Worcester County, Massachusetts

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Worcester County, Massachusetts
Worcester County Courthouse - Worcester, MA - DSC05778.jpg
Worcester County Courthouse
Map of Massachusetts highlighting Worcester County
Location in the state of Massachusetts
Map of the United States highlighting Massachusetts
Massachusetts's location in the U.S.
FoundedApril 2, 1731
SeatWorcester
Largest cityWorcester
Area
 • Total1,579 sq mi (4,090 km2)
 • Land1,513 sq mi (3,919 km2)
 • Water66 sq mi (171 km2), 4.18%
Population
 • (2010)798,552
 • Density528/sq mi (204/km²)
Congressional districts1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th
Time zoneEastern: UTC-5/-4
 
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Worcester County, Massachusetts
Worcester County Courthouse - Worcester, MA - DSC05778.jpg
Worcester County Courthouse
Map of Massachusetts highlighting Worcester County
Location in the state of Massachusetts
Map of the United States highlighting Massachusetts
Massachusetts's location in the U.S.
FoundedApril 2, 1731
SeatWorcester
Largest cityWorcester
Area
 • Total1,579 sq mi (4,090 km2)
 • Land1,513 sq mi (3,919 km2)
 • Water66 sq mi (171 km2), 4.18%
Population
 • (2010)798,552
 • Density528/sq mi (204/km²)
Congressional districts1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th
Time zoneEastern: UTC-5/-4
Mount Wachusett, the highest point in Worcester County

Worcester County is a county located in the U.S. state of Massachusetts. As of the 2010 census, the population was 798,552.[1] The largest city and traditional county seat is the city of Worcester.[2]

Worcester County is included in the Worcester, Massachusetts-Connecticut Metropolitan Statistical Area as well as the Boston-Worcester-Providence, Massachusetts-Rhode Island-New Hampshire-Connecticut Combined Statistical Area.

History[edit]

Worcester County was formed from the eastern portion of colonial Hampshire County, the western portion of the original Middlesex County and the extreme western portion of the original Suffolk County. When the government of Worcester County was established on April 2, 1731, Worcester was chosen as its shire town (later known as a county seat). From that date until the dissolution of the county government, it was the only county seat. Because of the size of the county, there were fifteen attempts over 140 years to split the county into two counties, but without success. Initially, Lancaster was proposed as the seat of the northern county; later, Petersham was proposed once and Fitchburg was proposed repeatedly, most recently in 1903. Perhaps as a concession, in August 1884 the Worcester County Registry of Deeds was split in two, with the Worcester Northern registry placed in Fitchburg.

Government and politics[edit]

Worcester County has had no county government or county commissioners since July 1, 1998, when county functions were assumed by state agencies at local option following a change in state law.[3] Vestiges of the former system include an elected county sheriff, county prosecutor, and court officials, administered under the state department of public safety, the state correctional system, known as the Worcester County Jail or "House of Corrections" at West Boylston, and the Worcester County District courts (state administered) at Worcester, Fitchburg and other district courts within county boundaries.[3] The Worcester County district attorney is a county-wide position even though the district includes one town from a neighboring county. In Massachusetts, Sheriffs have more limited roles than most states and are responsible for corrections, court service and bailiffs and jail release programs.[3] County Sheriffs in Massachusetts are elected to six-year terms.[3] The Worcester County Sheriff is Lewis Evangelidis, (R), and the Worcester County District Attorney is Joseph Early (D).(see the info-box at lower right for elected officials at county level). The Worcester County 4 H fair is in its 63rd year in 2014 with the fairgrounds at Spencer. Worcester County has one commercial airport at Worcester. Worcester County Conservation District has countywide boundaries.[4]

Massachusetts law allows regional compacts, traditional counties and other governmental entities.[3] Traditional County government persists in southeastern Massachusetts. Five traditional county governments include: Norfolk, Bristol, Dukes, Nantucket, and Plymouth Counties. Barnstable County, which is Cape Cod, functions as a modern regional government. The Massachusetts General Laws describe this relationship of county government and the options for abolishing county governments and/or chartering regional governmental compacts in subchapter 34 B.[3] Four other new county compacts have been created by the state legislature and these are in Hampshire, Franklin, Barnstable Counties, and a regional planning council level for Berkshire County. Thus 9 of 14 Counties have some form of county regional governments. Worcester County could exercise that option if it chooses for example, for public safety and, or preparedness due to its rather large geography, by a request to and a special act of the legislature, by local referendum or by one of three mechanisms. See the references for the state statute, and the League of Women Voters link.

County-level state agency heads
Clerk of Courts:Dennis P. McManus (D)
District Attorney:Joseph D. Early, Jr. (D)
Register of Deeds:Anthony J. Vigliotti (D)
Register of Probate:Stephen Abraham (D)
County Sheriff:Lew Evangelidis (R)
State government
State Representative(s):by community
State Senator(s):by community
Governor's Councilor(s):Jen Caissie (R)
Federal government
U.S. Representative(s):by Congressional district
U.S. Senators:Elizabeth Warren (D), Ed Markey (D)
Presidential election results[5]
YearDemocraticRepublican
201253.7% 195,66744.5% 162,022
200855.6% 202,10741.8% 152,101
200456.4% 192,14242.3% 144,094
200056.0% 173,76936.8% 114,139
Voter Registration and Party Enrollment as of October 15, 2008[6]
PartyNumber of VotersPercentage
 Democratic156,45430.65%
 Republican66,46613.02%
 Unaffiliated283,51755.54%
 Minor Parties4,0150.79%
Total510,452100%

Geography[edit]

According to the 2000 census, the county has a total area of 1,579.02 square miles (4,089.6 km2), of which 1,513.06 square miles (3,918.8 km2) (or 95.82%) is land and 65.95 square miles (170.8 km2) (or 4.18%) is water, making it the largest county in the state, geographically. The county is larger geographically than the entire state of Rhode Island even including Rhode Island's water ocean limit boundaries. The county constitutes Central Massachusetts, separating Western Massachusetts on one side from Eastern Massachusetts and the Greater Boston area on the other side. It stretches from the northern to the southern border of the state. The geographic center of Massachusetts is in Rutland.

Worcester County is one of two Massachusetts counties that borders three different neighboring states; the other being Berkshire County. They are also the only two counties to touch both the northern and southern state lines.

Adjacent counties[edit]

See also: List of U.S. counties bordering eight or more counties

National protected area[edit]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
CensusPop.
179056,764
180061,1927.8%
181064,9106.1%
182073,62513.4%
183084,35514.6%
184095,31313.0%
1850130,78937.2%
1860159,65922.1%
1870192,71620.7%
1880226,89717.7%
1890280,78723.8%
1900346,95823.6%
1910399,65715.2%
1920455,13513.9%
1930491,2427.9%
1940504,4702.7%
1950546,4018.3%
1960583,2286.7%
1970637,9699.4%
1980646,3521.3%
1990709,7059.8%
2000750,9635.8%
2010798,5526.3%
Est. 2012806,1631.0%
U.S. Decennial Census[7]
2012 Estimate[8]

In 1990 Worcester County had a population of 709,705.[9]

As of the census[10] of 2000, there were 750,963 people, 283,927 households, and 192,502 families residing in the county. The population density was 496 people per square mile (192/km²). There were 298,159 housing units at an average density of 197 per square mile (76/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 89.61% White, 2.73% Black or African American, 0.25% Native American, 2.62% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 2.93% from other races, and 1.82% from two or more races. 6.77% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 15.9% were of Irish, 12.3% Italian, 11.7% French, 8.0% French Canadian, 8.0% English, 5.6% Polish and 5.0% American ancestry according to Census 2000. 85.1% spoke English, 6.1% Spanish and 1.9% French as their first language.

There were 283,927 households out of which 33.60% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.50% were married couples living together, 11.40% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.20% were non-families. 26.20% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.40% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.56 and the average family size was 3.11.

In the county the population was spread out with 25.60% under the age of 18, 8.40% from 18 to 24, 31.10% from 25 to 44, 21.80% from 45 to 64, and 13.00% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 95.50 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.10 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $47,874, and the median income for a family was $58,394. Males had a median income of $42,261 versus $30,516 for females. The per capita income for the county was $22,983. About 6.80% of families and 9.20% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.30% of those under age 18 and 9.50% of those age 65 or over.

Demographic breakdown by town[edit]

Income[edit]

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.[11][12][13]

RankTownPer capita
income
Median
household
income
Median
family
income
PopulationNumber of
households
1SouthboroughTown$57,436$142,520$161,4199,6713,285
2BoltonTown$52,282$137,120$149,1204,8271,583
3BoylstonTown$52,129$91,734$110,3214,3201,676
CordavilleCDP$51,707$151,836$175,2172,558845
4HarvardTown$50,971$142,411$161,2506,4831,822
5NorthboroughTown$47,953$104,420$122,59214,1805,114
6WestboroughTown$46,631$99,394$127,05218,2856,720
7SterlingTown$44,089$102,270$117,2407,7682,811
8PrincetonTown$43,836$108,319$123,8643,4121,253
9SuttonTown$43,275$107,500$116,2888,9083,128
10UptonTown$43,252$110,083$132,7037,3642,588
11BerlinTown$41,503$94,712$99,3752,8191,029
SturbridgeCDP$41,479$77,692$93,1672,027860
WestboroughCDP$40,901$71,731$87,3753,8831,590
12MendonTown$40,523$93,245$108,1735,7872,055
13HopedaleTown$40,422$98,220$104,3985,9092,275
BarreCDP$39,556$77,602$102,6501,053418
14GraftonTown$39,479$89,950$109,72917,4726,376
NorthboroughCDP$39,266$89,033$108,6366,2262,381
HopedaleCDP$38,687$88,974$101,2803,9471,590
15HoldenTown$38,639$89,660$104,92817,1976,296
16ShrewsburyTown$38,223$88,985$104,03535,26913,095
17SturbridgeTown$37,480$79,044$98,6939,1333,655
18PaxtonTown$37,328$105,072$106,6254,7671,591
UptonCDP$37,247$92,676$120,9622,8671,099
19DouglasTown$35,931$81,000$97,3838,3423,206
20LunenburgTown$35,868$83,265$95,00010,0343,728
MassachusettsState$35,051$65,981$83,3716,512,2272,522,409
LunenburgCDP$34,770$73,750$79,7501,217470
21LancasterTown$34,374$87,962$101,1967,8962,426
22UxbridgeTown$34,346$86,912$94,83013,2334,931
23BarreTown$33,647$73,687$93,2505,3832,065
24MillburyTown$33,467$77,883$86,85513,2505,166
25AuburnTown$33,447$73,559$87,95816,1836,318
26CharltonTown$33,250$91,653$98,78912,8274,306
27BlackstoneTown$32,988$73,586$87,7529,0283,472
South LancasterCDP$32,942$70,625$81,1671,988766
28AshburnhamTown$32,880$81,842$98,0566,0332,184
29HubbardstonTown$32,618$83,333$95,2034,3411,538
30New BraintreeTown$32,568$88,571$93,4581,124380
31MilfordTown$32,219$64,860$80,12727,92510,493
32RoyalstonTown$32,031$59,609$73,1251,058455
33HardwickTown$31,974$61,298$72,4582,9531,153
Worcester CountyCounty$31,470$65,772$81,342794,981299,089
34WestminsterTown$31,391$78,632$82,5967,2502,611
East BrookfieldCDP$31,316$66,339$84,5501,270479
35OakhamTown$31,237$79,700$83,6761,822680
36RutlandTown$30,961$83,734$101,4867,8122,558
37NorthbridgeTown$30,945$68,981$87,35915,4755,538
MilfordCDP$30,678$60,840$72,92725,1949,494
38ClintonTown$30,563$61,796$77,96413,6145,672
39LeicesterTown$30,301$72,471$80,28810,9343,858
FiskdaleCDP$30,230$75,655$89,5952,9071,133
40OxfordTown$30,149$68,567$83,16113,7025,343
41North BrookfieldTown$30,106$64,009$76,6904,6861,931
42West BrookfieldTown$29,782$62,685$84,8683,7301,488
East DouglasCDP$29,760$73,372$74,8282,8351,146
43SpencerTown$29,687$59,420$77,38411,7154,686
44East BrookfieldTown$29,416$62,350$82,7502,058737
45BrookfieldTown$29,392$62,390$77,9933,3631,353
46MillvilleTown$29,049$73,426$84,0003,1541,060
West BrookfieldCDP$28,704$56,625$95,5561,853705
47West BoylstonTown$28,547$73,600$89,6817,6602,308
48LeominsterCity$28,445$58,585$73,70440,88416,095
49PhillipstonTown$28,273$74,043$75,2341,894648
North BrookfieldCDP$28,163$50,346$64,1812,035912
50WarrenTown$28,112$51,188$69,8735,1062,067
OxfordCDP$27,990$67,054$79,8326,5662,418
United StatesCountry$27,915$52,762$64,293306,603,772114,761,359
South AshburnhamCDP$27,758$76,932$77,3861,104345
51PetershamTown$27,475$65,781$81,2501,263445
52WebsterTown$27,430$49,621$65,20416,7527,344
53DudleyTown$27,319$72,500$78,92011,2763,780
WhitinsvilleCDP$27,135$58,846$62,3146,8942,424
SpencerCDP$27,059$47,183$66,9325,3922,417
54TempletonTown$26,891$70,116$75,7537,8962,846
BaldwinvilleCDP$26,585$66,700$77,0612,061750
ClintonCDP$26,256$54,514$72,8597,4923,032
RutlandCDP$25,987$62,500$78,9292,352758
55WinchendonTown$25,845$58,137$73,16210,2503,743
WarrenCDP$25,245$41,200$71,7221,408564
56GardnerCity$24,974$48,108$63,41320,3238,037
57WorcesterCity$24,544$45,846$55,927180,51970,248
58AtholTown$24,384$50,866$59,09511,5764,551
WebsterCDP$24,109$43,702$53,14511,6825,195
59FitchburgCity$24,061$48,064$55,29340,28614,741
60SouthbridgeCity$21,923$43,965$52,57716,8006,548
WinchendonCDP$21,914$36,711$52,8683,8601,638
AtholCDP$21,553$47,330$52,1397,8673,150
DevensCDP$13,933$72,986$73,1941,704113

Notable people[edit]

Cities, towns, and villages*[edit]

* Villages are census division, but have no separate corporate existence from the towns they are in.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 26, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f Mass. Gen. L. c. 34B
  4. ^ Worcester County Conservation District
  5. ^ "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". Retrieved November 29, 2012. 
  6. ^ "Registration and Party Enrollment Statistics as of October 15, 2008" (PDF). Massachusetts Elections Division. Retrieved 2010-05-08. 
  7. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". Census.gov. Retrieved August 26, 2013. 
  8. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2012". Census.gov. Retrieved August 26, 2013. 
  9. ^ Census Worcester County Basic Fact Sheet
  10. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  11. ^ "SELECTED ECONOMIC CHARACTERISTICS 2007-2011 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 2013-01-26. 
  12. ^ "ACS DEMOGRAPHIC AND HOUSING ESTIMATES 2007-2011 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 2013-01-26. 
  13. ^ "HOUSEHOLDS AND FAMILIES 2007-2011 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 2013-01-26. 
  14. ^ Dempsey, James (March 4, 1992). "Many Changes Since Tupper Started Ware". Worcester Telegram and Gazette. Retrieved August 11, 2011. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 42°21′N 71°55′W / 42.35°N 71.91°W / 42.35; -71.91