What is Metrowest?
The Metrowest region of Massachusetts is comprised of many different municipalities. Each of which has their own distinct characteristics and distinguishing economic traits.
Metrowest generally encompasses communities that lie between Boston and Worcester and range in various distances north and south of the Massachusetts Turnpike. The undisputed fact, is that the City of Framingham, which lies midway between Boston and Worcester, and is the only town or city other than the other two, to have two exits on the Turnpike, is considered the hub of Metrowest.
The first known use of the term “Metrowest” to describe the region was by a Middlesex Daily News reporter. The term caught on, and eventually, that newspaper changed their name to Metrowest Daily News. Today there are scores of organizations who include the word Metrowest in their names.
Depending upon who’s doing the defining, communities in the #Metrowest region include:
Some organizations include all of these communities in their definition and others focus on different sub-groups of communities to define their service regions. The one consistent is that Framingham and Natick are on every list, and Framingham is by far, the community with the largest population and economic engine of any community, regardless of the Metrowest region definition.
The Metrowest Economic Research Council (MERC) based at Framingham State University has been collecting economic and demographic data on the region for decades. Their definition of Metrowest has nine municipalities; Ashland, Framingham, Holliston, Hopkinton, Natick, Sherborn Southborough, Sudbury, and Wayland.
They also collect data for what they call the Greater Marlborough Region (GMR) which includes the four communities of Hudson, Marlborough, Northborough and Westborough.
When present data it is often in terms of the Greater Metrowest Region (GMR) which encompasses the following thirteen cities and towns: Ashland, Framingham, Holliston, Hopkinton, Hudson, Marlborough, Natick, Northborough, Sherborn, Southborough, Sudbury, Wayland and Westborough.
The Metrowest Health Foundation's definition of the region is based on where the donors lived when the Framingham Union and Leonard Morse Hosptials were built. Those 25 communities are: Ashland, Bellingham, Dover, Framingham, Franklin, Holliston, Hopedale, Hopkinton, Hudson, Marlborough, Medfield, Medway, Mendon, Milford, Millis, Natick, Needham, Norfolk, Northborough, Sherborn, Southborough, Sudbury, Wayland, Wellesley and Westborough.