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Billerica, Massachusetts
Billerica Public Library
Billerica Public Library
Official seal of Billerica, Massachusetts
Motto: America's Yankee Doodle Town
Location in Middlesex County in Massachusetts
Location in Middlesex County in Massachusetts
Country United States
State Massachusetts
County Middlesex
Settled 1652
Incorporated 1655
 • Total 26.4 sq mi (68.3 km2)
 • Land 25.9 sq mi (67.1 km2)
 • Water 0.5 sq mi (1.3 km2)
Elevation 250 ft (76 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 40,243
 • Density 1,524.4/sq mi (589.2/km2)
Time zone Eastern (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) Eastern (UTC-4)
ZIP code 01821 (Billerica), 01862 (North Billerica)
Area code(s) 351 / 978
FIPS code 25-05805
GNIS feature ID 0618217

Billerica Listeni/bɪlˈrɪkə/ is a town in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 40,243 according to the 2010 census. It borrows its name from the town of Billericay in Essex, England.


In the early 1630s, a Praying Indian village named Shawshin was at the current site of Billerica.

In 1638, Massachusetts Bay Governor John Winthrop and Lt. Governor Thomas Dudley were granted land along the Concord River in the wilderness which was called Shawshin by the local Native Americans. (Today, Shawshin is commonly spelled Shawsheen; see Shawsheen River.) Most of the settlement was to take place under the supervision of Cambridge; however, financial difficulties in the colony prevented this from taking place, and the issue of settling Shawshin continued to be deferred. Finally, in 1652, roughly a dozen families from Cambridge and Charlestown Village, later Woburn, had begun to occupy Shawshin as well.

Wishing to replace the foreign-sounding Shawshin with a name more familiar, the settlers chose the name Billerica, likely because some of the families living in the settlement came originally from the town of Billericay in Essex, England. The town was incorporated as Billerica in 1655, on the same day as neighboring Chelmsford and nearby Groton. The original plantation of Billerica was divided up into four towns, Billerica, Bedford, Wilmington, and Tewksbury, sometime during the colonial era. The oldest remaining homestead in the town is the Manning Manse, built in 1696, and later the residence of William Manning (1747–1814), the author of "The Key of Libberty," a critique of Federalist policies. (The unusual spelling of liberty is Manning's own.) Other notable Revolutionary War era residents included Asa Pollard (1735–1775), the first soldier killed at the Battle of Bunker Hill, and Thomas Ditson (born 1741), who was tarred and feathered by the British in 1775 while on a visit to Boston. The song "Yankee Doodle" supposedly became a term of national pride instead of an insult because of this event. The town now celebrates "Yankee Doodle Weekend" every September.


Concord River, North Billerica MA
Concord River, North Billerica

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 26.4 square miles (68 km2), of which 25.9 square miles (67 km2) are land and 0.5 square miles (1.3 km2) (1.90%) is water.

Billerica is located 20 miles (32 km) north-northwest of Boston along the Northwest Expressway (Massachusetts) portion of U.S. Route 3, positioning it as the border between the Boston Metro region to the south and the Greater Lowell region to the north. The town is also situated less than 3 miles from the Massachusetts Route 128/Interstate 95 High-Technology belt to the south and less than 2 miles from the Interstate 495 (Massachusetts) outer belt highway to the north.

Billerica has several small neighborhoods that form villages (or sections) of town. Those villages are East Billerica, North Billerica, Nutting Lake, Pinehurst, Rio Vista, River Pines, Riverdale, Riverside, and South Billerica.

Billerica borders the following towns: Chelmsford, Lowell, Tewksbury, Wilmington, Burlington, Bedford, and Carlisle. The border with Lowell is at a point in the middle of the Concord River where Billerica, Chelmsford, Lowell and Tewksbury all meet.


The Shawsheen River and Concord River are the two major waterways within the town. Nuttings Lake offers a public beach and other recreational water activities including canoeing and sailing.


See also: List of Massachusetts locations by per capita income
Historical population
Year Pop. ±%
1850 1,646 —    
1860 1,776 +7.9%
1870 1,833 +3.2%
1880 2,000 +9.1%
1890 2,380 +19.0%
1900 2,775 +16.6%
1910 2,789 +0.5%
1920 3,646 +30.7%
1930 5,880 +61.3%
1940 7,933 +34.9%
1950 11,101 +39.9%
1960 17,867 +60.9%
1970 31,648 +77.1%
1980 36,727 +16.0%
1990 37,609 +2.4%
2000 38,981 +3.6%
2010 40,243 +3.2%
* = population estimate.
Source: United States Census records and Population Estimates Program data.
Billerica Center, Billerica MA
Billerica Center

As of the census of 2000, there were 38,981 people, 12,919 households, and 10,244 families residing in the town. The population density was 1,505.9 people per square mile (581.3/km²). There were 13,071 housing units at an average density of 504.9 per square mile (194.9/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 94.68% White, 1.11% African American, 0.10% Native American, 2.76% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.33% from other races, and 0.99% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.54% of the population.

There were 12,919 households out of which 37.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 66.1% were married couples living together, 9.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 20.7% were non-families. 16.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 5.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.92 and the average family size was 3.30.

In the town, the population was spread out with 25.7% under the age of 18, 7.3% from 18 to 24, 34.6% from 25 to 44, 24.0% from 45 to 64, and 8.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 103.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 102.2 males.

As of the 2010 census, the median income for a household in the town was $87,073, and the median income for a family was $95,128. The per capita income for the town was $32,517. About 2.8% of families and 3.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 4.5% of those under age 18 and 4.3% of those age 65 or over.

Billerica was a contender for CNN Money's "Best Places to Live" in 2009 but did not make the top 100 list for the nation.

In 2016, Billerica was on the NeighborhoodScout's "America's Top 100 Safest Cities" list.

Sports and recreation

In celebrating Sports Illustrated's 50th anniversary, the magazine named Billerica one of the nation's top fifty towns for sports and recreation and the "Sportstown for the Bay State."

  • The Country Club of Billerica, established in 1971, features an 18-hole golf course open to the public.
  • The Boys and Girls Club of Greater Billerica includes a swimming pool, baseball and softball fields, a football field, tennis courts, and basketball courts.
  • The Trampoline Park on 700 Boston Road, which opened in March 2014, features jumping activities such as 3D Dodgeball, Basketball Dunking Lanes, Kid Zone, Foam Pits, Gymnastics "tumble tracks", rock climbing wall, battle beam which is suspended over a foam pits, and also has a large main court. Altitude Billerica is the first trampoline park in Massachusetts to include a rock climbing wall and a battle beam.
  • Dr. Robert J Calabrese Stadium, opened in 1972, Home of Billerica High's Football and Lacrosse Teams


North Billerica MBTA Station, MA
North Billerica MBTA station

MBTA Commuter Rail provides service from Boston's North Station with the North Billerica station on its Lowell Line. The southern portions of the town are also geographically close to the Wilmington (MBTA station) and the Anderson Regional Transportation Center in Woburn. The Lowell Regional Transit Authority provides bus service in parts of Billerica. Route #3 (South Lowell) services the North Billerica MBTA station and the North Billerica Business Center. Route #13 (Billerica via Edson) services Boston Road (Massachusetts Route 3A) from North Billerica to Pinehurst. Stops along the way include the North Billerica MBTA Station, Pollard Street, High Street, Billerica Center and Town Hall, the Billerica Mall, and Towne Plaza, and a shopping center located in Riverdale. Route #14 (Burlington Mall/Lahey Hospital & Medical Center) services Route 3A until Billerica Center, where it continues onto Concord Road and the Middlesex Turnpike.

The Middlesex Canal, which flowed through Billerica between 1795 and 1852, was used to transport goods between Lowell and Boston. Because of this key transportation corridor, Billerica earned the moniker "Gateway to Lowell."

In the 1840s, the Boston and Lowell Railroad's main line was built and passed through the town's villages of North Billerica and East Billerica. Stations were built in both locations and North Billerica Station is still an active station on the MBTA Commuter Rail. Trains stopped taking passengers at East Billerica in 1965 and the station was remodeled and is now a private home.

Historic places

Howe School, Billerica MA
Howe School
  • Abraham Jaquith House
  • Bennett Public Library
  • Billerica Town Common District
  • Billerica Mills Historic District
  • Dutton–Holden Homestead
  • Deacon Samuel Hill House
  • Howe School
  • Manning Manse
  • Middlesex Canal
  • Thomas Ditson Elementary School – Pinehurst is the original location of its namesake's home.

Sister city

Billerica is a sister city of Billericay, England, United Kingdom United Kingdom.


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