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Shirley, Massachusetts

Shirley is a town located in Middlesex County, Massachusetts. As of the 2000 census, the town had a total population of 6,373.

For geographic and demographic information on the census-designated place Shirley, please see the article Shirley (CDP), Massachusetts.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 41.2 km² (15.9 mi²). 41.0 km² (15.8 mi²) of it is land and 0.2 km² (0.1 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 0.50% water.


As of the census of 2000, there are 6,373 people, 2,067 households, and 1,426 families residing in the town. The population density is 155.5/km² (402.7/mi²). There are 2,156 housing units at an average density of 52.6 persons/km² (136.2 persons/mi²). The racial makeup of the town is 83.90% White, 6.72% African American, 0.47% Native American, 2.10% Asian, 0.08% Pacific Islander, 5.12% from other races, and 1.62% from two or more races. 6.86% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There are 2,067 households out of which 34.2% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.2% are married couples living together, 9.3% have a woman whose husband does not live with her, and 31.0% are non-families. 25.4% of all households are made up of individuals and 8.7% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.55 and the average family size is 3.09.

In the town the population is spread out with 21.7% under the age of 18, 7.6% from 18 to 24, 39.2% from 25 to 44, 22.3% from 45 to 64, and 9.2% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 37 years. For every 100 females there are 137.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 151.8 males.

The median income for a household in the town is $53,344, and the median income for a family is $66,250. Males have a median income of $42,078 versus $32,130 for females. The per capita income for the town is $20,556. 3.3% of the population and 1.9% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total people living in poverty, 2.1% are under the age of 18 and 4.4% are 65 or older.