Massachusetts is traditionally industrial, and, with its predominantly urban population, is one of the most densely settled states in the nation. Its many, diverse manufactures include electrical and electronic equipment, industrial equipment, technical instruments, plastic products, paper and paper products, machinery, tools, and metal and rubber products. Shipping, printing, and publishing are also important, and the jewelry industry dates from before the American Revolution.
Leading agricultural products include cranberries, greenhouse and nursery items, apples, and milk and other dairy goods. Commercial fishing, chiefly from Gloucester and New Bedford, and shellfishing have declined in recent years. Lime, clay, sand, gravel, and stone dominate the state's small mineral output.
High-technology research and development, finance, and trade are all prominent in the commonwealth's economy. The service sector, in which tourism is primary, now employs over one third of Massachusetts workers.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.