Boston, MA Profile: Facts, Map & Data


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Boston, Massachusetts - Basic Facts

The City of Boston is an incorporated place (Class Code P1) located in Suffolk County at latitude 42.332 and longitude -71.0202. Suffolk County is in the Eastern time zone (GMT -5). The elevation is 46 feet.

The formal official name is the City of Boston, but most people and references simply refer to it as Boston, Massachusetts.

The P1 Census Class Code for Boston indicates a populated place that is also an incorporated place with the same name and the same census code. The Incorporated Place has a Functional Status Code "A" which identifies an active government providing primary general-purpose functions.

The formal boundaries for the City of Boston (see map below) encompass a land area of 48.37 sq. miles and a water area of 41.28 sq. miles.

Alternate Unofficial Names for Boston: Baston, Mushauwomuk, Old Boston, Shawmut, Shawmutt, Shawnnut, Totant, Tramount, Tremont, Trimountain, Trimountaine, Wahstoronòn:ke, Wastok.

City of Boston, MA Boundary Map


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Boston, MA Data & Demographics (As of July 1, 2014)


Total Population 634,358
Population in Households 586,588
Population in Familes 364,953
Population in Group Qrtrs 47,770
Population Density1 13,140
Diversity Index2 76


Total Households 260,932
Average Household Size 2.25
Family Households 119,568
Average Family Size 3


Total Housing Units 282,004 (100%)
Owner Occupied HU 89,024 (31.6%)
Renter Occupied HU 171,908 (61.0%)
Vacant Housing Units 21,072 ( 7.5%)
Median Home Value $430,029
Average Home Value $509,660


Median Household Income $52,929
Average Household Income $78,560
Per Capita Income $32,761
  (Compound Annual Growth Rates)


2010-2014 2014-2019
Population 0.63% 0.92%
Households 0.76% 1.04%
Families 0.67% 1.0%
Median Household Income   2.85%
Per Capita Income   3.36%
1) Population Density = Total Population per square mile.
2) The Diversity Index is a scale of 0 to 100 that represents the likelyhood that two persons, chosen at random from the same area, belong to different race or ethnic groups. If an area's entire population belongs to one race AND one ethnic group, then the area has zero diversity. An area's diversity index increases to 100 when the population is evenly divided into two or more race/ethnic groups.
Based on Census 2010 counts, the Diversity Index for the United States was 60.6 and it is expected to increase to 64.8 by July 1, 2018.


Boston, MA - Peer Comparisons by Rank and Percentile

The table below compares Boston to the other 244 incorporated cities, towns and CDPs in Massachusetts by rank and percentile using July 1, 2014 data. The location Ranked # 1 has the highest value. A location that ranks higher than 75% of its peers would be in the 75th percentile of the peer group.

Variable Description Rank Percentile
Total Population # 1 100th
Population Density1 # 4 99th
Diversity Index2 # 6 98th
Median Household Income # 179 27th
Per Capita Income # 143 42nd

Additional comparisons and rankings can be made with a VERY EASY TO USE Massachusetts Census Data Comparison Tool.