Thinking about relocating to Massachusetts? Here are 10 essential insights about life in MA you shouldn’t miss!
Nestled against the Atlantic Ocean, Massachusetts stands as a top travel hotspot in the northeastern U.S.
Strategically positioned between New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut, and Rhode Island, Massachusetts boasts a prime spot on the U.S. map. With a bustling population of over 6.8 million residents, it’s the heartbeat of the New England region.
Boston, the vibrant capital, isn’t just the largest city in New England but also the epicenter of commerce, academia, industry, and rich American heritage. Renowned for its stellar education framework, cutting-edge tech production, and a mosaic of cultures and enterprises, Massachusetts shines as a beacon of economic vigor and pioneering spirit.
Pondering a move to Massachusetts? You’re in the right space. While the allure of Massachusetts is undeniable, it’s crucial to dive deep into its essence before making it your sanctuary. This relocation guide, crafted by our experts, unveils the nuances of the Bay State. With a balanced view of its advantages and challenges, this handbook ensures you step into Massachusetts with clarity and confidence.
My Winter Tale
During my first winter in Massachusetts, I was both enchanted and challenged by the state’s snowy embrace. Having moved from a warmer climate, I was ill-prepared for the frosty onslaught of a Nor’easter. The beauty of the snow-covered landscapes was undeniable, and the historic streets of Boston took on a magical quality.
However, the practicalities of daily life in such conditions quickly became apparent. One morning, I found my car buried under a foot of snow, and my lack of a proper snow shovel became a glaring oversight. As I struggled to clear the snow with a makeshift tool, a kind neighbor lent me their shovel and shared some winter survival tips.
That day, I not only learned the importance of being prepared for Massachusetts winters but also experienced the warmth and camaraderie of its residents. While the high cost of living and the cold winters can be daunting, the state’s rich history, diverse culture, and the kindness of its people make it a place I’m proud to call home.
Things To Know
1. The Echoes of History
Massachusetts, one of the original 13 colonies, is fondly referred to as The Old Colony. With its roots tracing back to the 17th century, it’s renowned as the historic landing site of the Mayflower, carrying the Pilgrims from England in 1620.
Before colonization, the region was home to the Algonquin Native American tribes, notably the Wampanoag and the Massachusett. The state’s name was inspired by the Massachusett tribe, thanks to the explorer John Smith. As North America’s second successful English colony, Massachusetts’s Jamestown Colony is celebrated as the venue of the inaugural Thanksgiving, a three-day festivity.
The state’s history is also marked by the Salem Witch Trials from February 1692 to May 1693. Fast forward to the late 1700s, Boston, the capital, became the epicenter of significant events like the Boston Massacre and the Boston Tea Party, pivotal moments in the American Revolution.
These incidents heightened conflicts, culminating in the Battles of Lexington and Concord on Massachusetts soil. Furthermore, the state played a significant role during the Industrial Revolution and the Civil War, witnessing numerous transformative events over the centuries.
For those keen on delving deeper into Massachusetts’s rich history, here are some top historical attractions:
- Salem Witch Museum: Dive into the mysteries of the 1692 Salem Witch Trials in one of Salem’s most frequented museums.
- Concord Museum: Situated in Concord, this museum showcases the Indigenous history and tales from the American Revolution era.
- Boston Tea Party Ships: Step back in time by boarding an authentic replica of an 18th-century vessel, reminiscent of the Boston Tea Party.
- Pilgrim Hall Museum: Established in 1824, this Plymouth museum stands as the nation’s longest-running museum, offering insights into the Pilgrims’ journey through various displays and relics.
- Plimoth Patuxet Museum: Founded in 1947, this immersive museum recreates the Plymouth Colony, originally set up by the Pilgrims in the 17th century. Note: Admission fees may apply.
2. The Price of Living in Massachusetts
Ranked as the sixth priciest state in the U.S., Massachusetts boasts a cost of living that surpasses the national average by 45%. Boston, the state’s capital, stands out as its most expensive city, with living costs that are 11% above the state’s average.
When compared to states like Florida and North Carolina, Massachusetts undoubtedly demands a heftier budget. However, a silver lining is that residing in Massachusetts is still 18% more affordable than the bustling state of New York.
A significant factor contributing to the high living costs is the housing market. Homes in Massachusetts are priced nearly three times the national average.
Consequently, it’s advised for households to have a monthly income of at least $5,861 or an annual median salary of $70,333 to comfortably navigate the state’s expenses. The steep housing prices can be traced back to the balance of housing supply and demand, coupled with the lucrative job opportunities available in the state.
3. Educational Excellence
Massachusetts stands as a paragon of educational brilliance, housing some of the nation’s premier public schools and tertiary institutions. For families relocating to Massachusetts with school-going children, the state offers the assurance of top-tier education.
Notably, Massachusetts consistently outshines its counterparts, clinching the top spot in reading and math test scores among all 50 states. The state’s public schools are not only academically stellar but also rank among the safest nationwide. The recent introduction of the Student Opportunity Act further amplifies the state’s commitment to fostering a high-caliber educational environment and enriching learning experiences for its students.
Higher education in Massachusetts is equally commendable. With a staggering 50 institutions catering to a student body exceeding 150,000, the state offers a plethora of choices for those aspiring for advanced studies. Among these, several institutions have garnered global acclaim. Harvard University, an Ivy League gem, is a name synonymous with academic excellence.
The University of Massachusetts, with its campuses in Boston and Amherst, offers diverse programs and research opportunities. Other noteworthy institutions include Amherst College, known for its liberal arts programs; Boston College, blending tradition with modernity; and Salem State University, which has carved a niche in various disciplines. In Massachusetts, the pursuit of knowledge knows no bounds.
4. A Technological Powerhouse
Massachusetts stands at the forefront of technological advancement in the U.S., boasting one of the nation’s most robust economies. Its top-tier ranking in economic health is a testament to its dynamic industries, which are propelled by cutting-edge technology and innovation.
Given the state’s reputation for academic excellence, with its population being among the most educated in the country, it’s no wonder that tech giants like Google, Facebook, and Amazon have chosen to establish their headquarters here. The state’s educational institutions, renowned globally, act as a magnet for these corporations, ensuring a steady influx of skilled professionals.
5. Healthcare Excellence
When it comes to healthcare, Massachusetts is second to none. Holding the title as the country’s top-ranked state in healthcare, it boasts an impressive density of mental health providers, primary care physicians, and dentists, ensuring that residents have ample access to quality care.
The state’s prominence in the medical field is further accentuated by the presence of world-class medical schools, including Harvard Medical School and Boston University School of Medicine. These institutions not only produce top-tier medical professionals but also attract them, making the state a hub for medical expertise.
The state’s commitment to healthcare is further reflected in its insurance coverage, with a staggering 97% of its residents insured, ensuring they’re well-protected in emergencies.
Massachusetts isn’t just a leader in healthcare provision; it’s also home to hospitals that are nationally and globally recognized for their excellence. Out of the thousands of hospitals in the U.S., Massachusetts General Hospital proudly holds the fourth spot. This distinction, among others, makes the state a global destination for those seeking the pinnacle of medical care.