Chelmsford is a suburban town in Middlesex County, Massachusetts in the Greater Boston area. As of the United States 2000 Census, the town's population was 33,858. The Census Bureau's 2008 population estimate for the town was 34,409, ranking it 14th in population among the 54 municipalities in Middlesex county. It is located 24 miles (39 km) from Boston and, bordering on the city of Lowell, is part of the Greater Lowell metropolitan area. Besides Lowell on its northeast, Chelmsford is surrounded by five towns: Tyngsborough to the north, Tewksbury to the east, Billerica to the southeast, Carlisle to the south, and Westford to the west. Chelmsford is bordered by two sizable rivers: the Merrimack River to the north, and the Concord River to the east. Named after Chelmsford, England, the town was incorporated in May 1655 by an act of the Massachusetts General Court. When Chelmsford was incorporated, its local economy was fueled by lumber mills, limestone quarries and kilns. The Chelmsford militia played a role in the American Revolution at the Battle of Lexington and Concord and the Battle of Bunker Hill. The farming community of East Chelmsford was incorporated as Lowell in the 1820s; over the next decades it would go on to become one of the first large-scale factory towns in the United States because of its early role in the country's Industrial Revolution. Chelmsford experienced a drastic increase in population between 1950 and 1970, coinciding with the connection of US Route 3 in Lowell to Massachusetts Route 128 in the 1950s and the extension of US Route 3 from Chelmsford to New Hampshire in the 1960s. Chelmsford has a representative town meeting form of government. The current town manager is Paul Cohen. The town has one public high school – Chelmsford High School – as well as two middle schools, four elementary schools, and a charter middle school and high school. In 2007, Chelmsford was declared the 21st best place to live in the United States by Money magazine.