Boston’s neighborhoods conjure up too many stereotypes to count. You’ve got hipster areas, preppy places, neighborhoods where college kids thrive, and of course, ghettos.
It seems as if there’s a neighborhood for everyone in Boston.
And while the city consistently ranks as one of the best places to live in the country thanks in part to a strong economy and tons of entertainment, it’s not all rainbows and sunshine in Boston. Some neighborhoods aren’t as great as others.
So the question arises, which Boston neighborhoods are the worst, and which are the best?
Today, we’ll use science and data to determine which Boston hoods need a little tender loving care – the sore thumbs of the Boston area if you will. Realistically, you can’t expect all the neighborhoods to be amazing, although Back Bay-Beacon Hill ranks way above the rest.
We examined 16 of Boston’s neighborhoods to find out the worst places to live. These five places don’t quite measure up to Boston’s reputation:
- East Boston
- North Dorchester
- Hyde Park
Read on to see how we determined the places around Boston that need a pick-me-up. And remember, don’t blame the messenger.
Once you’re done, you can look at the bottom of the story for a complete chart of every neighborhood we looked at from worst to best. Or check out the best neighborhoods in Boston.
How we determined the worst Boston hoods
To figure out how bad a place is to live in, we only needed to know what kinds of things people like and then decide what places have the least amount of those things. We threw the following criteria into this analysis in order to get the best, most complete results possible. We used this set of criteria for each neighborhood in Boston:
- High unemployment (Less jobs)
- Low median income (Less pay)
- Low population density (No things to do)
- Low home values (No one’s willing to pay to live here)
- High crime (Estimated)
Then, we ranked each neighborhood in Boston for each of these criteria from worst to best.
Next, we averaged the individual rankings for each criteria into a “Worst Score”.
The neighborhood with the lowest “Worst Score” ranks as the worst neighborhood of Boston.
Read on below to learn more about these terrible places around Boston to live. Or skip to the end to see the list of all 16 neighborhoods ranked from worst to best.
This list is a scientific analysis based on real data and is completely unbiased. Hold on to your pants.
Population: 36,299 Median Income: $47,853
Median Home Value: $284,833
Mattapan is claimed as the original Native American name for the Dorchester area, though accounts vary whether the phrase meant “a good place to be,” or “a good place to sit” or “an evil, spread about place.” Based on this ranking, we’re guessing the latter.
2. East Boston
Population: 38,940 Median Income: $53,342
Median Home Value: $299,868
East Boston, popularly known as Eastie, is a neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts with approximately 41,000 residents. The neighborhood was created by connecting several islands using landfill.
It seems like the landfill makes for some high crime rates — 3rd highest in Boston
Population: 59,626 Median Income: $35,354
Median Home Value: $322,085
After Roxbury failed as a town it has also had issues making it as a neighborhood.
Plagued by high crime (2nd worst) and high unemployment (worst in Boston), it doesn’t seem to be the best place to live.
4. North Dorchester
Population: 25,189 Median Income: $47,993
Median Home Value: $320,850
North Dorchester has the 3rd lowest home prices in Boston, so at least it doesn’t cost a lot to live in this not so great part of town.
5. Hyde Park
Population: 32,699 Median Income: $61,656
Median Home Value: $333,477
Another neighborhood that failed as a town, Hyde Park comes out slightly better than Roxbury thanks to higher home prices and median incomes.
The ‘hoods around Boston that are really hoods
Well there you have it — the worst of the neighborhoods in Boston with Mattapan landing at the bottom of the pack.
As we mentioned earlier, the neighborhoods in Boston aren’t all bad. Back Bay-Beacon Hill takes the cake as the best place to live in Boston.
We ranked the neighborhoods from worst to best in the chart below.
For more Massachusetts reading , check out:
- These Are The 10 Best Boston Suburbs
- These Are The 10 Best Places To Retire In Massachusetts
- These Are The 10 Fastest Growing Cities In Massachusetts
Detailed List Of Boston Neighborhoods
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