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Acton was first settled by Native Americans who used the Assabet, Sudbury and Concord rivers for transportation and the fields for farming seasonal crops.
There is evidence of Native American settlements in Acton which go back 7000 years.
23.0% of all households were occupied by individuals 65 years of age or older living alone. For every 100 females age eighteen and over, there were 94.2 males.
The age distribution of the population was 29.5% under the age of 18, 4.3% from 18 to 24, 31.5% from 25 to 44, 26.4% from 45 to 64, and 8.4% 65 years of age or older. For those age 25 years or older in Acton during the 2000 census, 97.2% had a high school degree or higher, 72.0% had a bachelor's degree or higher, and 40.5% had a graduate degree or higher.
Also, 98.0% were employed with a mean commute time of 31.0 minutes.
The median income for a household in the town is 3,532, and the median income for a family is 6,388.
The current geography of Acton was created when the last wave of glaciers retreated approximately ten thousand years ago.
At the beginning of the Revolutionary War, on April 19, 1775, a company of minutemen from Acton responded to the call to arms initiated by Paul Revere (who rode with other riders, William Dawes and Samuel Prescott, with Prescott the only one of the three who was able reach Acton itself) and fought at the North Bridge in Concord as part of the Battle of Lexington and Concord.
The Acton minutemen were led by Captain Isaac Davis.
When a company was needed to lead the advance on the bridge which was defended by the British regulars, Captain Davis was heard to reply, "I haven't a man who is afraid to go." The Acton men led because, unlike other militias there, they were fully equipped with bayonets.
The population density was 1,080.5 per square mile (417.0/km²).
There were 8,530 total housing units, 96% of which were occupied, at an average density of 384.6 per square mile (148.5/km²).
In Acton they refer to "the battle of Lexington, fought in Concord, by men of Acton." During the 19th century, Acton participated in the growing Industrial Revolution.