Dorchester is a neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts. It is the name of the town of Dorchester, in the English county of Dorset, from which Puritans emigrated.
Dorchester, including a large part of Boston, today, was separately incorporated in 1630. It was still a mainly rural area and has a population of 12,000 when annexed to Boston in 1870. Railway and tram lines brought rapid growth and the population increased to 150,000 in 1920. Now, the neighborhood is a great working-class community with many Americans of European origin, African Caribbean, Latin American, and East and Southeast Asian Americans. Recently, there has been an influx of young professionals, gay men and women, and artists working in the neighborhood. This influx has added to the area's diversity.
The Dorchester community is the largest and most populous of Boston. Due to its size of about six square kilometers, which is often divided for statistical purposes, North Dorchester includes the portion to the north of Quincy Street, East Street and Freeport Street. South Bay Center and Newmarket industrial area are major sources of employment in the area. The main business district in this part of Dorchester is Uphams Corner, at the intersection of Dudley Street and Columbia Road. The Harbor Point area is also home to several large employers, including the Boston campus of the University of Massachusetts, the Archives of Massachusetts and John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum. The southern part of Dorchester is bordered to the east by Dorchester Bay and the south by the Neponset River.
Dorchester Avenue is a major backbone of the neighborhood, and runs in a north-south direction through all of Dorchester Lower Mills toward downtown Boston. The southern part of Dorchester is primarily a residential area with established neighborhoods still defined by parishes, and occupied by families for generations.
The eastern areas of Dorchester (especially between Adams Street and Dorchester Bay) are primarily ethnic European and Asian, with a large population of Irish Americans and Vietnamese Americans. In Neponset, the southeast corner of the neighborhood, as well as parts of Savin Hill in the north and Cedar Grove in the south, Irish Americans maintain the most visible identity. In the northern section of Dorchester and the southwestern part of South Boston is the Triangle of Poland, where the newer residents are Polish immigrants.
Savin Hill and Fields Corner have large Vietnamese American populations. Uphams Corner contains a Cape Verdean community in America, the largest concentration of people of Cape Verdean origin within the limits of the city of Boston. Western, central and southern parts of the Caribbean Dorchester have a large population (especially people from Haiti, Jamaica, Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago). They are the most represented in the Codman Square, Franklin Field and Ashmont area, although there are also significant numbers in the Four Corners and Fields Corner. A significant number of blacks living in the Harbor Point, Uphams Corner, Fields Corner, Four Corners and Franklin Field areas.