17 Reasons Not to Move to Boston, Massachusetts (Voted by the Locals!)

Boston, Massachusetts is a very famous city, partially because of its rich history and the number of schools in the area. However, no city is perfect, and Boston is no exception. Included below are 17 reasons why you shouldn’t move to Boston, Massachusetts.

1. Traffic

TrafficOpens in a new tab. is absolutely horrible in Boston, Massachusetts. There are too many cars and not enough land, which leads to traffic jams that feel like they last for hours during rush hour. The roads in Boston, especially in the city, are narrow and not built to support so many cars. The narrow streets are not helped by the fact that most of the parking is on-street parking.

The city is trying to reduce the number of cars on the road by encouraging people to bike rather than drive places, but when they create bike lanes, the roads become narrower and harder to navigate, so they become more dangerous for both bikers and drivers to navigate.

The traffic in Boston will not get better anytime soon, even though the city is doing things to try and reduce the amount of it every day. In fact, the amount of traffic in Boston is getting worse as more people move into the city. Some people even think that the traffic in Boston is worst than it is in New York City, which is quite shocking.

There really is no solution to the traffic problem in Boston because there isn’t any room to add more roads or make the current ones wider without making sidewalks smaller and removing on-street parking, which would leave drivers with no place to park near their homes. Many people walk in Boston, so it wouldn’t make sense for the city to make the sidewalks smaller to attempt to make roads wider.

Traffic patterns Opens in a new tab.in Boston are hard to predict outside of rush hour, so sometimes you can avoid it, and other times you can’t. This means you always have to leave the house early than you need to, just in case you get stuck in traffic.

Although the traffic got betterOpens in a new tab. during the Covid-19 pandemic, it has now gotten worse traffic-wise as people start driving more often again, which doesn’t bode well for the future of the roads in Boston.

2. Boston is Full of Bad Drivers

Traffic is not the only thing you have to worry about when driving in Boston, Massachusetts. You also have to worry about bad drivers, as they run rampant in the area.

Drivers in Boston drive over the speed limit, don’t follow basic rules, often drive in bus and bike lanes, look at and talk on their phones as they are driving, don’t use basic signals, and cut other drivers off often.

Drivers in Boston are so bad at driving that in 2019, AllstateOpens in a new tab. compiled a list of the best and worst drivers in the U.S., and Boston was ranked 198 out of 200, which is a dismal rating.

3. Weather

The weather in Boston, MassachusettsOpens in a new tab. is dismal and cold for most of the year, and sunny for the rest of it. The winter months are long and brutal, and it takes a while for spring to actually arrive.

During the winter, it snows most of the time and cold wind comes from the coast, chilling you to the bones. It snows an average of 48 inches during the winter every year in Boston, which is 20 inches more than the U.S. average.

During the spring, it rains quite often. In fact, Boston gets around 47 inches of rain every year. During the summer, it is quite sunny and warm, and typically the temperature isn’t stifling as it can be in other cities. However, thunderstorms happen often.

Fall is considered the most beautiful season in Boston, Massachusetts because the leaves turn beautiful colors and line the streets. However, this season doesn’t last long and winter will soon make you shiver and wonder why you ever moved to the area.

4. Cost of Living

Boston, Massachusetts is considered one of the most expensive places to live in the U.S. On average, it costs one person $2,899 every monthOpens in a new tab. to live in Boston, which is much more than what most people pay every month in the U.S.

One of the reasons why the cost of living in Boston is so high is because of how much rent costs.

5. High Rent

It is extremely expensive to rent an apartment in Boston, Massachusetts, but it is what most people do or feel like they have to do. On average, it costs $3,634 every month to rent an apartment, although the number of multi-bedroom apartments near local universities likely increases this average cost.

However, the average size of apartments in Boston is a dismal 808 square feet, so you will likely be paying over $1,000 per month for a studio or small 1-bedroom apartment in Boston, depending on where the apartment is located and how nice it is. The cost of apartments located in Boston has increased faster than normal in recent years, so don’t be surprised when your rent is increased for your small Boston apartment if you choose to move there.

6. Homelessness

Homelessness is a problem in Boston, Massachusetts. However, the homelessness problem in the area has been getting better in recent years, and more programs to help the homeless are being created and funded by the city.

However, this doesn’t mean that there aren’t still a lot of homeless people on the streets. In 2021, the Boston census accounted for 1,591 homeless peopleOpens in a new tab., and they may not have been able to count all of them for various reasons.

7. Crime

About 4,378 violent crimesOpens in a new tab. and 13,493 property-related crimes happen in Boston, Massachusetts every year, so you shouldn’t move to Boston because of the relatively high crime rate.

However, if you still want to move to the area, keep in mind that although Boston is not the safest place to live in, it is also not the most dangerous.

8. The Number of People in the City

Boston, Massachusetts is overcrowded and has a dense populationOpens in a new tab., and more people move to the area every year. It is nearly impossible to walk on the sidewalks without nearly bumping into someone, especially when you are in the downtown area where most of the shops and restaurants are located.

Boston is one of the most densely populated cities in the U.S. and Massachusetts, which is bad because of how small the city actually is when you compare it to other cities.

9. Tourists

Boston is famous for its history, as many important historical events happened in the area, including the Boston Tea Party. However, that means that many tourists visit the city each year, making the streets and roads even more crowded than they already are.

About 22.7 million touristsOpens in a new tab. and visitors come to Boston every year, which is a lot of people that come to visit a relatively small city. Some people visit and then later move to the area, while others only visit for a short time.

10. The Bug Problem

Bugs run rampantOpens in a new tab. in the state of Massachusetts, and the city of Boston is no exception. People that live in Boston will have to deal with the following bugsOpens in a new tab. regularly:

  • Mosquitos
  • Cockroaches
  • Moths
  • Ants
  • Millipedes
  • Crickets
  • Spiders
  • Cicada killer wasp
  • Emerald ash borer
  • Wolf spider

If you move to Boston, you will likely have to deal with at least one of these bugs every dayOpens in a new tab., which is not good if you don’t like bugs, especially spiders.

11. The Rodent Problem

Boston, Massachusetts has a massive rodent problemOpens in a new tab. that isn’t expected to go away or get better any time soon. The two most common rodents that Boston residents see are mice and rats. Oftentimes, the rats are found in and around public transportation, but that definitely doesn’t mean that they won’t find their way into your home or office.

If you don’t like rodents, don’t move to Boston, Massachusetts.

12. People Are Often Rude

Boston, Massachusetts is considered the 5th rudest cityOpens in a new tab. in the U.S. or was given that ranking in 2019, so many Boston residents are considered rude. If you enjoy small talk and talking to extremely friendly strangers, Boston is not the best city for you to live in.

However, I will defend Boston residents for a minute, as they are likely viewed as rude by visitors and newcomers because they are busy, don’t have time for small talk, talk quickly, are extremely sarcastic, and sometimes have a penchant for cursing in public.

However, if you get to know people in the area, you may find them to be very nice. However, it will likely take 3-5 yearsOpens in a new tab. for you to develop good friendships with people in the area if you move to Boston, and the friends you make that live in Boston will be extremely loyal, which is a good friendship to have.

13. It’s a Growing City

Boston, Massachusetts is a growing city, even though it is already crowded enough to make many claustrophobic while walking on the street.

Every year, the population in Boston increases rapidly, and there is no place for these people to go. The city can’t expand outwards, so the number of apartment buildings that are many stories high are built in any space they can find. The city of Boston is growing faster than any other city in Massachusetts, so don’t be surprised if you choose to move to the area if, in a few years, you no longer feel comfortable there.

14. Noise Level

The streets of Boston, Massachusetts are noisyOpens in a new tab., but the suburbs are relatively quiet. During the day, people are yelling, cars are driving by (accompanied by honking horns and yelling), and there is quite a bit of construction noise. However, there are noise ordinances that say you can’t play or listen to anything over 50 decibels between 11 pm and 7 am, so you will be able to sleep in peace at night.

However, if you live in the downtown area of Boston, you will likely hear loud music and drunk people yelling coming from the clubs late at night and early in the morning. That can’t often be avoided, so if you choose to move to this area, invest in some really good earplugs.

15. Amount of Pollution

Boston, Massachusetts is quite pollutedOpens in a new tab., which affects the air quality in the city. Most of the time the air quality is considered good by many people, but if you have trouble breathing regularly or have a respiratory illness, you may want to avoid moving to Boston.

However, the air quality has been improving in recent years, so you may be able to comfortably move there in a few years, even if you have respiratory problems.

16. Amount of Construction

ConstructionOpens in a new tab. is nearly constantly being done in Boston, Massachusetts, even though nothing seems to change when they work on the roads.

In November 2021, over 100 construction projects were being worked on in Boston. Most projects involved building new buildings, but many others involved repairing roads and sidewalks. Although it is currently unknown how many construction projects are currently being worked on in Boston, it is estimated to be close to 100.

This means it will be nearly impossible for you to avoid construction areas, you will have to deal with constant construction noise, and you will have to deal with traffic in construction zones constantly if you choose to move to Boston.

17. Boston is a College Town

Many residents in Boston, Massachusetts are in the city so they can attend one of the many universities and college campusesOpens in a new tab. that are in the area. Boston is home to over 50 colleges and universities, and others are located nearby. In fact, Harvard is located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, which is very close to Boston.

This means that Boston is often considered a college town, which may not be appealing to you because you will have to deal with the inflow and outflow of college students and their parents every year. Even if you don’t attend one of the many schools in Boston, you will have to be aware of the move-in and move-out days so you can avoid the roads and businesses, which will be full to the brim.

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Nathan Aydelotte

Hello! I'm Nathan, the lead editor for Suggested by locals. I grew up in the Boise, Idaho area and have lived here most of my life. I enjoy being close to the mountains where I can go hiking, camping, and mountain biking.

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