Lowell, Massachusetts


City in the United States
State Massachusetts
County Middlesex County
Coordinates 42°38’22″N, 71°18’53″WL
Surface 37.7 km²
– country 35.7 km²
– water 2.0 km²
(April 1, 2020)
(3237 inhabitant/km²)
Website lowellma.gov
City Hall of Lowell

Map of the canal network in Lowell

According to Mcat-test-centers, Lowell is a city in the US state of Massachusetts, 50 km northwest of Boston. The city has 105,167 inhabitants. It is the fourth largest city in Massachusetts and the 218th largest city in the United States (2000).


Lowell was founded at Pawtucket Falls in the Merrimack. Over a length of almost 2 kilometers the river falls more than 10 meters down and it is an obstacle for shipping. For Lowell the ships were unloaded, the cargo transported overland and after the waterfall the ship’s journey was continued. This was very laborious and expensive and in 1796 the Pawtucket Canal was dug. The canal has three locks, from north to south these are the “Guardlocks”, the “Swamplocks” and the “Lowerlocks”. After passing this last lock, the ships enter the Concord, a tributary of the Merrimack. Around 1820, the canal also played an important role in the industrial development of the city. The canal supplied the water for the watermills.

Lowell became a center for the textile industry. In the 19th century it was a thriving industrial city, attracting many immigrants to work in the factories. When the textile industry declined sharply in the 20th century, a difficult time began for Lowell. In recent years, Lowell has attracted new high- tech companies, including as a result of forming a new university in 1975, now known as the University of Massachusetts at Lowell.

Lowell, former textile factory, now a museum

A number of former textile mill buildings along the river have been restored, and are now part of the Lowell National Historic Park, a national park that traces the history of the Lowell textile industry.

Lowell’s area is 35.7 km², making it the 230th largest city.


10.8 % of the population is older than 65 and 29 % consists of single – person households. Unemployment stands at 3.3 % (2000 census figures).

About 14% of Lowell’s population is Hispanic and Hispanic, 4.2% of African origin and 16.5% of Asian origin.

The population increased from 103,428 in 1990 to 105,167 in 2000.


In January the average temperature is -4.3 °C, in July it is 22.9 °C. Annual average precipitation is 1068.6 mm (data based on the measurement period 1961-1990).

Nearby places

The figure below shows nearby places within 10 miles of Lowell.


  • Andover (14 km)
  • Lawrence (14 km)
  • Methuen (15 km)
  • Pinehurst (14 km)
  • Wilmington (15 km)

Born in Lowell (Mass)

Lowell was the birthplace of:

  • James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903), painter and writer
  • Willard Metcalf (1858–1925), painter
  • Bette Davis (1908-1989), actress
  • Nancy Kelly (1921–1995), actress
  • Frank Morse (1921-1994), politician and diplomat
  • Jack Kerouac (1922-1969), writer
  • Johnny Thomson (1922–1960), racing driver
  • Olympia Dukakis (1931-2021), actress
  • Dean Tavoularis (1932), production designer
  • Robert Tessier (1934-1990), actor and stuntman
  • Paul Tsongas (1941–1997), politician
  • Richard Linnehan (1957), astronaut
  • Michael Chiklis (1963), actor
  • Scott Grimes (1971), actor

Lowell is also the ‘birthplace’ of the telephone number: during a measles epidemic, local GP Moses Greeley Parker feared that all four operators would fall prey to the disease, affecting the telephone in the city’s more than 200 subscribers. 60,000 inhabitants) would fall out. So he had the names of the subscribers replaced by numbers, so that emergency operators could take over the task more easily. Parker was convinced of the possibilities of the telephone early on, and by 1883 he was already one of the largest individual shareholders in the National Bell Telephone Company and the American Telephone Company.

Lowell, Massachusetts