(masechoo´sits) , most populous of the New England states of the NE United States. It is bordered by New York (W), Vermont and New Hampshire (N), the Atlantic Ocean (E), and Rhode Island and Connecticut (S).
Area, 8,257 sq mi (21,386 sq km).
Pop. (2000) 6,349,097, a 5.5% increase since the 1990 census.
Capital and largest city, Boston.
Nickname, Bay State.
Motto, Ense Petit Placidam Sub Libertate Quietem [By the Sword We Seek Peace, But Peace Only under Liberty].
State bird, chickadee.
State flower, mayflower.
State tree, American elm.
Boston is the capital and largest city. Other important cities include Worcester , Springfield , Lowell , New Bedford , Cambridge , Brockton , Fall River , and Quincy . The state is famed for its historic points of interest, among them being those at Sturbridge, Concord, and Lexington; at three national historical parksBoston, Lowell, and Minute Man; and at eight national historic sitesAdams, Boston African American, Frederick Law Olmsted, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, Longfellow, Salem Maritime, Saugus Iron Works, and Springfield Armory (see National Parks and Monuments , table). Cultural attractions include the noted Tanglewood music festival (see Berkshire Festival ) and the many educational facilities of the state.
As a recreation and vacation land, Massachusetts has great stretches of seashore in the east and many lakes and streams in the wooded Berkshire Hills in the west. There are numerous state parks, forests, and beaches, and Cape Cod is the site of a national seashore. Provincetown, on Cape Cod, and Rockport, on Cape Ann, are artist colonies; Marblehead is a noted yachting center.
High-technology research and development, finance, and trade are all prominent in the commonwealth's economy. The service sector, in which tourism is primary, now employs over one third of Massachusetts workers.
*Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition, Copyright (c) 2003.