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city, Middlesex county, eastern Massachusetts, U.S. A northern suburb of Boston, it lies along the Malden River, a branch of the Mystic River. Settled in 1640, it became a part of Charlestown and was known as the Mystic Side. In 1649 it was incorporated as a town and named for Malden (now part of Kingston upon Thames, London), England. The city became an industrial centre in the 19th century, and its economy is now largely service-oriented (including health care, government, telecommunications, and financial services). The main offices of the Massachusetts Department of Education are located there. Recreational areas include Pine Banks Park, Middlesex Fells Reservation (in part), and Fellsmere Park. Inc. city, 1882. Pop. (1990) 53,884; (2000) 56,340.