The Valley

Welcome to the Merrimack Valley

Our Region is as diverse as the North Shore coastline itself

The Merrimack Valley in New England is something extraordinary to behold. From quaint farm country to quintessential seacoast towns, this region offers something for everyone. Diversity is our specialty, and our region is comprised of fifteen unique, proud communities all tied together by a commitment to collaboration and a common, natural thread—the Merrimack River.

Communities: Amesbury; Andover; Boxford; Georgetown; Groveland; Haverhill; Lawrence; Merrimac; Methuen; Newbury; Newburyport; North Andover; Rowley; Salisbury; and West Newbury.

Snapshot of The Valley
The Merrimack Valley encompasses 270 square miles of divergent towns and cities, and is where over 330,000 residents call home. The Upper, or western portion of the Valley is where you’ll find large, former industrial cities such as Lawrence (population 76,377) and Haverhill (population 60,879). Charming seaside communities dominate the Lower, or eastern portion of the Valley. Small, picturesque communities and villages, such as West Newbury (population 4,235) and Groveland (population 6,459) dot the center of the Region.

The Valley isn’t just seacoast towns & rivers.

  • 40% of the Region is forested
  • 26% is devoted to residential uses
  • 20.2% consist of farmland, wetlands & water
  • 5 communities are considered cities

Because of its beauty and diversity, the Valley offers a high quality of life, vast economic opportunities and a natural landscape that make it a wonderful place to live and work, but also a great place to visit. We hope to see you in the Valley soon!

The Valley supports its residents with top education, medical and other key institutions

Public Elementary Education
From preschool through high school, plus two regional vocational technical schools, students benefit from some of the finest educational resources available. The highest standards of quality in education are reflected in area teachers, libraries and resources, the arts, and special programs and athletic programs.

Private Secondary Education
Highly reputable and private, the area’s secondary educational institutions include internationally renowned college preparatory schools: Phillips Academy (Andover); The Brooks School (North Andover); The Governor’s Academy (Byfield); plus, several pre-kindergarten through middle school grades, and prominent Catholic schools.

Higher Education
Students can choose from four excellent higher learning institutions. Merrimack College, founded by the Augustinian Fathers, offers liberal arts and business degree programs for both day and evening students on a scenic 220-acre campus. The Massachusetts School of Law provides quality legal education at its Andover campus. Northern Essex Community College, with campuses in Lawrence and Haverhill, offers a wide variety of liberal arts and professionally focused certificate and degree programs. And Cambridge College in Lawrence offers a wide variety of programs in a newly renovated, historic mill building along the Merrimack River.

Medical Facilities
Lawrence General Hospital is the largest acute healthcare system in the Merrimack Valley. It features the most sophisticated 24-hour emergency response service north of Boston, a newly renovated, family-centered maternity program with private rooms, and a complete range of diagnostic imaging technology including cardiac catheterization and MRI.

Holy Family Hospital in Methuen is part of a Catholic healthcare system, is a 282-bed hospital treating 10,000 inpatients and 150,000 outpatients each year. It offers expectant mothers the comfort of a single labor-delivery-recovery room; operates the area’s largest and most modern cancer management center; performs cardiac catheterization; and serves as the neurosurgical center for the Merrimack Valley.

Holy Family Hospital in Haverhill has 108 acute care beds and 21 transitional care unit beds. All patients are accommodated in private rooms. Its ER handles 25,000 visits per year. Holy Family’s excellent services include: emergency department services, ambulatory and surgical day care, endoscopy, occupational health, outpatient rehabilitation therapy and diagnostic services.

Anna Jaques Hospital in Newburyport, a 123-bed community hospital, is known for outstanding clinical expertise and personal care, and offers a full range of services from maternity through geriatric care. Over 200 talented physicians affiliate with Anna Jaques Hospital; facility staff includes over 500 nurses; technologists, and other health care professionals.


Other Medical Facilities & Services
Whittier Rehabilitation Hospital in Haverhill provides comprehensive inpatient, outpatient and home health services by an interdisciplinary team of rehabilitation professionals.

The Home Health Foundation Family of Agencies includes Home Health VNA, Merrimack Valley Hospice and HomeCare, Inc., delivering home and community-based medical and supportive care to patients in the Merrimack Valley.

The Greater Lawrence Family Health Center operates four neighborhood clinics in Lawrence, two school-based health centers, and the only federally funded Health Care for the Homeless program in the Merrimack Valley. Ten years ago, GLFHC developed the nation’s first accredited community health center-sponsored Family Practice Residency program, which attracts physicians committed to caring for underserved populations.


Beautiful natural landscapes. Diverse economic opportunities. The Merrimack Valley offers something for everyone—and MVPC represents 15 communities as unique and diverse as the Valley itself.

  • Merrimack Valley Planning Commission
    160 Main Street
    Haverhill, MA 01830
    p: 978.374.0519
    f: 978.372.4890

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