Worcester, Massachusetts
1713 European settlement
United States

Worcester was established in 1713 in the Quinsigamond territory of the indigenous Nipmuc (Nipmuck) who had inhabited the region since before recorded history. Worcester was incorporated as a town in 1722, and as a city in 1848. The completion of the Blackstone Canal from Providence, Rhode Island in 1828 and the opening of the Worcester and Boston Railroad in 1835 led to the city becoming a manufacturing center, and thus an attractive destination for newly arrived immigrants.

More than 70% of these initial immigrants were from Ireland, followed by Canada and England. By the end of the 19th century, this population began to diversify. The first wave of immigrants from the Levant came with the decline and collapse of the Ottoman Empire. In 2016, Worcester Magazine reported

Worcester is home to an estimated 37,970 immigrants from 85 different countries, composing 21 percent of the city’s total population - compared to 15 percent statewide. Foreign-born entrepreneurs also account for 37 percent of all business owners in Worcester, double the statewide rate.

The 2010 census calculated the city's population at 181,045.


Welker, Grant. 2018. “Coming To Worcester: The City’s Immigrant Population Has Shifted In The Last Decade.” Worcester Business Journal. December 12, 2018. https://www.wbjournal.com/article/coming-to-worcester-the-citys-immigrant-population-has-shifted-in-the-last-decade. Archived at https://perma.cc/SM2Z-6N3P.

“COMING TO AMERICA: Syrian Refugees In Worcester.” 2016a. Worcester Magazine. March 17, 2016. https://www.worcestermag.com/article/20160317/NEWS/303179168. Archived at https://perma.cc/HX2W-W5M9.

Associated Sites
Images & Videos
Variant Names
Worcester, Massachusetts