Worcester ( WUUSS-tər, locally also i WISS-tə) is a city and the historic county seat of Worcester County, Massachusetts, United States until Massachusetts disbanded county government in 1998. Named after Worcester, England, as of the 2010 Census the city's population was 181,045, making it the second largest city in New England after Boston.
Worcester is located approximately 40 miles (64 km) west of Boston, and 38 miles (61 km) east of Springfield. Due to its location in Central Massachusetts, amidst Massachusetts' major metropolitan regions, Worcester is known as the "Heart of the Commonwealth", thus, a heart is the official symbol of the city. However, the heart symbol may also have its provenance in lore that Valentine's Day cards were invented in the city.
Worcester was considered its own region for centuries; however, with the encroachment of Boston's suburbs in the 1970s after the construction of Interstate 495 and Interstate 290, it now marks the western periphery of the Boston-Worcester-Providence (MA-RI-NH) U.S. Census Combined Statistical Area (CSA), or Greater Boston. The city features many examples of Victorian-era mill architecture.