Shirley Population Growth
Shirley, Massachusetts

1753 -              (33 men signed the petition to be set off from Groton as a separate town)
1765 -  430      (72 families in 41 houses)
1765 -             (Stow Leg Annexed, adding land and houses on our southern border)
1776 -  704
1790 -  677
1798 -             (Nonaicoicus annexed, adding land and houses on our southeastern border)
1800 -  713
1810 -  814
1820 -  922
1830 -  991
1840 -  957
1850 - 1158  (6 colored, 1152 white)
1860 - 1468  (1 colored, 1467 white)
1865 - 1217
1867 -                       388 polls  (those men who paid poll tax in order to vote)
1870 - 1451 (1 colored, 1450 white)     (also listed as 289 foreign, 1162 native)
1871-            (Ayer was incorporated, taking away land and houses on our southeastern side)
1875 - 1352
1880 - 1366              354 polls
1890 -
1899 -                       410 polls
1900 - 1680
1910 -  2139             524 polls  This includes Industrial School for Boys inmates
1915 - 2251              621 polls
1916 -                       579 polls
1917 -                       550 polls
1918 -                       557 polls
1919 -                       514 polls
1920 - 2260              511 polls
1921 -                       521 polls  (another listing said 597 with many exempt)
1922 -                       641 polls
1923 -                       623 polls
1924 -                       642 polls
1925 - 2394              646 polls
1926 -                       635 polls
1927 -                       637 polls
1928 -                       650 polls
1929 -                       609 polls
1930 - 2427              615 polls
1935 - 2548              665 polls
1940 - 2501              801 polls    The State listing was 2,608
1945 - 2,459             799 polls
1950 - 2,900(4,279)  744 polls    The State listing was 4,271
            (   )  indicates population including those living on Shirley property within Fort Devens
1955 - 3,240(4,739)  767 polls
1960 - 3,581(5,202)  664 polls    
1970 -  (4.909)                                        
1980 - (5,124)                                         
1990 - (6,118)                                           
With a land area of 15 square miles, in 1990, Shirley was listed as having an average of 386.6 people per square mile.
1998 - 6,163    Plus 1,300 prison inmates
2000 - 6,373
2010 - 7,211

Much of the 19th Century information is taken from Seth Chandler's History of Shirley.
Much of the 20th Century information is taken from Tax and Valuation reports
For additional population information, go to the Massachusetts Institute for Social research at www.mass.edu/miser                                                                                              Return to Shirley Links

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