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Worcester County, Massachusetts
Map of Massachusetts highlighting Worcester County
Location in the state of Massachusetts
Map of the U.S. highlighting Massachusetts
Massachusetts's location in the U.S.
Seat Worcester
County government abolished in 1998
Largest city Worcester
Area
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

1,579 sq mi (4,090 km²)
1,513 sq mi (3,919 km²)
66 sq mi (171 km²), 4.18%
Population
 - (2000)
 - Density

750,963
496/sq mi (192/km²)
Founded April 2, 1731

Worcester County is a non-governmental county located in the U.S. state of Massachusetts. The largest city and traditional county seat is the city of Worcester.[1] The population was 750,963 at the 2000 census.

Contents

Law and government

Worcester County today exists today only as a historical geographic region. It has had no county government since July 1, 1998, when all former county functions were assumed by other governmental agencies. There are vestiges of the old system: for example, county sheriffs are still elected, but are under the state Executive Office of Public Safety. Also, the office of district attorney is effectively a county-wide position even though the district includes one town from a neighboring county. There is not, however, a county council or a commissioner. Communities are now granted the right to form their own regional compacts for sharing services. The geographic area of Worcester County is covered by two regional planning commissions: Central Massachusetts (centered on the city of Worcester) and Montachusett (centered on the cities of Fitchburg and Leominster.) Worcester Regional functions also exist for disaster response, chamber of commerce, agriculture exention, regional transit and other services.

Massachusetts, by law, began to allow county governments to dissolve (or change form), beginning around 1997, mostly aimed at saving costs. Contiguous municipalities in southern New England made county governments less essential in this densely populated region. Connecticut and Rhode Island for example, also no longer have County governments. The law in Massachusetts still allows for communities to form regional compacts and governmental entities, and allowed a number of counties to continue. Traditional and modern County and regional governments still exist in Southeastern Massachusetts. Barnstable County, Massachusetts, which is Cape Cod, functions as a modern regional government and fulfills a number of regional services.

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 into two, with the Worcester Northern registry placed in Fitchburg.

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,579  square miles (4,090  km²), of which, 1,513 square miles (3,919 km²) of it is land and 66 square miles (171 km²) of it (4.18%) is water. 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.

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Adjacent counties

National protected area

  • Oxbow National Wildlife Refuge (part)

Demographics

In 1990 Worcester County had a population of 709,705.[2]

As of the census[3] 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.

Cities, towns, and villages*

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

References

  1. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. http://www.naco.org/Template.cfm?Section=Find_a_County&Template=/cffiles/counties/usamap.cfm. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  2. ^ Census Worcester County Basic Fact Sheet
  3. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. http://factfinder.census.gov. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 

External links

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


Genealogy

Up to date as of February 01, 2010

From Familypedia

This article requires significantly more historical detail on the particular phases of this location's historical development. The ideal article for a place will give the reader a feel for what it was like to live at that location at the time their relatives were alive there..
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Worcester County, Massachusetts
Map
File:Map of Massachusetts highlighting Worcester County.png
Location in the state of Massachusetts
Map of the USA highlighting Massachusetts
Massachusetts's location in the USA
Statistics
Founded April 2, 1731
Seat Worcester
Area
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

 sq mikm²)
 sq mi ( km²)
 sq mi ( km²), 4.18%
wikipedia:Population
 - (2000)
 - Density

750963

Worcester County is a county located in the U.S. state of Massachusetts. Its county seat is the city of Worcester.

Contents

Law and government

Worcester County exists today only as a historical geographic region. It has had no county government since July 1, 1998, when all former county functions were assumed by other governmental agencies. There are vestiges of the old system: for example, county sheriffs are still elected, but are under the state Executive Office of Public Safety. Also, the office of district attorney, currently held by Joe Early Jr., is effectively a county-wide position even though the district includes one town from a neighboring county. There is not, however, a county council or a commissioner. Communities are now granted the right to form their own regional compacts for sharing services.

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 into two, with the Worcester Northern registry placed in Fitchburg.

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 4,090 km² (1,579 sq mi). 3,919 km² (1,513 sq mi) of it is land and 171 km² (66 sq mi) of it (4.18%) is water. 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.

Adjacent counties

Demographics

As of the census² of 2000, there were 750,963 people, 283,927 households, and 192,502 families residing in the county. The population density was 192/km² (496/sq mi). There were 298,159 housing units at an average density of 76/km² (197/sq mi). 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.

Cities, towns, and villages*

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

References

External links

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

This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Worcester 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.
Facts about Worcester County, MassachusettsRDF feed
County of country United States  +
County of subdivision1 Massachusetts  +
Short name Worcester County  +

This article uses material from the "Worcester County, Massachusetts" article on the Genealogy wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

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