Pros and cons of living in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Are you thinking of relocating to Cambridge? By now, you already know that every city has its pros and cons. Then what’s more important is knowing whether Cambridge has more reasons to move there than not. So, what’re the pros and cons of living in Cambridge?

Cambridge is called the world’s intellectual capital due to its educational standards. But living here has other pros such as proximity to Boston, security, economy, and light traffic. However, it comes with its problems, including living costs, unpredictable weather, and natural disasters risk.

Regardless of its cons, Cambridge is a fantastic place to live. But you’ll have to decide for yourself if it’s the right place for you. This article comprehensively discusses the pros and cons of living in Cambridge.

Pros of Living in Cambridge

There’s no way we can mention the best cities in Massachusetts without including Cambridge. This city is excellent in many ways. Here are some of the attributes that stand it out.

1. Proximity to Boston

Getting from Cambridge to Boston is very easy. By car, it only takes 11 minutes to drive from many areas in Cambridge, right into downtown Boston. You can also choose to use the public train known as the T, which will take you less than 20 minutes. Likewise, cycling from Cambridge to Boston takes less than 30 minutes. This closeness means Cambridge residents have access to all the amenities, opportunities, and entertainment options in Boston. But unfortunately, it also means a higher cost of living.

2. Safe and Secure City

As we’ve said before, Cambridge is an amazing city. Nothing proved this better than how safe residents in this city feel. Cambridge’s total crime rate and property crime are 22% below the national average, while violent crime is 27% lower.

Residents here have only 1 in 55 chance of being a crime victim, which is quite low for a city like this. As a result, Cambridge is safer than 42% of cities in the US, and it’s one of the safest cities in Massachusetts.

3. Access to Quality Education

Cambridge is called the world’s intellectual capital for a reason, and that reason has something to do with the quality of education available in the city. The public school system here is excellent. According to, The Cambridge Public School system is the 29th out of 218 public school districts in Massachusetts and 44th out of 10,782 school districts in the US.

According to AreaVibes, the average test score here is 34% higher than the national average. In addition to this, the percentage of bachelor’s degree holders is 147% higher than the national average. The ratio of students to teachers here is relatively low at 10:1, and more than 90% of those living here completed high school.

Beyond secondary education, this city boasts of some of the best post-secondary education in the world. Harvard and MIT are in this city. However, other higher institutions such as Cambridge College, Longy School of Music, Hult International Business School, and Lesley University. 

In addition, Cambridge residents also have access to the best higher institutions in Boston. These include Boston University, Tufts University, and Northeastern University are available options.

4. Strong Economy

The job market and economy here are quite excellent, and that’s not surprising given its Ivy League standards. Moreover, its proximity to the state capital and sound educational system contribute massively to its strong economy. But it’s much more than that. 

Several major industries within the city contribute to its economy. They include education, software technology, biotechnology, healthcare, etc., employment opportunities are numerous, and the city has an unemployment rate of 3.40%, which is far below the national average.

The income per capita in Cambridge is 68% above the national average. In addition, the median household income is $103,154, which is far above the national average of $62,843. When you consider all this, you understand why ranks Cambridge as the best city for young professionals in the US, the second-best suburb for young professionals, and part of the top 5 best cities to live in America.

5. Ease of Getting Around

Despite being close to Boston, traffic isn’t a challenge in Cambridge. You can easily get around the city even without a car. Some call the city “bikers paradise” due to the bike infrastructure available in the city. According to WalkScore, Cambridge has a bike score of 96/100, a walk score of 88, and a transit score of 74. You’re unlikely to find a city with less car dependency than this.

Cons of Living in Cambridge

Even though Cambridge is one of the best cities to live in America, it’s not without problems. Residents also have to contend with certain issues such as.

1. Exorbitant Living Expenses

Good things don’t come cheap, and Cambridge is a living example of that. The cost of living in the city is 81.8% above the national average, making it one of the most expensive cities in the country. Everything here is costly.

A major contributor to the cost of living is housing. It doesn’t matter if you’re buying a home here or renting; you need a lot of money to get what you want. The average value of a home here is $947,084. There’s no other city in Massachusetts where homes cost this much, not even Boston. However, if you can afford the cost, everything is accessible here.

2. Unpredictable Weather

The only thing predictable about the weather in New England is that winter will freeze you to your bones. Beyond that, anything could happen. It could be sunny yesterday, and you’ll get a truckload of snow the next day. 

However, the seasons here are very distinct, which means you get to enjoy all four seasons if that’s your kind of thing. If it’s not, you just have to endure the seasons you don’t like and wait for the ones you like.

3. Risks of Natural Disasters

Natural disasters of all kinds have happened before in Massachusetts. Thus, there’s always a risk of one happening in Cambridge, even if it’s quite unlikely. Common natural Disasters here include tornadoes, blizzards, hurricanes, and flooding. So, be prepared.

In Conclusion

Apart from the high cost of living and few other issues, Cambridge is the best city you can live in. It has everything that makes life comfortable for residents and has a livability rating of 83/100, making it better than 93% of other areas in the US.