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Massachusetts State


The state of Massachusetts is located in the northeast of the United States, and the city of Boston is approximately 190 miles northeast from New York City. Plymouth Rock, the landing point of the Mayflower in 1620, is around 35 miles southeast of Boston. As the capital of Massachusetts, Boston is one of the United States’ oldest cities and is important historically within the country due to its role in the War of Independence. Traditionally the city has been seen as one of America’s main cultural cities and also one of the wealthiest. Education is another important factor in the makeup of the metropolitan area: two of America’s best-known Educational facilities are based there, Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).


Boston’s economy is in many ways linked to its universities, especially those working in the research and development sectors, and many of America’s top technology companies have been founded by Boston’s graduates.

Biotechnology is one of the key players in Boston’s economy: according to the independent think tank, the Milken Institute, ‘only a handful of metropolitan areas have succeeded on a scale necessary to ensure industry sustainability’. Of the top 12 successful metropolitan areas in the United States identified by the Milken Institute, Boston is second only to San Diego; however, if the life sciences were included in the study, Boston would be number one. The city is also an important financial centre and is home to one of the United States twelve Federal Reserve Banks.

Boston and the surrounding region is also a popular location for the headquarters or research headquarters of many large, well-known companies. Many of the companies are of a scientific, technology, medical/pharmaceutical and financial nature, with such names as Novell, Bose, Novartis and Liberty Mutual.

Conventions and tourism play their part in the regional economy - each year Boston plays host to a large number of exhibitions, conventions, conferences and meetings at its equally large number of varied venues. For many tourists visiting the city, it is history that is the main attraction, and Boston uses its history to great financial effect. One example is the Freedom Trail (the walk is free, but some of the locations have entrance fees), which reflects Boston’s importance in the War of Independence.

Standard Of Living

Massachusetts is a mixture of urban, suburban, rural and coastal locations, each with their own histories and attractions. The city of Boston has seen many and influenced many changes not just locally, but also nationally. For the visitor there is a plethora of things to see and do, and places to eat or be entertained. For the business person the city is fully equipped with the most up to date facilities and conference centres and for families moving to the region some of the best educational institutions to be found anywhere in the world. Away from the city things slow to a more relaxed lifestyle, but commuting is still relatively easy. Much of the United States early history is rooted in Massachusetts and not only that of the War of Independence. Around 45 miles south of Boston is Fall River, where in August 1892 one of America’s most infamous murders took place: the house at 92 Second Street is where Lizzie Borden is reputed to have killed her parents with an axe. Nowadays, the house is open to paying visitors as a bed and breakfast establishment. Not far away, to the northeast lies the town of Salem, where in 1692 twenty men and women were put to death, accused of witchcraft.

The Mercer Human Resource Cost of Living Survey 2006 ranks Boston in 84th position out of 144 cities world wide, with a score of 76.8. New York is the median for the index in 10th place (100) Moscow is in 1st place (123.9). Of the 20 major United States cities in the survey, Boston was in 11th place. The survey shows that New York has the highest cost of living in America, and Winston Salem the lowest.


The Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport) is in charge of Boston’s airports and shipping ports. Additionally, Massport is responsible for the Tobin Memorial Bridge that connects Boston and Chelsea.

Logan International Airport is the main airport for intercontinental flights to Boston, and links the city to most locations in North America, while European cities can be reached in about 7½ to 8 hours. The airport is situated under 3 miles from the city centre and is easily accessed by the subway, bus, taxi and water taxi. Figures published by Massport show that between January and December 2005 the average monthly throughput of passengers was slightly over 2¼ million. Massport also showed that between August 2005 and July 2006 Containerised Cargo passing through the Conley Terminal stood at 196,892 TEU’s (Twenty foot Equivalent Units) and 241,457 cruise passengers passed through the Massport Marine Facilities.

Transport with the Boston Metropolitan area is the responsibility of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA), also known as the ‘T’ locally. This includes the subways, commuter rail, buses and ferries. The subways and buses provide fast and efficient travel around the city, as well as to the suburbs and outlying areas and further afield within the state. The water taxis ply Boston’s rivers and harbour, providing services for both commuters and tourists.


According the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Boston metropolitan area (consisting of Boston, Cambridge and Quincy) has a workforce of just short of 1.5 million, not including farming. The unemployment rate is around 4.5%. The figures also indicate that the largest areas of employment are education and health services followed closely by professional and business services.

As with many aspects of the city, higher education facilities are key to the workforce, providing employment for nearly 90,000 either directly for or supporting the universities. The universities in turn feed around 30,000 graduates a year into the region’s labour pool.

Business Costs

According to the real estate advisory company CB Richard Ellis in 2006, prime office rent in Boston’s Central Business District stands at US$427 per square metre per annum and the suburbs are US$242. Surprisingly, although the cost of living is lower than New York, office space in Downtown Manhattan stands at US$334 per square metre per annum.
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