Historical United States Census totals for Worcester County, Massachusetts

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This article shows U.S. Census totals for Worcester County, Massachusetts, broken down by municipality, from 1900 to 2000.

Like most areas of New England, Worcester County is (and has been at all times since well before the 20th century) entirely divided into incorporated municipalities. There is no unincorporated territory. For any census, adding up the totals for each municipality should yield the county total.

There are two types of municipalities in Massachusetts, towns and cities. The tables below differentiate between towns and cities.

For more information on the New England municipal system, see New England town.

Corporate changes since 1900[edit]

  • 1915 - Leominster became a city
  • 1916 - New town of Millville formed from Blackstone
  • 1920 - New town of East Brookfield formed from Brookfield
  • 1923 - Gardner became a city
  • 1938 - Dana was disincorporated due to the construction of Quabbin Reservoir

1900[edit]

County Total: 346,958

  • Worcester (city) 118,421
  • Fitchburg (city) 31,531
  • Clinton 13,667
  • Leominster 12,392
  • Milford 11,376
  • Gardner 10,813
  • Southbridge 10,025
  • Webster 8,804
  • Spencer 7,627
  • Athol 7,061
  • Northbridge 7,036
  • Blackstone 5,721
  • Westborough 5,400
  • Winchendon 5,001
  • Grafton 4,869
  • North Brookfield 4,587
  • Millbury 4,460
  • Warren 4,417
  • Uxbridge 3,599
  • Dudley 3,553
  • Templeton 3,489
  • Leicester 3,416
  • Sutton 3,328
  • Hardwick 3,203
  • Brookfield 3,062
  • Oxford 2,677
  • Lancaster 2,478
  • Holden 2,464
  • West Boylston 2,314
  • Northborough 2,164
  • Douglas 2,113
  • Hopedale 2,087
  • Barre 2,059
  • Sturbridge 2,058
  • Upton 1,937
  • Southborough 1,921
  • Ashburnham 1,882
  • Charlton 1,860
  • Shrewsbury 1,626
  • Auburn 1,621
  • West Brookfield 1,448
  • Sterling 1,420
  • Boylston 1,364
  • Rutland 1,334
  • Lunenburg 1,332
  • Westminster 1,327
  • Hubbardston 1,227
  • Harvard 1,139
  • Berlin 1,003
  • Princeton 975
  • Royalston 958
  • Mendon 911
  • Petersham 853
  • Dana 790
  • Bolton 770
  • Oakham 588
  • New Braintree 500
  • Paxton 459
  • Phillipston 441

1910[edit]

County Total: 399,657

  • Worcester (city) 145,986
  • Fitchburg (city) 37,826
  • Leominster 17,580
  • Gardner 14,699
  • Clinton 13,075
  • Milford 13,055
  • Southbridge 12,592
  • Webster 11,509
  • Northbridge 8,807
  • Athol 8,536
  • Spencer 6,740
  • Grafton 5,705
  • Winchendon 5,678
  • Blackstone 5,648
  • Westborough 5,446
  • Millbury 4,740
  • Uxbridge 4,671
  • Dudley 4,267
  • Warren 4,188
  • Templeton 3,756
  • Hardwick 3,524
  • Oxford 3,361
  • Leicester 3,237
  • Sutton 3,078
  • North Brookfield 3,075
  • Barre 2,957
  • Lancaster 2,464
  • Auburn 2,420
  • Brookfield 2,204
  • Hopedale 2,188
  • Douglas 2,152
  • Holden 2,147
  • Ashburnham 2,107
  • Upton 2,071
  • Charlton 2,032
  • Sturbridge 1,957
  • Shrewsbury 1,946
  • Southborough 1,745
  • Rutland 1,743
  • Northborough 1,713
  • Lunenburg 1,393
  • Sterling 1,359
  • Westminster 1,353
  • West Brookfield 1,327
  • West Boylston 1,270
  • Hubbardston 1,073
  • Harvard 1,034
  • Berlin 904
  • Mendon 880
  • Princeton 818
  • Royalston 792
  • Bolton 764
  • Petersham 757
  • Dana 736
  • Boylston 714
  • Oakham 552
  • New Braintree 464
  • Phillipston 426
  • Paxton 416

1920[edit]

County Total: 455,135

  • Worcester (city) 179,754
  • Fitchburg (city) 41,029
  • Leominster (city) 19,744
  • Gardner 16,971
  • Southbridge 14,245
  • Milford 13,471
  • Webster 13,258
  • Clinton 12,979
  • Northbridge 10,174
  • Athol 9,792
  • Grafton 6,887
  • Spencer 5,930
  • Winchendon 5,904
  • Westborough 5,789
  • Millbury 5,653
  • Uxbridge 5,384
  • Blackstone 4,299
  • Templeton 4,019
  • Auburn 3,891
  • Oxford 3,820
  • Shrewsbury 3,708
  • Dudley 3,701
  • Leicester 3,635
  • Warren 3,467
  • Barre 3,357
  • Hardwick 3,085
  • Holden 2,970
  • Hopedale 2,777
  • North Brookfield 2,610
  • Sutton 2,578
  • Harvard 2,546
  • Lancaster 2,461
  • Millville 2,224
  • Brookfield 2,216
  • Douglas 2,181
  • Ashburnham 2,012
  • Charlton 1,995
  • Southborough 1,838
  • Northborough 1,753
  • Rutland 1,743
  • Upton 1,693
  • Lunenburg 1,634
  • West Boylston 1,624
  • Sturbridge 1,573
  • Westminster 1,343
  • West Brookfield 1,281
  • Sterling 1,305
  • Hubbardston 1,045
  • Mendon 961
  • Berlin 868
  • Royalston 819
  • Boylston 794
  • Bolton 708
  • Princeton 682
  • Petersham 642
  • Dana 599
  • Paxton 489
  • Oakham 477
  • New Braintree 394
  • Phillipston 354

1930[edit]

County Total: 491,242

  • Worcester (city) 195,311
  • Fitchburg (city) 40,692
  • Leominster (city) 21,810
  • Gardner (city) 19,399
  • Milford 14,741
  • Southbridge 14,264
  • Webster 12,992
  • Clinton 12,817
  • Athol 10,677
  • Northbridge 9,713
  • Grafton 7,030
  • Millbury 6,957
  • Shrewsbury 6,910
  • Westborough 6,409
  • Uxbridge 6,285
  • Spencer 6,272
  • Winchendon 6,202
  • Auburn 6,147
  • Blackstone 4,674
  • Leicester 4,445
  • Dudley 4,265
  • Templeton 4,159
  • Oxford 3,943
  • Holden 3,871
  • Warren 3,765
  • Barre 3,510
  • North Brookfield 3,013
  • Hopedale 2,973
  • Lancaster 2,897
  • Hardwick 2,460
  • Rutland 2,442
  • Douglas 2,195
  • Southborough 2,166
  • Charlton 2,154
  • Sutton 2,147
  • West Boylston 2,114
  • Millville 2,111
  • Ashburnham 2,079
  • Upton 2,026
  • Northborough 1,946
  • Westminster 1,925
  • Lunenburg 1,923
  • Sturbridge 1,772
  • Sterling 1,502
  • Brookfield 1,352
  • West Brookfield 1,255
  • Mendon 1,107
  • Boylston 1,097
  • Berlin 1,075
  • Hubbardston 1,010
  • Harvard 987
  • East Brookfield 926
  • Bolton 764
  • Royalston 744
  • Princeton 717
  • Paxton 672
  • Petersham 660
  • Dana 505
  • Oakham 502
  • New Braintree 407
  • Phillipston 357

1940[edit]

County Total: 504,470

  • Worcester (city) 193,694
  • Fitchburg (city) 41,824
  • Leominster (city) 22,226
  • Gardner (city) 20,206
  • Southbridge 16,825
  • Milford 15,388
  • Webster 13,186
  • Clinton 12,440
  • Athol 11,180
  • Northbridge 10,242
  • Shrewsbury 7,586
  • Grafton 7,457
  • Millbury 6,983
  • Spencer 6,641
  • Auburn 6,629
  • Winchendon 6,575
  • Westborough 6,463
  • Uxbridge 6,417
  • Leicester 4,851
  • Oxford 4,623
  • Dudley 4,616
  • Templeton 4,601
  • Blackstone 4,566
  • Holden 3,924
  • Warren 3,531
  • Barre 3,528
  • North Brookfield 3,304
  • Hopedale 3,113
  • Lancaster 2,963
  • Sutton 2,749
  • Douglas 2,617
  • Charlton 2,557
  • Northborough 2,382
  • Ashburnham 2,255
  • Upton 2,249
  • Southborough 2,231
  • Sturbridge 2,227
  • Lunenburg 2,195
  • Rutland 2,181
  • Hardwick 2,154
  • Westminster 2,126
  • West Boylston 1,822
  • Harvard 1,790
  • Millville 1,722
  • Sterling 1,713
  • Brookfield 1,393
  • Boylston 1,388
  • West Brookfield 1,387
  • Mendon 1,315
  • Berlin 1,057
  • Hubbardston 1,022
  • East Brookfield 1,016
  • Petersham 923
  • Royalston 795
  • Paxton 791
  • Bolton 775
  • Princeton 713
  • Phillipston 481
  • New Braintree 439
  • Oakham 423

1950[edit]

County Total: 546,401

  • Worcester (city) 203,486
  • Fitchburg (city) 42,691
  • Leominster (city) 24,075
  • Gardner (city) 19,581
  • Southbridge 17,519
  • Milford 15,442
  • Webster 13,194
  • Clinton 12,287
  • Athol 11,554
  • Shrewsbury 10,594
  • Northbridge 10,476
  • Auburn 8,840
  • Millbury 8,347
  • Grafton 8,281
  • Westborough 7,378
  • Spencer 7,027
  • Uxbridge 7,007
  • Winchendon 6,585
  • Leicester 6,029
  • Holden 5,975
  • Oxford 5,851
  • Dudley 5,261
  • Blackstone 4,968
  • Templeton 4,757
  • Harvard 3,983
  • Lunenburg 3,906
  • Lancaster 3,601
  • Hopedale 3,479
  • North Brookfield 3,444
  • Barre 3,406
  • Warren 3,406
  • Charlton 3,136
  • Northborough 3,122
  • Sutton 3,102
  • Rutland 3,056
  • Sturbridge 2,805
  • Westminster 2,768
  • Southborough 2,760
  • Upton 2,656
  • Douglas 2,624
  • Ashburnham 2,603
  • West Boylston 2,570
  • Hardwick 2,348
  • Sterling 2,166
  • Boylston 1,700
  • Millville 1,692
  • West Brookfield 1,674
  • Mendon 1,619
  • Brookfield 1,567
  • Berlin 1,349
  • East Brookfield 1,243
  • Hubbardston 1,134
  • Paxton 1,066
  • Princeton 1,032
  • Bolton 956
  • Royalston 838
  • Petersham 814
  • Phillipston 638
  • New Braintree 478
  • Oakham 455

1960[edit]

County Total: 583,228

  • Worcester (city) 186,587
  • Fitchburg (city) 43,021
  • Leominster (city) 27,929
  • Gardner (city) 19,038
  • Shrewsbury 16,622
  • Southbridge 16,523
  • Milford 15,749
  • Auburn 14,047
  • Webster 13,680
  • Clinton 12,848
  • Athol 11,637
  • Northbridge 10,800
  • Grafton 10,627
  • Holden 10,117
  • Millbury 9,623
  • Westborough 9,599
  • Oxford 9,282
  • Leicester 8,177
  • Spencer 7,838
  • Uxbridge 7,789
  • Northborough 6,687
  • Dudley 6,510
  • Lunenburg 6,334
  • Winchendon 6,237
  • West Boylston 5,526
  • Templeton 5,371
  • Blackstone 5,130
  • Westminster 4,022
  • Southborough 3,996
  • Hopedale 3,987
  • Lancaster 3,958
  • Charlton 3,685
  • Sutton 3,638
  • North Brookfield 3,616
  • Sturbridge 3,604
  • Barre 3,479
  • Warren 3,383
  • Rutland 3,253
  • Sterling 3,193
  • Upton 3,127
  • Ashburnham 2,758
  • Harvard 2,563
  • Douglas 2,559
  • Paxton 2,399
  • Boylston 2,367
  • Hardwick 2,340
  • Mendon 2,068
  • West Brookfield 2,053
  • Brookfield 1,751
  • Berlin 1,742
  • Millville 1,567
  • East Brookfield 1,533
  • Princeton 1,360
  • Bolton 1,264
  • Hubbardston 1,217
  • Petersham 890
  • Royalston 800
  • Phillipston 695
  • Oakham 524
  • New Braintree 509

1970[edit]

County Total: 637,037

  • Worcester (city) 176,572
  • Fitchburg (city) 43,343
  • Leominster (city) 32,939
  • Gardner (city) 19,748
  • Milford 19,352
  • Shrewsbury 19,196
  • Southbridge 17,057
  • Auburn 15,347
  • Webster 14,917
  • Clinton 13,383
  • Westborough 12,594
  • Holden 12,564
  • Harvard 12,494
  • Millbury 11,987
  • Northbridge 11,795
  • Grafton 11,659
  • Athol 11,185
  • Oxford 10,345
  • Northborough 9,218
  • Leicester 9,140
  • Spencer 8,779
  • Uxbridge 8,253
  • Dudley 8,087
  • Lunenburg 7,419
  • Winchendon 6,635
  • Blackstone 6,566
  • West Boylston 6,369
  • Lancaster 6,095
  • Templeton 5,863
  • Southborough 5,798
  • Sturbridge 4,878
  • Charlton 4,654
  • Sutton 4,590
  • Hopedale 4,292
  • Westminster 4,273
  • Sterling 4,247
  • North Brookfield 3,967
  • Barre 3,825
  • Paxton 3,731
  • Warren 3,633
  • Ashburnham 3,484
  • Upton 3,484
  • Rutland 3,198
  • Douglas 2,947
  • Boylston 2,774
  • West Brookfield 2,653
  • Mendon 2,524
  • Hardwick 2,379
  • Berlin 2,099
  • Brookfield 2,063
  • Bolton 1,905
  • East Brookfield 1,800
  • Millville 1,764
  • Princeton 1,681
  • Hubbardston 1,437
  • Petersham 1,014
  • Phillipston 872
  • Royalston 809
  • Oakham 730
  • New Braintree 631

1980[edit]

County Total: 646,352

  • Worcester (city) 161,799
  • Fitchburg (city) 39,580
  • Leominster (city) 34,508
  • Milford 23,390
  • Shrewsbury 22,674
  • Gardner (city) 17,900
  • Southbridge 16,665
  • Auburn 14,845
  • Webster 14,480
  • Westborough 13,619
  • Holden 13,336
  • Clinton 12,771
  • Northbridge 12,246
  • Harvard 12,170
  • Millbury 11,808
  • Oxford 11,680
  • Grafton 11,238
  • Spencer 10,774
  • Athol 10,634
  • Northborough 10,568
  • Leicester 9,446
  • Dudley 8,717
  • Lunenburg 8,405
  • Uxbridge 8,374
  • Winchendon 7,019
  • Charlton 6,719
  • Blackstone 6,570
  • Lancaster 6,334
  • West Boylston 6,204
  • Southborough 6,193
  • Templeton 6,070
  • Sturbridge 5,976
  • Sutton 5,855
  • Sterling 5,440
  • Westminster 5,139
  • Rutland 4,334
  • North Brookfield 4,150
  • Barre 4,102
  • Ashburnham 4,075
  • Hopedale 3,905
  • Upton 3,886
  • Warren 3,777
  • Paxton 3,762
  • Douglas 3,730
  • Boylston 3,470
  • Mendon 3,108
  • West Brookfield 3,026
  • Bolton 2,530
  • Princeton 2,425
  • Brookfield 2,397
  • Hardwick 2,272
  • Berlin 2,215
  • East Brookfield 1,955
  • Hubbardston 1,797
  • Millville 1,693
  • Petersham 1,024
  • Oakham 994
  • Royalston 955
  • Phillipston 953
  • New Braintree 671

1990[edit]

County Total: 709,705

  • Worcester (city) 169,759
  • Fitchburg (city) 41,194
  • Leominster (city) 38,145
  • Milford 25,355
  • Shrewsbury 24,146
  • Gardner (city) 20,125
  • Southbridge 17,816
  • Webster 16,196
  • Auburn 15,005
  • Holden 14,628
  • Westborough 14,133
  • Northbridge 13,371
  • Clinton 13,222
  • Grafton 13,035
  • Oxford 12,588
  • Harvard 12,329
  • Millbury 12,228
  • Northborough 11,929
  • Spencer 11,645
  • Athol 11,451
  • Uxbridge 10,415
  • Leicester 10,191
  • Charlton 9,576
  • Dudley 9,540
  • Lunenburg 9,117
  • Winchendon 8,805
  • Blackstone 8,023
  • Sturbridge 7,775
  • Sutton 6,824
  • Lancaster 6,661
  • Southborough 6,628
  • West Boylston 6,611
  • Templeton 6,438
  • Sterling 6,481
  • Westminster 6,191
  • Hopedale 5,666
  • Douglas 5,438
  • Ashburnham 5,433
  • Rutland 4,936
  • North Brookfield 4,708
  • Upton 4,677
  • Barre 4,546
  • Warren 4,437
  • Paxton 4,047
  • Mendon 4,010
  • West Brookfield 3,532
  • Boylston 3,517
  • Princeton 3,189
  • Bolton 3,134
  • Brookfield 2,968
  • Hubbardston 2,797
  • Hardwick 2,385
  • Berlin 2,293
  • Millville 2,236
  • East Brookfield 2,033
  • Oakham 1,503
  • Phillipston 1,485
  • Royalston 1,147
  • Petersham 1,131
  • New Braintree 881

2000[edit]

County Total: 749,973

  • Worcester (city) 172,648
  • Leominster (city) 41,303
  • Fitchburg (city) 39,102
  • Shrewsbury 31,640
  • Milford 26,720
  • Gardner (city) 20,770
  • Westborough 17,997
  • Southbridge 17,214
  • Webster 16,415
  • Auburn 15,901
  • Holden 15,621
  • Grafton 14,894
  • Northborough 14,013
  • Clinton 13,435
  • Oxford 13,352
  • Northbridge 13,182
  • Millbury 12,784
  • Spencer 11,691
  • Athol 11,299
  • Charlton 11,263
  • Uxbridge 11,156
  • Leicester 10,471
  • Dudley 10,036
  • Winchendon 9,611
  • Lunenburg 9,401
  • Blackstone 8,804
  • Southborough 8,781
  • Sutton 8,250
  • Sturbridge 7,837
  • West Boylston 7,481
  • Sterling 7,257
  • Douglas 7,045
  • Westminster 6,907
  • Templeton 6,799
  • Lancaster 6,382
  • Rutland 6,353
  • Harvard 5,981
  • Hopedale 5,907
  • Upton 5,713
  • Ashburnham 5,546
  • Mendon 5,302
  • Barre 5,113
  • Warren 4,776
  • North Brookfield 4,683
  • Paxton 4,386
  • Bolton 4,148
  • Boylston 4,008
  • Hubbardston 3,909
  • West Brookfield 3,804
  • Princeton 3,353
  • Brookfield 3,051
  • Millville 2,724
  • Hardwick 2,622
  • Berlin 2,380
  • East Brookfield 2,097
  • Oakham 1,673
  • Phillipston 1,621
  • Royalston 1,254
  • Petersham 1,180
  • New Braintree 927

Notes[edit]

1970 Census

The Census Bureau made a number of revisions to 1970 census totals subsequent to their initial release. Worcester County went through two rounds of revisions. The 1970 total for Worcester County was originally reported as 637,969; and for the town of Harvard, 13,426. Later, the county total was revised to 637,079, with Harvard’s total changing to 12,951. The totals for the county and for Harvard were later revised again to those shown in the list above. At least part of the issue appears to have been an assignment error between Harvard and the neighboring town of Ayer, in Middlesex County (the two towns shared in part the then-active Fort Devens military base); Ayer also went through two rounds of revisions, and in both the original and final totals, the collective population of Harvard and Ayer is the same.

2000 Census

The Census Bureau made a number of revisions to 2000 census totals subsequent to their initial release. The 2000 total for Worcester County was originally reported as 750,963; for the town of Milford, 26,799; for the town of Lancaster, 7,380; for the town of Upton, 5,642; and for the town of Mendon, 5,286. The totals were later revised to those shown in the list above. At least part of the issue may have been assignment errors between Lancaster and the neighboring town of Shirley, in Middlesex County (the two towns shared in part the former Fort Devens military base), and between Milford, Upton and Mendon; as a result of the revisions, the totals for Shirley, Upton and Mendon increased and the totals for Lancaster and Milford dropped, although not by exactly the same amount in either case.

Special note regarding Southbridge[edit]

Southbridge is among eleven municipalities in Massachusetts whose status as towns or cities is a matter of some ambiguity. This ambiguity is the result of questions around the legal status of towns which have since the 1970s, through home-rule petition, adopted forms of government that resemble city government and do not include the elements traditionally associated with town government (e.g., a board of selectmen, a town meeting). Of the eleven communities that have done so, all but one have generally continued to use the title "town" and are usually referred to by residents as "towns", but the Massachusetts Secretary of State's Office considers all eleven to be legally cities. Other sources within state government often refer to all eleven municipalities as towns, however. Massachusetts seems to be the only New England state where this type of issue has arisen, even though other New England states also have municipalities which have adopted what amount to city forms of government but continue to call themselves "towns". In the other states, it does not appear that any need to officially label such municipalities as "cities" has been identified.

For purposes of the New England town page and its attendant pages, the ten affected communities which call themselves "towns", including Southbridge, are classified as towns. The reader should be aware, however, that some sources will identify these municipalities as cities. It is unclear when Southbridge adopted its present form of government.

The Census Bureau has been inconsistent in its handling of these municipalities. The Census Bureau listed all as towns through the 1990 Census. For the 2000 Census, some were inexplicably listed as towns and some as cities, a situation which continues in current Census materials. In the 2000 Census, Southbridge was listed as a town. As of 2006, Southbridge is still shown as a town in current census materials.

See also[edit]