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Ayer, Massachusetts

From Academic Kids

Ayer is a town located in Middlesex County, Massachusetts. As of the 2000 census, the town had a total population of 7,287.

For geographic and demographic information on specific parts of the town of Ayer, please see the articles on Ayer (CDP) and Fort Devens.

Contents

History

Ayer's history dates back to 1667 when the first mill, used to grind corn in the agricultural community, was built. The settlement sits on what Nipmuc Indians called Nainacocius. A brook remains with that name. Originally part of Groton, the area that became the town of Ayer was called Groton Junction because of the rails and as South Groton. The Town was incorporated in 1871 and was named in honor of Dr. James Cook Ayer, a prominent resident of Lowell who provided the funding for the recently restored Ayer Town Hall. The Town's growth was influenced by a period of rapid development of railroad transportation. Though only 9.5 square miles in area the Town became a major junction for both east-west and north-south rail lines, and developed into an important commercial center oriented towards the rail industry.

During the Civil War an army camp, Camp Stevens, was established here; that camp later became known as Camp Devens, and eventually as Fort Devens. The presence of thousands of military and civilian personnel on the base shifted Ayer's commercial development towards meeting their needs until Fort Devens was closed in 1994.

The Town today is a reflection of its history. Within its relatively small area the Town boasts numerous industries, a thriving, historical downtown, unique to the region and modern commuter rail service to Boston.

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 24.8 km² (9.6 mi²). 23.4 km² (9.0 mi²) of it is land and 1.4 km² (0.6 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 5.75% water.

Demographics

As of the census2 of 2000, there are 7,287 people, 2,982 households, and 1,774 families residing in the town. The population density is 311.9/km² (808.1/mi²). There are 3,154 housing units at an average density of 135.0/km² (349.8/mi²). The racial makeup of the town is 85.92% White, 5.70% Black or African American, 0.26% Native American, 2.90% Asian, 0.14% Pacific Islander, 2.28% from other races, and 2.81% from two or more races. 4.69% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race. The handful of Korean markets and stores serves the spread out Korean population, many of them warbrides and their families from Fort Devens.

There are 2,982 households out of which 29.4% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.9% are married couples living together, 12.2% have a female householder with no husband present, and 40.5% are non-families. 32.8% of all households are made up of individuals and 8.9% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.29 and the average family size is 2.94.

In the town the population is spread out with 24.0% under the age of 18, 8.9% from 18 to 24, 36.3% from 25 to 44, 18.9% from 45 to 64, and 12.0% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 35 years. For every 100 females there are 96.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 93.9 males.

The median income for a household in the town is $46,619, and the median income for a family is $61,968. Males have a median income of $44,092 versus $32,418 for females. The per capita income for the town is $26,400. 10.8% of the population and 6.1% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 9.5% of those under the age of 18 and 11.7% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.

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