Middlesex County, Massachusetts facts for kids

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Middlesex County, Massachusetts
Seal of Middlesex County, Massachusetts
Map
Map of Massachusetts highlighting Middlesex County
Location in the state of Massachusetts
Map of the USA highlighting Massachusetts
Massachusetts's location in the U.S.
Statistics
Founded May 10, 1643
Seat Lowell and Cambridge
Largest City Lowell
Area
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

847 sq mi (2,194 km²)
818 sq mi (2,119 km²)
29 sq mi (75 km²), 3.5%
Population
 - (2010)
 - Density

1,503,085
1,838/sq mi (710/km²)
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4

Middlesex County is a county in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, in the United States. As of 2014, the estimated population was 1,570,315, making it the twenty-third most populous county in the United States, and the most populous county in both Massachusetts and New England. For administrative purposes the county held two regions, Middlesex-North with its county seat in Lowell, and Middlesex-South with its county seat in Cambridge.

Middlesex County is included in the Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA-NH Metropolitan Statistical Area.

The county government was abolished in 1997, but the county boundaries continue to describe a state district for court jurisdictions and for other administrative purposes, such as an indicator for elections. Massachusetts counties also define locations for National Weather Service weather alerts (such as severe thunderstorm warnings).

In 2010, the center of population of Massachusetts was located in Middlesex County, in the town of Natick.

History

The county was created by the Massachusetts General Court on May 10, 1643, when it was ordered that "the whole plantation within this jurisdiction be divided into four sheires". Middlesex initially contained Charlestown, Cambridge, Watertown, Sudbury, Concord, Woburn, Medford, Wayland, and Reading. In the late 19th century and early 20th century, Boston annexed several adjacent cities and towns including Charlestown and Brighton from Middlesex County, resulting in an enlargement of Suffolk County. On April 19th, 1775, it became the site of the first armed conflict of the American Revolutionary War.

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 847 square miles (2,190 km2), of which 818 square miles (2,120 km2) is land and 29 square miles (75 km2) (3.5%) is water. It is the third-largest county in Massachusetts by land area.

It is bounded southeast by the Charles River, and drained by the Merrimack, Nashua, and Concord rivers, and other streams.

The MetroWest region comprises much of the southern portion of the county.

Adjacent counties

National protected areas

  • Assabet River National Wildlife Refuge
  • Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge
  • Longfellow House–Washington's Headquarters National Historic Site
  • Lowell National Historical Park
  • Minute Man National Historical Park
  • Oxbow National Wildlife Refuge (part)

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1790 42,769
1800 46,928 9.7%
1810 52,789 12.5%
1820 61,472 16.4%
1830 77,961 26.8%
1840 106,611 36.7%
1850 161,383 51.4%
1860 216,354 34.1%
1870 274,353 26.8%
1880 317,830 15.8%
1890 431,167 35.7%
1900 565,696 31.2%
1910 669,915 18.4%
1920 778,352 16.2%
1930 934,924 20.1%
1940 971,390 3.9%
1950 1,064,569 9.6%
1960 1,238,742 16.4%
1970 1,397,268 12.8%
1980 1,367,034 −2.2%
1990 1,398,468 2.3%
2000 1,465,396 4.8%
2010 1,503,085 2.6%
Est. 2015 1,585,139 5.5%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2013

As of 2006, Middlesex County was tenth in the United States on the list of most millionaires per county.

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 1,503,085 people, 580,688 households, and 366,656 families residing in the county. The population density was 1,837.9 inhabitants per square mile (709.6/km2). There were 612,004 housing units at an average density of 748.3 per square mile (288.9/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 80.0% white, 9.3% Asian, 4.7% black or African American, 0.2% American Indian, 3.3% from other races, and 2.5% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 6.5% of the population. In terms of ancestry, 23.5% were Irish, 16.2% were Italian, 11.2% were English, 9.2% were French, and 7.1% were German.

Of the 580,688 households, 31.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.5% were married couples living together, 10.1% had a female householder with no husband present, 36.9% were non-families, and 27.8% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.49 and the average family size was 3.10. The median age was 38.5 years.

The median income for a household in the county was $77,377 and the median income for a family was $97,382. Males had a median income of $64,722 versus $50,538 for females. The per capita income for the county was $40,139. About 5.1% of families and 7.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 8.0% of those under age 18 and 8.0% of those age 65 or over.

79.6% spoke English, 4.3% Spanish, 2.7% Portuguese, 1.6% Italian, 1.6% Chinese including Mandarin and other Chinese dialects and 1.5% French as their first language. Middlesex County has the largest Irish-American population of any U.S. county with a plurality of Irish ancestry.

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 Weston Town $96,475 $180,815 $220,441 11,229 3,557
2 Sherborn Town $70,983 $152,083 $183,456 4,102 1,463
3 Wayland Town $70,185 $125,076 $151,812 12,939 4,902
4 Carlisle Town $68,060 $159,063 $171,167 4,814 1,612
5 Lexington Town $67,584 $136,610 $158,888 31,129 11,411
6 Concord Town $67,374 $127,951 $156,352 17,523 6,197
7 Winchester Town $65,172 $127,665 $160,706 21,205 7,611
8 Sudbury Town $63,862 $159,713 $173,587 17,482 5,613
9 Newton City $60,323 $109,724 $141,944 84,583 30,735
10 Lincoln Town $57,471 $130,523 $141,667 6,480 2,150
11 Hopkinton Town $56,939 $126,350 $149,213 14,691 4,893
Chestnut Hill (02467) ZCTA $55,947 $114,140 $151,375 21,952 6,237
12 Belmont Town $54,361 $99,529 $121,250 24,548 9,465
Cochituate CDP $52,936 $107,589 $133,082 6,384 2,496
13 Boxborough Town $51,159 $103,918 $134,583 4,957 1,984
14 Acton Town $49,603 $109,491 $135,000 21,656 7,924
15 Natick Town $49,012 $90,046 $117,259 32,729 13,440
16 Bedford Town $48,899 $101,886 $128,448 13,192 4,951
17 Stow Town $48,448 $112,130 $132,061 6,488 2,328
West Concord CDP $47,633 $103,693 $145,242 6,134 2,069
18 Holliston Town $47,624 $107,374 $125,236 13,512 4,918
19 Westford Town $47,587 $119,511 $135,000 21,716 7,308
20 Arlington Town $47,571 $85,059 $107,862 42,570 19,007
21 Groton Town $47,003 $117,903 $135,143 10,478 3,650
22 Ashland Town $46,626 $93,770 $116,799 16,305 6,484
23 Cambridge City $46,242 $69,017 $94,536 104,322 45,386
24 Reading Town $44,949 $99,131 $117,477 24,504 9,055
25 Chelmsford Town $42,535 $90,895 $110,967 33,610 13,304
26 North Reading Town $42,256 $104,069 $116,729 14,703 5,077
27 Dunstable Town $41,937 $109,205 $121,406 3,128 1,087
28 Littleton Town $41,815 $103,438 $114,094 8,810 3,198
Middlesex County County $41,453 $79,691 $100,267 1,491,762 577,349
29 Watertown Town $41,090 $76,718 $90,521 31,792 14,042
30 Wakefield Town $40,227 $85,379 $112,293 24,794 10,058
31 Burlington Town $40,083 $92,236 $107,339 24,207 9,177
32 Melrose City $39,873 $84,599 $105,893 26,864 10,963
Groton CDP $39,208 $55,446 $127,708 1,077 507
Hopkinton CDP $38,507 $71,536 $105,882 2,110 877
33 Tyngsborough Town $38,067 $101,103 $111,780 11,198 3,797
34 Stoneham Town $37,573 $77,476 $95,490 21,413 8,909
35 Marlborough Town $37,314 $72,853 $94,770 38,087 15,856
36 Wilmington Town $37,084 $100,861 $107,436 22,116 7,200
37 Pepperell Town $37,081 $84,618 $102,946 11,407 4,125
38 Maynard Town $36,818 $77,255 $93,116 10,083 4,222
39 Tewksbury Town $36,509 $86,378 $103,008 28,778 10,670
40 Hudson Town $36,141 $76,714 $95,746 18,845 7,679
Pepperell CDP $35,227 $68,500 $65,417 2,239 852
Massachusetts State $35,051 $65,981 $83,371 6,512,227 2,522,409
41 Medford City $34,615 $72,033 $83,078 55,843 22,461
Hudson CDP $33,734 $68,812 $86,216 14,797 6,129
42 Woburn City $33,725 $72,540 $87,924 37,831 15,357
43 Waltham City $33,717 $68,326 $82,233 60,209 23,520
44 Framingham Town $33,665 $66,047 $86,977 67,844 26,167
Pinehurst CDP $33,572 $95,038 $100,650 7,289 2,414
45 Billerica Town $33,347 $88,531 $98,371 39,930 13,859
46 Somerville City $32,785 $64,480 $71,518 75,566 31,476
47 Ashby Town $32,434 $82,614 $84,655 3,030 1,060
48 Ayer Town $32,179 $54,899 $78,947 7,370 3,063
Littleton Common CDP $32,058 $80,352 $105,217 2,907 1,131
49 Dracut Town $31,533 $71,824 $88,281 29,249 11,173
50 Townsend Town $31,201 $76,250 $91,023 8,906 3,114
East Pepperell CDP $30,475 $74,077 $79,104 2,195 811
Ayer CDP $30,456 $42,055 $79,708 2,573 1,205
United States Country $27,915 $52,762 $64,293 306,603,772 114,761,359
Townsend CDP $27,166 $51,512 $71,023 968 453
51 Malden City $26,893 $52,842 $65,763 58,821 23,422
Shirley CDP $24,943 $41,250 $41,838 1,330 593
52 Everett City $24,575 $48,319 $58,045 41,079 15,681
53 Shirley Town $24,427 $71,146 $78,493 7,235 2,189
54 Lowell City $23,600 $51,471 $57,934 105,860 39,399
Devens CDP $13,933 $72,986 $73,194 1,704 113

Communities

Most municipalities in Middlesex County have a town form of government; the remainder are cities, and are so designated on this list. Villages listed below are census or postal divisions, but have no separate corporate or statutory existence from the cities and towns in which they are located.

Cities

Towns

Census-designated places

Other villages and neighborhoods

Culture

Middlesex County is home to the Middlesex County Volunteers, a fife and drum corps that plays music from the 17th, 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. Founded in 1982 at the end of the United States Bicentennial celebration, the group performs extensively throughout New England. They have also performed at the Boston Pops, throughout the British Isles and Western Europe, and at the Edinburgh Military Tattoo's Salute to Australia in Sydney, Australia.


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