Discover the 10 Largest Cities in Massachusetts

Written by Erin Whitten
Published: September 22, 2023
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Ever thought about visiting the land of clam chowder and unique accents? Welcome to Massachusetts! This state is home to iconic ball games and Fenway Park’s famous “big green monster” wall. Don’t worry, you’ll find a Dunkin’ Donuts on almost every corner. Discover the cobblestone streets of Boston and the mill town history of Lowell. Explore the docks of Worcester and experience the festive vibes of Springfield. Each city has its unique tale to tell. Come along as we explore the ten largest cities in Massachusetts!

Largest Cities in Massachusetts by Population

CityCensus Data
Boston617,459
Worcester205,272
Springfield153,267
Cambridge115,881
Lowell111,496
Brockton105,180
New Bedford100,883
Lynn100,295
Quincy100,152
Fall River93,882

Boston – 674,272

Boston is the biggest city in Massachusetts, and it’s full of different people and innovative ideas. It’s a place where old traditions mix with new ones, making the city feel alive and exciting. The North End has lots of old Italian charm, and you can feel the history in every stone and corner. The smell of real Italian food fills the air, making everyone want to stop and eat.

Don’t miss the Seaport District in Boston! It’s a cool, modern area with lots of new buildings and quiet spots by the water. Here, you can try some yummy modern food and enjoy the great views of the harbor. Boston is also a place for learning, with prestigious schools like Northeastern and Boston University. These schools make the city feel lively and full of interesting talks, making it a great place to learn and think of new ideas. So, if you’re looking for beautiful views, tasty food, or some smart conversation, Boston has it all!

Boston Skyline

Boston is also a place for learning, with

prestigious

schools like Northeastern and Boston University.

©bwzenith/iStock via Getty Images

Worcester – 206,242

Worcester, the “Heart of the Commonwealth,” has a rich history dating back to the American Revolution. Its landmarks and architecture tell tales of its illustrious past. They invite explorers to relive the moments that shaped the city. Worcester also boasts a diverse food scene, with Shrewsbury Street, or ‘Restaurant Row,’ that hosts eateries offering a range of cuisines, from gourmet to casual.

The city’s food scene is a testament to its multicultural diversity, boasting flavors from Italian, Lebanese, to Vietnamese cuisines. Not only does it tantalize the taste buds of locals, but it also draws in visitors from afar. Beyond its culinary delights, Worcester is also recognized for its biotech sector. Spearheading this growth is the Massachusetts Biotechnology Research Park. Additionally, this sector collaborates seamlessly with prominent educational institutions, forming a mutually beneficial ecosystem. Within this environment, both innovation and education thrive. Furthermore, startups, esteemed companies, and academic powerhouses like Worcester Polytechnic Institute come together. Together, they propel biotechnological research and development to unprecedented levels.

Worcester also boasts a diverse food scene, with Shrewsbury Street, or ‘Restaurant Row,’ that hosts eateries offering a range of cuisines, from gourmet to casual.

©Jay Yuan/Shutterstock.com

Springfield – 155,556

Springfield is the third-largest city in Massachusetts and has a diversified, resilient economy. It’s known as the “City of Firsts” due to its history of innovations. This city is where Noah Webster developed the first American-English dictionary. It’s also the birthplace of basketball. Springfield has always been a place for creative minds.

Springfield, Massachusetts, USA downtown skyline on the river at dusk.

Springfield has always been a place for creative minds.

©Sean Pavone/Shutterstock.com

The Springfield Armory operated for nearly two centuries as a hub of military innovation. It pioneered advancements in weaponry and manufacturing. Education and healthcare are also crucial to Springfield’s economy. Baystate Health is one of the city’s largest employers. Institutions like Springfield College and Western New England University enrich the intellectual environment. They offer varied learning opportunities and foster research and development.

Cambridge – 117,699

Cambridge, located by the Charles River, is a lively spot in Massachusetts known for its culture, innovation, and learning. It’s home to famous schools like Harvard University and MIT, which are big parts of the city’s identity. They’re places where lots of smart and creative thinking happens, shaping the leaders and thinkers of tomorrow.

Sanders Theatre Harvard University

It’s home to famous schools like Harvard University and MIT, which are big parts of the city’s identity.

©chensiyuan / CC BY-SA 4.0 – License

Cambridge has many different neighborhoods, each with its own special feel. Whether it’s the charm of Harvard Square or the energetic vibe of Kendall Square, there’s something for everyone. The city’s rich history and varied art scene bring in lots of visitors, exploring everything from historical sites to diverse food options, all adding to the city’s vibrant life.

Lowell – 115,264

Lowell is a testament to America’s industrial age. It’s a city where remnants of the mill town era blend with every day life. Lowell is known as the home of the American Industrial Revolution. The Lowell National Historical Park tells tales of the city’s industrial past. Preserved mills and factories here offer a glimpse into the evolution of manufacturing technologies. The weaving machines are silent, but echoes of the past continue to resonate, painting a vivid picture of industrial life.

Lowell National Historical Park

The Lowell National Historical Park tells tales of the city’s industrial past.

©Jeffrey M. Frank/Shutterstock.com

Amidst industrial echoes and modern rhythms, Lowell has serene escapes like the Merrimack River and the Lowell-Dracut-Tyngsboro State Forest. These places offer city dwellers and visitors a chance to reconnect with nature, explore scenic trails, and enjoy outdoor activities.

Brockton – 105,579

Brockton is located in Plymouth County and is a symbol of unity in diversity. It’s known as “The City of Champions” due to the success of hometown boxers Rocky Marciano and Marvin Hagler, The city’s prized jewel is D.W. Field Park, a tranquil refuge offering picturesque landscapes and walking trails. It’s a breath of fresh air for nature enthusiasts, joggers, and those seeking solace in greenery.

Brockton’s economy is diverse, with healthcare, education, and manufacturing leading its progress. The city fosters innovation and economic development, encouraging local entrepreneurship and creating a sustainable economic environment.

Brockton. Massachusetts. USA on a geography map

The city fosters innovation and economic development, encouraging local entrepreneurship and creating a sustainable economic environment.

©SevenMaps/Shutterstock.com

New Bedford – 100,970

New Bedford, or “The Whaling City,” was a 19th-century whaling hub. Ships from its harbor sailed to distant waters, seeking oil to power the nation. Today, the New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park offers a glimpse into this rich maritime heritage. New Bedford maintains its maritime legacy as a leading U.S. fishing port.

The city’s waterfront is bustling, where fishing vessels dock with fresh catches, boosting the local economy and providing a seafood variety. New Bedford is also a haven for outdoor lovers, offering beaches for strolls and parks like Buttonwood Park for picnics. Located along Buzzards Bay, it’s a popular spot for water sports enthusiasts.

New Bedford Harbor Popes Island

The city’s waterfront is bustling, where fishing vessels dock with fresh catches, boosting the local economy and providing a seafood variety.

©Matthew Botelho/Shutterstock.com

Lynn – 101,118

Welcome to Lynn, also known as the “City of Sin!” Don’t let the nickname fool you, there’s a lot more to see and learn here. Back in the day, Lynn was the place for shoe making, and you can still see parts of its colorful past today. If you want to learn more about Lynn’s interesting history and how it has changed, the Lynn Museum and Historical Society is a great place to start!

Kings Beach aerial view in town of Swampscott and city of Lynn near Boston, Massachusetts MA, USA.

Back in the day, Lynn was the place for shoe making, and you can still see parts of its colorful past today.

©Wangkun Jia/Shutterstock.com

The Lynn Auditorium has all kinds of shows, showing off the city’s fun and varied arts scene. The city walls have lots of paintings that let local artists show off their skills and ideas. The real heart of Lynn is its mix of people from different places and backgrounds, making the community lively and full of different experiences.

Quincy – 101,606

Quincy sits on the coast of Massachusetts, offering a blend of historical landmarks and modern developments. It’s a city where diversity adds vibrancy and richness to life. Quincy is known for economic resilience and innovation, with industries ranging from shipbuilding at the Fore River Shipyard to modern tech enterprises. The city supports local businesses and hosts events like the Quincy August Moon Festival to foster community engagement and economic growth.

Quincy Historical Society is located in Adams Academy building at 8 Adams Street at Hancock Street in historic city center of Quincy, Massachusetts MA, USA.

Quincy sits in the heart of the Bay State, offering a blend of historical landmarks and modern developments.

©Wangkun Jia/Shutterstock.com

Its revitalized downtown, featuring developments like Chestnut Place, symbolizes Quincy’s commitment to progress. Recreational spaces like the Blue Hills Reservation and Wollaston Beach offer tranquility and leisure, reflecting the city’s commitment to environmental preservation and community well-being.

Fall River – 93,885

Fall River is best known as the “Spindle City” for its vibrant textile industry. It’s a city rich in history and cultural heritage, where battleships rest and mills stand tall. They whisper tales of the industrial revolution and maritime warfare. The USS Massachusetts at Battleship Cove anchors the city’s proud maritime heritage.

River Boardwalk with View of Braga Bridge at Heritage State Park in Fall River, Massachusetts

It’s a city rich in history and cultural heritage, where battleships rest and mills stand tall.

©NayaDadara/Shutterstock.com

Fall River’s food landscape is heavily inspired by Portuguese culture, teeming with restaurants serving delicious Portuguese cuisine. From the spicy aroma of chouriço to the sweet taste of malasadas, the city’s food scene is a flavorful exploration of cultural diversity. Fall River also holds a bit of mystery, courtesy of Lizzie Borden. The Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast Museum invites the curious to explore the enigma surrounding the notorious ax murders and possibly encounter a ghostly whisper.

Largest Cities in Massachusetts by Land Area

CityLand Area
Barnstable Town59.80 sq mi
Boston48.28 sq mi
Taunton46.70 sq mi
Westfield46.32 sq mi
Pittsfield40.47 sq mi
Worcester37.37 sq mi
Northampton34.24 sq mi
Fall River33.13 sq mi
Haverhill32.97 sq mi
Springfield31.87 sq mi

The photo featured at the top of this post is © rarrarorro/iStock via Getty Images


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About the Author

Erin Whitten is a writer at A-Z Animals, primarily covering dogs, food, and travel. She earned her BA in Communications and Digital Media from Arizona State University in 2019. A resident of Massachusetts, Erin enjoys hanging out with her shelter cat Azula and taking photos of other animals.

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