Pros and cons of living in Lowell, Massachusetts

Are you planning to relocate to Lowell? This one-time industrial city has a rich heritage. But when it comes to living there, there’s more to the city than its past industrial hub. So, what’re the pros and cons of living in Lowell?

Living in Lowell is beneficial in several ways. This is because of the city’s positive attributes, such as diversity, family-friendliness, nightlife, outdoor activities, and safety. But Lowell has downsides to living there. They include harsh weather, costly expenses, unemployment, and low wages.

Despite its downsides, this mid-sized city is quite excellent in many respects. Knowing more about it will guide you in your decision. So, we discuss the pros and cons of living in Lowell.

Pros of Living in Lowell

Several endearing qualities make this city great for residents. They include.

1. Diverse Population

When moving to a new city, its cultural and ethnic diversity could be a determining factor. A diverse city is usually welcoming and progressive. Fortunately, Lowell ranks highly for diversity in Massachusetts. According to Niche, the city is the 6th most diverse suburb in Massachusetts and the state’s 10th most diverse place. 

Thus, residents enjoy living in Lowell and experiencing other cultures. This diversity influences different aspects of the city. For example, the cuisine in Lowell is a chronicle of decades of work combining various cultural experiences. You’ll get to eat the best foods from different countries here.

2. Family-Friendly Atmosphere

Are you moving to a new city in Massachusetts with kids? Then, you could consider Lowell. Although it’s a city on its own, it’s also considered a suburb of Boston. The lifestyle here is quite suburban, and residents enjoy the perks of living close to Boston. Life is largely quiet here, which is great for families. In addition, Lowell is the 26th best suburb for young professionals in Massachusetts. So, you can bring your kids over and start a wonderful life in Lowell.

3. Nightlife

Another reason to get excited about this city is its nightlife. As the fourth biggest city here, it’s home to many bars, restaurants, clubs, etc. When most people think of nightlife, they restrict themselves to thinking in terms of dancing and alcohol, but it’s much more.

Nightlife in Lowell encompasses comedy clubs, live music, exotic delicacies, and lots more. This isn’t a boring city where everyone is indoors once it’s sundown. While there are family-friendly neighborhoods and areas, there are areas that keep buzzing far into the night.

4. Space for Outdoor Activities

Beyond its wonderful nightlife, there are several things you can do here. Lowell is an iconic city of sorts for many reasons. It’s the birthplace of legendary writer Jack Kerouac, and Kerouac Park is named after him. 

There are several sites and sights you can check out as a resident here. Museums in the city include Boott Cotton Mills Museum, Mogan Cultural Center, National Streetcar Museum, New England Quilt Museum, and Whistler House Museum of Art. All these are testaments to its vibrant cultural scene.

You can also check out natural sights, parks, and forests here. They include Boarding House Park, LeLacheur Park, Rogers Fort Hill Park, Lowell National Historical Park, Lowell-Dracut-Tyngsboro State Forest, UMass Lowell Kayak Center, and Merrimack River. Finally, if you’re a sports (ice hockey) fan, watch the Lowell Devils at Tsongas Arena. You can spend years in the city and still find something new to check out.

5. Safe City

Lowell is a relatively safe city to live in, given its size. According to AreaVibes, the total crime rate is 26% below the national average, property crime is 30% lower, and violent crime is 4% lower. So, you and your property are safer here than in many other places in Massachusetts.

The chance of being a crime victim in Lowell is 1 in 55, and the city is safer than 35% of US cities. So not only is the crime rate low, but it’s also decreasing.

Cons of Living in Lowell

As lovely as Lowell is, the city has negative attributes that could discourage you from moving there. Residents have to deal with the following issues.

1. Relatively Expensive

Lowell isn’t San Francisco or New York, but it’s still expensive for a city in Massachusetts. The cost of living is 12.5% above the national average but not up to the Massachusetts average. Thus, residents here have to earn considerably higher to fully enjoy the good things of life. But is everyone here able to earn that? You’ll find out soon.

Only healthcare and transportation are relatively cheap here for everything, including housing costs more than they should. The average value of a home is $382,803, which is substantially above the national average.

2. High Unemployment and Low Wages

While the cost of living is high, the standards of employment don’t exactly match it. This isn’t to say Lowell is a terrible place economically, but it falls short of the national average on many metrics. For example, the unemployment rate here for June 2021 was 7.0, above the national average.

The income per capita and median household income are also lower than the national average. For example, the median household income in Lowell is $56,878, while the national average is $62,843. The high cost of living coupled with low income per capita and household income means many people earn much less than they need. Hence, the poverty rate is slightly higher than normal here. However, 19% of the residents live below the poverty line, about 1 in every five residents.

3. Harsh Weather

Another reason you could complain about this city is its weather. Lowell isn’t exactly the most comfortable place to live. The temperature can be very low during the winter, with the coldest month being January, when the temperature can be as low as 16 degrees. Snow is very heavy in Lowell, with an average of 54 inches every year. You can also expect heavy rain throughout the year. Lowell weather has a 6.8/10 rating for comfort, which is below the US average.

In Conclusion

Living in Lowell has several advantages due to how amazing qualities of the city. But there are also issues you need to be concerned about when you choose to live here. Some of those issues are common to Massachusetts, while others are particular to Lowell.