Massachusetts (Massachusett: Muhsachuweesut [məhswatʃəwiːsət], English: /ˌmæsəˈsɪts/ (listen), /-zɪts/), officially the Commonwealth of Massachusetts,[lower-alpha 2] 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]

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
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%
  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)
  Density897/sq mi (346/km2)
  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
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][40]
ShipSchooner Ernestina[16]
SloganMake It Yours,
The Spirit of America[41]
State route marker
State quarter
Released in 2000[43]
Lists of United States state symbols

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 marginand 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.

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