Fitchburg is a city located in Worcester County, Massachusetts. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 39,102. The Northern Worcester County Registry of Deeds, est. 1903, was the only county function located in Fitchburg; all other functions were housed in Worcester, until the abolishment of the county government system in Massachusetts in 1998.
Fitchburg is located at 42°34'43" North, 71°48'12" West (42.578689, -71.803383).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 72.7 km2 (28.1 mi2). 71.9 km2 (27.8 mi2) of it is land and 0.8 km2 (0.3 mi2) of it is water. The total area is 1.07% water. Fitchburg is the second hilliest city in the United States following San Francisco.
As of the census of 2000, there are 39,102 people, 14,943 households, and 9,369 families residing in the city. The population density is 543.9/km2 (1,408.5/mi2). There are 16,002 housing units at an average density of 222.6/km2 (576.4/mi2). The racial makeup of the city is 81.86% White, 3.65% African American, 0.35% Native American, 4.27% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 6.78% from other races, and 3.06% from two or more races. 14.97% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There are 14,943 households out of which 31.0% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.1% are married couples living together, 14.6% have a female householder with no husband present, and 37.3% are non-families. 30.3% of all households are made up of individuals and 12.0% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.50 and the average family size is 3.13.
In the city the population is spread out with 25.8% under the age of 18, 11.6% from 18 to 24, 28.8% from 25 to 44, 19.2% from 45 to 64, and 14.6% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 34 years. For every 100 females there are 91.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 87.7 males.
The median income for a household in the city is $37,004, and the median income for a family is $43,291. Males have a median income of $35,855 versus $26,558 for females. The per capita income for the city is $17,256. 15.0% of the population and 12.1% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 21.1% of those under the age of 18 and 11.2% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.
Fitchburg was first settled in 1730 and was officially incorporated in 1764. It is named for John Fitch, a settler. In 1748, Fitch and his family were abducted to Canada by Native Americans, but returned the next year.
Situated on both the Nashua River and the railroad line which runs through the Hoosac Tunnel between Boston and Albany, NY, Fitchburg was a 19th century industrial center. Operated by water power, large mills produced machines, tools, clothing and paper. The city is noted for its architecture, particularly in the Victorian style, built at the height of its manufacturing prosperity.