<Standard 3.10..........................................................................................................Standard 3.12>

3.11 Identify when the students' own town and city was founded, and describe the different groups of people who have settled in the community since its founding.


Based on the  Historical Atlas of Massachusetts, University of Massachusetts Press, edited by Richard Wilkie and Jack Tager, 1991 and 1993
Based on the Historical Atlas of Massachusetts, University of Massachusetts Press, edited by Richard Wilkie and Jack Tager, 1991 and 1993


external image Red_apple.jpgOur Town": The Massachusetts Studies Project at the University of Massachusetts, Boston, provides lesson plans for teaching about local communities.

primary_sources.PNGMassachusetts Quick Facts from the U. S. Census Bureau.

For background on immigration with a focus on Ellis Island, see United States History II.3

Massachusetts_state_seal.pngClick here for info on each town in Mass. Includes links to official websites of the towns, which usually include a town history.
Massachusetts_state_seal.pngClick here for links to each Massachusetts towns historical societies. The historical societies have information on town history and local historic sites.

Map of cities and towns in Massachusetts
Map of cities and towns in Massachusetts

Immigrants in Massachusetts

Using Census data estimates from 2005 to 2009, the Boston Globe ("Our Ethnic Mosaic," December 26, 2010, p. B1) highlighted communities around the state where immigrant groups are now concentrated.
  • Irish immigrants are the largest group in the state, first coming to America in the mid-19th century to escape famine, settling in communities south of Boston (the "Irish Riviera") and now comprising 23.7% of the state's population.
  • Until the late 19th century, immigrants came almost totally from western Europe—England, Scotland and Ireland. Today 11.9% of the state population is of English ancestry.
  • In the 1880s, immigrants began arriving from the rest of Europe, including Poland, Russia and Italy. People of Italian descent comprise 14.1% of the state's population.
  • Since World War II, immigrants from Portugal, Cape Verde, Asia, and many Spanish-speaking countries have come to Massachusetts.
  • Holyoke: 39.5% Pureto Rican
  • Fall River region: 41.3% Portuguese
  • Lawrence: 71% Latino/Hispanic
  • Randolph/Brockton: 33% African American
  • Sharon: 14.4% Russian
  • Ware: 33.4% French
  • Egremont/Alford: 23.9% German
  • Petersham: French-Canadian
  • Aquinnah (Martha's Vineyard): 55% Native American
  • Adams: 29.1% Polish
  • Quincy: 13.9% Chinese

Click here for more information on immigration to Massachusetts

Massachusetts Gateway Cities, Population and Unemployment (2010)

Pittsfield City Hall, Pittsfield, MA
Pittsfield City Hall, Pittsfield, MA


  • Brockton: Population: 92,527 Unemployment: 11%
  • Fall River: 90,826 (13%)
  • Fitchburg: 42,161 (11.9%)
  • Haverhill: 61,578 (9.0%)
  • Holyoke: 40,000 (11.4%)
  • Lawrence: 70,579 (17.2%
  • Lowell: 104,390 (10.7%)
  • New Bedford: 91,053 (13.7%)
  • Pittsfield: 42,424 (8.6%)
  • Worcester: 182,882 (9.8%)
  • Barnstable: 46,274 (8.6%)
  • Chelsea: 37,483 (9.3%)
  • Chicopee: 55,915 (9.7%)
  • Everett: 38,299 (9.7%)
  • Springfield: 155,580 (13.1%)
  • Leominster: 42,250 (10.5%)
  • Lynn: 87,517 (9.5%)
  • Malden: 56,146 (8.3%)
  • Methuen: 44,364 (9.2%)

Statistics taken from The Boston Sunday Globe, "From Old Factories to New Hope," December 26, 2010, p. K8.