Miles from Boston 26
Population 8,648 (2005)
Median house price $350,000 (January-August)
Tax rate $12.11
Single-family property tax $5,035 average (state 2007 average: $3,962)
Transportation Routes 2, 2A, 110, 119, I-495; MBTA commuter rail
MCAS Among 280 systems, 10th-graders ranked 79 in English and 90 in math, according to a Globe analysis of 2006 results; sixth-graders ranked 112 out of 305 systems in English and 122 in math. Third-graders ranked 78 out of 298 in reading and 53 in math.
Census facts Median family income is $83,365, compared to a US figure of $50,046; about 48 percent held a bachelors degree or higher, double the national rate.
The brainiacs are coming, and this town hopes they inspire others to do the same.
Littleton's new town administrator, Keith A. Bergman, who moved from Provincetown, said a top priority is to rejuvenate commerce in the town, with its enviable access to both Interstate 495 and Route 2.
"I think its a jewel and it's going to be a very exciting place to be," Bergman said of Littleton. "We are looking at IBM relocating here and the buzz that that brings as being a very positive sign for the future of town."
The town has a high-performing school system, relatively affordable housing, and public access to Long Lake. Some farms still operate here, and the nonprofit Littleton Conservation Trust manages about 300 acres for public use. Bergman, who has been in municipal government for about 20 years, said he was surprised to learn the town owns an apple orchard.
Europeans were welcomed by the Nashoba tribe of Native Americans in the early 17th century, who converted to Christianity. The Nashoba died out after the Europeans banished them to Deer Island during King Philip's War.
On a recent week, Realtor.com listed 68 single-family houses, ranging from $200,000 for a three-bedroom, one-bath, 936-square-foot home to $950,000 for a four-bedroom, 2 1/2-bath 6,910-square-foot house.
Median price of a single-family home through August was $350,000, according to the Warren Group, which publishes real estate data.
JOHN RICHARDSON ELLEMENT