Worcester is in the middle of Massachusetts. Because of its central location, the city is known as the Heart of the Commonwealth. The city's symbol is a heart. It is the second largest city in the state and in New England, with a population of 181,054.
The city is economically diverse, with major employers in education, healthcare, financial, insurance and biotech industries. The city is known for its performing arts venues, museums and other cultural offerings. Among them:
- The American Antiquarian Society
- The Worcester Art Museum
- The Higgins Armory Museum
- The EcoTarium
Worcester was once considered its own region. It is now considered the western edge of the Boston region because of the growth in Boston's suburbs.
The first permanent European settlement occurred in 1713, but it was not the first attempt. Settlers had previously tried unsuccessfully to found a settlement. When the settlement succeeded, it was named after England.
Worcester was a center for revolutionary activity during the American Revolution. It later produced a number of innovations, including a process for extruding steel wire that is used to make barbed wire, monkey wrenches, envelope folding machines and commercial Valentine cards. Worcester companies also manufactured textile looms for the Industrial revolution.
Worcester has also been known for residents who were involved in socially progressive and radical movements. Advocates for temperance, women's suffrage and the abolition of slavery found homes here.