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The 20 Best Places to Live in Massachusetts

Lexington, MA

Massachusetts is one of the most remarkable states in America. It's the place where many believe this country originated, being home to the historic city of Plymouth.

The first European settlement was established there in the year 1620. What began as a farming and fishing community has grown and evolved into a highly industrialized center of activity in the country.

Massachusetts has been listed as one of the best states to raise a family, and here are the 20 best places to live in Massachusetts, based upon safety, good school ratings, employment, amenities and reasonable cost of living.

20. West Cambridge, MA.

West Cambridge is the 20th best place to live in the state of Massachusetts. The city has a population of 11,093 residents. The public schools have an A rating and it's rated as a relatively safe place to live.

The city offers excellent public transportation and it's loaded with a host of amenities including good options for food, and plenty of entertainment for those who enjoy going out on the town for a night of fun and entertainment.

The city gets an overall niche rating of A+ for a reasonable cost of living, ample job and employment opportunities and safe neighborhoods.

19. Newton Highlands, MA

Newton Highlands is a neighborhood located in Newton, MA. The city has a population of 15,770 residents. The public schools have a rating of A+ for high test scores and graduation rates.

The neighborhood has a fairly high crime rate, which is negative, and the housing is a bit expensive, but the nightlife and amenities are ample. The city has both urban and suburban areas.

The majority of the residents own their homes in Newton Highlands. There are plenty of restaurants, parks, and coffee shops and it's a town where many come to retire after fulfilling their careers.

18. Waban, MA

Waban has a population of 7,804 residents. It's a smaller neighborhood that is located in Newton, Massachusetts. The overall feeling in Waban is suburban.

Most residents in this community are homeowners, and like Newton Highlands, it's a retirement community, but there are families with children in the town due to the high rating of the public schools.

There are plenty of parks, restaurants and coffee shops in the area along with lots to do if you enjoy the nightlife. The community is highly rated for theri educational studios and various civic groups geared towards children.

17. Lexington, MA

Lexington has a population of 33,339. It's a larger city that is known for its high amount of pedestrian traffic, adn its cleanliness. The public schools are highly competitive with a high rating for test scores and graduation rates.

There are plenty of amenities for people of all ages with recreation, entertainment, dining, coffee shops, a library, and nightlife activities.

The cost of rent is a bit expensive in Lexington and many of the rental apartments are not updated, but this suburb of Boston still ha an overall rating of A+ for desirability.

16. Newton Upper Falls

Newton Upper Falls is one of thirteen villages found within the city of Newton. The population is 8.621 and the town has a high number of renters.

The neighborhood has a very high safety rating. A train stops in the town offering fast and easy access to greater Boston. The home prices are lower for the older homes, but many contractors are purchasing them tearing them down and rebuilding newer homes. Overcrowding could be a concern in the near future.

The public schools have an A+ rating and the town, overall gets a rating of A+.

15. Newton Centre, MA

Newton Centre has a population of 9,577 residents. It's a smaller city that is rich in diversity, and the environment is welcoming. Most of the residents own their homes in this suburban feeling neighborhood.

It is packed with an assortment of parks, coffee shops and restaurants. The public schools have an A+ rating, and there are ample amenities for people of all ages, including nightlife and recreational opportunities.

The crime rate is high on the downside, and the homes are expensive, but this is due to the high livability rating for the town, which overall, is an A+.

14. Longmeadow, MA

Longmeadow is located in Hampden County with a population of 16,000 residents. It may have all the appearances of a quaint small town but there are plenty of things to do for residents.

The Longmeadow High School is known for its high performance in college entrance exams with a 96 percent rate of graduates moving on to college. Many of the students of the school are Grammy Award winners.

The cost of living is affordable in comparison to most other towns in the region. Although the median home value is $334,300, a 3 to 4 bedroom home can run as low as $240,000.

13. Beverly, MA

Beverly is a city with a population of 40,670 residents. The cost of living is low in this town with a median home value of $369,000. What makes Beverly so special is that it's one of Massachusetts' oldest cities.

It's a 16-mile drive from the heart of Boston with an easy commute to the larger city. There are plenty of restaurants as well as entertainment and recreational activities. The schools are high performing making this one of the better places in the state to raise a family.

12. Newburyport, MA

Newburyport has a population of 18,000 restaurants. The seaport of this town has a long and rich history, making it a hot spot for tourists. The town is welcoming and the average wages for a household are high at $85,556 per year.

The commute to Boston is not as fast as from Beverly, but it's a drive that many people make by car. There is an option to take the train. The median home price is $444,200.

There are plenty of restaurants with entertainment and recreational opportunities. The crime rate is moderate, so it's somewhat of a concern, mostly for theft and minor crimes. Still, it's one of the more desirable places to live in Massachusetts.

11. Concord, MA

Concord has a population of 19,200 residents. It holds a special place in the history of the nation. It's a town where the American Revolution was fought. It shares this feature with Lexington, known for its famous battles.

The literary history is immense, and it has been the home of multiple authors including Louisa May Alcott, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Henry Thoreau, and Ralph Waldo Emerson.

The town maintains its rustic library and you have a choice of high-end homes in certain parts of town or more affordable housing. There are tons of amenities including restaurants, shops, and entertainment venues, but the cost of living is high due to its high livability and desirability scores.

10. Waltham, MA

Waltham has a population of 62,500 residents. It is the tenth most desirable place to live in Massachusetts. The town is within close proximity to Boston, making for an easy commute for those who work in the bigger city.

Two universities are at home in this city including Bentley College and Brandeis University. The nightlife is amazing in this town and there are more than 260 restaurants and bars in the town. There are also multiple parks, theaters, and museums. Unemployment is low and the job prospects are excellent.

9. Marblehead, MA

Marblehead has a population of 20,000 residents. It's a suburb of Boston in Essex County. Marblehead has a crime rate that is slightly higher, but it's still considered to be a safe place to live as the majority of the crimes committed are petty including shoplifting and such.

The average household income is $102,993 with ample job opportunities. The public schools have among the highest ratings in the state with an almost rating on GreatSchools. It's a great place to raise a family and there are plenty of restaurants, coffee shops, and entertainment venues.

8. Sudbury, MA

Sudbury has a population of 18,400 residents. The public schools are very highly rated. The town gets a high overall livability score because of its remarkably affordable rent averaging $569 per month, but the cost of homeownership is much higher with an average home value of $640,700.

This is offset by the median household income of $165,745. There is excellent access to medical care, restaurants, shops and grocery stores within a short commute. The cost of living is high in the town if you're a homeowner, but it's a great place for rentals.

7. Wellesley, MA

Wellesley has a population of 29,000 residents. The city is known for having outstanding public schools and a high number of graduates who go on to college. It is the home of Wellesley College, as well as Babson college with beautifully landscaped campuses.

There are tons of outdoor activities in Wellesley with an arboretum, quiet parks, and miles of trails that intertwine with interesting places to visit. There are plenty of shops and restaurants as well as attractions.

The quality of life is high but so is the average cost of a home which is about $946,000.

6. Leverett, MA

Leverette is a city with a population of only 2,000 residents. It has a small-town feeling and it has an affordable cost of living. There is an incredibly low crime rate that is almost non-existent making it one of the safest towns to live in within the state of Massachusetts.

The schools are highly ranked and the average home value is $343,900. The town is so small that there are no bars, movie theaters or restaurants, but if you like natural attractions it's absolutely loaded with them.

5. Melrose, MA

Melrose has a population of 28,132 residents. It has a high livability rating with plenty of available jobs in the area and a lot of housing options. The affordability gets a 7 out of 10. It's not the most expensive town in the area, and the diversity of people in the area is also above average.

Melrose has a high desirability rating because of the low crime rate, giving it a safety rating of 8.5 out of 10. The public schools are rated as being excellent and there are amenities including restaurants, shopping, entertainment and plenty of options for recreation.

4. Woburn, MA

Woburn has a population of 39,500 residents. The outlook for jobs is good in the area and there are plenty of housing options. The major downside is that it's not very affordable because of the high desirability.

This is a city that people want to live in because of the high safety rating and excellent public schools The ara gets an 8 out of 10 for diversity.

It's highly rated for amenities with a lot of places to shop, dine or pursue recreational and entertainment activities.

3. Medford, MA

Medford ha a population of 57,500 residents. The job opportunities in this city are plentiful, and so is the housing for both homeowners and renters.

The cost of living is high in the city because of its high livability score. It's a diverse city with a high safety rating and a low crime rate. Medford is packed with amenities for people of all ages.

There are entertainment venues, lots of restaurants and coffee shops, shopping, and outdoor recreation. The public schools have an above-average rating making this a great place to raise a family.

2. Gloucester, MA

Gloucester has a population of 29,858 residents. The unemployment rates are low because there are a lot of available jobs of all types in the area.

There is great housing with an affordability rating that is a bit more reasonable than Medford and some of the other surrounding areas. It's not that diverse of an area, but the amenities are excellent with parks, restaurants, shopping centers, coffee shops, and recreational activities.

Crime is moderately low and the safety rating is an 8 out of 10. The public schools have an above-average rating, and although not as highly ranked as some other towns in the area, they're still very good, just not as competitive. For some students, this is actually less stressful.

1. Hopkinton, MA

The best place to live in the state of Massachusetts is Hopkinton, which is a suburb of Boston. The population is 16,720 residents. It's one of the best suburbs to raise a family.

Hopkinton is filled with public areas for hiking, walking and other outdoor activities. It's a diverse town with people who are very welcoming. It's also one of the safest suburbs in the Boston area with a top-rated public school system. The town has an overall rating of A+.

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Liz Flynn

Written by Liz Flynn

Liz Flynn has worked as a full-time writer since 2010 after leaving a career in education. She finds almost all topics she writes about interesting, but her favorite subjects are travel and food. Liz loves the process of researching information, learning new things, and putting into words what others who share her interests might like to read. Although she spends most of her time writing, she also enjoys spending time with her husband and four children, watching films, cooking, dining out, reading, motorsports, gaming, and walking along the beach next to her house with her dog.

Read more posts by Liz Flynn

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