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US State
NicknameThe Bay State
MottoEnse petit placidam sub libertate quietem (Latin)
Official languagesNone
DemonymBay Stater; Massachusite (traditional)
Largest citycapital
Largest metro areaGreater Boston
Area Ranked44th
Total10,555 sq mi 27336 km2
Width183 mi 295 km
Length113 mi 182 km
% water25.7
Pop. Rank14th
Total(2010) 6,547,629
Density809.8 /sq mi 312.7 /km2
Median income$65,401 (2008) (6th)
Highest pointMount Greylock
3492 ft 1064 m
Mean500 ft 150 m
Lowest pointAtlantic Ocean
0 ft 0 m
Other information
Admission to UnionFebruary 6, 1788 (6th)
GovernorDeval Patrick (D)
Lieutenant GovernorTim Murray (D)
LegislatureGeneral Court
Upper houseSenate
Lower houseHouse of Representatives
U.S. SenatorsJohn Kerry (D)
Scott Brown (R)
U.S. House delegation10 Democrats
Time zoneEastern: UTC-5/-4

     Home | State | Massachusetts

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts c-enaudio=en-us-Massachusetts.oggˌmæsəˈtʃuːsɨts is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. It is bordered by Rhode Island and Connecticut to the south, New York to the west, and Vermont and New Hampshire to the north; at its east lies the Atlantic Ocean. As of the 2010 Census, the population of Massachusetts was 6,547,629. The state features two separate metropolitan areas - the eastern Boston metropolitan area and the western Springfield metropolitan area. Approximately two thirds of the state's population lives in Greater Boston, most of which is either urban or suburban. Western Massachusetts features one urban area - the Knowledge Corridor along the Connecticut River - and a mix of college towns and rural areas. Massachusetts is the most populous of the six New England states, the third most densely populated state in the United States, and also has the US's sixth highest GDP per capita.

Massachusetts played a significant historical, cultural, and commercial role in American history. Plymouth was the second permanent English settlement in North America, and Puritans settling Massachusetts in the 1630s dominated New England for many years. Harvard University, founded in 1636, is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. In 1692, the towns surrounding Salem experienced one of America's most infamous cases of mass hysteria, the Salem Witch Trials. In the eighteenth century, the Protestant First Great Awakening, which swept the Atlantic world, originated from the pulpit of Northampton, Massachusetts preacher Jonathan Edwards. In the late 18th century, Boston became known as the "Cradle of Liberty" for the agitation there that led to the American Revolution and the independence of the United States from Great Britain. In 1777, General Henry Knox founded the Springfield Armory, which during the Industrial Revolution catalyzed numerous important technological advances, including interchangeable parts. In 1786, Shays' Rebellion, a populist revolt by Western Massachusetts farmers, led directly to the United States Constitutional Convention. Before the American Civil War, Massachusetts was a center for the temperance, transcendentalist, and abolitionist movements. In 1837, Mount Holyoke College, the United States' first college for women, was opened in the Connecticut River Valley town of South Hadley. In the late nineteenth century, the (now) Olympic sports of basketball and volleyball were invented in the Western Massachusetts cities of Springfield and Holyoke, respectively. In 2004, Massachusetts became the first U.S. state to legally recognize same-sex marriage as a result of the decision of the state's Supreme Judicial Court. The state has contributed many prominent politicians to national service, including members of the Adams family and of the Kennedy family.

Originally dependent on fishing, agriculture, and trade, Massachusetts was transformed into a manufacturing center during the Industrial Revolution. During the 20th century, the state's economy shifted from manufacturing to services. In the 21st century, Massachusetts is a leader in higher education, health care technology, high technology, financial services, cannabis law reform, and universal healthcare.

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