Where Is Massachusetts? See Its Map Location and Surrounding States

Kings Beach aerial view in town of Swampscott and city of Lynn near Boston, Massachusetts MA, USA.
© Wangkun Jia/Shutterstock.com

Written by Telea Dodge

Published: December 5, 2023

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Today, we’ll head to the northeastern portion of the United States to visit a New England state – Massachusetts. Massachusetts is the seventh-smallest state in the nation, but that doesn’t stop it from being the most-populated state in New England. This northeastern state has a long and storied history that stretches thousands of years into the past. In fact, over 10,000 years of history has been unearthed in Massachusetts, starting with ancient Paleo-Indian tribes that inhabited the northeast long before European colonists arrived. Even the more recent statehood is expansive in its history. Massachusetts was one of the original 13 colonies of the United States of America, and a number of incredibly important events transpired within its borders. So, where did these events occur? Where is Massachusetts?

We’ll start by finding Massachusetts on a map. We’ll learn where the state is located and what surrounds it. Then, we’ll dig deeper to find information about its population, biggest cities, and its best features.

Where is Massachusetts on a Map?

Closeup Selective Focus Of Massachusetts State On A Geographical And Political State Map Of The USA.

Massachusetts is one of six New England states.


Massachusetts is a state in the far northeastern region of the United States. It is one of six New England States – Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. It shares a border with four other New England states, along with New York and the Atlantic Ocean.

The map above helps outline the state’s borders. New Hampshire and Vermont border Massachusetts to the north, while its southern neighbors are Rhode Island and Connecticut. New York defines its smooth western edge. Look to the east. The Atlantic Ocean defines a jagged and irregular coastline that includes islands and is shaped by bays and sounds.

Population and Major Cities

Boston, Massachusetts skyline over the turnpike.

Boston is the capital city of Massachusetts. It is the most populated city in the state.

©Sean Pavone/Shutterstock.com

There are 6.985 million people living in the state of Massachusetts. With a total area of only 10,565 square miles, this small state has one of the highest population densities in the United States. In fact, it is the third most-densely-populated state in the nation, with an average of 919.82 people per square mile. This population is spread across 14 counties, which collectively hold 351 places. There are 292 towns and 59 cities in the state. There is a huge population contrast between the smallest town and the largest city. Gosnold, Massachusetts is the smallest town, with a 2018 population of 75. Boston leads the population statistics, boasting 654,776 residents in 2021.

There are nine total cities in the state with a population above 100,000. We’re going to look at these nine cities in a helpful table. Our population statistics are sourced from the 2021 census performed by the United States Census Bureau. The state capital, Boston, is highlighted in bold.

New Bedford100,941

When Did Massachusetts Become a State?

Massachusetts flag waving in the wind on clouds sky. High quality fabric. International relations concept

The state flag flies against a beautiful backdrop of blue sky and puffy, white clouds.


Massachusetts became a state on February 6, 1788. It was the sixth state to join the United States. It looked a lot different than it does now. In fact, it included most of Maine for several years. In 1819, the state agreed to let the district of Maine petition for statehood. Maine achieved statehood on March 15, 1820, resulting in a drastic change in state borders. The state border that we are familiar with today wasn’t established until 1897.

What is Massachusetts Famous For?

Quincy Market in Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Quincy Market in Boston.

©Medioimages/Photodisc/ via Getty Images

Massachusetts has a lot of historical and current fame. The state is rich with United States history. It is home to the first American post office and the nation’s first library. The Pilgrims landed in the state om the Mayflower. Let’s explore some of this fame in two small sections. The first section will display a chronological history of some of the most important events to transpire in the state. The second section highlights current opportunities for exploration and recreation.

Major Events

  • 1614 – John Smith arrives, names New England
  • 1618 – Plague spreads from Europeans to Indigenous villages, killing millions
  • 1620 – The Mayflower Pilgrims arrive and establish the Plymouth Colony
  • 1621 – First Thanksgiving
  • 1630 – Boston established
  • 1635 – First public school in America built
  • 1692 – Salem Witch Trials
  • 1770 – Boston Massacre
  • 1773 – Boston Tea Party
  • 1775 – Paul Revere’s Midnight Ride
  • 1781 – Slavery abolished
  • 1788 – Becomes 6th state to join the Union
  • 1803 – Industrial Revolution
  • 1845 – The Irish Immigration
  • 1850 – Hosts the first Women’s Rights Convention
  • 1872 – Great Fire of Boston
  • 1876 – First telephone
  • 1891 – Basketball invented
  • 1919 – The Great Molasses Flood
  • 2004 – First state to legalize same-sex marriage
  • 2013 – Boston Marathon bombings

Famous Attractions

  • Museum of Fine Arts
  • Fenway Park
  • Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum
  • The House of the Seven Gables
  • Boston Common
  • Plimoth Patuxet Museums
  • Peabody Essex Museum
  • Harvard Square
  • Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
  • Norman Rockwell Museum
  • USS Constitution and BUnker Hill Monument
  • Freedom Trail
  • Cape Cod Beaches
  • Salem Witch Museum
  • Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden

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About the Author

Telea Dodge is an animal enthusiast and nature fiend with a particular interest in teaching a sense of community and compassion through interactions with the world at large. Carrying a passion for wild foraging, animal behaviorism, traveling, and music, Telea spends their free time practicing their hobbies while exploring with their companion dog, Spectre.

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