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About Massachusetts

Massachusetts ( MASS-@-CHOO-sits, -zits; Massachusett: Muhsachuweesut [m@hswatS@wi:s@t]), officially the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, is a state in the New England region of the Northeastern United States. It borders the Atlantic Ocean to its east and the Gulf of Maine to its west. New Hampshire, Vermont, and Rhode Island are to its south. Massachusetts is the sixth-smallest state by area, but it has over 7 million residents. [note 1] It is the most populous New England state, the 15th-most populous state, and the third-most densely populated state, after New Jersey, Rhode Island. The state’s capital and most populous city, as well as its cultural and financial center, is Boston. Massachusetts is also the home of Greater Boston. This metropolitan area is the largest in New England, and has had a profound impact on American history, academia and the research economy. Originally dependent on agriculture, fishing, and trade, Massachusetts was transformed into a manufacturing center during the Industrial Revolution. During the 20th century, the state’s economy shifted from manufacturing to services, and in the 21st century it is a global leader in biotechnology, engineering, higher education, finance, and maritime trade.