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About Cambridge

Cambridge, Massachusetts is a city in the Greater Boston area of Massachusetts, United States. It was named in honor of the University of Cambridge in England. Cambridge is most famous for the two prominent universities that call it home: Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. As of the 2000 census, the city population was 101,355. It is the fifth most populous city in the state.

Cambridge is a county seat of Middlesex County, Massachusetts, along with Lowell. Though the county government was abolished in 1997, the county still exists as a geographical and political region. The employees of Middlesex County courts, jails, registries, and other county agencies now work directly for the state.

About the city

Harvard Square
Harvard Square

Cambridge is noted for its diverse population, both racially and economically. Residents, known as Cantabrigians, range from affluent MIT and Harvard professors to working-class families to immigrants. The first legal applications in America for same-sex marriage licenses were issued at Cambridge's City Hall.[3]

The city and its universities, particularly Harvard, have strong leftist traditions, with some (typically outside the city) even referring to the city as the PRC, or the "People's Republic of Cambridge" and Harvard as the "Kremlin on the Charles". Cambridge is also known as "Boston's Left Bank" (although it is not part of the city of Boston).

Cambridge has also been called the "City of Squares" by some, as most of its commercial districts are major street intersections known as squares. Because most streets were laid out centuries ago, few of these squares resemble a geometric square in any way. Harvard Square is in fact a triangular region formed by two converging curved streets. Each of the squares acts as something of a neighborhood center. These include:

The residential neighborhoods (map) in Cambridge border, but are not defined by the squares. These include:

At the western edge of Cambridge, Mount Auburn Cemetery is well known as the first garden cemetery, for its distinguished inhabitants, for its superb landscaping (the oldest planned landscape in the country), and as a first-rate arboretum.

Although one often sees references to the "Boston/Cambridge area" in print, Cambridge prefers to retain its own unique and legally-separate identity.

Demographics

As of the censusGR2 of 2000, there were 101,355 people, 42,615 households, and 17,599 families residing in the city. The population density was 6,086.1/km² (15,766.1/mi²), making Cambridge the 5th most densely populated city in the U.S.[4] There were 44,725 housing units at an average density of 2,685.6/km² (6,957.1/mi²). The racial makeup of the city was 68.10% White, 11.92% Black or African American, 0.29% Native American, 11.88% Asian, 0.08% Pacific Islander, 3.19% from other races, and 4.56% from two or more races. 7.36% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. This rather closely parallels the average racial demographics of the United States as a whole, although Cambridge has significantly more Asians than the average, and fewer Hispanics and Caucasians.

There were 42,615 households out of which 17.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 29.1% were married couples living together, 9.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 58.7% were non-families. 41.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.03 and the average family size was 2.83.

In the city the population was spread out with 13.3% under the age of 18, 21.2% from 18 to 24, 38.6% from 25 to 44, 17.8% from 45 to 64, and 9.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 30 years. For every 100 females there were 96.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.7 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $47,979, and the median income for a family was $59,423. Males had a median income of $43,825 versus $38,489 for females. The per capita income for the city was $31,156. About 8.7% of families and 12.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.1% of those under age 18 and 12.9% of those age 65 or over.

Cambridge was ranked as one of the most liberal cities in America.[5] Its FY 2007 residential property tax rate, $7.48 per $1000 of assessed valuation, is one of the lowest in Massachusetts. Cambridge enjoys the highest possible bond credit rating, AAA, with all three Wall Street rating agencies.[6]

Higher education

A view from Boston of Harvard's Weld Boathouse and Cambridge. The Charles River is in the foreground.
A view from Boston of Harvard's Weld Boathouse and Cambridge. The Charles River is in the foreground.

At least 129 of the world's total 780 Nobel Prize winners have been, at some point in their careers, affiliated with universities in Cambridge.

Schools

Cambridge is host to many public and private schools serving the children of Cambridge.

Cambridge's public schools are operated by Cambridge Public Schools.[9] The only public high school in Cambridge is Cambridge Rindge and Latin (also known as CRLS).

There are many private schools in the city, serving a variety of needs of both parents and students, including:

Cambridge is also home to the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy.

Economy

Although manufacturing was an important part of the late 19th and early 20th-century Cambridge economy, today long-established educational institutions are its biggest employers; Harvard employs over 10,000 people and MIT over 9,500. As a famous cradle of technological innovation, Cambridge is also home to legendary technology firms, including Analog Devices, VMware, Akamai, BBN, Lotus Development Corporation (now part of IBM), Polaroid, Thinking Machines, and Google.

Over the years, as companies have grown, prospered, and then either moved away or gone out of business (see this list of employers for more information), Cambridge's large-scale employment has shifted tremendously. In 1996, Polaroid, Arthur D. Little, and Lotus were all top employers with over 1,000 people in Cambridge, and all declined or disappeared a few years later. As of 2005, alongside Harvard and MIT, health care and biotechnology dominate the Cambridge economy, with Genzyme, Biogen Idec, and Novartis the biggest players. Biotech's geographical locus is Kendall Square and East Cambridge, the center of much of the city's manufacturing a century before. A number of biotechnology companies are also located in University Park at MIT, a new development in another former manufacturing area. None of the computer-industry firms that once dominated the Cambridge economy are top-20 employers as of 2005. However, many smaller start-ups and entrepreneurial companies remain an important part of the Cambridge employment scene.

 

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