Best Places To Live

11. Westford, MA

201309_BPL_WESTFORD
Westford, MA David Fingerhut

Top 50 rank: 11

Population: 22,407

You’d never guess that this seemingly rural town, dotted with apple orchards and lakes, is also home to a bevy of high-tech jobs at companies like Red Hat and Juniper Networks. But tech firms form the town’s economic backbone.

That doesn’t mean natural beauty is in short supply: Westford is home to more than 2,000 acres of conservation land, two public beaches, and the Nashoba Valley Ski Area. The town itself has few entertainment options, but Boston is just 35 miles away. –Kerry Flynn

Westford, MA

Town stats

Median family income (per year) $139,397
Job growth % (2010-2012) 4.06%
Median home price (2012) $389,225
Reading test scores (% above/below average) 33.6%
Math test scores (% above/below average) 48.5%
Personal crime incidents (per 1,000) 1
Property crime incidents (per 1,000) 8

Financials

Median family income (per year) $139,397
Family purchasing power (annual, cost-of-living adjusted) $98,954
Sales tax (state) 6.25%
State income tax rate (highest bracket) 5.25%I
State income tax rate (lowest bracket) 5.25%I
Auto insurance premiums (Average price quotes, for the state) N.A.
Job growth % (2010-2012) 4.06%

Housing

Median home price (2012) $389,225
Average property taxes(2012) $6,707

Education

Colleges, universities and professional schools (within 30 miles) 89
Reading test scores (% above/below state average) 33.6%
Test scores math (% above/below average) 48.5%
% students attending public/private schools (located within town limits) 93.4/6.6

Quality of life

Air quality index* (% of days AQI ranked as good) 91.6%
Personal crime incidents (per 1,000) 1
Property crime incidents (per 1,000) 8
Median commute time (in minutes) 26.8
% population with commute 45 mins. or longer 20.6%
% population walk or bike to work 0.9%

Leisure and culture

Movie theaters (within 15 miles) 11
Restaurants (within 15 miles) 1,311
Bars (within 15 miles) 106
Public golf courses (within 30 miles) 238
Libraries (within 15 miles) 44
Museums (accredited by AAM; within 30 miles) 43
Ski resorts (within 100 miles) N.A.
Arts funding (Dollars per person of state funds spent on arts) 1.2

Weather

Annual rainfall (inches) 42.53
% clear days in the area 55%
High temp in July ° F 84.5°
Low temp in Jan ° F 14.1°

Meet the neighbors

Median age 41.0
Completed at least some college (% of residents) 81.5%
Married % 66.8%
Divorced % 4.8%
Racial diversity index (100 is national average; higher numbers indicate greater diversity) 60.4

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