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Somerville ( SUM-ər-vil) is a city located directly to the northwest of Boston, and north of Cambridge, in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States. As of 2019, the United States Census estimated the city to have a total population of 81,360 people. With an area of 4.11 square miles, the city has a density of 19,893 people per square mile, making it the most densely populated municipality in New England, and the 16th most densely populated incorporated municipality in the country. Somerville was established as a town in 1842, when it was separated from Charlestown. In 2006, the city was named the best-run city in Massachusetts by the Boston Globe. In 1972, in 2009, and again in 2015, the city received the All-America City Award. It is home to Tufts University, which has its campus along the Somerville and Medford border.
The territory now comprising the city of Somerville was first settled in 1629 as part of Charlestown. In 1629, English surveyor Thomas Graves led a scouting party of 100 Puritans from the settlement of Salem to prepare the site for the Great Migration of Puritans from England. Graves was attracted to the narrow Mishawum Peninsula between the Charles River and the Mystic River, linked to the mainland at the present-day Sullivan Square.