Best places to live in Massachusetts

Written by:
March 31, 2021
realtor.com

Best places to live in Massachusetts

What do you look for in an ideal town? Proximity to trails, lakes, and beaches? How about top-ranked schools for your children? Would you like a professional or college sports team nearby, or do you prefer museums and art walks?

Stacker compiled a list of the best places to live in Massachusetts using data from Niche. Niche ranks places to live based on a variety of factors including cost of living, schools, health care, recreation, and weather. Cities, suburbs, and towns were included. Listings and images are from realtor.com.

On the list, there’s a robust mix of offerings from great schools and nightlife to high walkability and public parks. Some areas have enjoyed rapid growth thanks to new businesses moving to the area, while others offer glimpses into area history with well-preserved architecture and museums. Keep reading to see if your hometown made the list.

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#25. Needham

- Population: 30,970
- Median home value: $855,300 (84% own)
- Median rent: $1,483 (16% rent)
- Median household income: $165,547
- Top public schools: Needham High School (A+), Pollard Middle School (A+), High Rock School (A)
- Top private schools: St. Sebastian's School (A+), The Walker School (unavailable), Theophany School (unavailable)

- Pictured: 55 Country Way, Needham ($3.6 million, 5 bedrooms)
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#24. Andover

- Population: 35,816
- Median home value: $620,500 (81% own)
- Median rent: $1,611 (19% rent)
- Median household income: $151,334
- Top public schools: High Plain Elementary School (A), Andover High School (A), Wood Hill Middle School (A)
- Top private schools: Phillips Academy (A+), St. Augustine Elementary School (A-), The Pike School (unavailable)

- Pictured: 15 Trevino Cir, Andover ($2.9 million, 4 bedrooms)
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#23. Longmeadow

- Population: 15,791
- Median home value: $343,700 (90% own)
- Median rent: $1,353 (10% rent)
- Median household income: $122,035
- Top public schools: Longmeadow High School (A+), Springfield Preparatory Charter School (A), Glenbrook Middle School (A)
- Top private schools: St. Mary's Academy (unavailable), Lubavitcher Yeshiva Academy (unavailable), Willie Ross School for Deaf (unavailable)

- Pictured: 216 Overbrook Rd, Longmeadow ($1.2 million, 4 bedrooms)
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#22. Northborough

- Population: 15,056
- Median home value: $447,100 (81% own)
- Median rent: $1,440 (19% rent)
- Median household income: $128,613
- Top public schools: Algonquin Regional High School (A+), Lincoln Street Elementary School (A), Marguerite E. Peaslee Elementary School (A)
- Top private schools: St. Bernadette Elementary School (unavailable), Cornerstone Academy (unavailable), The Goddard School - Northborough (unavailable)

- Pictured: 44 Fisher St, Northborough ($3.5 million, 4 bedrooms)
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#21. Sharon

- Population: 18,526
- Median home value: $559,600 (88% own)
- Median rent: $1,641 (12% rent)
- Median household income: $141,423
- Top public schools: Sharon High School (A+), Sharon Middle School (A), Heights Elementary School (A)
- Top private schools: Al-Noor Academy, Sharon (A), Striar Hebrew Academy (unavailable), The Binah School (unavailable)

- Pictured: 350 Mountain St, Sharon ($2.0 million, 5 bedrooms)
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#20. Dover

- Population: 6,044
- Median home value: $1,008,600 (93% own)
- Median rent: $2,181 (7% rent)
- Median household income: $250,001
- Top public schools: Dover-Sherborn Regional High School (A+), Dover-Sherborn Regional Middle School (A+), Chickering Elementary School (A+)
- Top private schools: Charles River School (unavailable)

- Pictured: 18 Walpole St, Dover ($15.0 million, 6 bedrooms)
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#19. Carlisle

- Population: 5,224
- Median home value: $845,100 (95% own)
- Median rent: $1,125 (5% rent)
- Median household income: $195,889
- Top public schools: Concord Carlisle High School (A+)

- Pictured: 41 Trillium Way, Carlisle ($3.9 million, 6 bedrooms)
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#18. Sudbury

- Population: 19,122
- Median home value: $720,800 (92% own)
- Median rent: $1,169 (8% rent)
- Median household income: $191,310
- Top public schools: Wayland High School (A+), Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School (A+), Wayland Middle School (A+)
- Top private schools: Next Generation Children's Centers - Sudbury (unavailable), Willow Hill School (unavailable), Corwin-Russell School at Broccoli Hall (unavailable)

- Pictured: 30 Pelham Island Rd, Sudbury ($2.0 million, 5 bedrooms)
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#17. Shrewsbury

- Population: 37,416
- Median home value: $416,000 (73% own)
- Median rent: $1,371 (27% rent)
- Median household income: $104,766
- Top public schools: Shrewsbury Senior High School (A+), Floral Street School (A+), Spring Street Elementary School (A+)
- Top private schools: Saint John's High School (A+), St. Mary Elementary School (unavailable), Lilliput Early Childhood Center (unavailable)

- Pictured: 7 Prospect St, Shrewsbury ($1.6 million, 4 bedrooms)
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#16. Westford

- Population: 24,342
- Median home value: $531,300 (86% own)
- Median rent: $1,974 (14% rent)
- Median household income: $144,917
- Top public schools: Westford Academy (A+), Stony Brook School (A+), Day Elementary School (A+)
- Top private schools: Next Generation Children's Centers - Westford (unavailable), The Goddard School - Westford (unavailable), Westford KinderCare (unavailable)

- Pictured: 75 Lowell Rd, Westford ($1.1 million, 4 bedrooms)
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#15. Boxborough

- Population: 5,561
- Median home value: $546,500 (69% own)
- Median rent: $1,166 (31% rent)
- Median household income: $115,395
- Top public schools: Acton-Boxborough Regional High School (A+), Blanchard Memorial School (A+), Raymond J. Grey Junior High School (A+)
- Top private schools: Bright Horizons at Boxborough (unavailable)

- Pictured: 1095 Burroughs Rd, Boxborough ($899,900, 4 bedrooms)
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#14. Arlington

- Population: 45,304
- Median home value: $642,200 (58% own)
- Median rent: $1,730 (42% rent)
- Median household income: $108,389
- Top public schools: Cambridge Rindge & Latin School (A+), Arlington High School (A), Ottoson Middle School (A)
- Top private schools: Arlington Catholic High School (A-), St. Agnes School (unavailable), Lesley Ellis School (unavailable)

- Pictured: 125 Crescent Hill Ave, Arlington ($1.1 million, 4 bedrooms)
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#13. Westborough

- Population: 19,037
- Median home value: $458,100 (63% own)
- Median rent: $1,663 (37% rent)
- Median household income: $112,153
- Top public schools: Westborough High School (A+), Sarah W. Gibbons Middle School (A+), Elsie A. Hastings Elementary School (A+)
- Top private schools: Ebridge Montessori School (unavailable), Miss Tanya's Woodland School (unavailable), Cadence Academy Preschool - Westborough (unavailable)

- Pictured: 7 Quick Farm Rd, Westborough ($1.5 million, 5 bedrooms)
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#12. Hopkinton

- Population: 17,598
- Median home value: $577,600 (83% own)
- Median rent: $1,889 (17% rent)
- Median household income: $157,353
- Top public schools: Hopkinton High School (A+), Hopkins Elementary School (A+), Elmwood School (A+)
- Top private schools: Next Generation Children's Centers - Hopkinton (unavailable)

- Pictured: 1 Fairview Path, Hopkinton ($1.4 million, 4 bedrooms)
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#11. Williamstown

- Population: 7,514
- Median home value: $326,100 (73% own)
- Median rent: $959 (27% rent)
- Median household income: $83,911
- Top public schools: Mt. Greylock Regional High School (A-)
- Top private schools: Buxton School (A)

- Pictured: 260 NW Hill Rd, Williamstown ($2.7 million, 4 bedrooms)
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#10. Pelham

- Population: 1,283
- Median home value: $334,500 (73% own)
- Median rent: $1,479 (27% rent)
- Median household income: $94,479
- Top public schools: Amherst Regional High School (A+), Pelham Elementary School (A), Amherst Regional Middle School (A-)

- Pictured: 61 S Valley Rd, Pelham ($875,000, 4 bedrooms)
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#9. Acton

- Population: 23,627
- Median home value: $581,400 (74% own)
- Median rent: $1,450 (26% rent)
- Median household income: $141,665
- Top public schools: Acton-Boxborough Regional High School (A+), Raymond J. Grey Junior High School (A+), Paul P. Gates Elementary School (A)
- Top private schools: The Victor School (unavailable), Acton KinderCare (unavailable), Hayward Road KinderCare (unavailable)

- Pictured: 225 Newtown Rd, Acton ($2.5 million, 5 bedrooms)
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#8. Wellesley

- Population: 28,747
- Median home value: $1,149,100 (81% own)
- Median rent: $1,938 (19% rent)
- Median household income: $197,132
- Top public schools: Wellesley Senior High School (A+), John D. Hardy Elementary School (A+), Wellesley Middle School (A+)
- Top private schools: Dana Hall School (A+), Tenacre Country Day School (unavailable), St. John the Evangelist School (unavailable)

- Pictured: 200 Pond Rd, Wellesley ($9.0 million, 8 bedrooms)
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#7. Belmont

- Population: 26,113
- Median home value: $859,600 (65% own)
- Median rent: $2,002 (35% rent)
- Median household income: $129,380
- Top public schools: Belmont High School (A+), Mary Lee Burbank School (A+), Cambridge Rindge & Latin School (A+)
- Top private schools: Belmont Hill School (A+), Waldorf High School of Massachusetts Bay (A), Belmont Day School (A-)

- Pictured: 75 Woodfall Rd, Belmont ($5.9 million, 6 bedrooms)
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#6. Newton

- Population: 88,593
- Median home value: $914,700 (72% own)
- Median rent: $1,940 (28% rent)
- Median household income: $151,068
- Top public schools: Newton North High School (A+), Newton South High School (A+), Mason Rice Elementary School (A+)
- Top private schools: Newton Country Day School (A+), Brimmer and May School (A+), Mount Alvernia High School (A-)

- Pictured: 171 Grove St, Newton ($10.0 million, 0 bedrooms)
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#5. Cochituate

- Population: 7,226
- Median home value: $648,600 (89% own)
- Median rent: $784 (11% rent)
- Median household income: $162,390
- Top public schools: Wayland High School (A+), Wayland Middle School (A+), Loker Kindergarten School (A+)
- Top private schools: Veritas Christian Academy (unavailable), Barat Montessori School (unavailable), Bright Horizons at Wayland (unavailable)

- Pictured: 15 Bent Ave, Wayland ($1.8 million, 5 bedrooms)
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#4. Lexington

- Population: 33,340
- Median home value: $889,700 (82% own)
- Median rent: $2,475 (18% rent)
- Median household income: $186,201
- Top public schools: Lexington High School (A+), Bowman Elementary School (A+), William Diamond Middle School (A+)
- Top private schools: Lexington Christian Academy (A+), Lexington Montessori School (A+), Waldorf School of Lexington (unavailable)

- Pictured: 28 Burroughs Rd, Lexington ($4.3 million, 5 bedrooms)
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#3. Cambridge

- Population: 116,632
- Median home value: $768,300 (35% own)
- Median rent: $2,221 (65% rent)
- Median household income: $103,154
- Top public schools: Cambridge Rindge & Latin School (A+), Martin Luther King Jr. School (A), Vassal Lane Upper School (A)
- Top private schools: Buckingham Browne & Nichols School (A+), International School of Boston (A+), The Cambridge Matignon School (A-)

- Pictured: 1498 Cambridge St, Cambridge ($2.6 million, 4 bedrooms)
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#2. Wayland

- Population: 13,802
- Median home value: $711,500 (91% own)
- Median rent: $1,051 (9% rent)
- Median household income: $185,375
- Top public schools: Wayland High School (A+), Wayland Middle School (A+), Loker Kindergarten School (A+)
- Top private schools: Veritas Christian Academy (unavailable), Barat Montessori School (unavailable), Bright Horizons at Wayland (unavailable)

- Pictured: 101 Plain Rd, Wayland ($3.2 million, 5 bedrooms)
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#1. Brookline

- Population: 59,180
- Median home value: $933,200 (49% own)
- Median rent: $2,268 (51% rent)
- Median household income: $117,326
- Top public schools: Brookline High School (A+), Heath School (A+), Baker School (A+)
- Top private schools: Beaver Country Day School (A+), Dexter Southfield School (A+), Maimonides School (A+)

- Pictured: 14 Allerton St, Brookline ($9.0 million, 7 bedrooms)

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