With the Atlantic Ocean neighboring the state on its eastern side, moving to Massachusetts can be quite the exciting prospect. Let’s not forget the rich history and the promise of a life with endless possibilities. Interestingly, the state was also where the first railroad in the country was built. In case you were wondering, that happened in 1826. But even when it comes to educational flex, Massachusetts has much to brag about. So if you are contemplating moving to Massachusetts, you would need a lot more information to be sure of such a decision. Keep reading to find out more.

What Should I Know Before Moving To Massachusetts?

Massachusetts, or what is better known as the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, is the most populous state in the New England region of the United States. That is backed by the massive population of 6.89 million residents, as estimated in 2019. It is spread across an area of 10,565 square miles (27,337 km2), 2715 square miles (7032 km2) of which is water.

Massachusetts is a place of constant discovery. The life here is quite fast paced which mixes with the old-world charm of its rich history. There is no dearth of bars, restaurants, entertainment avenues, museums and art installations for one to choose from.

The food of Massachusetts can surprise you with its taste and flavor despite its simple preparation. You might want to try the state beverage, that is cranberry juice. Or if you prefer something not so tart, Harpoon Brewery’s beers infused with Dunkin Donuts (yes, you read that right) are fast becoming a Massachusetts favorite. And it would be a cardinal sin to miss out on the Boston Cream Pie which also happens to be the State Dessert. It is also a source of satisfaction for the Massachusetts culinary enthusiasts that the origin of the chocolate chip cookie happened in their state.

Massachusetts as a state derives its cultural roots from Native American and Yankee history along with that of other immigrant groups, a fact that is celebrated through various events and festivals throughout the year. It is pretty evident that Massachusetts is a place of opportunities. Be it for those artists who want to leave their creative legacy behind, the person who wants to make it to the top of the corporate ladder, or even the college student who wants to make the most of life.

Also Read: DMV Change of Address for Massachusetts

Crime Rate In Massachusetts

According to NeighbourhoodScout, the rate of crime in Massachusetts per 1000 residents is 3.28, which means that a person’s chances of being the victim of a violent crime are 1 in 305. When it comes to property crime, the rate per 1000 residents is 11.80, which places one’s chances of being a victim at 1 in 85. Both these statistics are well below the national median, making Massachusetts one of the safest states in the country.

Massachusetts Weather

The climate of Massachusetts has been labelled as ‘humid continental’. In short, it means that summers here are hot, winters are cold and it rains a lot.

In summers, the temperatures rise to 80°F (26.7°C) while the nights take a dip with temperatures going down to 60°F (15.5°C). Alrighty so here’s the thing – extreme temperatures are not unusual in Massachusetts. Winters are on the cooler side with temperatures staying above the freezing point on the coast, though it might be colder more inland. Rainfall averages 43 inches (101.6 cm) every year.

Massachusetts has an average of one tornado per year. Its location on the eastern seaboard renders it vulnerable to hurricanes. There can be about a month of thunderstorm activity per year.

Considering Massachusetts’ dependence on agriculture, coastal development and fisheries, the state takes climate change very seriously. To counter the rise in temperatures, the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs has put in place a plan to remove carbon from the state’s economy. It has been noted that the state of Massachusetts has incurred significant damages to properties, the cause of which has been attributed to climate change. Hence, a list of the limits called the Determination of Statewide Emissions for 2050 has been released. It is imperative to bring the greenhouse gas emissions down by 85% by 2050 for the state to keep functioning normally without suffering more damage.

Is Massachusetts Expensive To Live In?

It is not a secret that Massachusetts requires one to have a heavy wallet to lead a good life, but how heavy does it need to be? Moving to a new place undoubtedly brings about this concern of money, which is pretty much the pivotal determinant of the wisdom of the move. So, let us evaluate the monetary situation of a life in Massachusetts.

When it comes to taxes, Massachusetts has a flat income tax rate of 5% and a state-wide sales tax rate of 6.25%. The income tax applies to both earned and unearned income.

Cost Of Living

The cost-of-living index of Massachusetts is 127.2, compared to the country’s index which stands at 100. This sits well with the median household income of the state, which is $81,215. A family of four would need about $4,160 for their monthly expenses on average. This figure is excluding the rent of the house. As per Numbeo, a single person likewise would need $1,153 per month.

When you would go to the supermarket, a litre of milk would cost you $0.93 and a loaf of bread would be $3.11. A dozen eggs will be $2.52 and a kilogram of potatoes, $1.32. if you are not one to cook, a meal at an inexpensive restaurant is about $20 and a meal at a mid-range restaurant for two people is $80.

When it comes to health insurance, a resident of this state can expect to pay up to $564 for a major comprehensive medical insurance.

Buying A House

The median home price in Massachusetts, as per BestPlaces is $407,900. It is quite a healthy market for real estate and has seen a spike in recent times.

Renting A House

An average two-bedroom house would rent out for $1,500 in Massachusetts, as per Zillow. This would of course, differ as per city and neighbourhood.

Utility Bills

Utility bills in Massachusetts for an average apartment, can be around $174.31. At the same time, the cost of an internet connection with an unlimited plan would be $64.91 approximately.

When it comes to transportation, a one-way ticket on the public transport is $2.70 and a monthly pass would be $90. The base taxi-fare is $3 and the price per kilometre thereon is $1.81. A litre of gasoline costs $0.64. This should give you a comprehensive estimate of the cost of the comings and goings in Massachusetts.

See Also: Best States To Live in

Massachusetts Economy And Employment Opportunities

It was in 2017 that the state of Massachusetts was ranked as the best in the United States. This judgement includes a study of healthcare, economy, education, infrastructure and opportunity.

The gross state product back in 2017 was a staggering $527 billion. The minimum wage in 2024 is $13.50 and the minimum wage for tipped workers is $5.55.

As of 2015, it was noted that twelve Fortune 500 companies have set up shop in Massachusetts. Some of them are Liberty Mutual, Raytheon, American Tower, Global Partners and Boston Scientific. The state has been recognized as the 25th best in the country for business while being the most innovative in the United States. Considering that, is it a surprise that this state has the 6th largest number of millionaires per capita in the US?

The most important sectors of the state’s economy are education, biotechnology, healthcare, tourism, manufacturing and defense. Massachusetts has three foreign trade zones and the Route 128 corridor and Greater Boston are major centers for venture capital investment. When it comes to tourism, Salem, Plymouth and Berkshires are ever-popular.

The state ranks at the 16th position in the US in terms of manufacturing output. The goods include medical devices, paper goods, speciality chemicals, plastics and others. When it comes to agriculture, farms in Massachusetts are spread across 523,517 acres (2120 km2). Some of the produce includes corn, apples and cranberries. Another major source of employment in Massachusetts is the non-profit organisations. There are more than 33,000 of them and they employ about one-sixth of the state’s workforce.


The education system in Massachusetts has consistently been ranked as the best in the country by the U.S. News & World Report. The state does not shy away from spending on education, with its expense per student being in the bracket of $14,000 to $15,000. Students of the state frequently score high on maths and languages on the National Assessment of Educational Progress. The public-school students are considered top-tier in the world. Two of the world’s best private universities – Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are in Cambridge. Some of the other notable universities here are Boston University, Wellesley College, Northeastern University and Tufts University.

Massachusetts has always been a state that promotes education and ruthlessly maintains the standard of education for its students. Massachusetts is where the oldest school of North America is located. To add to the list, there is also the country’s oldest elementary school, its oldest high school, oldest operating boarding school and the oldest women’s college. That’s quite the list. Another feather in its cap is the existence of the Phillips Academy in Andover that happens to be the highest ranked private high school in the United States.

Getting Around Massachusetts

Massachusetts takes its transport planning very seriously. It has ten regional metropolitan planning organizations and three non-metropolitan ones. The Massachusetts Department of Transportation is responsible for taking care of the planning of the state.

Road travel

The roads of Massachusetts are spread over 36,800 miles (59,200 km). They comprise interstates and highways, with the I-90 being the longest one in the state. The I-91 travels north-south to the Connecticut river and the I-93 takes a similar route along central Boston. Some of the popular intercity bus service providers are Peter Pan Bus Lines, Greyhound Lines, OurBus and BoltBus. The South Station in Boston sees a lot of Chinatown bus lines leaving for New York.

Rail Travel

Amtrak is the primary operator of the rail lines in Massachusetts. The South Station in Boston serves as the origin for three lines, which are the Acela Express, the Northeast Regional and the Lake Shore Limited. The North Station serves the Downeaster which runs through Portland and Brunswick in Maine. These lines connect Boston to several cities across the state.

Water travel

Ferry is quite the popular mode of transport across the state. The Boston Harbor Cruises operate under contract with the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority and service the area around Greater Boston. Towards the south of the state, ferry lines connect Martha’s vineyard to ports along the mainland. There are also lines connecting Nantucket to Hyannis, New York and others. SeaStreak, Hy-Line Cruises and The Steamship Authority are the companies providing these services.

Air Travel

The Boston Logan International Airport is one of the busiest in the state and the country, serving up to 34 million passengers through its gates. The state has 39 air-fields open for public use with some 200 landing places. It is the Federal Aviation Administration that regulates the state’s air travel. The authority also occasionally funds some of the airports.

Best Cities To Live In Massachusetts

1. Cambridge

Cambridge is the ultimate student city with it being the home for Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Hult Business School. This major suburb is also the home for Kendall Square that has the greatest number of emerging businesses since 2010. Fun fact, it has been earning the name of “the most innovative square mile on the planet”. While the education sector is the biggest employer, manufacturing and health sectors also play a huge part.

The cost of a house here is $850,000, as per Zillow, and the rent for a similar house would be $2,800.

2. Brookline

Brookline is a well-to-do town in Norfolk County in the Boston Metropolitan area. It is ranked as the best city in Massachusetts and the 10th best in the United States. It is an extremely safe neighborhood and ideal for raising a family in. Brookline also increases the state’s brownie points that it offers amazing job opportunities, great public schools and excellent public transport. The city is also known as the cultural hotspot for the Jewish community.

The cost of a house in Brookline is $600,000 and the rent for the same would be approximately $3,000.

3. Lexington

Lexington is a suburban county in Middlesex county and is best known for its history from the colonial and the Revolutionary times. It’s impossible to miss the Lexington Square and the Revolutionary Monument if you ever go visiting there. After the revolutionary war, Lexington saw growth move at a slow and steady pace with the major employer being agriculture. The major employment avenues of this place today are MIT Lincoln Laboratory, Stride Rite, Global Insight and the Lexington Public School, among a few others.

The cost of a house in Lexington is $750,000, according to Zillow, and the rent for a similar house is $2,000.

4. Newton

It’s a suburban city in Middlesex county. Newton, instead of being a city in the traditional sense, acts more as an umbrella for 13 villages, each having their own downtown. The place is especially famous for its institutes of education, some of them being the Andover Newton Theological School, Lasell College, Aquinas College and others. Money magazine, in 2018, called Newton the best place to live in in all of Massachusetts. It is also one of the safest cities in all of the United States. But the best part is that it is just less than 8 miles (12 km) from Boston.

The average cost of a house in Newton, as per Zillow, is $600,000 and the rent for a similar house would be $2,000 an average.

5. Springfield

This city is the seat of the Hampden county and is along the banks of the meeting point of three rivers – the Westfield, the Chicopee and the Mill River. People best know it as the home of the Simpsons or the home of Abraham Lincoln before the White House. It is certainly a city that encourages innovation, which has earned it the nickname of ‘City of Firsts’. Some of the innovations include the country’s first armoury, military arsenal and America’s first automobile.

Also See: 10 Largest Cities In Massachusetts

Is It A Good Idea To Move To Massachusetts?

There has hardly been a person in the state’s huge story who would call it a bad idea to move to Massachusetts. The state’s love for lobsters and history might just make you think that the city is your lobster. Also note that this is the place where you can have the best vacations without spending much due to the proximity of those spots.

Some practical aspects to consider would be your spending capacity, career goals and the kind of income you’re expecting. For studying, moving to Massachusetts is undoubtedly a good idea. For the rest, if your job or financial situation helps you afford living here or your industry has a stronghold in Massachusetts, then moving here might just be a good idea.

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