During the 1980s and 1990s, Springfield developed a national reputation for crime, political corruption and cronyism, which stands in stark contrast to the reputation it enjoyed throughout much of U. Springfield's densely urban Metro Center district surrounding Main Street is relatively flat, and follows the north-south trajectory of the Connecticut River; however, as one moves eastward, the city becomes increasingly hilly.
Springfield shares borders with other well-heeled suburbs such as East Longmeadow, Wilbraham, Ludlow and the de-industrializing city of Chicopee.
The small cities of Agawam and West Springfield lie less than a mile (1.6 km) from Springfield's Metro Center, across the Connecticut River.
As of the 2010 Census, the city's population was 153,060.
The first Springfield in the New World, it is the largest city in western New England, and the urban, economic, and cultural capital of Massachusetts' Connecticut River Valley (colloquially known as the Pioneer Valley).
It is the third-largest city in Massachusetts and fourth-largest in New England after Boston, Worcester, and Providence.
Springfield has several nicknames – "The City of Firsts", because of its many innovations (see below for a partial list); "The City of Homes", due to its Victorian residential architecture; and "Hoop City", as basketball – one of the world's most popular sports – was invented in Springfield by James Naismith.
Winters are cold with a daily average in January of around 26 °F (−3 °C).
During winter, nor'easter storms can drop significant snowfalls on Springfield and the Connecticut River Valley.
73.0% of the population were over 18 years old, and 10.9% were over 65 years old; the median age was 32.2 years.