BostonHousing {mlbench}R Documentation

Boston Housing Data


Housing data for 506 census tracts of Boston from the 1970 census. The dataframe BostonHousing contains the original data by Harrison and Rubinfeld (1979), the dataframe BostonHousing2 the corrected version with additional spatial information (see references below).


data("BostonHousing", package = "mlbench")
data("BostonHousing2", package = "mlbench")


The original data are 506 observations on 14 variables, medv being the target variable:

crim per capita crime rate by town
zn proportion of residential land zoned for lots over 25,000 sq.ft
indus proportion of non-retail business acres per town
chas Charles River dummy variable (= 1 if tract bounds river; 0 otherwise)
nox nitric oxides concentration (parts per 10 million)
rm average number of rooms per dwelling
age proportion of owner-occupied units built prior to 1940
dis weighted distances to five Boston employment centres
rad index of accessibility to radial highways
tax full-value property-tax rate per USD 10,000
ptratio pupil-teacher ratio by town
b 1000(B - 0.63)^2 where B is the proportion of blacks by town
lstat percentage of lower status of the population
medv median value of owner-occupied homes in USD 1000's

The corrected data set has the following additional columns:

cmedv corrected median value of owner-occupied homes in USD 1000's
town name of town
tract census tract
lon longitude of census tract
lat latitude of census tract


The original data were taken from the UCI Repository Of Machine Learning Databases (Blake & Merz 1998) and no longer seem to be available from the UC Irvine Machine Learning Repository (now at The corrected data were taken from Statlib at See Statlib and references there for details on the corrections. Both were converted to R format by Friedrich Leisch.


Harrison, D. and Rubinfeld, D.L. (1978). Hedonic prices and the demand for clean air. Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, 5, 81–102.

Gilley, O.W., and R. Kelley Pace (1996). On the Harrison and Rubinfeld Data. Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, 31, 403–405. [Provided corrections and examined censoring.]

Blake, C.L. & Merz, C.J. (1998). UCI Repository of Machine Learning Databases. Irvine, CA: University of California, Irvine, Department of Information and Computer Science. Formerly available from ‘⁠⁠’.

Pace, R. Kelley, and O.W. Gilley (1997). Using the Spatial Configuration of the Data to Improve Estimation. Journal of the Real Estate Finance and Economics, 14, 333–340. [Added georeferencing and spatial estimation.]


data("BostonHousing", package = "mlbench")

data("BostonHousing2", package = "mlbench")

[Package mlbench version 2.1-5 Index]