Boston (pronounced /ˈbɒstən/ /ˈbɔstən/) is the capital of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and its largest city, and is one of the oldest cities in the United States. It was named Boston by early settlers from Boston, Lincolnshire in England. The largest city in New England, Boston is regarded as the unofficial "Capital of New England" for its economic and cultural impact on the entire New England region. The city proper, covering 48.43 square miles (125.43 square km), had an estimated population of 625,087 in 2011 according to the U.S. Census, making it the 21st largest in the country. Boston is also the anchor of a substantially larger metropolitan area called Greater Boston, home to 4.5 million people and the tenth-largest metropolitan area in the country. Greater Boston as a commuting region is home to 7.6 million people, making it the fifth-largest Combined Statistical Area in the United States.
In 1630, Puritan colonists from England founded the city on the Shawmut Peninsula. The city thrived, becoming the largest in British America and the third largest city in the British Empire (behind London and Bristol). During the late 18th century, Boston was the location of several major events during the American Revolution, including the Boston Massacre and the Boston Tea Party. Several early battles of the American Revolution, such as the Battle of Bunker Hill and the Siege of Boston, occurred within the city and surrounding areas. Through land reclamation and municipal annexation, Boston has expanded beyond the peninsula. After American independence was attained Boston became a major shipping port and manufacturing center, and its rich history helps attract many tourists, with Faneuil Hall alone attracting over 20 million every year. The city was the site of several firsts, including the United States' first public school, Boston Latin School (1635), and the first subway system in the United States (1897).
With many colleges and universities within the city and surrounding area, Boston is an international center of higher education and a center for medicine. The city's economic base includes research, manufacturing, finance, and biotechnology. As a result, the city is a leading finance center, ranking 12th in the Z/Yen top 20 Global Financial Centers. The city was also ranked number one for innovation, both globally and in North America, for a variety of reasons. Boston has one of the highest costs of living in the United States, though it remains high on world livability rankings, ranking third in the US and 36th globally.
Famous quotes containing the word boston:
“If nobody knows you that does not argue that you be unknown, nobody knew Ida when they no longer lived in Boston but that did not mean that she was unknown.”
—Gertrude Stein (18741946)
“The ideal of men and women sharing equally in parenting and working is a vision still. What would it be like if women and men were less different from each other, if our worlds were not so foreign? A male friend who shares daily parenting told me that he knows at his very core what his wifes loving for their daughter feels like, and that this knowing creates a stronger bond between them.”
—Anonymous Mother. Ourselves and Our Children, by Boston Womens Health Book Collective, ch. 6 (1978)
“Let those talk of poverty and hard times who will in the towns and cities; cannot the emigrant who can pay his fare to New York or Boston pay five dollars more to get here ... and be as rich as he pleases, where land virtually costs nothing, and houses only the labor of building, and he may begin life as Adam did? If he will still remember the distinction of poor and rich, let him bespeak him a narrower house forthwith.”
—Henry David Thoreau (18171862)