Hampshire County, Massachusetts facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Hampshire County, Massachusetts
Seal of Hampshire County, Massachusetts
Map
Map of Massachusetts highlighting Hampshire County
Location in the state of Massachusetts
Map of the USA highlighting Massachusetts
Massachusetts's location in the U.S.
Statistics
Founded 1662
Seat Northampton
Largest town Amherst
Area
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

545 sq mi (1,412 km²)
527 sq mi (1,365 km²)
18 sq mi (47 km²), 3.3%
Population
 - (2010)
 - Density

158,080
300/sq mi (116/km²)
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4
Website: www.hampshirecog.org
Named for: Hampshire, England

Hampshire County is a historical and judicial county located in the U.S. state of Massachusetts. It has no county government. Instead there is a Hampshire Council of Governments. As of the 2010 census, the population was 158,080. Its most populous municipality is Amherst, and its county seat is Northampton. The county is named after the county Hampshire, in England.

Hampshire County is part of the Springfield, MA Metropolitan Statistical Area.

History

Hampshire County was constituted in 1662 from previously unorganized territory comprising the entire western part of Massachusetts Bay Colony. It included the original towns of Springfield, Northampton, and Hadley. The original Hampshire County included territory that is now in modern-day Hampden County, Franklin County, and Berkshire County, as well as small parts of modern-day Worcester County. By 1683, three new towns (Westfield (now Southwick), Suffield, and Enfield) had been incorporated south of Springfield. These towns were partly or wholly in the modern state of Connecticut at the time of their incorporation and resulted in a border dispute between the Connecticut Colony and Massachusetts Bay Colony.

In 1731, Worcester County was created, which included the original town of Brookfield (incorporated in 1718 as part of Hampshire County). More territory was lost to Worcester County in 1742 when the town of Western (now Warren) was created and added to Worcester County. Further territorial losses occurred in 1749 when the towns of Enfield, Somers (split off from Enfield in 1734), and Suffield unilaterally joined Connecticut Colony. In 1761, Berkshire County was created resulting in even more territorial loss for Hampshire County. In 1811, Franklin County was split off from the northern part of Hampshire, and in the following year, Hampden County was split off from the southern part of Hampshire.

Like a number of Massachusetts counties, Hampshire County exists today both as a historical geographic region and a judicial district; it has no county government. Many former county functions were assumed by state agencies in 1999. The sheriff and some other regional officials with specific duties are still elected county-wide to perform duties within the region. The Hampshire Council of Governments, with elected councilors from 15 towns, provides many regional services, though otherwise there is no county council or commissioners. Together with Hampden County, Hampshire County municipalities belong to the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission.

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 545 square miles (1,410 km2), of which 527 square miles (1,360 km2) is land and 18 square miles (47 km2) (3.3%) is water.

Hampshire County is the middle section of the Pioneer Valley, and the northern tip of the Hartford-Springfield Knowledge Corridor.

Adjacent counties

Hampshire County is the only county in Massachusetts surrounded in all directions by other counties of Massachusetts: all other counties in the state are adjacent to at least one other state or the open ocean.

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1790 59,656
1800 72,432 21.4%
1810 76,275 5.3%
1820 26,487 −65.3%
1830 30,254 14.2%
1840 30,897 2.1%
1850 35,732 15.6%
1860 37,823 5.9%
1870 44,388 17.4%
1880 47,232 6.4%
1890 51,859 9.8%
1900 58,820 13.4%
1910 63,327 7.7%
1920 69,599 9.9%
1930 72,801 4.6%
1940 72,461 −0.5%
1950 87,594 20.9%
1960 103,229 17.8%
1970 123,981 20.1%
1980 138,813 12.0%
1990 146,568 5.6%
2000 152,251 3.9%
2010 158,080 3.8%
Est. 2015 161,292 2.0%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2013

2000 census

As of the census of 2000, there were 152,251 people, 55,991 households, and 33,818 families residing in the county. The population density was 288 people per square mile (111/km²). There were 58,644 housing units at an average density of 111 per square mile (43/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 91.10% White, 1.96% Black or African American, 0.19% Native American, 3.40% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 1.50% from other races, and 1.80% from two or more races. 3.42% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 14.7% were of Irish, 12.8% Polish, 9.6% English, 9.5% French, 8.5% French Canadian, 6.9% Italian and 6.4% German ancestry according to Census 2000. 88.8% spoke English, 3.4% Spanish, 1.7% French and 1.4% Polish as their first language.

There were 55,991 households out of which 28.20% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.40% were married couples living together, 9.80% had a female householder with no husband present, and 39.60% were non-families. 28.60% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.20% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.39 and the average family size was 2.96.

In the county, the population was spread out with 19.60% under the age of 18, 19.30% from 18 to 24, 26.80% from 25 to 44, 22.20% from 45 to 64, and 12.00% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 87.40 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 83.90 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $46,098, and the median income for a family was $57,480. Males had a median income of $39,327 versus $30,362 for females. The per capita income for the county was $21,685. About 5.10% of families and 9.40% of the population were below the poverty line, including 8.20% of those under age 18 and 6.70% of those age 65 or over.

2010 census

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 158,080 people, 58,702 households, and 34,480 families residing in the county. The population density was 299.8 inhabitants per square mile (115.8/km2). There were 62,603 housing units at an average density of 118.7 per square mile (45.8/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 88.7% white, 4.5% Asian, 2.5% black or African American, 0.2% American Indian, 1.5% from other races, and 2.5% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 4.7% of the population. In terms of ancestry, 22.2% were Irish, 14.4% were French, 14.3% were Polish, 14.2% were English, 10.8% were German, 9.1% were Italian, 7.1% were French Canadian, and 2.6% were American.

Of the 58,702 households, 26.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.8% were married couples living together, 10.3% had a female householder with no husband present, 41.3% were non-families, and 29.7% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.34 and the average family size was 2.89. The median age was 36.6 years.

The median income for a household in the county was $59,505 and the median income for a family was $80,891. Males had a median income of $52,686 versus $43,219 for females. The per capita income for the county was $28,367. About 6.2% of families and 11.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.8% of those under age 18 and 7.8% 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
1 Pelham Town $50,367 $83,667 $97,875 1,290 556
2 Williamsburg Town $35,500 $62,851 $86,136 2,543 1,158
Hatfield CDP $35,150 $62,212 $93,750 1,390 665
Massachusetts State $35,051 $65,981 $83,371 6,512,227 2,522,409
3 Westhampton Town $34,337 $82,759 $88,500 1,590 632
Granby CDP $33,819 $77,292 $87,132 1,415 598
4 Hatfield Town $33,452 $53,485 $80,833 3,272 1,560
5 Worthington Town $33,360 $64,063 $75,417 1,181 532
6 Northampton City $33,175 $54,413 $77,998 28,621 11,853
7 Belchertown Town $32,898 $75,502 $94,232 14,479 5,605
8 Goshen Town $32,734 $77,917 $76,667 1,121 443
9 Southampton Town $32,548 $76,396 $85,521 5,758 2,261
10 Chesterfield Town $31,730 $59,063 $69,766 1,043 469
11 Hadley Town $31,727 $75,313 $86,106 5,209 2,048
12 Granby Town $31,409 $70,362 $82,684 6,232 2,619
13 Middlefield Town $31,110 $58,958 $78,281 431 190
14 Easthampton City $30,894 $53,185 $78,166 16,051 7,458
15 Huntington Town $29,245 $55,917 $73,438 2,219 933
16 Cummington Town $29,225 $58,750 $67,143 1,046 430
Hampshire County County $29,113 $60,331 $82,999 157,630 58,921
17 South Hadley Town $29,067 $62,532 $80,794 17,493 6,787
United States Country $27,915 $52,762 $64,293 306,603,772 114,761,359
18 Plainfield Town $27,758 $61,719 $66,250 589 247
Belchertown CDP $27,133 $47,863 $79,135 2,557 1,160
19 Ware Town $26,910 $50,712 $66,287 9,851 4,369
South Amherst CDP $23,823 $61,250 $95,625 4,760 1,435
Ware CDP $22,088 $37,040 $51,193 6,003 2,771
Huntington CDP $21,374 $40,486 $54,375 937 423
20 Amherst Town $21,049 $52,281 $100,304 37,611 8,771
North Amherst CDP $17,167 $33,093 $84,083 7,114 1,953
Amherst Center CDP $14,017 $44,604 $99,087 19,347 2,715

Communities

Cities

Towns

Census-designated places

Other unincorporated communities

Former towns

The following towns were disincorporated for the creation of the Quabbin Reservoir.


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