Lancaster, Massachusetts

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Lancaster, Massachusetts

Introduction to Lancaster, Massachusetts

Lancaster, Massachusetts, in Worcester county, is 14 miles NE of Worcester, Massachusetts (center to center) and 32 miles W of Boston, Massachusetts. As of the 2000 census, 7,380 people lived in Lancaster.

Lancaster History

Lancaster, which was settled in 1643, was originally named Nashaway after the Nashaway Indian tribes. It was founded by John Prescott and incorporated in 1653, as Lancaster on the Nashua. It was named after the City of Lancaster in Lancashire, England, and was home to the Beaman Oak, the largest oak tree in Massachusetts from 1623 - 1677. Towns like Bolton, Clinton, Harvard, Hudson, Berlin, Stow, Marlborough, Boylston, and Leominster were once a part of the Town of Lancaster.

Lancaster and Nearby Attractions

  • Lancaster State Forest
  • Fifth Meeting House
  • Worcester Art Museum
  • Tower Hill Botanic Garden
  • Oxbow National Wildlife Refuge
  • Wachusett Mountain Ski Area

Things To Do In Lancaster

Lancaster is home to Fiske Hill National Park and Lancaster State Forest. There are several rivers and brooks that offer opportunities for boating, fishing, swimming, and other water sports including the North Nashua River, Ponakin Brook, McGovern Brook, and Still River. The Evangelical Congregational Church, Convent of the Cenacle, and First Church of Christ are some of the local churches. Other popular places to visit include Oxbow National Wildlife Refuge, Tower Hill Botanical Garden, and Hudson Historical Society Museum.

Lancaster Transportation

Worcester Regional Airport is nearby.

Lancaster Higher Education

Colleges near Lancaster include Fitchburg State College, Middlesex Community College, and Quinsigamond Community College.

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High Points

Lancaster strengths, compared to Peers (similar size places nationally) or State (other places in Massachusetts):

Category Trophy
Racial Diversity
(vs. State)
Top 4% trophy Lancaster Racial Diversity
Low Property Crime
(vs. Peers)
Top 9% Lancaster Low Property Crime
Well-Paid Single Men
(vs. Peers)
Top 12% Lancaster Well-Paid Single Men

Comparative Profile of Lancaster, Massachusetts

Comparing Lancaster to similar size places nationwide (Peers) and to other places in Massachusetts (State):

Ratings range from 1 (lowest) to 10 (highest).

The People

Characteristic Compared
to Peers
to State
Male Share of the Population 10 10
Well-Paid Single Men 9 8
Racial Diversity 9 10
Age of the Population 5 2
Senior Citizens 3 3
Children Under 5 Years Old 2 2
Female Share of the Population 1 1


Characteristic Compared
to Peers
to State
Portion of People Married 9 8
Average Household Size 9 9


Characteristic Compared
to Peers
to State
People Above Poverty 8 6
Median Family Income 8 6
People in Middle Class or Better 8 6
College Educated Adults 8 5

Commute & Sprawl

Characteristic Compared
to Peers
to State
Working at Home 10 8
Public Transportation Use 4 2
Short Commute Times 3 7
Walking and Biking to Work 3 3


Characteristic Compared
to Peers
to State
Seasonal and Vacation Housing 9 7
Affordability of Rents 5 7
Studio & One-Bedroom Rentals 4 7
Housing Recently Built 4 5
Affordability of Property Taxes 4 6
People Living Alone 2 3


Characteristic Compared
to Peers
to State
Low Property Crime 10 7

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Lancaster Almanac

Category Value
Nearest Medium City 14 miles NE of Worcester, Massachusetts (center to center)
Nearest Large City 32 miles W of Boston, Massachusetts
County Worcester
Standard Zip Codes 01523
Phone Area Codes 978
Time Zone Eastern (-5 hours from GMT)
Daylight Savings The city observes Daylight Saving Time.
Latitude 42.455
Longitude -71.673

Lancaster Climate

Nearest Weather Stations

  • Temp ranges are avg daily min and max for the month
  • Precipitation is rainfall (and rainfall equiv of snowfall)
Distance 3.9 miles
Jan Temp 15 to 33 F
Apr Temp 37 to 55 F
Jul Temp 63 to 81 F
Oct Temp 40 to 61 F
Annual Precip 49.1 inches
Distance 16.9 miles
Jan Temp 16 to 31 F
Apr Temp 36 to 54 F
Jul Temp 61 to 79 F
Oct Temp 41 to 58 F
Annual Precip 49 inches
Distance 17.7 miles
Jan Temp 16 to 36 F
Apr Temp 38 to 58 F
Jul Temp 63 to 84 F
Oct Temp 40 to 63 F
Annual Precip 45.8 inches
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Lancaster Population (2000)

Category Count Percent
Total Population 7,380 100%
Male 4,112 55.7%
Female 3,268 44.3%
Under 18 1,605 21.7%
18+ 5,775 78.3%
65+ 733 9.9%
Median Age 35.9
Average Family Size 3.22
White 6,237 84.5%
African-American 783 10.6%
Asian 85 1.2%
American Indian & Alaskan 14 0.2%
Other 114 1.5%
Mixed Race 147 2%
Hispanic (included in categories above) 549 7.4%

Estimated Lancaster Population Growth 2000-2005

Category Value
Est. 2005 Population 6,845
Growth -535
Growth % -7.2%

Lancaster Ancestry

(From 2000 Census, as reported by individuals)

Note: This is national, not racial, ancestry, so, e.g., the Census doesn't have categories for Hispanic and African-American people. CityTownInfo is currently gathering additional ancestry data for this site.
Ancestry Percent
Other (often includes Hispanic and African American) 15.3%
US/American 15%
Irish 12.4%
Italian 12.1%
English 8.8%
French (except Basque) 6.7%
French Canadian 4%
German 4%
Polish 2.3%
Greek 2.2%
Portuguese 2.2%
Scottish 1.9%
Swedish 1.6%
Scotch-Irish 1.6%
Haitian 1.5%
Jamaican 1.3%
Dutch 1.3%
Russian 0.7%
Canadian 0.6%
Welsh 0.6%
Hungarian 0.5%
Brazilian 0.5%
African 0.4%
Norwegian 0.4%
European 0.3%
Bulgarian 0.3%
Cape Verdean 0.3%
Austrian 0.3%
Belizean 0.3%
British 0.2%
Lithuanian 0.2%
West Indian 0.2%
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Neighborhood and Nearby Area Names

According to the US Postal Service, Lancaster, its neighborhoods, and/or surrounding areas are also referred to as:

North Lancaster (01523)

Note that not all alternate names are acceptable for use in US Post Office addresses.

Nearby Cities and Towns

Location Pop. Median Family
Income (2000)
Lancaster 7,380 $66,490
Berlin 2,380 $76,419
Bolton 4,148 $108,967
Boylston 4,008 $77,604
Clinton 13,435 $53,308
Harvard 5,981 $119,352
Sterling 7,257 $76,943

Lancaster Public Libraries

Thayer Memorial Library
717 MAIN ST.
Lancaster, Massachusetts
(978) 368-8928

library logo

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