen in the home prices. Additionally, the commute time for Peabody residents to work is significantly higher than average.
Wrapping Up The Best Places When It Comes To Living In Massachusetts
If you’re looking at areas in Massachusetts with the best economic situations, where there’s lower than average crime, and a lot to do, this is an accurate list.
Newton made a strong showing to take in the overall number one spot for the best place to live in Massachusetts for 2019.
Best Towns To Live In Massachusetts
- Forestdale (Pop. 4,888)
- Topsfield (Pop. 3,435)
- Dover (Pop. 2,453)
- The Pinehills (Pop. 1,275)
- Nahant (Pop. 3,471)
- Cordaville (Pop. 2,847)
- South Duxbury (Pop. 3,684)
- Duxbury (Pop. 1,498)
- West Falmouth (Pop. 2,021)
- Essex (Pop. 1,476)
Best Small Towns To Live In Massachusetts
- Seabrook (Pop. 413)
- Siasconset (Pop. 183)
- Madaket (Pop. 307)
- New Seabury (Pop. 900)
- Mashpee Neck (Pop. 877)
- Edgartown (Pop. 649)
- Petersham (Pop. 220)
- Cheshire (Pop. 647)
- Blandford (Pop. 352)
- Brookfield (Pop. 675)
If you’re curious enough, here are the worst places to live in Massachusetts according to the data:
- Holyoke (Pop. 40,280)
- North Adams (Pop. 13,326)
- Springfield (Pop. 153,991)
For more Massachusetts reading, check out:
- These Are The 10 Best Places To Retire In Massachusetts
- These Are The 10 Richest Cities In Massachusetts
- 10 Safest Places In Massachusetts
- 10 Worst Places To Live In Massachusetts
Detailed List Of The Best Places To Live In Massachusetts