Founded on the Shawmut Peninsula in 1630 by Puritan settlers, Boston is one of the oldest cities in the United States. It’s a historically significant city and the scene of several key events of the American Revolution, such as the Battle of Bunker Hill, Boston Massacre, the Siege of Boston, and the Boston Tea Party. After the United State’s independence from the United Kingdom, Boston continued to be an important port, manufacturing hub, and a center for culture and education. Every year, its rich history attracts many tourists, for example, the Faneuil Hall alone draws more than 20 million visitors per year.
As one of the oldest cities in the United States, Boston is home to many firsts including the first public school, Boston Latin School started in 1635, the first subway system, the Tremont Street Subway started in 1897), and the first public park, Boston Common started in 1634. The city has expanded beyond the original peninsula through land reclamation and municipal annexation.
In addition to it’s obvious heritage, Boston is also an international center of higher education. There are many world renowned colleges and universities in the area with emphasis on law, medicine, engineering, and business, and the city is considered to be a world leader in innovation and entrepreneurship, with nearly 2,000 start-ups.
Three universities with a major presence in the city include Harvard, MIT, and Tufts. These are located just outside of Boston in the Cambridge/Somerville area known as the “Brainpower Triangle”.
Boston’s economic base includes biotechnology, information technology, finance, professional and business services, and government activities. It’s no wonder that households in the city claim the highest average rate of philanthropy in the United States. Businesses and institutions rank among the top in the country for environmental sustainability and investment. Having undergone gentrification, the city has one of the highest costs of living in the United States though it remains high on world livability rankings.