City and Town Governments

Each city and town is structured according to the rules and regulation it established and may have amended over the years. Some communities may have a board of selectmen and women and might have a town manager. And, while most cities have mayors and city councilors, not all do. Generally speaking, no state office directly oversees local offices and departments. There are 39 cities, 312 towns in 14 counties.

Helpful Telephone Numbers to Your City or Town Hall

Massachusetts City and Town Incorporation and Settlement Dates

Archaic, district, neighborhood, section, and village names

Citizen’s Guide to Town Meeting

Motor Vehicle Excise Tax

Property Tax and Abatement

Property Tax Exemptions

Statewide City and Town Map (PDF)


Oldest, Newest, Largest and Smallest Communities:

  • Geographic center of Massachusetts is the Town of Rutland in Worcester County.

  • Oldest town: Plymouth incorporated 1620

  • Oldest city: Boston incorporated 1820

  • Newest town: East Brookfield incorporated 1920

  • Newest city: GARDNER incorporated 1923

  • Smallest by population: Town of Gosnold, 75 / City of North Adams, 13,708

  • Smallest by square miles: Town of Nahant, 1.04 / City of Chelsea, 1.86

  • Largest by population: Town of Framingham, 68,318 / City of Boston, 617,594

  • Largest by square miles: Town of Plymouth, 97.57 / City of Taunton, 47.29

    (Population figures are based on the 2010 Census)