Franklin County, Massachusetts
|Franklin County, Massachusetts|
Location in the state of Massachusetts
Massachusetts's location in the U.S.
County government abolished in 1997
724.74 sq mi (1,877 km²)
702.03 sq mi (1,818 km²)
22.71 sq mi (59 km²), 3.13%
102/sq mi (39/km²)
Franklin County is a nongovernmental county located in the U.S. state of Massachusetts. As of the 2010 census, the population was 71,372. Its largest community, and traditional county seat, is Greenfield.
Franklin County was created on 24 June 1811 from the northern third of Hampshire County.
Law and government 
Like several other Massachusetts counties, Franklin County exists today only as a geographic region and has no county government. The Franklin County Commission voted itself out of existence, and all former state-mandated county functions were assumed by state agencies in 1997. The sheriff and some other regional officials with specific duties are still elected locally to perform duties within the county region. Counties in Massachusetts and New England generally are historically weak governmental structures. The primary subdivision of the Commonwealth is the municipal township. Communities are permitted to form regional compacts for sharing services. The municipalities of Franklin County have formed the Franklin Regional Council of Governments. The regional council provides various services on a regional basis, and a majority of the county's towns are members of the Franklin County Solid Waste Management District, which provides municipal waste disposal and recycling services to its members. Public transportation throughout the county and in the North Quabbin area of northwestern Worcester County is provided by the Franklin Regional Transit Authority and in Athol (which is in Worcester County but aligns itself with Franklin County).
|Voter Registration and Party Enrollment as of October 13, 2010|
|Party||Number of Voters||Percentage|
|2012||71.9% 27,024||24.8% 9,338|
|2008||72.5% 27,919||24.8% 9,545|
|2004||68.4% 25,550||29.6% 11,058|
|2000||53.8% 17,945||30.5% 10,176|
Geography and climate 
According to the 2000 census, the county has a total area of 724.74 square miles (1,877.1 km2), of which 702.03 square miles (1,818.2 km2) (or 96.87 percent) is land and 22.71 square miles (58.8 km2) (or 3.13 percent) 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 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 
- Windham County, Vermont (north)
- Cheshire County, New Hampshire (northeast)
- Worcester County (east)
- Hampshire County (south)
- Berkshire County (west)
||Windham County, Vermont||Cheshire County, New Hampshire|
|Berkshire County||Worcester County|
Protected areas 
- Silvio O. Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge (part)
- Paul C. Jones Working Forest (privately owned with conservation easement) around Brush Mountain, Northfield
As of the census of 2000, there were 71,535 people, 29,466 households, and 18,416 families residing in the county. The population density was 102 people per square mile (39/km²). There were 31,939 housing units at an average density of 46 per square mile (18/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 95.40% White, 0.89% Black or African American, 0.29% Native American, 1.04% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.75% from other races, and 1.61% from two or more races. 1.99% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 16.2% were of English, 12.2% Irish, 12.0% Polish, 10.2% French, 7.0% French Canadian, 6.7% German, 6.1% Italian and 6.0% American ancestry according to Census 2000. Most of those claiming to be of "American" ancestry are actually of English descent, but have family that has been in the country for so long, in many cases since the early seventeenth century that they choose to identify simply as "American". 94.5% spoke English and 1.8% Spanish as their first language.
There were 29,466 households out of which 29.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.9% were married couples living together, 10.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.5% were non-families. 29.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.38 and the average family size was 2.95.
In the county the population was spread out with 23.5% under the age of 18, 7.8% from 18 to 24, 28.5% from 25 to 44, 25.9% from 45 to 64, and 14.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 93.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.5 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $40,768, and the median income for a family was $50,915. Males had a median income of $36,350 versus $27,228 for females. The per capita income for the county was $20,672. About 6.5% of families and 9.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 10.5% of those under age 18 and 8.8% of those age 65 or over.
Cities, towns, and villages 
- Montague (comprising the following five villages)
- New Salem
- Shelburne Falls (a colloquialism for a common business district overlapped within parts of Shelburne and Buckland)
Villages are census divisions, but have no separate corporate existence from the towns in which they are located.
See also 
- Registry of Deeds (Massachusetts)
- National Register of Historic Places listings in Franklin County, Massachusetts
- "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
- Massachusetts Government: County Government Massachusetts League of Women Voters. Retrieved October 10, 2007.
- "Registration and Party Enrollment Statistics as of October 13, 2010" (PDF). Massachusetts Elections Division. Retrieved 2011-03-14.
- "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". Retrieved 2011-06-11.
- "Census 2000 U.S. Gazetteer Files: Counties". United States Census. Retrieved 2011-02-13.
- "Deal keeps parcel of forest protected". 2011-12-24. Retrieved 2012-01-02.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- Sharing the Dream: White Males in a Multicultural America By Dominic J. Pulera.
- Reynolds Farley, 'The New Census Question about Ancestry: What Did It Tell Us?', Demography, Vol. 28, No. 3 (August 1991), pp. 414, 421.
- Stanley Lieberson and Lawrence Santi, 'The Use of Nativity Data to Estimate Ethnic Characteristics and Patterns', Social Science Research, Vol. 14, No. 1 (1985), pp. 44-6.
- Stanley Lieberson and Mary C. Waters, 'Ethnic Groups in Flux: The Changing Ethnic Responses of American Whites', Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, Vol. 487, No. 79 (September 1986), pp. 82-86.
- Mary C. Waters, Ethnic Options: Choosing Identities in America (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1990), p. 36.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Franklin County, Massachusetts|
- National Register of Historic Places listing for Franklin Co., Massachusetts
- Map of cities and towns of Massachusetts
- Franklin Regional Council of Governments website
- Franklin County Solid Waste Management District website
- Franklin Regional Transit Authority website
- Franklin County Chamber of Commerce website
- Wall & Gray. 1871. Atlas of Massachusetts. Map of Massachusetts. USA. New England. Counties - Berkshire, Franklin, Hampshire and Hampden, Worcester, Middlesex, Essex and Norfolk, Boston - Suffolk,Plymouth, Bristol, Barnstable and Dukes (Cape Cod). Cities - Springfield, Worcester, Lowell, Lawrence, Haverhill, Newburyport, Salem, Lynn, Taunton, Fall River. New Bedford. These 1871 maps of the counties and cities are useful to see the roads and rail lines.
- Beers, D.G. 1872. Atlas of Essex County Map of Massachusetts Plate 5. Click on the map for a very large image.