Boston, Massachusetts, is no doubt experiencing something of a celebratory mood this week, as the New England Patriots, a team heavily favoured among Boston residents will be heading to the Superbowl on February 1st. Marvellous news, indeed, but Boston has a great deal more to be happy about besides notable sporting achievements.
A storied history and a bright future
Boston is a city synonymous with American history. One of the oldest cities in the US, it played a pivotal role in the American revolution, bearing witness to such events as the Boston Massacre, Boston Tea Party and the Battle of Bunker Hill. But those tumultuous times are far behind Boston now and today it is as important for America’s future as it is for its history.
Education is at the core of Boston’s success as an economic centre. The city and the surrounding area is home to 350,000 students, bringing US$4.8 billion to the economy annually. The famous university town of Cambridge, Massachusetts, included in the Greater Boston Area, is home to both Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). While within the city proper are Boston University and the University of Massachusetts Boston Campus. All in all, the Boston area contains more than 100 higher education establishments and the sector employs around 7% of the city’s workforce.
Another major economic engine in Boston is the life sciences industry, with a particular focus on biotech. The Milken Institute, an independent economic think tank based in Santa Monica, California, rates Boston as the top life sciences cluster in the United States. Top companies in the area include AstraZeneca, Novartis and Vertex Pharmaceuticals.
Boston is also considered a tech hub, with around 200,000 high tech jobs based in and around the city. Major players in this sector with premises in Boston include AMD, Bose, Intel, Cisco, Hewlett Packard, Google and IBM.
A major driving force behind these successes is the wealth of venture capital available in Boston and Massachusetts at large. In 2013 VC firms raised US$5.4 billion in venture capital funds, most of which was funnelled into the biotech sector with additional investments in emerging technology companies also being prominent.
Boston isn’t just a great place to study and work. It’s easily one of the best places to live in the United States. With its rich history, culture and arts scene, few cities can boast of a pedigree to match that of Boston. It also has one of the most extensive public transport infrastructures in America, strong green initiatives(Boston zoning laws require all large private building projects to adhere to LEED standards, the first American city to do so) and a respected public education record, including the oldest public high school in America.
While Boston is certainly not a cheap place to live, nor does it share the climatic advantages of many of its rivals, the city commands incredible loyalty from those who call it home and is certainly a worthy destination for anyone interested in meeting, investing, working or living in a true centre of knowledge.
The Charles river and Boston skyline
Mayor: Marty Walsh (D)
Population: 645,966 (City) 4,590,000 (Metropolitan Area) Sourced from the U.S. Census Bureau
Gross Metropolitan Product: (2014) US$370 billion Sourced from the U.S. Census Bureau
Key Areas for Investors: High technology, advanced manufacturing, biomedical sciences, pharmaceuticals, software, computer hardware.
Harvard University (Times world ranking 2014: 2)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Times world ranking 2014: 6)
Boston University (Times world ranking 2014: 57)
University of Massachusetts (Times world ranking 2014: 91)
What the papers say
All-star MIT women entrepreneurs pave the way for gender balance in tech (23rd January 2015) Boston Globe (BetaBoston)
Mayor’s Office: http://www.cityofboston.gov/mayor/
Boston Convention and Exhibition Centre: http://massconvention.com/about-us/contact-us/boston-convention-exhibition-center
Greater Boston Convention and Visitors Bureau: http://www.bostonusa.com/
Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce: http://bostonchamber.com/
All images public domain via pixabay.com