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Hitting Home: Part I, The Economy

The Rich History of a Poor City

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April 13, 2008

Built in the 1840s, Lawrence was the nation's first planned industrial city.

By the early 1900s, it was a world leader in producing cotton and woolen textiles.

Known as the "immigrant city," Lawrence has seen waves of Irish, English, French-Canadians, Germans, Italians, Poles, Lithuanians, Syrians, Puerto Ricans, Dominicans, Vietnamese, and Cambodians throughout its history.

It is the poorest city in Massachusetts, with a per-capita income of $13,360.

21% of the population and 31% of its children live below the poverty line.

Estimated median house/condo value in Lawrence: $237,700
In Massachusetts: $361,500

Unemployment rate (September 2007) in Lawrence: 8.5%
In Massachusetts: 4.4%

Estimated median household income in Lawrence: $31,604
In Massachusetts: $57,184

hitting home: a three-part series

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