Introduction to Shirley, Massachusetts

Shirley, Massachusetts, in Middlesex county, is 17 miles W of Lowell, Massachusetts and 32 miles NW of Boston, Massachusetts. There are an estimated 6,373 people in the town.

Shirley History

The first permanent European settlement in the area was founded sometime around 1720. The area was once part of the Plantation of Groton, Shirley separated from Groton and was incorporated in 1753. The town was named after William Shirley, the Governor of Massachusetts from 1741 to 1757.

Shirley and nearby Attractions

  • American Textile History Museum
  • Ralph Waldo Emerson Memorial House
  • Benjamin Hill Recreation Area
  • Stone Zoo
  • Wyman's Beach
  • Doyle Field

Things To Do In Shirley

Local museums include the Hands-On Art Museum and Fruitlands Museum. The Charles River Canoe Center offers opportunities for canoeing, while the Benjamin Hill Recreation Area is accessible from Shirley as well. Wyman's Beach is the nearest beach.

Shirley Transportation

Boston Logan International is the nearest major airport.

Shirley Higher Education

Nearby colleges and universities include Fitchburg State College, Middlesex Community College, Brandeis University and Quinsigamond Community College, among others.


Total Population 1,321
Male Share of the Population 44.9%
Female Share of the Population 55.1%
Senior Citizens 17.7%
Employed Population 16+ 560
Age of the Population 47


% of people married 47.9%
Average household size 2

Education and Earnings

Population % with Bachelor Degree or Higher 25.7%
Median Earnings25+ $30,096
Median Earnings Without High School Qualification $13,977
Median Earnings With High School Degree $17,946


Median Family Income $66,538
% Above Poverty Level 77.2%
% Below Poverty Level 22.8%

Commute & Sprawl

Average Commute Time 27 minutes
% Working from Home 6.4%
% Walking and Biking to Work 1.8%
% Using Public Transportation 3.8%


People Living Alone 37.2%
Median Gross Rent $772
Median House Value $190,600


Other(often includes Hispanic and African American) 15.4%
US/American 0%
English 18.6%
Irish 34.6%

Shirley Almanac

Category Value
Nearest Medium City 17 miles W of Lowell, Massachusetts (center to center)
Nearest Large City 32 miles NW of Boston, Massachusetts
County Middlesex
Standard Zip Codes 01464
Phone Area Codes 978
Time Zone Eastern (-5 hours from GMT)
Daylight Savings The city observes Daylight Saving Time.
Latitude 42.543
Longitude -71.65

Shirley Climate

Nearest Weather Stations


  • Temp ranges are avg daily min and max for the month
  • Precipitation is rainfall (and rainfall equiv of snowfall)

Distance 10.1 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
Station LOWELL
Distance 16.2 miles
Jan Temp 14 to 33 F
Apr Temp 35 to 58 F
Jul Temp 60 to 85 F
Oct Temp 38 to 62 F
Annual Precip 43.1 inches
Distance 19.2 miles
Jan Temp 16 to 35 F
Apr Temp 36 to 58 F
Jul Temp 60 to 83 F
Oct Temp 39 to 62 F
Annual Precip 46.9 inches

Neighborhood and Nearby Area Names

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

Shirley Center (01464)

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

Nearby Cities and Towns

Location Population Median Family Income
Ayer 2,930 $70,216
Groton 939 $118,285
Harvard 6,558 $150,859
Lancaster 8,026 $98,813
Leominster 40,954 $78,273
Lunenburg 1,831 $74,402

Shirley Public Libraries

Hazen Memorial Library
Shirley, Massachusetts
(978) 425-2620

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More Information for Librarians

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Info for Shirley Government Officials

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