Suffolk County, Massachusetts
|Suffolk County, Massachusetts|
Location in the state of Massachusetts
Massachusetts's location in the U.S.
|Largest city||Boston (population and area)|
|• Total||120.19 sq mi (311 km2)|
|• Land||58.52 sq mi (152 km2)|
|• Water||61.68 sq mi (160 km2), 51.32%|
|• Density||12,721/sq mi (4,750/km²)|
|Time zone||Eastern: UTC-5/-4|
Suffolk County is a county of Massachusetts. As of the 2010 census, the population was 722,023. The county seat is Boston, the state capital and largest city. The county government was abolished in the late 1990s and Suffolk remains only as a geographic area, still used by entities such as the National Weather Service to define a weather alert affecting its footprint without listing every single town/city that embraces.
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 shires". Suffolk initially contained Boston, Roxbury, Dorchester, Dedham, Braintree, Weymouth, and Hingham. The county was named after Suffolk, England, which means "southern folk."
In 1731, the extreme western portions of Suffolk County, which included Uxbridge, were split off to become part of Worcester County. In 1793, most of the original Suffolk County except for Boston, Chelsea, Hingham, and Hull (which remained in Suffolk) split off and became Norfolk County. Hingham and Hull would leave Suffolk County and join Plymouth County in 1803. Revere was set off from Chelsea and incorporated in 1846 and Winthrop was set off from Revere and incorporated in 1852. In the late 19th century and early 20th century, Boston annexed several adjacent cities and towns including Hyde Park, Roxbury, West Roxbury, and Dorchester from Norfolk County and Charlestown and Brighton from Middlesex County, resulting in an enlargement of Suffolk County.
Law and government
|2012||77.6% 219,208||20.8% 58,872|
|2008||76.9% 207,128||21.2% 57,194|
|2004||75.9% 182,592||22.8% 54,923|
|2000||71.4% 154,888||20.5% 44,441|
Like an increasing number of Massachusetts counties, Suffolk County exists today only as a historical geographic region, and has no county government. All former county functions were assumed by state agencies in 1999. The sheriff, district attorney, and some other regional officials with specific duties are still elected locally to perform duties within the county region, but there is no county council, executives or commissioners. Immediately prior to the abolition of county government, the authority of the Suffolk County Commission had for many years been exercised by the Boston City Council, even though three communities in the county are not part of the city. However, communities are now granted the right to form their own regional compacts for sharing services.
|Voter Registration and Party Enrollment as of October 15, 2008|
|Party||Number of Voters||Percentage|
According to the 2000 census, the county has a total area of 120.19 square miles (311.3 km2), of which 58.52 square miles (151.6 km2) (or 48.69%) is land and 61.68 square miles (159.8 km2) (or 51.32%) is water.
|Middlesex County||Massachusetts Bay|
|Norfolk County||Norfolk County||Plymouth County (water boundary)|
National protected areas
- Boston African American National Historic Site
- Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area (part)
- Boston National Historical Park
As of the census of 2010, there were 722,023 people, 315,522 households, and 139,082 families residing in the county. The population density was 12,415.7 people per square mile (4,551/km²). There were 292,520 housing units at an average density of 4,999 per square mile (1,930/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 48.1% White, 21.6% Black or African American, 0.4% Native American, 8.2% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 8.17% from other races, and 3.9% from two or more races. 19.9% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 15.3% were of Irish, 11.1% Italian and 6.4% West Indian ancestry according to Census 2000. 66.3% spoke only English at home; 14.5% spoke Spanish, 3.1% French Creole, 2.4% Chinese or Mandarin, 2.2% Portuguese, 1.7% Vietnamese, 1.6% Italian and 1.3% French.
There were 278,722 households out of which 23.50% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 29.30% were married couples living together, 16.30% had a female householder with no husband present, and 50.10% were non-families. 36.30% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.50% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.34 and the average family size was 3.17.
In the county the population was spread out with 20.2% under the age of 18, 15.1% from 18 to 24, 35.5% from 25 to 44, 18.1% from 45 to 64, and 11% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females there were 93.20 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.50 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $39,355, and the median income for a family was $44,361. Males had a median income of $37,174 versus $32,176 for females. The per capita income for the county was $22,766. About 14.90% of families and 19.00% of the population were below the poverty line, including 24.90% of those under age 18 and 17.00% of those age 65 or over.
Demographic breakdown by town
Cities and towns
- Registry of Deeds (Massachusetts)
- USS Suffolk County (LST-1173)
- List of Registered Historic Places in Suffolk County, Massachusetts
- "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 26, 2013.
- "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
- Davis, William T. Bench and Bar of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, p. 44. The Boston History Company, 1895.
- Thomas Cox, Anthony Hall, Robert Morden, Magna Britannia Antiqua & Nova: Or, A New, Exact, and Comprehensive Survey of the Ancient and Present State of Great Britain, Volume 5, (Caesar Ward and Richard Chandler: London, 1738), pg. 171 (accessed on Google Book Search, June 22, 2008)
- "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". Retrieved 2011-06-11.
- CIS: Historical Data Relating to the Incorporation of Counties in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts
- See also: League of Women Voters page on counties.
- "Registration and Party Enrollment Statistics as of October 15, 2008" (PDF). Massachusetts Elections Division. Retrieved 2010-05-08.
- "U.S. Decennial Census". Census.gov. Retrieved August 26, 2013.
- "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2012". Census.gov. Retrieved August 26, 2013.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "SELECTED ECONOMIC CHARACTERISTICS 2007-2011 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 2013-01-26.
- "ACS DEMOGRAPHIC AND HOUSING ESTIMATES 2007-2011 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 2013-01-26.
- "HOUSEHOLDS AND FAMILIES 2007-2011 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 2013-01-26.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Suffolk County, Massachusetts.|
- Suffolk County Sheriffs Department
- Suffolk County District Attorney
- Suffolk County Registry of Deeds
- Walling & Gray. 1871 Map of Boston, Suffolk, County and Nearby Towns Pages 48-49 from the 1871 Atlas of Massachusetts.
- National Register of Historic Places listing for Suffolk Co., Massachusetts
- Map of cities and towns of Massachusetts