10 Boston

PopulationMetro: 4,836,531
Cobblestone streets and century-old landmarks meet glass-enclosed shopping galleries, daring restaurant concepts and bucket-list nightclubs. Not surprisingly, the city is a distinctly American blend of historic charm and modern vitality.

Rich in history and in stories to tell, Boston offers a thriving economy, diverse neighborhoods and legacy of arts, culture and education.

The city, which is home to the highest concentration of young adults among any of the 25 largest cities in the country, produces a highly educated workforce and steady stream of new talent that is helping to fuel growth and attract start-ups and established companies to the city.

On the Freedom Trail, every step along this collection of museums, burying grounds, historic markers and even a ship helps tell the story of the American Revolution. In the lecture halls, labs and classrooms of the 75 institutions of higher learning (including Harvard University, Boston University and MIT), even more stories, ideas, solutions and technologies are produced by the 300,000 students currently enrolled across the city. Boston ranks #14 in Universities, #10 in Museums and #17 in Culture.

Place 57
Product 34
Programming 16
People 84
Prosperity 50
Promotion 23

While nearly 60% of Boston residents hold a bachelor’s degree, the city’s historically low 3.4% unemployment rate has left employers in need of more skilled workers to meet job demand. A recent report released by the Mayor’s Office of Workforce Development suggests that many Boston workers without a four-year degree possess the necessary skills to fill these jobs—and could fill more with the help of credentialed education and training in high-demand industries.

That’s good news for the approximately 724,000 residents projected to live in the City of Boston by 2030. “Moving to Boston means moving to a city with unique neighborhoods and a passionate, innovative and active community,” says Matt O’Toole, brand president for Reebok. “Boston is a city that moves, and that movement brings the city to life.” Reebok moved their headquarters to Boston in 2017. In the last four years, the city added more than 60,000 new jobs, and the annual unemployment rate fell from 6.1% in 2013 to 3.4% in 2016.

“Boston is fortunate to have both a highly educated workforce and many hard-working people who are eager to develop and share their skills,” says Mayor Martin J. Walsh. “We cannot allow a bachelor’s degree to become the fault line between the prosperous and the struggling.” His administration is working together with local employers, community colleges and job training programs to enact proposals that will ensure all workers can contribute to the economy.

The city continues to build at a scale not seen since the founding of New England. There are more than 35 new hotel projects planned in greater Boston in the next few years. More than half are slotted for the Seaport District, which is emerging as the neighborhood of choice on the Boston Harbor for both start-up and established companies like Reebok, GE, and PwC. “This is a piece of a great American city, and great cities are composed of great streets, public places, and social spaces that happen to have buildings built between them,” says Yanni Tsipis, senior vice president of Seaport development at WS Development. “That is a very important philosophy for us as the stewards of the Seaport.”

In Resonance’s ranking, Boston nabs the #5 spot for People, which looks at the subcategories of Education Attainment, Foreign Born and Languages Spoken. An innovative city with a strong and growing economy, Boston offers access to parks and open space, walkability, commercial fiber connectivity, energy efficiency and a vibrant global community, thanks to a 29% foreign born population that represents more than 100 countries.