Greater Lowell

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Greater Lowell
Region of Massachusetts
Greater Lowell.PNG
Red represents the City of Lowell, Dark Blue represents the Greater Lowell area, Light Blue represent the New England city and town area Division Lowell-Billerica-Chelmsford, Purple represents both.
Coordinates: 42°40′00″N71°20′00″W / 42.66667°N 71.33333°W / 42.66667; -71.33333 Coordinates: 42°40′00″N71°20′00″W / 42.66667°N 71.33333°W / 42.66667; -71.33333
CountryFlag of the United States.svg  United States
StateFlag of Massachusetts.svg  Massachusetts
Towns and cities Billerica, Chelmsford, Dracut, Dunstable, Groton, Lowell, Pepperell, Tewksbury, Tyngsborough, Westford
Largest city Lowell, Massachusetts (108,522) (2010 census)
 (2010 census)

Greater Lowell is the name given to the city of Lowell, Massachusetts and its suburbs which are found in Northern Middlesex County, Massachusetts, the Merrimack Valley, and Southern New Hampshire.



The Greater Lowell area as defined as the Lowell Metropolitan area consists of the towns of Billerica, Chelmsford, Dracut, Dunstable, Groton, Lowell, Pepperell, Tewksbury, Tyngsborough, and Westford. [1] The town of Pelham, New Hampshire may also be included in Greater Lowell. [2]

The New England city and town area Division Lowell-Billerica-Chelmsford contains some towns that can be considered part of Greater Lowell, Ashby, Ayer, Billerica, Chelmsford, Dracut, Groton, Littleton, Lowell, Shirley, Tewksbury, Townsend, Tyngsborough, Westford, and Harvard in Massachusetts and Pelham in New Hampshire. [3]


The towns of Greater Lowell in Massachusetts have a combined population of 299,550 based on the 2010 census. [4] Including the town of Pelham, Greater Lowell has 312,447 inhabitants. [4]

Culture and Education

The city of Lowell is a cultural and institutional center for the region. It is home to the Tsongas Center at UMass Lowell and the Lowell National Historical Park, which preserves the region's legacy as an early textile manufacturing center during the Industrial Revolution. The University of Massachusetts Lowell and a campus of Middlesex Community College are located in the city as well, as are Lowell General Hospital and Saints Medical Center, the regional hospitals. Greater Lowell Technical High School serves many of the towns in the region.

Lowell is home to the Superior and District Court for Northern Middlesex County and is technically a county seat, although Massachusetts counties are largely historical in function. Culturally, many residents of Greater Lowell have deep roots in the city itself, tend to be more blue collar, and speak with an urban Boston accent. Greater Lowell is split politically while the region as a whole is more likely to vote for a conservative candidate than other parts of the state whereas the city of Lowell is more likely to vote liberally. [5] [6] [7]


Unemployment rate of Greater Lowell (blue) compared to that of Massachusetts (red) from 1990 through 2011. Note that the data for Massachusetts is seasonally adjusted, while that for Greater Lowell is not; that is why the former line is smoother than the latter. Unemployment rate in Greater Lowell, 1990-2011.png
Unemployment rate of Greater Lowell (blue) compared to that of Massachusetts (red) from 1990 through 2011. Note that the data for Massachusetts is seasonally adjusted, while that for Greater Lowell is not; that is why the former line is smoother than the latter.
Employment by sector in Greater Lowell in 2010 Employment by sector in Greater Lowell in 2010.png
Employment by sector in Greater Lowell in 2010

The economy of Greater Lowell is closely tied to that of Greater Boston. Outside of the services, health, and retail sectors, major employers are in high technology and defense, with a still-shrinking manufacturing sector.

Suburban sprawl and serious economic hardships have reduced the role Lowell plays in its suburbs over the decades. The entire region is often considered a component of the much larger Greater Boston area, as Lowell is only 25 miles from downtown Boston. Suburban office parks, shopping malls, and the severe decline of heavy industry in New England have pulled the economic focus away from the once great industrial and commercial base in Lowell itself. Additionally, the population of Lowell is at 1900 levels despite large growth among the suburban population.

Related Research Articles

Middlesex County, Massachusetts County in Massachusetts

Middlesex County is located in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, in the United States. As of 2019, the estimated population was 1,611,699, making it the 22nd most populous county in the United States, and the most populous county in both Massachusetts and New England. Middlesex County is one of two U.S. counties to be amongst the top 25 counties with the highest household income and the 25 most populated counties. As part of the 2010 national census, the Commonwealth's mean center of population for that year was geo-centered in Middlesex County, in the town of Natick at. Middlesex County is included in the Census Bureau's Boston–Cambridge–Newton, MA–NH Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Billerica, Massachusetts Town in Massachusetts, United States

Billerica is a town in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 40,243 according to the 2010 census. It takes its name from the town of Billericay in Essex, England.

Chelmsford, Massachusetts Town in Massachusetts, United States

Chelmsford is a town in Middlesex County, Massachusetts in the United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the town's population was 33,802. Only 48.4% are male and the median age of residents in Chelmsford is 39.2 years old. It is located 24 miles (39 km) northwest of Boston and, bordering on the city of Lowell, is part of the Greater Lowell metropolitan area. Besides Lowell on its northeast, Chelmsford is surrounded by four towns: Tyngsborough to the north, Billerica to the southeast, Carlisle to the south, and Westford to the west. Chelmsford is bordered by two sizable rivers: the Merrimack River to the north, and the Concord River to the east.

Dracut, Massachusetts Town in Massachusetts, United States

Dracut is a town in Middlesex County. As of 2016, the town's estimated population was 31,352, making it the second most populous town with an open town meeting system of governance. The town covers a total area of 21.36 square miles, 0.5 square mile of which is water.

Lowell, Massachusetts City in Massachusetts, United States

Lowell is a city in the U.S. Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The city is, along with Cambridge, one of two traditional county seats for Middlesex County, although most county government entities were disbanded in 1999. With an estimated population of 110,997 in 2019, it was the fourth-largest city in Massachusetts as of the last census and is estimated to be the fifth-largest as of 2018, and the second-largest in the Boston metropolitan statistical area. The city is also part of a smaller Massachusetts statistical area called Greater Lowell, as well as New England's Merrimack Valley region.

Tewksbury, Massachusetts Town in Massachusetts, United States

Tewksbury is a town in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 31,388.

Tyngsborough, Massachusetts Town in Massachusetts, United States

Tyngsborough is a town in northern Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States. Tyngsborough is 28 miles (45 km) from Boston along the Route 3 corridor, and located on the New Hampshire state line. At the 2010 census, the town population was 11,292. By its location, the town serves as a suburb of neighboring cities such as Nashua, New Hampshire and Lowell, Massachusetts.

Westford, Massachusetts Town in Massachusetts, United States

Westford is a town in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 24,310 at the time of the 2010 Census.

Greater Boston Metropolitan area in the United States

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Middlesex Canal barge canal in eastern Massachusetts, US

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Massachusettss 5th congressional district

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Area codes 978 and 351 Telephone area codes for central and northeastern Massachusetts

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Middlesex Turnpike (Massachusetts)

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The history of Lowell, Massachusetts, is closely tied to its location along the Pawtucket Falls of the Merrimack River, from being an important fishing ground for the Pennacook tribe to providing water power for the factories that formed the basis of the city's economy for a century. The city of Lowell was started in the 1820s as a money-making venture and social project referred to as "The Lowell Experiment", and quickly became the United States' largest textile center. However, within approximately a century, the decline and collapse of that industry in New England placed the city into a deep recession. Lowell's "rebirth", partially tied to Lowell National Historical Park, has made it a model for other former industrial towns, although the city continues to struggle with deindustrialization and suburbanization.

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Lowell Regional Transit Authority Massachusetts, US non-profit public transportation organization

The Lowell Regional Transit Authority (LRTA) is a public, non-profit organization in Massachusetts, charged with providing public transportation to the Greater Lowell area. This primarily includes the city of Lowell and the towns of Billerica, Burlington, Dracut, Chelmsford, Tewksbury, Tyngsborough, Westford and Wilmington. The LRTA provides fixed route bus services and paratransit services within this area, although some fixed lines do extend beyond these towns.

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  1. "METROPOLITAN AREA and Components of FMR AREA within STATE" (PDF). Retrieved 22 November 2014.
  2. "New Hampshire Commuting Patterns - 1990 U.S. Census" (PDF). Retrieved 22 November 2014.
  3. "Current Lists of Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Areas and Delineations". Retrieved 22 November 2014.
  4. 1 2 "Community Facts". United States Census Bureau . Retrieved 22 November 2014.
  7. "2014 Election Results, showing regional voting habits". Retrieved 22 November 2014.