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Moving to living in Brookline

Is Brookline MA a Good Place to Live? 🏙️ | COMPLETE Guide to Living in Brookline

Last Updated on: 26th December 2023, 08:24 pm

Have you always wanted to live in a peaceful New England town with easy access to big city amenities? You should consider moving to Brookline, a fantastic town located just southwest of Boston MA. Brookline is known for being the birthplace of President John F. Kennedy and its reputation as one of the best places in the US to raise a family.

Originally known as Muddy River, the town of Brookline MA in Boston was first settled in 1638 as a hamlet. It eventually took the name Brookline after a small brook that formed the property line belonging to a local judge and was formally incorporated as a town in Norfolk County in 1705. Today, Brookline MA is a good place to live for families and young professionals seeking fantastic schools, friendly residents, and an easy commute to Boston. Here is everything you need to know about living in Brookline.

Where Is Brookline?

Brookline, MA is in Norfolk County within the Boston metro area. Often considered a family-friendly Boston suburb, Brookline borders six neighborhoods within the city limits, including Brighton, Allston, Fenway-Kenmore, Mission Hill, Jamaica Plain, and West Roxbury. Several major thoroughfares pass through Brookline, including Brighton Avenue and I-90, offering easy access to downtown Boston. Plus, the Charles River runs along the northeastern tip of the town, separating it from the city of Cambridge.

Brookline is about 4 miles or a 20-minute drive from Boston.


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Brookline Population & Demographics

The Brookline population is 63,191 according to the 2020 census, making it the largest municipality in Massachusetts with a town form of government structure. The Brookline, MA, population has also increased steadily over the past few decades and increased by 7.3% since 2010.

The northern part of Brookline is more urban in character and features a population density of roughly 20,000 residents per square mile. However, the southern portion features a more suburban feel, and the overall population density is 9,347.8 residents per square mile.

Brookline is a relatively young, affluent community. The median age is 35.3, and 43% of the population is under the age of 30. Norfolk is the richest county in Massachusetts, and Brookline’s median household income is $122,356. The racial and ethnic breakdown is 70.1% white (67.2% non-Hispanic), 17.8% Asian, 6.6% Hispanic or Latino, 2.5% Black or African American and 8.2% two or more races.

Other Brookline Demographics 

  • Sex: The Brookline MA population is 54% female and 46% male
  • Educational attainment: 97.5% have a high school diploma, while 84.4% have a bachelor’s degree or higher
  • Foreign-born population: 30.9%

Many famous residents have lived in Brookline, including Nobel prize-winning writer Saul Bellow and legendary NBA player Larry Bird.

Brookline is a very safe community with a total crime rate of 1245 crimes per 100,000 residents. That makes it 8.6% safer than the rest of the state and 46.9% safer than the rest of the country. Violent crime is also 65.7% lower than the statewide average and 72.4% lower than the national average. However, property crime in Brookline is 8.1% higher than in the rest of the state.

The Brookline Police Department handles crime in the town with the help of 187 law enforcement personnel, including 137 officers and 50 civilians.

Brookline Cost of Living

The cost of living in Boston, MA, and Brookline is higher than in the rest of the country, although you get plenty of value for the money. The COLI for the Boston metro area is 153.3, which indicates the Brookline cost of living is 53% more expensive than the rest of the US (the national average is represented by 100).

The Family Budget Calculator created by the Economic Policy Institute shows that the average family of four with two adults and two children needs to earn $136,956 per year to afford to live in Norfolk County.

Typical Brookline living expenses

  • Hamburger: $5.84
  • A gallon of milk: $2.77
  • Loaf of bread: $4.42
  • A gallon of gas: $4.34
  • Visit to the dentist: $128.46
  • Average monthly utility bill: $375

Source: Payscale 

The high cost of Brookline real estate is a major contributor to the cost of living. Redfin shows that the median price of homes for sale in Brookline, MA is $1.15 million. That makes the average home price in Brookline MA more than double the national average. The median price per square foot of Brookline MA real estate is $702.

However, if you are a tenant moving to Brookline, you’ll also find plenty of options, as only 52% of buildings are owner-occupied, while 48% are rented out. RentCafe indicates that the average rent in Brookline MA  is $3,419 per month. Apartments in Brookline MA, start around $1800 for a studio and go up to $5200 for a two-bedroom.


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Brookline Neighborhoods | Where to Live in Brookline

Living in Brookline MA offers several attractive neighborhoods with unique amenities and charm. Here are the best places to live in Brookline.

Aspinwall Hill | A Family-Friendly Brookline Neighborhood in a Central Location

Aspinwall Hill is a scenic residential district with a rich history that offers plenty of parks and green space, quiet, walkable streets, and easy access to shopping on Beacon Street.

Longwood | An Urban Brookline Neighborhood with Unique Architecture 

Longwood is the easternmost Brookline neighborhood and the closest to downtown Boston that features gorgeous homes in the Greek Revival architectural style

Pelham Hall | An Upscale Apartment Building in the Heart of Brookline

Pelham Hall Brookline is a historic apartment building in the Coolidge Corner area that offers luxury amenities, art deco style architecture, and spacious modern residences.

Brookline Weather & Climate

Brookline has a humid continental climate, which indicates warm, pleasant summers and cold, snowy winters. The temperature usually ranges from about 22°F to 82°F, although it can get up to 91°F in the summer and drop down to 8°F in the winter.

The best time to visit someone living in Brookline is June through September. But if you’re thinking of moving to Brookline MA, be prepared to deal with the precipitation. The town averages 47 inches of rain and 49 inches of snow yearly. So make sure to pack snow boots and an umbrella.


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Things to Do in Brookline

You’ll find no shortage of fun things to do in Brookline, from historic sites to the Brookline golf range. There are plenty of boutiques, local businesses, and restaurants in Brookline Village or down at the Shops at Putterham or the Shops at Chestnut Hill. The Boston General Store and Brookline Booksmith are two other local favorites with unique offerings. Beyond shopping, here are a few other things to do in Brookline MA.

Coolidge Corner Theatre 

The Coolidge Corner Theatre is an independent cinema in the neighborhood that focuses on international, documentary, animated, and independent films and hosts frequent classes and seminars.

290 Harvard St, Brookline, MA 02446 (617) 734-2501

John Fitzgerald Kennedy National Historic Site

The JFK National Historic Site is a museum housed in the birthplace and childhood home of the 35th US President that features regular exhibits and tours.

83 Beals St, Brookline, MA 02446 (617) 566-7937

Brookline Golf Course

The Robert T. Lynch Municipal, also known as the Putterham golf course in Brookline, MA, is a 6208-yard public course and driving range located in the Putterham neighborhood adjacent to the Brookline Country Club.

1281 W Roxbury Pkwy, Chestnut Hill, MA 02467 (617) 730-2078

Additional Brookline attractions

If you’re searching for more fun things to do in Brookline, MA, the Brookline Recreation Department has a list of community programs and activities on its website.

Brookline Restaurants

There are also tons of great restaurants in Brookline offering everything from South American cuisine to New American. Here are the top Brookline restaurants.

La Morra 

If you’re in the mood for Italian food, La Morra is one of the best restaurants in Brookline MA, with homemade pasta and Tuscan-style entrees cooked over a wood grill and served in a cozy setting.

48 Boylston St, Brookline, MA 02445 (617) 739-0007


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The Washington Square Tavern 

Washington Square Tavern is one of the best places to eat in Brookline for elevated American food, with an extensive beer and wine list and delicious menu items like pan-seared scallops and roasted duck breast.

714 Washington St, Brookline, MA 02446 (617) 232-8989

Orinoco Brookline Village

Orinoco is a Latin American Kitchen in the Brookline Village neighborhood that takes influence from cultures all over the Andes and the Caribbean.

22 Harvard St, Brookline, MA 02445 (617) 232-9505

Jobs in Brookline, MA

Moving to Brookline offers easy access to job opportunities in Boston and the surrounding areas. The main industries offering jobs in Brookline MA are health care and social services, education, professional, scientific, and technical services, and finance and insurance.

According to Payscale, the average employee living in Brookline MA earns a salary of $77,000 per year. The average salary of common Brookline jobs includes:

  • Software Engineer: $109,570
  • Staff Accountant: $64,001
  • Senior Software Engineer: $139,394

Largest employers in the Boston Metro area:

You’ll also find plenty of stable city of Brookline MA jobs in local government. You’ll also find a range of Brookline jobs in the private sector, including everything from program director to library assistant.

Brookline Schools

The highly respected Public Schools of Brookline serve the community, which is known for its fantastic educational institutions. There are eight elementary schools in Brookline MA, serving grades K-8, plus one early learning center and one comprehensive high school.

Brookline High School is a nationally recognized facility serving students across 26 different counties. According to US News and World Report, it ranks within the top 50 STEM high schools in the country, as well as 35th in the state and 917th in the country.

There are also a few private schools in Brookline, MA, such as the Beaver Country Day School and Dexter Southfield School. Several institutions of higher learning are located in the town, including Pine Manor College, Hellenic College, and the Boston Graduate School of Psychoanalysis.

Plus, other major universities have a presence in the community, such as Boston University, Boston College, and Northeastern University’s Parsons Field. Any residents living in Brookline can also use the Brookline Public Library for books and other media.

Brookline Statistics & Information

  • Brookline County: Norfolk County
  • Brookline area: 6.8 square miles
  • Brookline zip code: 02445–02447, 02467
  • Brookline area code: 617 & 857
  • Brookline elevation: 50 ft
  • Brookline time zone: Eastern Standard Time (UTC-5)
  • The closest airport to Brookline: The Boston Logan International Airport (BOS) is 7.2 miles away.

Brookline MA Map

Explore more restaurants, attractions, and fun things to do with this Brookline MA map.

Make your upcoming move easy and stress-free with the help of Mass Bay Movers. Trust our expert movers in Brookline to handle everything from start to finish. Give us a call today at 978-288-0386.


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