Commonwealth of Massachusetts
The Bay State (official)
The Pilgrim State; The Puritan State
The Old Colony State
The Baked Bean State[1]
Ense petit placidam sub libertate quietem (Latin)
By the sword we seek peace, but peace only under liberty
Anthem: All Hail to Massachusetts
Map of the United States with Massachusetts highlighted
Map of the United States with Massachusetts highlighted
CountryUnited States
Before statehoodProvince of Massachusetts Bay
Admitted to the UnionFebruary 6, 1788 (6th)
(and largest city)
Largest metro and urban areasGreater Boston
 • GovernorCharlie Baker (R)
 • Lieutenant GovernorKaryn Polito (R)
LegislatureGeneral Court
 • Upper houseSenate
 • Lower houseHouse of Representatives
JudiciaryMassachusetts Supreme Judicial Court
U.S. senatorsElizabeth Warren (D)
Ed Markey (D)
U.S. House delegation9 Democrats (list)
 • Total10,565[2] sq mi (27,337 km2)
 • Land7,840 sq mi (20,306 km2)
 • Water2,715 sq mi (7,032 km2)  26.1%
 • Rank44th
 • Length190 mi (296 km)
 • Width115 mi (184 km)
500 ft (150 m)
Highest elevation3,489 ft (1,063.4 m)
Lowest elevation
(Atlantic Ocean)
0 ft (0 m)
 • Total6,984,723
 • Rank15th
 • Density897/sq mi (346/km2)
  • Rank3rd
 • Median household income
 • Income rank
DemonymBay Stater (official)[6] Massachusite (traditional)[7][8]

Massachusettsan (recommended by the U.S. GPO)[9]

Masshole (derogatory[10] or endearing[11])
 • Official languageEnglish[12]
 • Spoken language
Time zoneUTC– 05:00 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST)UTC– 04:00 (EDT)
USPS abbreviation
ISO 3166 codeUS-MA
Traditional abbreviationMass.
Latitude41°14′ N to 42°53′ N
Longitude69°56′ W to 73°30′ W
Massachusetts state symbols
Flag of Massachusetts.svg
Seal of Massachusetts.svg
Living insignia
BirdBlack-capped chickadee,[14] wild turkey[15][16]
MammalRight whale,[20] Morgan horse,[21] Tabby cat,[22] Boston Terrier[23]
ReptileGarter snake[16][24]
TreeAmerican elm[16][25]
Inanimate insignia
BeverageCranberry juice[16][26]
ColorsBlue, green, cranberry[16][27]
DanceSquare dance[16][28]
FoodCranberry,[29] corn muffin,[16][30] navy bean,[31] Boston cream pie,[32] chocolate chip cookie,[33] Boston cream doughnut[34]
FossilDinosaur Tracks[35]
PoemBlue Hills of Massachusetts[16][38]
RockRoxbury Puddingstone[16][39]
ShellNew England Neptune, Neptunea lyrata decemcostata[16][42]
ShipSchooner Ernestina[16]
SloganMake It Yours,
The Spirit of America[40]
State route marker
Massachusetts state route marker
State quarter
Massachusetts quarter dollar coin
Released in 2000[43]
Lists of United States state symbols

Massachusetts (Massachusett: Muhsachuweesut [məhswatʃəwiːsət], English: /ˌmæsəˈsɪts/ (listen), /-zɪts/), officially the Commonwealth of Massachusetts,[b] is the most populous state in the New England region of the Northeastern United States. It borders on the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Maine to the east, Connecticut and Rhode Island to the south, New Hampshire and Vermont to the north, and New York to the west. The state's capital and most populous city, as well as its cultural and financial center, is Boston. Massachusetts is also home to the urban core of Greater Boston, the largest metropolitan area in New England and a region profoundly influential upon American history, academia, and the research economy,[44] Originally dependent on agriculture, fishing, and trade.[45] Massachusetts was transformed into a manufacturing center during the Industrial Revolution.[46] During the 20th century, Massachusetts's economy shifted from manufacturing to services.[47] Modern Massachusetts is a global leader in biotechnology, engineering, higher education, finance, and maritime trade.[48]

Massachusetts was a site of early English colonization: the Plymouth Colony was founded in 1620 by the Pilgrims of the Mayflower, and in 1630 the Massachusetts Bay Colony, taking its name from the indigenous Massachusett people, established settlements in Boston and Salem. In 1692, the town of Salem and surrounding areas experienced one of America's most infamous cases of mass hysteria, the Salem witch trials.[49] In 1777, General Henry Knox founded the Springfield Armory, which, during the Industrial Revolution, catalyzed numerous important technological advances, including interchangeable parts.[50] In 1786, Shays' Rebellion, a populist revolt led by disaffected American Revolutionary War veterans, influenced the United States Constitutional Convention.[51] In the 18th century, the Protestant First Great Awakening, which swept Britain and the Thirteen Colonies, originated from the pulpit of Northampton preacher Jonathan Edwards.[52] In the late 18th century, Boston became known as the "Cradle of Liberty"[53] for the agitation there that later led to the American Revolution.

Massachusetts has played a powerful scientific, commercial, and cultural role in the history of the United States. Before the American Civil War, Massachusetts was a center for the abolitionist, temperance,[54] and transcendentalist[55] movements.[56] In the late 19th century, the sports of basketball and volleyball were invented in the western Massachusetts cities of Springfield and Holyoke, respectively.[57][58] Massachusetts became the first U.S. state to legally recognize same-sex marriage as a result of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court's decision in Goodridge v. Department of Public Health in 2004,[59] and elected the first openly lesbian U.S. state governor in 2022, by a wide margin—and Boston is a hub of LGBT culture and LGBT activism in the United States. Prominent American political dynasties have hailed from the state, including the Adams and Kennedy families.

Harvard University in Cambridge is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States,[60] with the largest financial endowment of any university.[61] The university has educated eight Presidents of the United States while Harvard Law School has educated a contemporaneous majority of Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States.[62] Kendall Square in Cambridge has been called "the most innovative square mile on the planet", in reference to the high concentration of entrepreneurial start-ups and quality of innovation which have emerged in the vicinity of the square since 2010.[63][64] Both Harvard and MIT, also in Cambridge, are perennially ranked as either the most or among the most highly regarded academic institutions in the world.[65] The state's public-school students place among the top tier in the world in academic performance.[66] Massachusetts has been ranked as one of the top states in the United States for citizens to live in, as well as one of the most expensive.[67]

Massachusetts is one of the most educated, developed, and wealthiest states, ranking 1st in percentage of population 25 and over with a bachelor's degree and 1st in percentage of population 25 and over with an advanced degree, 1st on the American Human Development Index, 1st in per capita income and 2nd in median household income.

  1. ^ Herman, Jennifer (2008). Massachusetts Encyclopedia. State History Publications, LLC. p. 7. Various nicknames have been given to describe Massachusetts, including the Bay State, the Old Bay State, the Pilgrim State, the Puritan State, the Old Colony State and, less often, the Baked Bean State
  2. ^ "Massachusetts". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on August 21, 2015. Retrieved June 10, 2015.
  3. ^ "Greylock RM 1 Reset". NGS Data Sheet. National Geodetic Survey, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, United States Department of Commerce.
  4. ^ "Median Annual Household Income". The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Retrieved December 9, 2016.
  5. ^ "2020 Census Apportionment Results". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on April 26, 2021. Retrieved April 30, 2021.
  6. ^ "Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 2, Section 35: Designation of citizens of commonwealth". The General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Retrieved July 21, 2021.
  7. ^ "Collections". Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society. 1877. p. 435. Retrieved June 10, 2015.
  8. ^ Jones, Thomas (1879). DeLancey, Edward Floyd (ed.). History of New York During the Revolutionary War. New York: New-York Historical Society. p. 465. Retrieved June 10, 2015.
  9. ^ U.S. Government Publishing Office Style Manual. 2016. §5.23.
  10. ^ Nagy, Naomi; Irwin, Patricia (July 2010). "Boston (r): Neighbo(r)s nea(r) and fa(r)". Language Variation and Change. 22 (2): 270. doi:10.1017/S0954394510000062. S2CID 147556528.
  11. ^ "'Masshole' among newest words added to Oxford English Dictionary". June 25, 2015. Retrieved October 27, 2016.
  12. ^ Schwarz, Hunter (August 12, 2014). "States where English is the official language". The Washington Post. Retrieved December 29, 2014.
  13. ^ "Language spoken at home by ability to speak English for the population 5 years and over—2014 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates". American FactFinder. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved February 6, 2016.
  14. ^ "Black-Capped Chickadee:Massachusetts State Bird". Retrieved April 17, 2015.
  15. ^ "Wild Turkey:Massachusetts State Game Bird". Retrieved April 17, 2015.
  16. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q "Massachusetts Facts". Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Retrieved April 21, 2015.
  17. ^ "Cod: Massachusetts State Fish". Retrieved April 18, 2015.
  18. ^ "Mayflower: Massachusetts State Flower". Retrieved April 18, 2015.
  19. ^ "Ladybug: Massachusetts State Insect". Retrieved April 18, 2015.
  20. ^ "Right Whale: Massachusetts State Marine Mammal". Retrieved April 18, 2015.
  21. ^ "Morgan Horse: Massachusetts State Horse". Retrieved April 18, 2015.
  22. ^ "Tabby Cat: Massachusetts State Cat". Retrieved April 18, 2015.
  23. ^ "Boston Terrier: Massachusetts State Dog". Retrieved April 18, 2015.
  24. ^ "Garter Snake: Massachusetts State Reptile". Retrieved April 18, 2015.
  25. ^ "American Elm: Massachusetts State Tree". Retrieved April 18, 2015.
  26. ^ "Cranberry Juice: Massachusetts State Beverage". Retrieved April 18, 2015.
  27. ^ "Blue—Green—Cranberry: Massachusetts State Colors". Retrieved April 18, 2015.
  28. ^ "Square Dance: Massachusetts State Folk Dance". Retrieved April 18, 2015.
  29. ^ "Cranberry: Massachusetts State Berry". Retrieved April 18, 2015.
  30. ^ "Corn Muffin: Massachusetts State Muffin". Retrieved April 20, 2015.
  31. ^ "Baked Navy Bean: Massachusetts State Bean". Retrieved April 20, 2015.
  32. ^ "Boston Creme Pie: Massachusetts State Dessert". Retrieved April 20, 2015.
  33. ^ "Chocolate Chip Cookie: Massachusetts State Cookie". Retrieved April 20, 2015.
  34. ^ "Boston Cream Donut: Massachusetts State Donut". Retrieved April 18, 2015.
  35. ^ "Dinosaur Tracks: Massachusetts State Fossil". Retrieved April 20, 2015.
  36. ^ "Rhodonite: Massachusetts State Gem". Retrieved April 20, 2015.
  37. ^ "Babingtonite: Massachusetts State Mineral". Retrieved April 20, 2015.
  38. ^ "Blue Hills of Massachusetts: Massachusetts State Poem". Retrieved April 20, 2015.
  39. ^ "Official State Rock of Massachusetts". Retrieved November 28, 2019.
  40. ^ "State Slogans". Retrieved April 21, 2015.
  41. ^ Levenson, Michael (August 9, 2006). "Can you guess the state sport of Massachusetts?". The Boston Globe. Retrieved February 14, 2012.
  42. ^ "New England Neptune: Massachusetts State Shell". Retrieved April 23, 2015.
  43. ^ "The Official Massachusetts State Quarter". Retrieved April 21, 2015.
  44. ^ Douglas, Craig. "Greater Boston gains population, remains 10th-largest region in U.S". Retrieved April 21, 2015.
  45. ^ "Maritime Commerce". National Park Service. Retrieved April 21, 2015.
  46. ^ "History of Lowell, Massachusetts". City of Lowell. Archived from the original on April 5, 2010. Retrieved April 21, 2015.
  47. ^ "Staying Power: The Future of Manufacturing in Massachusetts" (PDF). The Center for Urban and Regional Policy School of Social Science, Urban Affairs, and Public Policy Northeastern University. Retrieved April 21, 2015.
  48. ^ "Housing and Economic Development:Key Industries". Retrieved April 21, 2015.
  49. ^ "The 1692 Salem Witch Trials". Salem Witch Trials Museum. Retrieved April 21, 2015.
  50. ^ "Springfield Armory: Technology in Transition" (PDF). National Park Service United States Department of the Interior. Retrieved April 21, 2015.
  51. ^ "Shays' Rebellion". Retrieved April 21, 2015.
  52. ^ "The First Great Awakening—Jonathan Edwards". Archived from the original on April 22, 2015. Retrieved April 21, 2015.
  53. ^ "Faneuil Hall". Retrieved April 21, 2015.
  54. ^ "The Temperance Issue in the Election of 1840: Massachusetts". Retrieved April 21, 2015.
  55. ^ Packer, Barbara (2007). The Transcendentalists. University of Georgia Press; First edition (April 25, 2007). ISBN 978-0820329581.
  56. ^ "Images of the Antislavery Movement in Massachusetts". Retrieved April 21, 2015.
  57. ^ "Springfield College: The Birthplace of Basketball". Archived from the original on May 4, 2015. Retrieved April 21, 2015.
  58. ^ "The International Volleyball Hall of Fame". Retrieved April 21, 2015.
  59. ^ "Massachusetts court strikes down ban on same-sex marriage". Reuters. November 18, 2003. Retrieved April 21, 2015.
  60. ^ "History of Harvard University". Harvard University. Retrieved April 21, 2015.
  61. ^ Tamar Lewin (January 28, 2015). "Harvard's Endowment Remains Biggest of All". The New York Times. Retrieved March 6, 2015.
  62. ^ Richard Wolf (March 16, 2016). "Meet Merrick Garland, Obama's Supreme Court nominee". USA Today. Retrieved March 16, 2016.
  63. ^ "Kendall Square Initiative". MIT. Retrieved December 1, 2016.
  64. ^ Lelund Cheung. "When a neighborhood is crowned the most innovative square mile in the world, how do you keep it that way?". The Boston Globe. Archived from the original on December 2, 2016. Retrieved December 3, 2016.
  65. ^ [1] Times Higher Education. Accessed December 3, 2016.
  66. ^ Cite error: The named reference AcademicRanking3 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  67. ^ "Best States Overall Ranking". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved December 29, 2017.

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