Provincetown, Massachusetts

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Provincetown, Massachusetts

Introduction to Provincetown, Massachusetts

Provincetown, Massachusetts, in Barnstable county, is 26 miles E of Plymouth, Massachusetts (center to center) and 49 miles SE of Boston, Massachusetts. It's situated at the tip of Cape Cod and bordered by Cape Cod Bay on the south. The scenic town is well known for excellent beaches, tourism, a thriving arts scene and for its gay community. Provincetown is also known as a gay summer resort. The town includes a large number of artists. The population significantly increases during the summer tourist season.

Provincetown History

The Nauset Indians were the original inhabitants. The Pilgrims signed the Mayflower Compact in 1620 after they arrived at Provincetown Harbor. The Pilgrims created their community on the other side of the bay in Plymouth. In 1727 the town was incorporated by English settlers. After the American Revolution ended the town became a prominent location for fishing and whaling. A large number of Portuguese who worked on the ships decided to make Provincetown their home.

By 1890 the town was thriving and included a large community of writers and artists. It also became a flourishing summer tourist resort. During the mid-1960's the population significantly increased, partly due to the numerous hippies that relocated to Provincetown. During the mid-1970's the town developed a sizeable gay community.

Provincetown Attractions

  • The Pilgrim Monument and Provincetown Museum features a notable tower made from granite.
  • Provincetown features an historic district which is included in the National Register of Historic Places.
  • Commercial Street offers numerous restaurants, galleries and unique shops.
  • Race Point Lighthouse.
  • Provincetown Art Association and Museum.
  • Whydah Museum.

Provincetown Attractions

  • Provincetown Jazz Festival.
  • The Fantasia Fair is popular with transvestites and transsexuals.
  • Provincetown Repertory Theatre.
  • The Provincetown Art Collection includes items from artists who have lived in the community.
  • The Portuguese Festival and Blessing of the Fleet.
  • Provincetown Fringe Festival.
  • New Provincetown Players.
  • Shakespeare on the Cape.
  • Golddust Orphans is a popular theater company.
  • Portuguese Festival.
  • PBG's Carnival Week.

Provincetown Activities

Boating, fishing and whale watching are popular activities. Tourists enjoy visiting the Truro Vineyards of Cape Cod. Visitors can take excursions to the local sand dunes. Bird watching is popular in the Cape Cod area. Race Point Beach, Herring Cove, Long Point and Town Beaches are popular destinations for residents and tourists.

The Province Lands Visitor Center provides scenic views, guided tours and a bicycle riding loop. A bicycle trail begins in the West End and traverses through the dunes and reaches the Race Point in the National Seashore. The Truro Center for the Arts at Castle Hill provides lessons in arts and crafts.

Provincetown Transportation

The community is home to the Provincetown Municipal Airport. Seasonal Ferries provide transportation to Boston and Plymouth.

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High Points

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

Category Trophy
Walking and Biking to Work
(vs. Peers)
Top 1% trophy Provincetown Walking and Biking to Work
Short Commute Times
(vs. Peers)
Top 3% trophy Provincetown Short Commute Times
Well-Paid Single Men
(vs. Peers)
Top 4% trophy Provincetown Well-Paid Single Men
College Educated Adults
(vs. Peers)
Top 7% Provincetown College Educated Adults
Well-Paid Single Women
(vs. Peers)
Top 10% Provincetown Well-Paid Single Women
Racial Diversity
(vs. State)
Top 13% Provincetown Racial Diversity

Comparative Profile of Provincetown, Massachusetts

Comparing Provincetown 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 10 9
Age of the Population 10 10
Well-Paid Single Women 10 5
Racial Diversity 9 9
Senior Citizens 7 9
Female Share of the Population 1 1
Children Under 5 Years Old 1 1


Characteristic Compared
to Peers
to State
Portion of People Married 1 1
Average Household Size 1 1


Characteristic Compared
to Peers
to State
College Educated Adults 10 7
Median Family Income 5 1
People in Middle Class or Better 5 1
People Above Poverty 3 1

Commute & Sprawl

Characteristic Compared
to Peers
to State
Working at Home 10 10
Walking and Biking to Work 10 10
Short Commute Times 10 10
Public Transportation Use 4 1


Characteristic Compared
to Peers
to State
People Living Alone 10 10
Seasonal and Vacation Housing 10 10
Studio & One-Bedroom Rentals 10 10
Affordability of Property Taxes 2 6
Affordability of Rents 2 6
Housing Recently Built 1 1


Characteristic Compared
to Peers
to State
Low Property Crime 6 3

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Provincetown Almanac

Category Value
Nearest Medium City 26 miles E of Plymouth, Massachusetts (center to center)
Nearest Large City 49 miles SE of Boston, Massachusetts
County Barnstable
Metro Area Barnstable - Yarmouth
Standard Zip Codes 02657
Phone Area Codes 508
Time Zone Eastern (-5 hours from GMT)
Daylight Savings The city observes Daylight Saving Time.
Latitude 42.058
Longitude -70.179

Provincetown Climate

Nearest Weather Stations

  • Temp ranges are avg daily min and max for the month
  • Precipitation is rainfall (and rainfall equiv of snowfall)
Distance 0.6 miles
Jan Temp 23 to 37 F
Apr Temp 37 to 52 F
Jul Temp 63 to 79 F
Oct Temp 45 to 60 F
Annual Precip 41.9 inches
Distance 29.2 miles
Jan Temp 24 to 38 F
Apr Temp 39 to 50 F
Jul Temp 62 to 75 F
Oct Temp 47 to 60 F
Annual Precip 46.7 inches
Distance 39.7 miles
Jan Temp 20 to 37 F
Apr Temp 38 to 57 F
Jul Temp 62 to 81 F
Oct Temp 42 to 62 F
Annual Precip 49.8 inches
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Provincetown Population (2000)

Category Count Percent
Total Population 3,431 100%
Male 1,839 53.6%
Female 1,592 46.4%
Under 18 273 8%
18+ 3,158 92%
65+ 610 17.8%
Median Age 45.4
Average Family Size 2.65
White 3,004 87.6%
African-American 258 7.5%
Asian 17 0.5%
American Indian & Alaskan 11 0.3%
Other 37 1.1%
Mixed Race 104 3%
Hispanic (included in categories above) 74 2.2%

Estimated Provincetown Population Growth 2000-2005

Category Value
Est. 2005 Population 3,426
Growth -5
Growth % -0.1%

Provincetown 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
Portuguese 22.6%
Irish 13.9%
English 10.4%
Italian 8.7%
Other (often includes Hispanic and African American) 7.5%
French (except Basque) 5%
German 4.5%
US/American 3.6%
European 3.5%
Scottish 2.6%
Scotch-Irish 2.5%
Russian 2.2%
Polish 2%
Swedish 1.4%
Lithuanian 1.1%
French Canadian 1.1%
Albanian 1%
Norwegian 0.6%
Danish 0.5%
Jamaican 0.5%
Dutch 0.5%
Welsh 0.5%
Lebanese 0.4%
Canadian 0.4%
British 0.4%
Hungarian 0.3%
Swiss 0.3%
Brazilian 0.3%
Acadian/Cajun 0.2%
Pennsylvania German 0.2%
Armenian 0.2%
Barbadian 0.2%
Greek 0.2%
Belgian 0.2%
Eastern European 0.2%
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Nearby Cities and Towns

Location Pop. Median Family
Income (2000)
Provincetown 3,431 $39,679
Brewster 10,094 $57,174
Eastham 5,453 $51,269
Orleans 6,341 $62,909
Truro 2,087 $51,389
Wellfleet 2,749 $50,990
Yarmouth 24,807 $48,148

Provincetown Public Libraries

Provincetown Public Library
Provincetown, Massachusetts
(508) 487-7094

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Provincetown High Schools (2004)

Serves 155 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 6.6

Provincetown Colleges

(List of Massachusetts Colleges)

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City, State Similarity   1 Person Houses 65+ College Grads Commute Minutes Family Income Kids 0-4 Non White Pop. Poverty Prop. Crime Seasonal Housing Viol. Crime
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1. Machias, Maine 83.8   37.2% 18.5% 23.5% 13 $36,705 4.3% 4.1% 2,353 23.5% 23.8 2.8% 4.7
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3. Saratoga, Wyoming 75.5   31.9% 17.6% 23.6% 13 $45,362 5% 4.6% 1,726 10% 31.9 10.3% 5.8
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