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Brighton is a neighborhood of the City of Bostonmarker, Massachusettsmarker, located in the northwest corner of the city. It comprises land covered by the zip code 02135.


In 1630, land comprising present-day Allston-Brighton and Newtonmarker was assigned to Watertownmarker. In 1634, the Massachusetts Bay Colony transferred ownership of the south side of the Charles River, including present-day Allston-Brighton and Newton, from Watertown to Newetowne, later renamed Cambridgemarker.

In 1646, Reverend John Eliot established a “Praying Indian” village on the present Newton-Brighton boundary, where resided local native converted to Christianity. The first permanent English settlement came as settlers crossed the Charles River from Cambridge, establishing Little Cambridge, the area's name before 1807.

Before the American Revolutionary War, Little Cambridge become a small, prosperous farming community with fewer than 300 residents. Its inhabitants included wealthy Boston merchants such as Benjamin Faneuil (after whom a street in Brighton is named).

A key event in the history of Allston-Brighton was the establishment in 1775 of a cattle market to supply the Continental Army. Jonathan Winship I and Jonathan Winship II established the market, and in the post-war period that followed, the Winships become the largest meat packers in Massachusetts.

The residents of Little Cambridge resolved to secede from Cambridge when the latter's government made decisions detrimental to the cattle industry and also failed to repair the Great Bridge linking Little Cambridge with Cambridge proper. Legislative approval for separation was obtained in 1807, and Little Cambridge renamed itself Brighton.

In October 1873, the Town of Brighton voted to annex itself to the City of Boston, and in January 1874 Brighton officially became a neighborhood of the City of Boston.


Brighton is accessible via the B line of Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority's (MBTA) Green Line as well as its local bus routes (57 - Kenmore Squaremarker to Watertown Yard, 64 - Oak Square to Central Square marker via Cambridge Street, 65 - Kenmore Square to Brighton Center via Longwood Medical District, 70 - Waltham to Central Square (Cambridge) via Western Avenue and 86 - Cleveland Circle to Harvard Squaremarker via Market Street) and inner-express bus routes (501 - Brighton Center to Financial District and 503 - Brighton Center to Copley Squaremarker). The C branch of the Green line terminates in Brighton, and the D branch of the Green line runs nearby, though not through Brighton.

While 47% of the population of Brighton drives alone to work, 36% uses mass transit, compared with 71% and 15% respectively for the United Statesmarker as a whole.


Brighton is a neighborhood of Boston that is connected to the rest of the city by the Allstonmarker neighborhood and is otherwise surrounded by Cambridge, Watertown, Newton, and Brooklinemarker. The Charles River separates Brighton from Cambridge and Watertown. According to the Census Bureau, Brighton, defined by zip code 02135, has a population of 43,887 and a land area of 2.78 square miles.

Brighton is, for the most part, administered jointly with the adjacent neighborhood of Allston (zip code 02134). The two are often referred to together as "Allston-Brighton" (and by some as "Brighton-Allston"), and (also according to Census Bureau data) have a combined population of 65,276 and a land area of 4.12 square miles.


As of 2007, the estimated population of Brighton is 42,789, a 2.81% loss from the 2000 Census. The population density is 14,797 per mi2, slightly higher than the citywide average of 12,166 per mi2. The median age is 32.2. The largest measured age cohort is 25-34, which comprises 32.52% of the population. (Note: depending on methodology, college students might not be counted.) Fifty-nine percent of the population have never been married.

The population was 78% white, 12% Asian American, 3.5% black or African American, and nearly 7% Hispanic of any race.

Thirty-three percent of Brighton has graduated from a four-year college.

The median home price is $495,000 compared with $217,200 for the country as a whole, and the cost of living is 30% higher than the national average. Brighton has a comparatively older housing stock. The median home age was 58 years and 42% of homes were built before 1939.

The largest religious group (45%) is Catholic, with Protestants and other Christians making up the second-largest, at 10% of the population. The next largest religious identification is Judaism (4%), with Islam at 2%.


Brighton is host to many public schools. One of these is Brighton High School. Mount St. Joseph Academymarker is a private high school located within the boundaries of the locality.

Brighton is host to the Everest Institute, Saint John's Seminarymarker and portions of Boston Collegemarker and Harvard Universitymarker. Currently the latter two institutions have ambitious plans to expand their presence in Brighton. The area is also proximal to other colleges, including Boston Universitymarker, and houses many of their students and faculty.

See also the List of colleges and universities in metropolitan Boston.

Notable residents


  1. Brighton, Massachusetts (MA) population and demographics data - Sperling's BestPlaces
  2. Brighton, Massachusetts (MA) transportation resources - Sperling's BestPlaces
  3. Brighton, Massachusetts (MA) demographic resources - Sperling's BestPlaces
  4. Brighton, Massachusetts (MA) education and school resources - Sperling's BestPlaces
  5. Brighton, Massachusetts (MA) real estate resources - Sperling's BestPlaces
  6. Brighton, Massachusetts (MA) religion resources - Sperling's BestPlaces


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