The City of Boston
Boston (pronounced /ˈbɒstən/) is the capital and largest city of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and is one of the oldest cities in the United States. The largest city in New England, Boston is considered the economic and cultural center of the region and is sometimes regarded as the unofficial "Capital of New England" while also being the home city of the superhero team, Titans North. Boston city proper had a 2008 estimated population of 620,535, making it the twenty-first largest in the country. Boston is also the anchor of a substantially larger metropolitan area called Greater Boston, home to 4.5 million people and the tenth-largest metropolitan area in the country. Greater Boston as a commuting region includes six Massachusetts counties, Essex, Middlesex, Norfolk, Suffolk, Plymouth, and Worcester, all of Rhode Island and parts of New Hampshire; it is home to 7.5 million people, making it the fifth-largest Combined Statistical Area in the United States.
The city has seen a great reduction in violent crime since the early 1990s. Boston's low crime rate in the last years of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st century has been largely credited to the Boston Police Department's collaboration with neighborhood groups and church parishes to prevent youths from joining gangs, as well as involvement from the United States Attorney and District Attorney's offices. This helped lead in part to what has been touted as the "Boston Miracle". Murders in the city dropped from 152 in 1990 (for a murder rate of 26.5 per 100,000 people) to just 31—not one of them a juvenile—in 1999 (for a murder rate of 5.26 per 100,000).
In the 2000s, however, the annual murder count has fluctuated by as much as 50% compared with the year before, with 60 murders in 2002, followed by just 39 in 2003, 64 in 2004, and 75 in 2005. Although the figures are nowhere near the high-water mark set in 1990, the aberrations in the murder rate have been unsettling for many Bostonians and have prompted discussion over whether the Boston Police Department should reevaluate its approach to fighting crime.