Why is Massachusetts so expensive? (5 Reasons) 2024

Hello and welcome to states explorer! This article responds to the query; “Why is Massachusetts so expensive to live in or visit compared to other states in the US.”

Massachusetts is the most populous of the six New England states, and has a long history of innovation. The state was founded by Puritans in 1620 and quickly became a focal point of the American Revolution. From its beginnings, it has been home to some of America’s greatest minds.

Massachusetts served as an early leader for social reform and progressive ideals, establishing public education and abolishing slavery in 1783 before it became legal across all United States territories. Below are the reasons why Massachusetts is so expensive.

Why is Massachusetts so expensive?

1. High cost of living

High cost of living is one of the biggest reasons Massachusetts is so expensive. Despite being a relatively small state, Massachusetts has consistently ranked as one of the most expensive places to live in the United States. This high cost of living includes everything from housing and transportation costs to food prices and healthcare fees.

Housing costs in Massachusetts can be particularly steep and often require people to put down large deposits or monthly rent payments that are much higher than other states across the nation. Even purchasing a home comes with additional expenses such as property taxes, closing fees and more.

In addition, many areas also have hefty transportation costs in terms of tolls, gas prices and parking fees. Also, food prices can be quite pricey too since residents must pay for costly imports from other states due to a lack of local options.

2. High education cost

High education cost is another reason why Massachusetts is an expensive state to live in. High tuition costs, coupled with other financial stressors such as housing and living expenses, create a barrier for many students who may not be able to afford adequate educational options.

The high cost of college tuition and fees can be attributed to the lack of public funding available in Massachusetts. This limited availability of state funds puts a strain on universities and colleges that must make up for this shortfall by imposing higher tuition rates on their students.

3. High cost of healthcare

Another reason why Massachusetts is an expensive place to live is because of the high cost of healthcare. Healthcare costs are among the highest in the nation, which can be attributed to a large number of hospitals and health centers, as well as a high concentration of physicians and specialists throughout the state. As a result, medical bills for residents tend to be higher than for those living elsewhere.

The cost of health insurance premiums has also been steadily increasing in Massachusetts over recent years. Premiums are more expensive here than almost anywhere else in the country due to factors such as population density and lack of competition among providers. As a result, people living in Massachusetts often struggle with affording adequate coverage or may have no choice but to go without insurance altogether.

4. High housing costs

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High housing costs are one of the main reasons why Massachusetts has such a high cost of living. The median home value in Massachusetts is higher than many other states, and rent prices tend to be much higher as well. For those looking to purchase a house, real estate taxes are also extremely high, making it difficult for people to afford a home.

5. High taxes

High taxes are one of the primary reasons why Massachusetts is becoming an increasingly expensive place to live. According to a 2018 report from the Tax Foundation, Massachusetts has the sixth highest tax burden of all states in America.

The Bay State also has some of the highest sales taxes and gas taxes in the nation, and property owners must pay hefty local and state income taxes as well. All these taxes together make it more difficult for residents to afford basic necessities like housing, transportation, and food.

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Famous things Massachusetts is known for

a) Harvard University

Harvard University
Image credit: ScholarCare.com

Harvard University is one of the most renowned universities in the world, and for good reason. Located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Harvard has been making Massachusetts famous since 1636 when it was founded. This institution of higher learning has consistently been ranked as one of the best institutions in academe, both nationally and internationally.

The combination of excellent academics and a comprehensive research program have made Harvard University one of the top universities to attend. The campus is steeped with tradition and culture – from its iconic red brick buildings to its world-renowned faculty members.

Students gain access to an unparalleled education that teaches them how to think critically, solve complex problems, and navigate their future paths with confidence. Moreover, Harvard offers students more than 500 clubs and organizations across all disciplines – allowing them to broaden their social networks while still receiving an elite education.

b) Cape Cod Coastal town

Cape Cod Coastal town
Image credit: Thrillist

Cape Cod Coastal town has become a destination for tourists and vacationers from all over the world. Located in Massachusetts, Cape Cod Coastal town is one of the things that makes this New England state famous. The town offers visitors a variety of attractions, including its beautiful beaches, scenic views, and exciting activities.

Cape Cod Coastal Town is known for its miles of coastline and picturesque villages. It’s easy to see why visitors flock here year-round to explore the region’s charming sand dunes and peaceful marshes. During summer months, many tourists take

advantage of whale watching opportunities or participate in outdoor activities like kayaking or biking along beautiful trails.

c) Fenway Park

Fenway Park is an iconic landmark in the state of Massachusetts. Located in the heart of Boston, it is home to the beloved Red Sox and serves as a reminder of the city’s rich baseball history. Since its opening on April 20, 1912, Fenway Park has been a source of pride for the entire region and is one of the most recognizable features associated with Massachusetts.

The park has played host to numerous historic events over its lifetime, including several World Series games and concerts from some of music’s biggest names such as The Rolling Stones and U2. It also serves as an outdoor museum showcasing artifacts from throughout Red Sox history such as letters written by Babe Ruth and Ted Williams.

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d) Boston cream pie

Boston cream pie
Image credit: Omni Parker House

Boston cream pie is one of the most popular desserts in Massachusetts, and it has become a symbol for the state. The rich, creamy cake was first created in 1856 by Armenian-French chef M. Sanzian at Boston’s Parker House Hotel. As Massachusetts’ official state dessert, Boston cream pie has been enjoyed by generations of people across the country.

The classic version of this iconic treat is made with two layers of yellow sponge cake filled with rich vanilla custard or crème pâtissière and topped with chocolate ganache. Its unique combination of flavors brings back memories for many locals while simultaneously introducing visitors to New England’s culinary culture. Whether served in restaurants, bakeries or even homes, Boston cream pie is always a welcome addition to any event menu in the Bay State.

e) Freedom trail historic site

Freedom Trail historic site
Image credit: Massachusetts Society

As one of the most popular and historically significant sites in Massachusetts, the Freedom Trail is a must-see for anyone visiting or living in the state. This two-and-a-half mile walking trail is packed with 16 historical sites that trace the history of America’s struggle for freedom.

From Revolutionary War monuments to churches that played an important role in abolitionism, visitors can get an up-close look at some of America’s most iconic landmarks.

The Freedom Trail also highlights some lesser known places such as Granary Burying Ground and Old South Meeting House, where key events took place leading to the American Revolution.

f) The Boston Marathon

The Boston Marathon
Image credit: Georgia Public Broadcasting

The Boston Marathon is one of the most iconic events in Massachusetts and is a symbol of pride for all locals. Every year, thousands of runners from around the world come to experience this historic marathon for themselves. The Boston Marathon has been held annually since 1897, making it the oldest annual marathon in the world.

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It is also one of the most prestigious marathons and has become synonymous with excellence and determination. The event attracts many international competitors who seek to challenge themselves on the gruelling 26-mile course which stretches from Hopkinton to downtown Boston.


In conclusion, Massachusetts is one of the expensive states to live in for a variety of reasons. It has high taxes, an expensive cost of living, and wages that make it difficult to save money or even stay afloat.

However, with careful planning and budgeting, it is possible to find ways to save money and live comfortably in this state. Additionally, Massachusetts also offers many cultural attractions and events that can help make up for the high costs associated with living here.