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Franklin County, Massachusetts facts for kids

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Franklin County
County of Franklin
Franklin County Courthouse in Greenfield
Franklin County Courthouse in Greenfield
Official seal of Franklin County
Seal
Map of Massachusetts highlighting Franklin County
Location within the U.S. state of Massachusetts
Map of the United States highlighting Massachusetts
Massachusetts's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: Lua error in Module:Coordinates at line 610: attempt to index field 'wikibase' (a nil value).
Country  United States
State  Massachusetts
Founded 1811
Named for Benjamin Franklin
Seat Greenfield
Largest city Greenfield
Area
 • Total 725 sq mi (1,880 km2)
 • Land 699 sq mi (1,810 km2)
 • Water 25 sq mi (60 km2)  3.5%%
Population
 (2020)
 • Total 71,029
 • Density 101.6/sq mi (39.2/km2)
Time zone UTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional districts 1st, 2nd

Franklin County is a nongovernmental county located in the U.S. state of Massachusetts. As of the 2020 census, the population was 71,029, which makes it the least-populous county on the Massachusetts mainland, and the third-least populous county in the state. Its traditional county seat and most populous city is Greenfield. Its largest town by area is New Salem.

Franklin County comprises the Greenfield Town, MA Micropolitan Statistical Area, which is included in the Springfield-Greenfield Town, MA Combined Statistical Area.

History

Franklin County was created on 24 June 1811 from the northern third of Hampshire County. It was named for Benjamin Franklin. Franklin County's government was abolished by the state government in 1997, at the county's request.

Geography and climate

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 725 square miles (1,880 km2), of which 699 square miles (1,810 km2) is land and 25 square miles (65 km2) (3.5%) is water. Central and southern Franklin County is dominated by the northern end of the Pioneer Valley, with steep hills rising on either side of the Connecticut River.

The high point of Franklin County is Crum Hill, 2,841 feet (866 m), located in the town of Monroe.

Climate

The climate in Franklin County is typically cool temperate. The area is also somewhat maritime, with relatively high year-round precipitation. Summers are warm and humid with frequent evening storms, and winters are cool to cold with frequent snow and subfreezing (below 31F) temperatures.

Adjacent counties

Protected areas

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1820 29,268
1830 29,501 0.8%
1840 28,812 −2.3%
1850 30,870 7.1%
1860 31,434 1.8%
1870 32,635 3.8%
1880 36,001 10.3%
1890 38,610 7.2%
1900 41,209 6.7%
1910 43,600 5.8%
1920 49,361 13.2%
1930 49,612 0.5%
1940 49,453 −0.3%
1950 52,747 6.7%
1960 54,864 4.0%
1970 59,210 7.9%
1980 64,317 8.6%
1990 70,092 9.0%
2000 71,535 2.1%
2010 71,372 −0.2%
2020 71,029 −0.5%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2018

2010 census

At the 2010 census, there were 71,372 people, 30,462 households, and 18,317 families in the county. The population density was 102.1 inhabitants per square mile (39.4/km2). There were 33,758 housing units at an average density of 48.3 per square mile (18.6/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 94.2% white, 1.3% Asian, 1.1% black, 0.3% American Indian, 1.0% from other races, and 2.1% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 3.2% of the population. The largest ancestry groups were:

Of the 30,462 households, 26.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.8% were married couples living together, 10.7% had a female householder with no husband present, 39.9% were non-families, and 30.5% of households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.29 and the average family size was 2.85. The median age was 44.2 years.

The median household income was $52,002 and the median family income was $65,760. Males had a median income of $45,480 versus $37,309 for females. The per capita income for the county was $27,544. About 7.7% of families and 11.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 14.8% of those under age 18 and 7.5% of those age 65 or over.

Demographic breakdown by town

Income

See also: List of Massachusetts locations by per capita income

The ranking of unincorporated communities that are included on the list are reflective if the census designated locations and villages were included as cities or towns. Data is from the 2007-2011 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates.

Rank Town Per capita
income
Median
household
income
Median
family
income
Population Number of
households
Deerfield CDP $39,291 $90,625 $91,786 252 83
1 Hawley Town $37,094 $63,750 $79,167 378 154
2 Leverett Town $36,750 $74,500 $87,188 1,756 702
3 Shutesbury Town $36,472 $67,708 $85,972 1,834 745
Massachusetts State $35,051 $65,981 $83,371 6,512,227 2,522,409
4 Whately Town $34,183 $78,750 $89,500 1,529 629
Northfield CDP $33,956 $67,900 $88,068 1,004 440
5 New Salem Town $33,776 $64,833 $72,083 953 402
6 Ashfield Town $33,569 $66,429 $69,375 1,771 742
7 Conway Town $33,385 $80,313 $85,000 1,793 705
8 Deerfield Town $33,111 $69,744 $85,231 5,096 2,145
9 Leyden Town $32,348 $72,500 $78,167 633 272
South Deerfield CDP $31,773 $51,107 $80,147 1,926 931
10 Gill Town $31,288 $59,800 $70,833 1,428 566
11 Sunderland Town $31,090 $54,208 $73,403 3,696 1,525
12 Northfield Town $31,001 $61,667 $73,697 3,034 1,276
13 Shelburne Town $30,751 $59,145 $77,063 1,957 811
14 Heath Town $30,557 $63,333 $72,981 483 214
15 Warwick Town $29,135 $59,531 $67,500 601 269
16 Colrain Town $29,035 $53,813 $64,375 1,729 703
17 Charlemont Town $28,555 $53,281 $64,000 1,160 505
18 Wendell Town $28,480 $56,750 $62,143 1,076 452
19 Rowe Town $28,354 $50,938 $56,667 386 183
Franklin County County $28,313 $52,246 $65,713 71,495 30,362
20 Bernardston Town $28,117 $50,556 $66,000 2,193 948
United States Country $27,915 $52,762 $64,293 306,603,772 114,761,359
21 Buckland Town $27,308 $61,750 $73,125 2,297 869
Shelburne Falls CDP $27,155 $49,635 $62,500 1,886 815
22 Greenfield City $26,229 $46,018 $56,063 17,565 7,717
23 Montague Town $24,823 $41,980 $57,234 8,455 3,733
24 Erving Town $23,775 $53,661 $57,692 1,755 689
Orange CDP $22,652 $50,407 $51,979 3,926 1,534
25 Monroe Town $22,647 $30,714 $56,875 122 72
Turners Falls CDP $22,590 $36,623 $48,796 4,620 2,039
26 Orange Town $22,434 $44,282 $50,536 7,815 3,334
Millers Falls CDP $21,386 $50,550 $58,516 1,129 443

Transportation

Franklin County is served by buses run by the Franklin Regional Transit Authority. Southeastern Franklin County is also served by the Pioneer Valley Transit Authority, with transportation to destinations in neighboring Hampshire County.

Communities

City

Towns

Census-designated places

Other unincorporated communities

Notable residents

  • David Dunnels White, Medal of Honor nominee for capturing Major General Custis Lee, son of Robert E. Lee, at the Battle of Sailors Creek, Virginia, April 6, 1865. He was born in Cheshire, Massachusetts, in 1844, and is buried in the Bozrah Cemetery in East Hawley, Massachusetts, in 1924.
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