Middlesex County, Massachusetts: Wikis

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Middlesex County, Massachusetts
Seal of Middlesex County, Massachusetts
Map of Massachusetts highlighting Middlesex County
Location in the state of Massachusetts
Map of the U.S. highlighting Massachusetts
Massachusetts's location in the U.S.
Seat Cambridge and Lowell
Largest city Lowell
Area
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

848 sq mi (2,195 km²)
823 sq mi (2,133 km²)
24 sq mi (63 km²), 2.84%
Population
 - (2008)
 - Density

1,482,478
1,785/sq mi (687/km²)
Founded 1643

Middlesex County is the most populous county in the U.S. state of Massachusetts, and the most populous county in New England. As of 2008, the population was 1,482,478. The center of population of Massachusetts is in Natick, Middlesex County.[1]

The county seats are Cambridge and Lowell.[2] 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.

Contents

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, and Reading.[3]

Law and government

On July 11, 1997, the Massachusetts State Legislature abolished Middlesex County as a governmental entity due primarily to the county's insolvency. Middlesex County continues to exist as a geographic boundary.[4]

Immediately prior to its abolition, the government of Middlesex County consisted of three County Commissioners elected at-large to staggered four-year terms, a County Treasurer elected to a six-year term, a County Sheriff elected to a six-year term and two Registers of Deeds, one for the Northern District at Lowell and the other for the Southern District at Cambridge, both elected to six-year terms.[5] Middlesex County owned and operated the Superior Courthouses in Cambridge and Lowell and the Middlesex County Hospital in Waltham. Besides the employees of the Sheriff's Department and the two Registries of Deeds, the county had a Maintenance Department, a Security Department, small administrative staffs in the Treasurer's and Commissioners' Offices, and the employees at the hospital. Budgets proposed by the County Commissioners were approved by a County Advisory Board that consisted of a single representative of each of the 54 cities and towns in the county. The votes of the individual members of the the Advisory Board were weighted based on the overall valuation of property in their respective communities. The county derived its revenue primarily from document filing fees at the Registries of Deeds and from a Deeds Excise Tax, a transfer tax assessed on the sales price of real estate that was also collected by the Registries of Deeds.[6]

The legislation abolishing Middlesex County retained the Sheriff and Registers of Deeds as independently elected officials and transferred for administrative purposes the Sheriff's Department to the state Department of Public Safety and the two Registry of Deeds offices to the Massachusetts Secretary of State's Office.[7] Additionally, all county maintenance and security employees were absorbed into the corresponding staffs of the Massachusetts Trial Court. The legislation also transferred ownership of the two Superior Courthouses to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The hospital was closed. Finally, the office of County Commissioner was immediately abolished and the office of County Treasurer was abolished as of December 31, 2002.[8]

Besides the Sheriff and the two Registers of Deeds, the Middlesex District Attorney, the Middlesex Register of Probate and the Middlesex Clerk of Courts (which were already part of state government before the abolition of Middlesex County government) are all elected countywide to six-year terms. In Middlesex County (as in the entire Commonwealth of Massachusetts) governmental functions such as property tax assessment and collection, public education, road repair and maintenance and elections are all conducted at the city and town level and not by county government.

Records of land ownership in Middlesex County are maintained at the two Registries of Deeds. The first Middlesex County Registry of Deeds was created in 1649 in Cambridge. In 1855, the Massachusetts State Legislature created a Registry of Deeds for the Northern District of Middlesex County in Lowell. The Northern District consists the city of Lowell and the towns of Billerica, Carlisle, Chelmsford, Dracut, Dunstable, Tewksbury, Tyngsborough, Westford and Wilmington. The remaining 44 cities and towns of Middlesex County are in the Southern District which remained in Cambridge.[9]

Even after the abolition of county government in Middlesex, communities are now granted the right to form their own regional compacts for sharing services.

County government: Middlesex County
Clerk of Courts: Michael A. Sullivan
District Attorney: Gerard T. Leone, Jr.
Register of Deeds: Richard P. Howe, Jr. (North at Lowell)
Eugene C. Brune (South at Cambridge)
Register of Probate: Tara E. DeCristofaro
County Sheriff: James DiPaola
State government
State Representative(s): 37 Representatives: [6]
State Senator(s): 16 Senators: [7]
Governor's Councilor(s):
Federal government
U.S. Representative(s): John Olver (D-1st District)
James P. McGovern (D-3rd District)
Barney Frank (D-4th District)
Niki Tsongas (D-5th District)
John F. Tierney (D-6th District)
Edward J. Markey (D-7th District)
Michael Capuano (D-8th District)
U.S. Senators: John Kerry (D), Scott Brown (R)

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 848 sq mi (2,195 km²). 823 sq mi (2,133 km²) of it is land and 24 sq mi (62 km² ) of it (2.84%) is water.

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

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Adjacent counties

National protected areas

Demographics

As of the census[10] of 2000, there were 1,465,396 people, 561,220 households, and 360,864 families residing in the county. The population density was 1,780/sq mi (687/km²). There were 576,681 housing units at an average density of 700 per square mile (270/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 85.88% White, 3.36% Black or African American, 0.15% Native American, 6.26% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 2.07% from other races, and 2.24% from two or more races. 4.55% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 20.0% were of Irish, 15.7% Italian and 8.0% English ancestry according to Census 2000. 79.6% spoke English, 4.3% Spanish, 2.7% Portuguese, 1.6% Italian, 1.6% Chinese or Mandarin 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. [8]

There were 561,220 households out of which 30.20% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.30% were married couples living together, 9.90% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.70% were non-families. 27.10% 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 2.52 and the average family size was 3.11.

In the county the population was spread out with 22.50% under the age of 18, 9.00% from 18 to 24, 33.40% from 25 to 44, 22.40% from 45 to 64, and 12.80% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 93.70 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.70 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $60,821, and the median income for a family was $74,194 (these figures had risen to $74,010 and $91,461 respectively as of a 2007 estimate[11]). Males had a median income of $49,460 versus $36,288 for females. The per capita income for the county was $31,199. About 4.30% of families and 6.50% of the population were below the poverty line, including 7.20% of those under age 18 and 7.10% of those age 65 or over.

In 2006, Middlesex County was #10 in the United States on the list of most millionaires per county. [12]

Politics

Presidential Election Results 1960-2008
Year Democrat Republican
2008 64.2% 462,226 34.1% 245,215
2004 63.99% 440,862 34.52% 237,815
2000 61.49% 404,043 30.27% 198,914
1996 63.41% 398,190 27.06% 169,926
1992 49.89% 343,994 28.10% 193,703
1988 54.57% 361,563 43.82% 193,703
1984 50.26% 325,065 49.42% 319,604
1980 42.46% 270,751 40.30% 256,999
1976 55.94% 359,919 40.42% 260,044
1972 55.91% 345,343 43.56% 269,064
1968 64.11% 370,310 32.60% 188,304
1964 76.25% 439,790 23.36% 134,729
1960 59.01% 356,130 40.78% 246,126

Cities and towns

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 existence from the cities and towns in which they are located.

See also

Notes

External links

Coordinates: 42°29′N 71°23′W / 42.49°N 71.39°W / 42.49; -71.39


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Middlesex County, Massachusetts
Map
File:Map of Massachusetts highlighting Middlesex County.png
Location in the state of Massachusetts
Map of the USA highlighting Massachusetts
Massachusetts's location in the USA
Statistics
Founded 1643
Seat Cambridge and Lowell
Area
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

 sq mikm²)
 sq mi ( km²)
 sq mi ( km²), 2.84%
wikipedia:Population
 - (2000)
 - Density

1465396

Middlesex County is a county located in the U.S. state of Massachusetts. It is the most populous county in Massachusetts. As of the 2000 census, the population was 1,465,396. The center of population of Massachusetts is located in Middlesex County, in the town of Natick.[1] Its county seats are Cambridge and Lowell6. The county government was abolished in 1997 but the county itself still survives as a legal venue and for other administrative purposes.

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 Charleston, Cambridge, Watertown, Sudbury, Concord, Woburn, Medford, and Reading.[2]

Contents

Law and government

Like an increasing number of Massachusetts counties, Middlesex County exists today only as a historical geographic region, and has no county government. All former 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, but there is no county council or commissioner. However, communities are now granted the right to form their own regional compacts for sharing services. See also: League of Women Voters page on Massachusetts counties.

County government: Middlesex County
Clerk of Courts: Michael A. Sullivan
County Treasurer: Position Eliminated
District Attorney: Gerard T. Leone, Jr.
Registrar of Deeds: Richard P. Howe, Jr. (North at Lowell)
Eugene C. Brune (South at Cambridge)
Registrar of Probate:
County Sheriff: James DiPaola
State government
State Representative(s): 37 Representatives: [2]
State Senator(s): 16 Senators: [3]
Governor's Councilor(s):
Federal government
U.S. Representative(s): John Olver(D-1st District)
James P. McGovern (D-3rd District)
Barney Frank (D-4th District)
Martin T. Meehan (D-5th District) (Until July 2007. See Massachusetts's 5th congressional district special election)
John F. Tierney (D-6th District)
Edward J. Markey (D-7th District)
Michael Capuano (D-8th District)
U.S. Senators: Ted Kennedy (D), John Kerry (D)

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 848 sq mi (2,195 km²). 823 sq mi (2,133 km²) of it is land and 24 sq mi (62 km² ) of it (2.84%) is water.

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

Adjacent Counties

Demographics

As of the census² of 2000, there were 1,465,396 people, 561,220 households, and 360,864 families residing in the county. The population density was 1,780/sq mi (687/km²). There were 576,681 housing units at an average density of 270/km² (700/sq mi). The racial makeup of the county was 85.88% White, 3.36% Black or African American, 0.15% Native American, 6.26% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 2.07% from other races, and 2.24% from two or more races. 4.55% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 20.0% were of Irish, 15.7% Italian and 8.0% English ancestry according to Census 2000. 79.6% spoke English, 4.3% Spanish, 2.7% Portuguese, 1.6% Italian, 1.6% Chinese or Mandarin and 1.5% French as their first language. Middlesex county is the most-Irish county in the entire country[4]

There were 561,220 households out of which 30.20% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.30% were married couples living together, 9.90% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.70% were non-families. 27.10% 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 2.52 and the average family size was 3.11.

In the county the population was spread out with 22.50% under the age of 18, 9.00% from 18 to 24, 33.40% from 25 to 44, 22.40% from 45 to 64, and 12.80% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 93.70 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.70 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $60,821, and the median income for a family was $74,194. Males had a median income of $49,460 versus $36,288 for females. The per capita income for the county was $31,199. About 4.30% of families and 6.50% of the population were below the poverty line, including 7.20% of those under age 18 and 7.10% of those age 65 or over.

Middlesex County is the 10th richest county in the country, according to Forbes.

Cities and towns

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 existence from the cities and towns in which they are located.

Notes

  1. ^ [1]Government Census Information
  2. ^ Davis, William T. Bench and Bar of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, p. 44. The Boston History Company, 1895.

See also

External links

Coordinates: 42°29′N 71°23′W / 42.49, -71.39

This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Middlesex County, Massachusetts. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.
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