The 10 Cheapest Boston, MA Neighborhoods To Live In For 2019


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

Editor’s Note: This is our first time ranking the cheapest neighborhoods to live in Boston.
Cheapest Neighborhoods In Boston

Everything else equal, I think we can all agree that living in a cheaper place is better than living in a more expensive place.

I’d much rather pay $500/mo in rent than $1,000. And I’d rather pay $2 for coffee than $5.

And while every neighbhorhood in Boston might be more expensive than living in rural Massachusetts, there are certain neighborhoods that are definitely cheaper.

So what exactly are those Boston neighborhoods where your dollar goes a little further — you can get that one bedroom instead of the studio?

Instead of relying on public opinion and speculation, we wanted to get the facts straight and find out which neighborhoods in Boston are the cheapest.

Here are the cheapest neighborhoods in Boston for 2020:

  1. Roslindale (Homes)
  2. West Roxbury (Homes)
  3. Hyde Park (Homes)
  4. South Boston (Homes)
  5. East Boston (Homes)

What’s the cheapest neighborhood to live in Boston for 2020? According to the most recent census data, Roslindale looks to be the cheaptest Boston neighborhood to live in.

At this point we should make it clear that you do get what you pay for — some of these neighborhoods might not be the best places to live in Boston. You could be sacrificing location or crime rates in return for more space and cheaper groceries.

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.

Once you’re done, you can look at the bottom of the story for a complete chart of every neighborhood we looked at from cheapest to most expensive.

For more Massachusetts reading, check out:

How We Determined The Cheapest Boston Hoods In 2020

In order to rank the cheapest places to live in Boston, we had to determine what criteria defines “cheap”.

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

  • Overall Cost Of Living
  • Rent To Income Ratio
  • Median Home Value To Income Ratio

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

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

And finally, we crowned the neighborhood with the lowest cheapest neighborhood index the “Cheapest City Neighborhood In Boston.” We’re lookin’ at you, Roslindale.

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

The 5 Cheapest Neighborhoods To Live In Boston For 2020

Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 36,129
Cost Of Living Index: 130 (5th cheapest)
Home Value To Income Ratio: 3.6 (1st cheapest)
Rent To Income Ratio: 0.013 (2nd cheapest)
More on Roslindale: Homes For Sale | Data

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.

The median income in Roslindale comes in at $80,867 and the median home value is $293,614 for 2020.

West Roxbury Boston, MA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 32,855
Cost Of Living Index: 142 (11th cheapest)
Home Value To Income Ratio: 4.4 (3rd cheapest)
Rent To Income Ratio: 0.01 (1st cheapest)
More on West Roxbury: Homes For Sale | Data

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.

The median income in West Roxbury comes in at $91,763 and the median home value is $407,058 for 2020.

Hyde Park Boston, MA

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 35,116
Cost Of Living Index: 132 (6th cheapest)
Home Value To Income Ratio: 5.0 (8th cheapest)
Rent To Income Ratio: 0.013 (3rd cheapest)
More on Hyde Park: Homes For Sale | Data

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.

The median income in Hyde Park comes in at $65,408 and the median home value is $324,484 for 2020.

South Boston Boston, MA

Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 38,206
Cost Of Living Index: 143 (12th cheapest)
Home Value To Income Ratio: 4.2 (2nd cheapest)
Rent To Income Ratio: 0.017 (5th cheapest)
More on South Boston: Homes For Sale | Data

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.

The median income in South Boston comes in at $86,753 and the median home value is $367,531 for 2020.

East Boston Boston, MA

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 43,436
Cost Of Living Index: 129 (4th cheapest)
Home Value To Income Ratio: 4.9 (6th cheapest)
Rent To Income Ratio: 0.019 (10th cheapest)
More on East Boston: Homes For Sale | Data

East Boston, nicknamed Eastie, is a neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts with over 40,000 residents. The neighborhood was created by connecting several islands using land fill. It was annexed by Boston in 1836. It is separated from downtown Boston by Boston Harbor and bordered by Winthrop, Revere, and the Chelsea Creek. Directly west of East Boston, across Boston Inner Harbor, is the North End and Boston’s Financial District. The neighborhood is easily accessible to downtown Boston via the MBTA Blue Line.

East Boston has long provided a foothold for the latest immigrants with Irish, Russian Jews and later, Italians. John F. Kennedy’s great grandfather was one of many Irish people to immigrate to East Boston, and the Kennedy family lived there for some time.

The median income in East Boston comes in at $56,961 and the median home value is $276,989 for 2020.

Summing Up The Cheapest Places In Boston

If you’re measuring the neighborhoods in Boston where prices are low and it’s cheap to live, this is an accurate list.

As we mentioned earlier, the neighborhoods in Boston aren’t all cheap. Back Bay-Beacon Hill takes the title of the most expensive neighborhood to live in Boston.

We ranked the neighborhoods from cheapest to most expensive in the chart below.

For more Massachusetts reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Cheapest Neighborhoods To Live In Boston For 2020

Rank Neighborhood Cost Of Living Index
1 Roslindale 130
2 West Roxbury 142
3 Hyde Park 132
4 South Boston 143
5 East Boston 129
6 Charlestown 149
7 Jamaica Plain 141
8 Mattapan 124
9 Fenway-Kenmore 129
10 Roxbury 126
11 South Dorchester 139
12 Allston-Brighton 137
13 North Dorchester 138
14 Central 171
15 South End 164
16 Back Bay-Beacon Hill 192

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.

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