Located along the Connecticut River, Springfield is one of the best places in New England for young professionals, families, and retirees to settle down. Check out these 12 pros and cons of living in Springfield!

Pros of Living in Springfield

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From affordable living to cultural hot spots, there are many attractive elements that make moving to Springfield a fantastic decision. Here are some advantages to living in Hoop City.

Pro: Affordable Cost of Living

One aspect that makes living in Springfield an appealing choice is its affordability. Though the Northeast is often thought of as an expensive place to live, the overall cost of living in Springfield is around 31% lower than the Massachusetts average and only 1% higher than the national average. Despite its convenient proximity to major metropolitan areas like Boston, Hartford, and New York, which sometimes increases the living costs of surrounding areas, housing costs here are a whopping 83% lower than Massachusetts as a whole! The median home price in Springfield is also 12% lower than the rest of the U.S., and rent is 4% lower, making this city an attractive option for those who want to balance urban amenities with cost-effectiveness.

Pro: A Wealth of Higher Education Opportunities

If you’re thinking of relocating to Springfield and want to pursue a degree—good news. The City of Firsts is situated in what is known as “The Knowledge Corridor,” which contains one of the highest concentrations of higher learning institutes in the nation, including several Ivy League schools! Earn your degree in health science, education, business management, and more at Springfield College. Start your career in mechanical engineering, psychology, pharmaceutical sciences, or accounting with a degree from Western New England University. Choose from over 75 degrees and certificate programs like nursing, criminal justice, building construction management, architectural design, and others at Springfield Technical Community College. Earn your B.S. or B.A. in early childhood education, human services, interdisciplinary studies, or management studies at Cambridge College – Springfield. Or take advantage of more than 40 undergraduate majors like eSports and Gaming Administration, biology, and cybersecurity at American International College.

Pros: Access to Fantastic Healthcare

With Massachusetts ranking third among the states with the best healthcare, it’s no surprise that Springfield is home to numerous hospitals within its city limits, offering a wide array of high-quality healthcare options (and job opportunities) to residents. In fact, the Liberty Heights neighborhood alone contains multiple hospitals, including Baystate Medical Center, one of the top 10 best hospitals in Massachusetts. Indeed, healthcare is one of the largest economic sectors in Springfield. Baystate Health, which has multiple facilities throughout the city, employs around 13,000 people, making it not only the largest employer in Springfield, but the largest company in Western Massachusetts!

Pro: A Variety of Springfield Museums

Home to a famous cluster of museums known as the “Quadrangle,” there are no shortage of museums and historical sites to explore in Springfield! Explore sculptures and interactive exhibits dedicated to an American literary icon at The Amazing World of Dr. Seuss Museum. Chronicle the evolution of Springfield’s history with galleries like Made in the Valley, Hasbro GameLand, and the Granville Brothers Aircraft at the Lyman & Merrie Wood Museum of Springfield History. See a life-size replica of a Tyrannosaurus rex in the Dinosaur Hall, explore the stars at Seymour Planetarium, and meet exotic and native wildlife in the Solutia Live Animal Center at the Springfield Science Museum. Explore the painted masterpieces found on display in the 19th-Century French Gallery, Dutch & Flemish Galleries, and more at the Michele & Donald D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts. Celebrate the birthplace, history, and greatest legends of basketball with a visit to the The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Take a step back in time to experience the grandeur of the “Unsinkable Ship” through archives and artifacts like letters from passengers at the Titanic Historical Society. Or learn about the technological and military innovations created in Springfield as far back as the Revolutionary War with a solo or guided tour of the Springfield Armory National Historic Site.

Pro: Diverse Entertainment Options

With a rich culture and vast tapestry of entertainment options, fun things to do in Springfield range from vibrant local festivals to huge shows at popular venues. Get tickets to The Big E fair, one of the country’s biggest state fairs, and see live concerts, watch the parade, be dazzled by high-flying circus acts, and more at the Eastern States Exposition & Fairgrounds. See your favorite indie artists and new acts perform live, partake in urban dance performances, and take a look around at the fashion market at Springfield Indie Soul Festival. Soak in the beauty of live orchestral performances while supporting the Springfield Symphony Orchestra at venues across the city. Bring your family to see Disney on Ice, watch the Harlem Globetrotters in action, or cheer on the Springfield Thunderbirds (AHL) at MassMutual Center. Or see live jazz performances, get a taste of New Orleans at the lively second line parade, or attend a screening of thought-provoking films like City of a Million Dreams at the Springfield Jazz & Roots Festival.

Pro: Ample Outdoor Recreation

Bordered by the Connecticut River and home to over 20 parks, Springfield offers residents many opportunities for outdoor recreation. Take a leisurely stroll through the tree-lined paths, or see the holiday lights on display during Bright Nights at Forest Park. Visit more than 225 species of native and exotic animals, or attend fun events like Brew at the Zoo and the Spooky Safari at The Zoo in Forest Park & Education Center. Enjoy an adrenaline-filled day of rides and rollercoasters like the Wicked Cyclone, The Great Chase, and the Big Kahuna by taking a quick 15-minute drive out to Six Flags New England. Stay active with a bike ride as you marvel at riverside views on the Connecticut Riverwalk & Bikeway. Gather your friends for a game of basketball, let your kids run wild on the playground, or set up a relaxing picnic at Van Horn Park. Or try your hand at rowing, experience kayaking, or attend the Springfield Dragon Boat Festival at Pioneer Valley Riverfront Club.

Pro: Delicious Food in Springfield

Looking to sample some of the best restaurants in Springfield? The city is a hotbed of flavor, with a variety of cuisines for you to enjoy! Stop in for a delicious Mediterranean-style lunch of the Baked Kibbie Plate, Chicken Kabob, or Falafel Wrap at Nadim’s Downtown Mediterranean Grill. Dine on European cuisine like the Baked Giant German Pretzel, Goulash, or Classic Bratwurst at Student Prince & The Fort, a Springfield staple since 1935. Grab a slice of specialty pizzas like the Primavera, Spicy Buffalo, or Pulled Pork Barbeque at Springfield Italian restaurant Red Rose Pizzeria. For a night of upscale drinks and dishes like Cast Iron Mac & Cheese, Honey Lavender Glazed Duck, or Faroe Island Salmon, reserve a table at Jackalope Restaurant. Dig into the Fettuccine Alfredo, Grilled Portabello Mushroom Salad, or the Baked Stuffed Shrimp at Leone’s Restaurant. Or chow down some of the best Indian food in Springfield with scratch-made dishes like the Chicken Tikka, Lamb Curry, or Chili Paneer served at Panjabi Tadka.

Pro: Exciting Nightlife Venues

Don’t let Springfield’s commitment to academic excellence fool you—Hoop City knows how to party, too! In fact, the Club Quarter is a ten-block area known for being home to some of the best night clubs and bars in Springfield. Enjoy a night out with friends with rotating beers on tap like the Double Lion’s Galaxy IPA, Insane Mane Red Ale, or Carnival Candy Kettle Sour at White Lion Brewing Company, one of Springfield’s best breweries. Try the World’s Greatest Margarita, the Bayou Punch, or the Texas Tea while enjoying delicious barbecue and live music at Theodore’s Blues, Booze, & BBQ. Dance the night away on one of five dance floors found at Club Zone, a Springfield mega-club. Appreciate live jazz performances as you sip house cocktails like the Kiss of Fire and Feelin’ Good, or order the drink of the month at Dewey’s Jazz Lounge. Or get down to live DJ sets on Fridays and Saturdays, as well as themed events like Latin Nights on the first Thursday of the month at Commonwealth Bar & Lounge.

Cons of Living in Springfield

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Though Springfield draws residents in with its variety of positive qualities, there are some disadvantages to consider before relocating. Here are a few drawbacks of moving to Springfield, MA.

Con: Cold, Snowy Winters

If you’re not a fan of the cold, be prepared to bundle up for winters on the East Coast. Springfield’s snowfall averages around 40 inches per year, which is nearly a foot more than the U.S. average, and there are over 140 days each year where nighttime temperatures dip below freezing! Thankfully, the climate in Springfield involves four distinct seasons. Summers tend to be warm and enjoyable, with average high temperatures just over 80 degrees. Spring and fall are often wet and rainy, with approximately 46 inches of rainfall accumulating each year. However, the fall is also a great time to check out the beautiful foliage New England is famous for! Plus, there are plenty of ways to take advantage of the snowy season. Take hour-long road trips to visit Massachusetts winter destinations like Berkshire East Mountain Resort and Northfield Mountain Recreation Center for skiing. Or check out the public Cyr Arena Ice Skating Rink for a fun winter activity closer to home!

Con: High Unemployment Rate

Despite having large employers like Baystate Health, TechSpring, and MassMutual, the job market in Springfield can be competitive, with both the unemployment rate and poverty level being higher than the national average. However, due to educational opportunities in the Knowledge Corridor that may qualify residents for better-paying jobs, Springfield’s job market is healthier than that of similarly-sized metro areas. Additionally, nonprofit organization Springfield Works—which recently received a huge grant—provides resources that help remove the barriers preventing employers from connecting with workers, and assists job applicants in finding secure employment.

Con: Public Education Has Room for Growth

Though many highly ranked colleges are home to the area, few of Springfield’s public schools rank as highly, and their average test scores are lower than the Massachusetts average. That said, a few Springfield high schools do still stand out. The Springfield Renaissance School ranks first in the district, with notable institutions like the Springfield High School of Commerce and Springfield Central High School trailing just behind. Plus, Springfield suburbs like Longmeadow and East Longmeadow have well-ranked high schools in the area, including Longmeadow High School and East Longmeadow High School.

Con: Limited Public Transportation

Before moving to Springfield, consider how much you’ll need to rely on public transportation, as Springfield’s public transit is not as extensive as other major cities. Only 2.3% of residents commute via mass transit, with most opting to carpool or drive their own vehicles. However, the average commute time in Springfield still remains shorter than the national average by several minutes, meaning you’ll spend less time enduring traffic on the way to and from work. Residents can take advantage of the Pioneer Valley Transit Authority (PVTA) and Hartford Line rail at Springfield Union Station—fairly reliable options connecting residents to other cities in the Springfield-New Haven corridor.


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