Lunenburg and Littleton are two of the state's top five fastest-growing municipalities, according to 2018 U.S. Census Bureau estimates.
Population in both towns increased significantly between 2010 and 2018, according to the yearly estimate. Lunenburg's population surged 15.58% in the eight-year span, and Littleton's population grew by 14.76%.
"Lunenburg is a great place to live and I understand why people want to be here," said Adam Burney, Lunenburg land use director.
In his four years of living in Lunenburg, Burney has witnessed much growth in the town of around 11,675 current residents.
"People come for the rural atmosphere," he said, from woodlands to conservation areas. Lunenburg boasts over 800 acres of protected farmland.
Parents often head west of Boston to raise families, Burney explained. For the price of a small place in the city, they can find a bigger house with a yard in the suburbs.
Plus, Lunenburg is just north of Route 2, which facilitates travel to the city.
If it isn't the land that draws families to Lunenburg, Burney said, there's a good chance it's the school system.
"We have historically had a quality school system," he said. "They take their charge of educating our children seriously."
In 2018, Lunenburg High School's four-year graduation rate was 97.9%, compared to the state graduation rate of 87.8%.
In terms of housing development in Lunenburg, big changes may be on the way. The planning board is currently considering a proposal for a 122-unit subdivision of single-family homes in a mostly residential area off Howard Street, according to Burney.
"With all of the growth that we've gotten, we've also gotten some challenges," Burney admitted.
He is concerned that there will not be enough commercial growth to please new residents and produce the tax revenue needed to fund areas such as public schools, police and fire forces.
"People who are newly moved here are generally welcomed," he said. "It's my hope that we can balance that with some thoughtful and appropriate commercial growth that would provide us with the balance that our tax base would need," he continued.
Littleton Town Planner Maren Toohill said the roughly 10,241-person town has seen major changes in the last 10 to 15 years, including a steady increase in residential development.
"It's a logical place to want to live to get to work," she said, noting that Interstate 495 and Route 2 pass right through town.
Quality schools are another plus, according to Toohill.
"The Littleton school system has been known as being very strong for a number of years," she said.
Littleton High School's four-year graduation rate was 97.2% in 2018.
Cheryl Cowley, proprietor of Littleton-based Cowley Associates Real Estate, said many of her clients are drawn by the public schools' small class sizes and options for advanced placement and special needs.
Aside from a "well-rated" school system, Cowley touted the town's picturesque Long Lake Beach and public parks, and The Point, a recently constructed shopping center on Constitution Avenue.
With all the development, Cowley said, "I'm concerned about school systems and infrastructure being able to keep up."
But she doesn't blame new residents for wanting to set roots in Littleton. "What a wonderful town it is," she said.
Nicole DeFeudis: @Nicole_DeFeudis on Twitter