Franklin County, Massachusetts

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Franklin County, Massachusetts
Franklin County Courthouse Greenfield.JPG
Franklin County Courthouse in Greenfield
Seal of Franklin County, Massachusetts
Seal
Map of Massachusetts highlighting Franklin County
Location in the U.S. state of Massachusetts
Map of the United States highlighting Massachusetts
Massachusetts's location in the U.S.
Founded 1811
Named for Benjamin Franklin
Seat Greenfield
Largest city Greenfield
Area
 • Total 725 sq mi (1,878 km2)
 • Land 699 sq mi (1,810 km2)
 • Water 25 sq mi (65 km2), 3.5%
Population (est.)
 • (2015) 70,601
 • Density 97/sq mi (37/km²)
Congressional districts 1st, 2nd
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4

Franklin County is a nongovernmental county located in the U.S. state of Massachusetts. As of the 2010 census, the population was 71,372,[1] which makes it the least-populous county on the Massachusetts mainland, and the third-least populous county in the state. Its largest community and traditional county seat is Greenfield.[2]

Franklin County comprises the Greenfield Town, MA Micropolitan Statistical Area, which is included in the Springfield-Greenfield Town, MA Combined Statistical Area.

History[edit]

Franklin County was created on 24 June 1811 from the northern third of Hampshire County. It was named for Benjamin Franklin.[3] Franklin County's government was abolished by the state government in 1997, at the county's request.[4]

Law and government[edit]

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.[citation needed] 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.[5] 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.

Voter Registration and Party Enrollment as of October 13, 2010[6]
Party Number of Voters Percentage
Democratic 15,122 30.68%
Republican 4,849 9.84%
Unenrolled 28,922 58.68%
Minor Parties 397 0.81%
Total 49,290 100%

Politics[edit]

Presidential Election Results[edit]

Presidential Elections Results[7]
Year Republican Democratic Third Parties
2016 26.7% 10,364 63.1% 24,478 10.3% 3,979
2012 24.8% 9,344 71.7% 27,072 3.6% 1,342
2008 24.8% 9,545 72.5% 27,919 2.8% 1,065
2004 29.6% 11,058 68.4% 25,550 2.1% 773
2000 30.5% 10,176 53.8% 17,945 15.7% 5,245
1996 24.6% 8,055 60.3% 19,728 15.1% 4,959
1992 24.3% 8,691 48.1% 17,246 27.6% 9,890
1988 40.7% 13,475 58.3% 19,310 1.0% 338
1984 50.4% 15,883 49.2% 15,502 0.5% 148
1980 41.6% 12,528 39.3% 11,830 19.1% 5,764
1976 47.6% 14,837 48.1% 14,985 4.4% 1,359
1972 56.9% 16,088 42.4% 11,968 0.7% 207
1968 48.6% 12,345 47.6% 12,072 3.8% 969
1964 32.6% 8,344 66.8% 17,106 0.7% 174
1960 56.0% 15,682 43.9% 12,282 0.2% 47
1956 72.1% 19,779 27.6% 7,574 0.3% 83
1952 68.9% 19,489 30.9% 8,729 0.2% 50
1948 61.2% 14,919 37.9% 9,231 0.9% 223
1944 58.4% 13,252 41.4% 9,400 0.2% 51
1940 59.6% 14,137 39.9% 9,472 0.5% 119
1936 58.0% 13,756 39.3% 9,324 2.7% 641
1932 66.0% 13,040 31.6% 6,248 2.3% 460
1928 70.5% 14,333 28.7% 5,842 0.7% 149
1924 77.1% 11,350 14.2% 2,089 8.7% 1,278
1920 77.9% 9,931 19.9% 2,542 2.2% 284
1916 56.9% 4,353 39.9% 3,054 3.1% 239
1912 36.1% 2,636 28.0% 2,046 35.9% 2,624
1908 67.9% 4,824 23.0% 1,637 9.1% 647
1904 71.4% 5,034 23.7% 1,672 4.9% 344
1900 70.5% 4,937 26.8% 1,874 2.8% 195
1896 78.5% 5,671 15.4% 1,110 6.2% 447
1892 58.5% 4,510 37.4% 2,886 4.1% 313
1888 55.9% 4,100 38.9% 2,852 5.2% 383
1884 53.3% 3,676 37.4% 2,577 9.3% 639
1880 64.4% 4,022 33.6% 2,098 2.1% 128
1876 64.1% 4,072 35.6% 2,257 0.3% 20

Geography and climate[edit]

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 725 square miles (1,880 km2), of which 699 square miles (1,810 km2) is land and 25 square miles (65 km2) (3.5%) is water.[8] 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 high point of Franklin County is Crum Hill, 2,841 feet (866 m), located in the town of Monroe.

Climate[edit]

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[edit]

Protected areas[edit]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
1820 29,268
1830 29,501 0.8%
1840 28,812 −2.3%
1850 30,870 7.1%
1860 31,434 1.8%
1870 32,635 3.8%
1880 36,001 10.3%
1890 38,610 7.2%
1900 41,209 6.7%
1910 43,600 5.8%
1920 49,361 13.2%
1930 49,612 0.5%
1940 49,453 −0.3%
1950 52,747 6.7%
1960 54,864 4.0%
1970 59,210 7.9%
1980 64,317 8.6%
1990 70,092 9.0%
2000 71,535 2.1%
2010 71,372 −0.2%
Est. 2016 70,382 [10] −1.4%
U.S. Decennial Census[11]
1790-1960[12] 1900-1990[13]
1990-2000[14] 2010-2015[1]

2000 census[edit]

As of the census[15] 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".[16][17][18][19][20] 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.

2010 census[edit]

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 71,372 people, 30,462 households, and 18,317 families residing in the county.[21] The population density was 102.1 inhabitants per square mile (39.4/km2). There were 33,758 housing units at an average density of 48.3 per square mile (18.6/km2).[22] The racial makeup of the county was 94.2% white, 1.3% Asian, 1.1% black, 0.3% American Indian, 1.0% from other races, and 2.1% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 3.2% of the population.[21] The largest ancestry groups were:

England 20.0% English

Republic of Ireland 19.8% Irish

France 15.9% French

Poland 12.6% Polish

Germany 12.0% German

Italy 9.1% Italian

Quebec 7.2% French Canadian

Scotland 4.5% Scottish

United States 3.9% American

Sweden 2.1% Swedish

Northern Ireland 2.0% Scotch-Irish

Puerto Rico 1.8% Puerto Rican

Russia 1.5% Russian

Netherlands 1.3% Dutch

Portugal 1.3% Portuguese

Lithuania 1.3% Lithuanian

Wales 1.0% Welsh

[23]

Of the 30,462 households, 26.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.8% were married couples living together, 10.7% had a female householder with no husband present, 39.9% were non-families, and 30.5% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.29 and the average family size was 2.85. The median age was 44.2 years.[21]

The median income for a household in the county was $52,002 and the median income for a family was $65,760. Males had a median income of $45,480 versus $37,309 for females. The per capita income for the county was $27,544. About 7.7% of families and 11.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 14.8% of those under age 18 and 7.5% of those age 65 or over.[24]

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.[25][26][27]

Rank Town Per capita
income
Median
household
income
Median
family
income
Population Number of
households
Deerfield CDP $39,291 $90,625 $91,786 252 83
1 Hawley Town $37,094 $63,750 $79,167 378 154
2 Leverett Town $36,750 $74,500 $87,188 1,756 702
3 Shutesbury Town $36,472 $67,708 $85,972 1,834 745
Massachusetts State $35,051 $65,981 $83,371 6,512,227 2,522,409
4 Whately Town $34,183 $78,750 $89,500 1,529 629
Northfield CDP $33,956 $67,900 $88,068 1,004 440
5 New Salem Town $33,776 $64,833 $72,083 953 402
6 Ashfield Town $33,569 $66,429 $69,375 1,771 742
7 Conway Town $33,385 $80,313 $85,000 1,793 705
8 Deerfield Town $33,111 $69,744 $85,231 5,096 2,145
9 Leyden Town $32,348 $72,500 $78,167 633 272
South Deerfield CDP $31,773 $51,107 $80,147 1,926 931
10 Gill Town $31,288 $59,800 $70,833 1,428 566
11 Sunderland Town $31,090 $54,208 $73,403 3,696 1,525
12 Northfield Town $31,001 $61,667 $73,697 3,034 1,276
13 Shelburne Town $30,751 $59,145 $77,063 1,957 811
14 Heath Town $30,557 $63,333 $72,981 483 214
15 Warwick Town $29,135 $59,531 $67,500 601 269
16 Colrain Town $29,035 $53,813 $64,375 1,729 703
17 Charlemont Town $28,555 $53,281 $64,000 1,160 505
18 Wendell Town $28,480 $56,750 $62,143 1,076 452
19 Rowe Town $28,354 $50,938 $56,667 386 183
Franklin County County $28,313 $52,246 $65,713 71,495 30,362
20 Bernardston Town $28,117 $50,556 $66,000 2,193 948
United States Country $27,915 $52,762 $64,293 306,603,772 114,761,359
21 Buckland Town $27,308 $61,750 $73,125 2,297 869
Shelburne Falls CDP $27,155 $49,635 $62,500 1,886 815
22 Greenfield City $26,229 $46,018 $56,063 17,565 7,717
23 Montague Town $24,823 $41,980 $57,234 8,455 3,733
24 Erving Town $23,775 $53,661 $57,692 1,755 689
Orange CDP $22,652 $50,407 $51,979 3,926 1,534
25 Monroe Town $22,647 $30,714 $56,875 122 72
Turners Falls CDP $22,590 $36,623 $48,796 4,620 2,039
26 Orange Town $22,434 $44,282 $50,536 7,815 3,334
Millers Falls CDP $21,386 $50,550 $58,516 1,129 443

Transportation[edit]

Franklin County is served by buses run by the Franklin Regional Transit Authority. Southeastern Franklin County is also served by the Pioneer Valley Transit Authority, with transportation to destinations in neighboring Hampshire County.

Notable residents[edit]

  • David Dunnels White, Medal of Honor nominee for capturing Major General Custis Lee, son of Robert E. Lee, at the Battle of Sailors Creek, Virginia, April 6, 1865. He was born in Cheshire, Massachusetts, in 1844, and is buried in the Bozrah Cemetery in East Hawley, Massachusetts, in 1924.

Communities[edit]

City[edit]

Towns[edit]

Census-designated places[edit]

Other unincorporated communities[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 26, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on 2011-05-31. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  3. ^ Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Govt. Print. Off. p. 131. 
  4. ^ "Massachusetts Acts of 1996, Ch. 151, §567" (PDF). State Library of Massachusetts. William Francis Galvin, Secretary of the Commonwealth. Retrieved 2016-10-24. 
  5. ^ Massachusetts Government: County Government Archived April 21, 2004, at the Wayback Machine. Massachusetts League of Women Voters. Retrieved October 10, 2007.
  6. ^ "Registration and Party Enrollment Statistics as of October 13, 2010" (PDF). Massachusetts Elections Division. Retrieved 2011-03-14. 
  7. ^ http://uselectionatlas.org/RESULTS
  8. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Archived from the original on September 14, 2014. Retrieved September 16, 2014. 
  9. ^ "Deal keeps parcel of forest protected". 2011-12-24. Retrieved 2012-01-02. 
  10. ^ "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved June 9, 2017. 
  11. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on May 12, 2015. Retrieved September 16, 2014. 
  12. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved September 16, 2014. 
  13. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 16, 2014. 
  14. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 16, 2014. 
  15. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2013-09-11. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  16. ^ Sharing the Dream: White Males in a Multicultural America By Dominic J. Pulera.
  17. ^ Reynolds Farley, 'The New Census Question about Ancestry: What Did It Tell Us?', Demography, Vol. 28, No. 3 (August 1991), pp. 414, 421.
  18. ^ 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.
  19. ^ 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.
  20. ^ Mary C. Waters, Ethnic Options: Choosing Identities in America (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1990), p. 36.
  21. ^ a b c "DP-1 Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2016-01-12. 
  22. ^ "Population, Housing Units, Area, and Density: 2010 - County". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2016-01-12. 
  23. ^ "DP02 SELECTED SOCIAL CHARACTERISTICS IN THE UNITED STATES – 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2016-01-12. 
  24. ^ "DP03 SELECTED ECONOMIC CHARACTERISTICS – 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2016-01-12. 
  25. ^ "SELECTED ECONOMIC CHARACTERISTICS 2007-2011 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 2013-01-26. 
  26. ^ "ACS DEMOGRAPHIC AND HOUSING ESTIMATES 2007-2011 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 2013-01-26. 
  27. ^ "HOUSEHOLDS AND FAMILIES 2007-2011 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 2013-01-26. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 42°35′N 72°35′W / 42.58°N 72.59°W / 42.58; -72.59