Lowell () is a city in the U.S. Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The city is, along with Cambridge, one of two traditional county seats for Middlesex County, although most county government entities were disbanded in 1999. With an estimated population of 110,997 in 2019, it was the fourth-largest city in Massachusetts as of the last census and is estimated to be the fifth-largest as of 2018, and the second-largest in the Boston metropolitan statistical area. The city is also part of a smaller Massachusetts statistical area called Greater Lowell, as well as New England's Merrimack Valley region.
Incorporated in 1826 to serve as a mill town, Lowell was named after Francis Cabot Lowell, a local figure in the Industrial Revolution. The city became known as the cradle of the American Industrial Revolution, due to a large series of textile mills and factories. Many of the Lowell's historic manufacturing sites were later preserved by the National Park Service to create Lowell National Historical Park. During the Cambodian genocide, the city took in an influx of refugees, leading to a Cambodia Town and America's second-largest Cambodian-American population.
Lowell is home to two institutions of higher education.
Founded in the 1820s as a planned manufacturing center for textiles, Lowell is located along the rapids of the Merrimack River, 25 mi (40 km) northwest of Boston in what was once the farming community of East Chelmsford, Massachusetts. The so-called Boston Associates, including Nathan Appleton and Patrick Tracy Jackson of the Boston Manufacturing Company, named the new mill town after their visionary leader, Francis Cabot Lowell, who had died five years before its 1823 incorporation.