Nicknames for Boston include “Beantown” referring to the regional dish of baked beans, “City of Champions” for its sports success and “The Olde Towne” reflecting Boston’s status as one of America’s oldest cities (founded in 1690 by Puritan settlers).
Boston’s Harvard Medical School is one of the world’s most prestigious medical schools.
Research website numbeo ranks Boston in the top 20% compared to the 250 cities evaluated on its overall quality of life index at June 2020. Boston scored well on index factors such as purchasing power (strongest 16%), pollution (best 17%), health care (top 20%) and safety (upper 36%). On the negative side, Boston does relatively poorly on cost of living (highest 6%), traffic commute time (slowest 16%) and climate (bottom 34%).
Boston was recognized by the Guinness World Records for the world’s oldest marathon, the Boston marathon which was first run on April 19, 1897 covering 24 miles 1,232 yards (39 kilometers). To-date, the fastest time to complete the Boston marathon is 2 hours 3 minutes 2 seconds by Kenyan Geoffrey Mutai on April 18, 2011.
Boston’s extensive subway system was the setting for a more recent Guinness World Record. On August 18, 2017 transit fan Dom DiLuzio visited all Boston subway stations in 7 hours 29 minutes 46 seconds.
Boston serves as headquarters for five colossal corporations recognized as belonging to the Forbes Global 2000 world’s biggest companies. These giant businesses are international conglomerate General Electric; global financial services holding company State Street; communications infrastructure provider American Tower Corporation; real estate investment trust Boston Properties; and Vertex Pharmaceuticals.
From an international trade perspective, Massachusetts shipped U$26.1 billion worth of goods around the globe during 2019. Its most valuable exports are gold (8.1% of Massachusetts’ global total), medical, dental or veterinarian instruments and appliances (4.7%), medical supplies including needles and catheters (4%), semiconductor-making machinery (3.2%), filtering or purifying machinery (2.2%), civilian aircraft including engines and other parts (2%), electronic integrated circuit processors and controllers (1.9%), composite diagnostic or laboratory reagents (also 1.9%), electro-diagnostic apparatus (1.6%), and radar apparatus (1.4%) according to United States Census Bureau data.
The non-seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for Suffolk County, where Boston has its traditional seat, was 19.8% at June 2020.
Capital Facts for Boston, United States: Quick Reference
Capital landmarks: Agganis Arena, Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum, Bright Hockey Center, Fenway Park, Harvard Stadium, John Hancock Tower, Skywalk Observatory and the Castle at Boston University
Below, you will find 10 of the most famous people born in Boston, United States.
- Mark Wahlberg (aka Marky Mark), actor & singer (born Jun. 5, 1971)
- James Taylor, Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter (born Mar. 12, 1948)
- Edward Norton, Academy Award-winning actor (born Aug. 18, 1969)
- Uma Thurman, actress (born Apr. 29, 1970)
- Aly Raisman, Olympic gymnastics gold medalist (born May 25, 1994)
- James Spader, actor (born Feb. 7, 1960)
- Jason Nash, comedian (born May 4, 1974)
- Leonard Nimoy (aka Spock), actor & director (born Mar. 26, 1931)
- David Norrie, football TV analyst & former NFL quarterback (born Nov. 30, 1963)
- Peter Wylde, Olympic equestrian gold medalist (born Jul. 30, 1965)
Note: Data for our Famous People tab was sourced from Google searches of published Wikipedia articles specific to each person’s name.
Demonym for a Boston resident: Bostonian
Population: 710,195 (Boston) at August 15, 2020
Density: 14,692 people per square mile (5,672 per square kilometer)
Population: 6,976,600 (Massachusetts) at August 15, 2020
Density: 890 people per square mile (344 per square kilometer)
GDP: US$132.8 billion in 2018 (Suffolk County, MA)
GDP per person: $89,605
Note: The above GDP metrics are on a current basis and are in U.S. dollars.
Official currency used in Boston: U.S. dollars
Brookings Institution, Global Metro Monitor Report (includes GDP data).
Dilemma X, U.S. Census Bureau metropolitan population estimates July 1, 2016.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, Total Real Gross Domestic Product for Suffolk County, MA.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, Unemployment Rate in Suffolk County, MA.
Forbes Global 2000, The World’s Biggest Public Companies.
Guinness World Records, Fastest time to complete the Boston Marathon.
Guinness World Records, Fastest time to travel all Boston subway stations.
Guinness World Records, Oldest marathon.
Numbeo, Quality of Life Index by City.
Nations Online, Capital Cities of the USA.
Official Government Website, City of Boston official website.
United States Census Bureau, Foreign Trade: State by 6-Digit HS Code and Top Countries.
United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Local Area Unemployment Statistics: Seasonally Adjusted Metropolitan Area Estimates.
U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis, Gross Domestic Product by Metropolitan Area, 2015 (Tables Only).
Wikimedia Commons, Boston city flag.
Wikipedia, Greater Boston.
World Population Review, Boston, Massachusetts Population.
Bostonians celebrate Independence Day as a national holiday each July 4.
Boston’s land area occupies 48.34 square miles (125.2 square kilometers). The state capital’s population was 710,195 Bostonians at August 15, 2020.
At the state level, Massachusetts covers a land area of 7,840 square miles (20,306 square kilometers) and is home to about million inhabitants.
Boston’s population density is more concentrated averaging 14,692 residents per square mile (5,672 per square kilometer).
Zooming out to state land boundaries, population density for Massachusetts dilutes to an average 890 people per square mile (344 per square kilometer).