New Bedford, United States

Travel to New Bedford

New Bedford is in Massachusetts on the southern coast. New Bedford's excellent harbor made it a natural fishing and whaling center. It was the world's premier whaling port in the 19th century, and, for a time, "the richest city in the world" and "the city that lit the world" because of whale oil production.

New Bedford is a city of 95,000 people (2019), many of Portuguese (particularly Madeira) or Cape Verdean ancestry, still with a great many off the boat immigrants from both. The city has gone through strongly contrasting cycles of poverty and wealth, from its relatively late (by Southeast Massachusetts standards) settlement and foundation, to the peak of the whaling industry, its growth as a textile city in the 20th Century, and the subsequent crash brought on by rapid mill closure in the latter 20th century. It's been known as one of the rougher, seedier locales of New England for a number of decades now, but it's strongly on the upswing since the historic center was declared a federally protected historic site in 1996.

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