Boston (US: ), officially the City of Boston, is the capital and most populous city in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in the United States. The city serves as the cultural and financial center of the New England region of the Northeastern United States. It has an area of 48.4 sq mi (125 km2) and a population of 675,647 as of 2020. The Greater Boston metropolitan statistical area, surrounding the city, is the eleventh-largest in the country.Boston is one of the United States' oldest cities. It was founded on the Shawmut Peninsula in 1630 by Puritan settlers. The city was named after Boston, Lincolnshire, England. During the American Revolution, Boston was home to several key events. These included the Boston Massacre, the Boston Tea Party, the hanging of Paul Revere's lantern signal in Old North Church, the Battle of Bunker Hill, and the siege of Boston. Following American independence from Great Britain, the city continued to play an important role as a port, manufacturing hub, and center for education and culture.The city expanded significantly beyond the original peninsula through filling in land and annexing neighboring towns. It now attracts many tourists, with Faneuil Hall alone drawing more than 20 million visitors per year. Boston's many firsts include the United States' first public park (Boston Common, 1634), the first public school (Boston Latin School, 1635), and the first subway system (Tremont Street subway, 1897).In the 21st century, Boston emerged as a global leader in higher education and academic research. Some of the city's colleges and universities include Boston University and Northeastern University in the city proper. Furthermore, Greater Boston's many colleges and universities include globally-ranked Harvard and MIT in neighboring Cambridge.Boston has become the largest biotechnology hub in the world. The city is also a national leader in scientific research, law, medicine, engineering, and business. With nearly 5,000 startup companies, the city is considered a global pioneer in innovation and entrepreneurship, and more recently in artificial intelligence. Boston's economy also includes finance, professional and business services, information technology, and government activities. Households in the city claim the highest average rate of philanthropy in the United States. Furthermore, Boston's businesses and institutions rank among the top in the country overall for environmental sustainability and new investment.