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Cambridge, Massachusetts

  •   State: 
    Middlesex County
      County FIPS: 
    42°22′25″N 71°06′38″W
      Area total: 
    7.10 sq mi (18.40 km²)
      Area land: 
    6.40 sq mi (16.57 km²)
      Area water: 
    0.71 sq mi (1.83 km²)
    40 ft (12 m)
    1630; Settled 1630; Incorporated 1636 City 1846
  •   Latitude: 
      Dman name cbsa: 
    Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA-NH
    Eastern Standard Time (EST) UTC-5:00; Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) UTC-4:00
      ZIP codes: 

    Cambridge, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States

  •   Population: 
      Population density: 
    18,512.04 residents per square mile of area (7,147.01/km²)
      Household income: 
      Unemployment rate: 
  •   Sales taxes: 
      Income taxes: 

Cambridge is a city in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States. At the 2020 U.S. census the city's population was 118,403, making it the fourth most populous city in the state. It was named in honor of the University of Cambridge in England, once also an important center of the Puritan theology embraced by the town's founders.:18Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Lesley University, and Hult International Business School are in Cambridge. Kendall Square in Cambridge has been called "the most innovative square mile on the planet" owing to the high concentration of successful startups that have emerged in the vicinity of the square since 2010.Native Americans inhabited the area that would become Cambridge for thousands of years prior to European colonization of the Americas. The area was inhabited by Naumkeag or Pawtucket to the north and Massachusett to the south, and may have been inhabited by other groups such as the Totant not well described in later European narratives. The contact period introduced a number of European infectious diseases which would decimate native populations in virgin soil epidemics, leaving the area uncontested upon the arrival of large groups of English settlers in 1630. In 1636, the Newe College (later renamed Harvard College after benefactor John Harvard) was founded by the Massachusetts Bay Colony to train ministers. Its first preacher was Thomas Hooker, who led many of its original inhabitants west in 1636 to found Hartford and the Connecticut Colony; before selling their plots to more recent immigrants from England.


Cambridge is the primary city name, but also E Cambridge, East Cambridge are acceptable city names or spellings. The official name is Cambridge, Massachusetts. In 1639, the Massachusetts General Court would purchase the land that would become present day Cambridge from the Naumkeag Squaw Sachem of Mistick. In 1636, the Newe College (later renamed Harvard College after benefactor John Harvard) was founded by the Massachusetts Bay Colony to train ministers. Cambridge grew slowly as an agricultural village eight miles (13 km) by road from Boston, the colony's capital. By the American Revolution, most residents lived near the Common and Harvard College, with most of the town comprising farms and estates. Most inhabitants were descendants of the original Puritan colonists, but there was also a small elite of Anglican "worthies" who lived in mansions along "the Road to Watertown" (today's Brattle Street, still known as Tory Row). On January 24, 1776, Henry Knox arrived at Fort Ticonderoga, which enabled Washington to drive British army out of Boston. Between 1790 and 1840, Cambridge grew rapidly with the construction of the West Boston Bridge. In the mid-19th century, Cambridge was the center of a literary revolution. It was the home to some of the writers and poets of the period, including Charles Dickens, William Makepeace Thackeray, and James Joyce. It is now reckoned the birthplace of the U.S. Army, which captured Fort Knox with artillery, which was captured from the British Army in 1776. The town's name was changed to Cambridge in honor of the university in Cambridge, England.


Cambridge has been called the "City of Squares", as most of its commercial districts are major street intersections known as squares. The border between Cambridge and the neighboring city of Somerville passes through densely populated neighborhoods which are connected by the MBTA Red Line. Some of the main squares, Inman, Porter, and to a lesser extent, Harvard and Lechmere, are very close to the city line, as are Somerville's Union and Davis Squares. The city also controls two exclave areas, one being Payson Park Reservoir and Gatehouse, a 2009 listed American Water Landmark located roughly one mile west of Fresh Pond and surrounded by the town of Belmont. The second area is the larger Hobbs Brook and Stony Brook watersheds, which share borders with neighboring towns and cities including Lexington, Lincoln, Waltham and Weston. Cambridge is located in eastern Massachusetts, bordered by: the city of Boston to the south (across the Charles River) and east. The town of Arlington to the northwest                the town ofBelmont and                the city of Watertown to the west. It is served by the Central Station stop on the MBT Red Line subway. It also has a number of other neighborhoods, including Cambridgeport, Cambridge Common, and the Galleria Galleria, adjacent to the Cambridge Galleria shopping mall. Cambridge has a total area of 7.1 square miles (18 km²), of which 6.4 squaremile (17 km²) is land and 0.7 square mile (1.8km²) (9.82%) is water.


As of the census of 2010, there were 105,162 people, 44,032 households, and 17,420 families residing in the city. Non-Hispanic Whites were 62.1% of the population in 2010, down from 89.7% in 1970. An individual resident of Cambridge is known as a Cantabrigian. For 2016, the residential property tax rate in Cambridge was $6.99 per $1,000. Cambridge enjoys the highest possible bond credit rating, AAA, with all three Wall Street rating agencies. Cambridge has been ranked as one of the most liberal cities in America. Locals living in and near the city jokingly refer to it as "The People's Republic of Cambridge" The median income for a household in theCity was $47,979, and the median income. for a family was $59,423 (these figures had risen to $58,457 and $79,533 respectively as of a 2007 estimate). Males had a median income of $43,825 versus $38,489 for females. The per capita income for the city was $31,156. About 8.7%. of families and 12.9% of. the population were below the poverty line, including 15.1%. of those under age 18 and 12% of those age 65 or over. The average household size was 2.00. Data is from the 2009-2013 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates. In 2000, 11.0% of city residents were of Irish ancestry; 7.2% were of English, 5.5% West Indian and 5.3% German ancestry.


Manufacturing was an important part of Cambridge's economy in the late 19th and early 20th century. Health care and biotechnology firms such as Genzyme, Biogen Idec, bluebird bio, Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Sanofi, Pfizer and Novartis have significant presences in the city. Google, IBM Research, Microsoft Research, and Philips Research maintain offices in Cambridge. Cambridge was one of approximately 27 US cities to receive a AAA rating from each of the three major credit rating agencies in the nation, Moody's Investors Service, Standard & Poor's and Fitch Ratings. 2021 marked the 22nd consecutive year that Cambridge had retained this distinction. As of 2019, the city's ten largest employers are: Harvard, MIT, IBM, Microsoft,, Staples, and VerticaHewlett-Packard. Cambridge is home to the National Bureau of Economic Research, the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, Cultural Survival, and One Laptop per Child. It is also home to a number of nonprofit groups and think tanks, including the National Institutes of Health and the Center for American Progress. The city has a population of about 1.2 million people, the highest in the U.S. and one of the lowest in the world. It has an unemployment rate of 4.2%. It has a high rate of obesity. It's the second-highest rate in the United States, after New York City. It also has the highest rate of asthma.

Arts and culture

Cambridge has a large and varied collection of permanent public art. The city has several historic buildings, including some from the 17th century. It also has abundant contemporary architecture, largely built by Harvard and MIT. Cambridge has many music venues, including The Middle East, Passim Passim, The Nameless Coffeehouse and the Lizard Lounge. It has an active music scene, from classical performances to the latest popular bands to its colleges and universities. Cambridge lacks significant tracts of open space on the university campuses, including the Radcliffe Yard, Great Lawn, and Great Lawn. Cambridge is home to the Harvard Art Museum, the Fogg Art Museum and the Arthur M. Sackler Museum of Natural History. It is also the home of the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology and the MIT Museum of List Visual Arts. It was the birthplace of the American Revolution, and was the site of the Battle of the Bulge in 1775. Cambridge was home to President George Washington from 1759 to 1783, and his headquarters were at the Longfellow House. The Cambridge River Festival is an annual winter festival on the banks of the Charles River. Cambridge's public library contains four Works Progress Administration murals completed in 1935 by Elizabeth Tracy Montminy: Religion, Fine Arts, History of Books and Paper, and The Development of the Printing Press. It's home to Harvard's Fogg Museum, one of the few buildings in the US by Pritzker Prize winner James Stirling, and MIT's Stata Center.


Cambridge is split between Massachusetts's 5th and 7th U.S. congressional districts. The state's senior United States senator is Democrat Elizabeth Warren, elected in 2012, who lives in Cambridge. Cambridge has a city government led by a mayor and a nine-member city council. The city council does not have the power to appoint or remove city officials who are under the direction of the city manager. Cambridge City Council voted to recognize polyamorous domestic partnerships, becoming the second city in the United States following neighboring Somerville, which had done so in 2020. Cambridge was a county seat of Middlesex County, along with Lowell, until the abolition of county government in 1997. Though the county government was abolished in 1997, the county still exists as a geographical and political region. The county's registrars of Deeds and Probate remain in Cambridge, but the Superior Court and District Attorney have had their operations transferred to Woburn. The Third District Court has shifted operations to Medford, and the Sheriff's office awaits near-term relocation. The only Republican nominee to come within ten points of carrying Cambridge is Dwight Eisenhower in his 1956 re-election bid. Every Democratic nominee since Massachusetts native John F. Kennedy in 1960 has received at least 70% of the vote, except for Jimmy Carter in 1976 and 1980. The mayor is elected by the city councilors from among themselves and serves as the chair of city council meetings. The councilors and school committee members are elected every two years using proportional representation.


Cambridge is perhaps best known as an academic and intellectual center. At least 258 of the world's total 962 Nobel Prize winners have at some point in their careers been affiliated with universities in Cambridge. The city's schools constitute the Cambridge Public School District. Cambridge also has several private schools, including the International School of Boston (formerly École Bilingue) The American Academy of Arts and Sciences is also based in Cambridge, as is the Bard College School of Music and the Hult International Business School. The Cambridge School of Culinary Arts is one of the city's top culinary schools. The University of Cambridge is a top culinary school as well as the Harvard School of Medicine and the University of Massachusetts Boston's College of Humanities and Social Sciences. Cambridge has three district public high school programs, the principal one being Cambridge Rindge and Latin School (CRLS). Other public charter schools include Benjamin Banneker Charter School, which serves grades K6; Community Charter School of Cambridge in Kendall Square, which serving grades 712; and Prospect Hill Academy, a charter school whose upper school is in Central Square though it is not a part of the Cambridge public school district. The City of Cambridge has a population of 1,856,000. The population of Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 2010 was 1,715,000, up from 1,071,000 in 2000. The number of residents in the city was 2,716,000 (up from 1.7 million in 2000). The city has an unemployment rate of 4.2%.


Cambridge has an irregular street network because many of the roads date from the colonial era. Several major roads lead to Cambridge, including Route 2, Route 16, and the McGrath Highway. Route 2A runs the length of the city, chiefly along Massachusetts Avenue. The Charles River forms the southern border of Cambridge and is crossed by 11 bridges connecting Cambridge to Boston. Cambridge is served by the MBTA, including the Porter Square Station on the regional Commuter Rail and the Red Line at Alewife, Porter Square, Harvard Square, Central Square, and Kendall Square/MIT Stations. Cambridge has several bike paths, including one along the Charles River, connecting the Minuteman Bikeway with the Somerville Community Path. Bicycling is common and there are many bike lanes on many streets, although many concerns have been expressed regarding the suitability of many lanes. On several central sections of Cambridge, pedestrian traffic is heavy where certain sections of the sidewalk are not pedestrian-only. The city is one of the worst cities in the nation in terms of bicycle traffic. Cambridge was rated as one of. the worst in the country in 2006 by the magazine Bicyclist Magazine. The City of Cambridge is home to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the Harvard Graduate School of Management. The University of Massachusetts at Cambridge is the largest city in the state, with a population of more than 1.3 million. Cambridge also has the largest public library system in the U.S., with more than 2,000 students.

Air Quality, Water Quality, Superfund Sites & UV Index

The Air Quality index is in Cambridge, Middlesex County, Massachusetts = 43.5. These Air Quality index is based on annual reports from the EPA. Higher values are better (100=best). The number of ozone alert days is used as an indicator of air quality, as are the amounts of seven pollutants including particulates, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, lead, and volatile organic chemicals. The Water Quality Index is 43. A measure of the quality of an area’s water supply as rated by the EPA. Higher values are better (100=best). The EPA has a complex method of measuring the watershed quality, using 15 indicators such as pollutants, turbidity, sediments, and toxic discharges. The Superfund Sites Index is 10. Higher is better (100=best). Based upon the number and impact of EPA Superfund pollution sites in the county, including spending on the cleanup efforts. The UV Index in Cambridge = 3.5 and is a measure of an area's exposure to the sun's ultraviolet rays. This is most often a combination of sunny weather, altitude, and latitude. The UV Index has been defined by the WHO ( and is uniform worldwide.


The most recent city population of 27,338 individuals with a median age of 34.2 age the population grows by 0.52% in Cambridge, Middlesex County, Massachusetts population since 2000 and are distributed over a density of 18,512.04 residents per square mile of area (7,147.01/km²). There are average 2.03 people per household in the 42,908 households with an average household income of $61,644 a year. The unemployment rate in Alabama is 5.60% of the available work force and has dropped -4.07% over the most recent 12-month period and the projected change in job supply over the next decade based on migration patterns, economic growth, and other factors will increase by 26.26%. The number of physicians in Cambridge per 100,000 population = 389.3.


The annual rainfall in Cambridge = 45.3 inches and the annual snowfall = 48.1 inches. The annual number of days with measurable precipitation (over .01 inch) = 120. The average number of days per year that are predominantly sunny = 201. 84 degrees Fahrenheit is the average daily high temperature for the month of July and 18.9 degrees Fahrenheit is the average daily low temperature for the month of January. The Comfort Index (higher=better) is 49, where higher values mean a more pleasant climate. The Comfort Index measure recognizes that humidity by itself isn't the problem. (Have you noticed nobody ever complains about the weather being 'cold and humid?) It's in the summertime that we notice the humidity the most, when it's hot and muggy. Our Comfort Index uses a combination of afternoon summer temperature and humidity to closely predict the effect that the humidity will have on people.

Median Home Cost

The percentage of housing units in Cambridge, Middlesex County, Massachusetts which are owned by the occupant = 30.21%. A housing unit is a house, apartment, mobile home, or room occupied as separate living quarters. The average age of homes = 14.4 years with median home cost = $437,980 and home appreciation of -2.34%. This is the value of the years most recent home sales data. Its important to note that this is not the average (or arithmetic mean). The median home price is the middle value when you arrange all the sales prices of homes from lowest to highest. This is a better indicator than the average, because the median is not changed as much by a few unusually high or low values. The property tax rate of $11.70 shown here is the rate per $1,000 of home value. If for simplification for example the tax rate is $14.00 and the home value is $250,000, the property tax would be $14.00 x ($250,000/1000), or $3500. This is the 'effective' tax rate.


The local school district spends $15,902 per student. There are 9.6 students for each teacher in the school, 424 students for each Librarian and 467 students for each Counselor. 3.51% of the area’s population over the age of 25 with an Associate Degree or other 2-year college degree, 26.60% with a master’s degree, Ph.D. or other advanced college degree and 37.60% with high school diplomas or high school equivalency degrees (GEDs).

  • Cambridge's population in Middlesex County, Massachusetts of 1,039 residents in 1900 has increased 26,31-fold to 27,338 residents after 120 years, according to the official 2020 census.

    Approximately 50.61% female residents and 49.39% male residents live in Cambridge, Middlesex County, Massachusetts.

    As of 2020 in Cambridge, Middlesex County, Massachusetts are married and the remaining 63.46% are single population.

  • 26 minutes is the average time that residents in Cambridge require for a one-way commute to work. A long commute can have different effects on health. A Gallup poll in the US found that in terms of mental health, long haul commuters are up to 12 percent more likely to experience worry, and ten percent less likely to feel well rested. The Gallup poll also found that of people who commute 61­–90 minutes each day, a whopping one third complained of neck and back pain, compared to less than a quarter of people who only spend ten minutes getting to work.

    35.10% of the working population which commute to work alone in their car, 5.38% of the working population which commutes to work in a carpool, 25.29% of the population that commutes using mass transit, including bus, light rail, subway, and ferry. 5.16% of the population that has their home as their principal place of work.

  • Of the total residential buildings in Cambridge, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, 30.21% are owner-occupied homes, another 63.40% are rented apartments, and the remaining 6.39% are vacant.

  • The 68.03% of the population in Cambridge, Middlesex County, Massachusetts who identify themselves as belonging to a religion are distributed among the following most diverse religions.

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