Needham, located within Norfolk County, was settled in 1680 and incorporated in 1711. Colonial beginnings define Needham. Historical structures, houses, neighborhoods, businesses and cultural events are distinct throughout this vibrant community. Today Needham is primarily a residential suburban community with easy access to Boston, a strong school system and a strong sense of community.
Needham’s proximity to Boston, just 19.6 miles away, renders it a perfect community for those wanting the best of both small town and big city amenities and opportunities. Easy access to Boston is provided by the MBTA commuter rail service with four stops in Needham. The I-95/Route 128 circumferential highway that circles Boston passes through Needham with four exits providing access to the town. Massachusetts Route 135 also passes through the town.
Needham borders Newton and the West Roxbury section of Boston on the northeast, Dover, Westwood and Dedham on the South. and Wellesley on the West and Northwest
With a population running fairly constant at some 29,000, Needham’s demographic composition approximates an average median age of 43, average family size of 3, an average household size of 2.6, and a median household income of approximately $132,000. Approximately 75% of the population has a Bachelor Degree or higher.
Needham’s housing reflects the town’s historical roots and commitments to preservation. Its latest median home value is approximately $790,800 rather than the $1,157,000 and $967,000 respective median home values in its neighboring Wellesley and Dover. Some 83% of Needham’s residents own their homes.
Needham boasts outstanding educational opportunities and results for all school-aged children. Ranked as the 19th best school district in Massachusetts, Needham School District includes Needham High School (9-12 grades and recently completed $62M renovation), Pollard Middle School (grades 7-8), High Rock School (exclusively grade 6) and 5 elementary schools Broadmeadow, Eliot, Hillside, Mitchell, and Newman (grades K-5). Newman Elementary also has a pre-K class. Additionally, there are some 10 pre-schools and 3 private schools in the town. For college level students, Needham is home to the Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering.
Needham hosts numerous community events throughout the year. Needham kicks off the year with First Night – where the New Year begins! First Night begins the day before New Year’s Day and features musical performances, comedy shows, dance reviews and much more. A New Year’s Eve Countdown Party at Town Hall rings in the new year, and the new year is kicked off New Year’s morning with a 5K run organized by the Needham Running Club.
The Fourth of July celebration in Needham over the years has evolved into a two-day event featuring food, music, face painting, pony rides, and other family entertainment. There are fireworks on the evening of the third and a Grand Parade the morning of the Fourth. After the parade, there is more food, a flea market and an old-fashioned parade.
Thanksgiving Day in Needham is another cause for celebration when the Needham Rockets football team squares off with the Wellesley Raiders. The annual Thanksgiving Day game is the oldest rivalry of its kind in the country. The fight has been going on since 1882, ever since East and West Needham split apart, taking their respective high schools with them.
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