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Encyclopedia > Brookline, MA

Brookline is a town in Norfolk County, Massachusetts. It borders Newton (part of Middlesex County) on the southwest and Boston (part of Suffolk County) in all other directions, so it is not actually contiguous with any other part of Norfolk County. As of the 2000 census, the population of the town is 57,107.



Brookline is governed by a representative (elected) Town Meeting and a five-person Board of Selectmen.


First settled in the early 1600s as a part of Boston, Massachusetts known as the hamlet of Muddy River, Brookline was incorporated as an independent town in 1705.

President John F. Kennedy was born here. It was also the home of Frederick Law Olmsted, an influential American landscape architect, 60 Minutes icon Mike Wallace, Michael Dukakis, former Governor of Massachusetts and Democratic Presidential candidate in 1988 and Conan O'Brien the television talk show host.

The Country Club, an exclusive sporting club in the town, claims to be the first private club in the United States formed exclusively for outdoor activities. It is most famous as a golf club; it was one of the five clubs that formed what is now the United States Golf Association, and has hosted the U.S. Open three times and the Ryder Cup Matches once.

Brookline is also home to the Hellenic College and Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology.


Brookline is located at 4219'50" North, 718'1" West (42.330664, _71.13364)1.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 17.7 km (6.8 mi). 17.6 km (6.8 mi) of it is land and 0.1 km (0.04 mi) of it is water. The total area is 0.44% water.


As of the census2 of 2000, there are 57,107 people, 25,594 households, and 12,233 families residing in the town. The population density is 3,247.3/km (8,409.7/mi). There are 26,413 housing units at an average density of 1,501.9/km (3,889.6/mi). The racial makeup of the town is 81.08% White, 2.74% Black or African American, 0.12% Native American, 12.83% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 1.01% from other races, and 2.18% from two or more races. 3.53% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There are 25,594 households out of which 21.9% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 38.4% are married couples living together, 7.1% have a female householder with no husband present, and 52.2% are non-families. 36.7% of all households are made up of individuals and 10.1% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.18 and the average family size is 2.86.

In the town the population is spread out with 16.6% under the age of 18, 11.7% from 18 to 24, 37.3% from 25 to 44, 21.9% from 45 to 64, and 12.4% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 34 years. For every 100 females there are 82.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 79.1 males.

The median income for a household in the town is $66,711, and the median income for a family is $92,993. Males have a median income of $56,861 versus $43,436 for females. The per capita income for the town is $44,327. 9.3% of the population and 4.5% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 5.3% of those under the age of 18 and 7.5% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.


Brookline is known in the Boston area for its large population of Russian emigrants and numerous synagogues. Jewish culture is very strong in Brookline, and is especially notable along the section of Harvard Street that runs between Beacon Street (Coolidge Corner) and Commonwealth Avenue. This neighborhood, which coincidentally also features the famous birthplace of JFK, is home to at least 3 area synagogues and a number of Jewish-themed restaurants and stores, most notably Kupel's Bagels—a Glatt-Kosher-certified bakery that many claim has the best bagels in the Boston area— and Zaftig's Delicatessen.

Brookline is also known for its excellent schools, which are supported in large part by property taxes—the town has one of the highest property tax burdens in the country.

While residents of Brookline do tend toward liberal ideals, economic and cultural factors keep this section of the Boston metropolitan area less diverse than its neighbor across the Charles, Cambridge.

External links

  • Town of Brookline (http://www.town.brookline.ma.us/)
  • Kupel's Bagels Site at the Phantom Gourmet (http://www.phantomgourmet.com/view-restaurant.asp?id=0&name=Kupel's+Bagels/)
  • Maps and aerial photos
    • Street map from Mapquest (http://www.mapquest.com/maps/map.adp?latlongtype=decimal&latitude=42.330664&longitude=_71.13364&zoom=6)
    • Topographic map from Topozone (http://www.topozone.com/map.asp?lat=42.330664&lon=_71.13364&s=200&size=m&layer=DRG100)
    • Aerial photograph from Microsoft Terraserver (http://terraserver.microsoft.com/map.aspx?t=1&s=14&lon=_71.13364&lat=42.330664&w=750&h=500)

  Results from FactBites:
Brookline: Weather and Much More from Answers.com (1653 words)
Brookline is governed by a representative (elected) town meeting, which is the legislative body of the town, and a five-person Board of Selectmen which serves as the executive branch of the town.
Brookline is known in the Boston area for its large population of Russian immigrants and numerous synagogues.
Brookline is also known for its excellent schools, which are supported in large part by property taxes — the town has one of the highest property tax burdens in the country.
Brookline MA condos, homes & real estate (331 words)
Brookline, Massachusetts is a jewel of a suburb.
Brookline has kept its town meeting form of government since 1705, when this "Muddy River" farmland of Boston became incorporated and named for the brooks that formed its boundaries.
Brookline is 4 miles west of Boston; 36 miles east of Worcester; 38 miles northeast of Providence, Rhode Island; and 215 miles from New York City.
  More results at FactBites »



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