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Franklin County, Massachusetts
Map of Massachusetts highlighting Franklin County
Location in the state of Massachusetts
Map of USA MA
Massachusetts's location in the U.S.
Founded 1811
Seat Greenfield
County government abolished in 1997
Largest city Greenfield
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

724.74 sq mi (1,877 km²)
702.03 sq mi (1,818 km²)
22.71 sq mi (59 km²), 3.13%
 - (2000)
 - Density

102/sq mi (39/km²)

Franklin County is a non-governmental 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.[1]

Franklin County is part of the Springfield Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Franklin County was created on 24 June 1811 from the northern third of Hampshire County.

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. 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.[2] 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[3]
Party Number of Voters Percentage
  Democratic 15,122 30.68%
  Republican 4,849 9.84%
  Unaffiliated 28,922 58.68%
  Minor Parties 397 0.81%
Total 49,290 100%


Presidential election results[4]
Year Democrat Republican
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 climateEdit

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%) is land and 22.71 square miles (58.8 km2) (or 3.13%) is water.[5] Central and southern Franklin County is dominated by the northern end of the Pioneer Valley, with steep hills slowly 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.

Unlike many other counties in Massachusetts, which contain a town or city of the same name, Franklin County is not the home of the city of Franklin, Massachusetts, which is located approximately 60 miles (97 km) to the southeast in Norfolk County.


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 occasions of snow and sub-zero (below 31F) temperatures.

Adjacent countiesEdit

National protected areaEdit


Historical populations
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%

As of the census[9] 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".[10][11][12][13][14] 94.5% spoke English and 1.8% Spanish as their first language. Historically a largely agrarian, rural county as much of it remains to this day.

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 villagesEdit

Villages are census divisions, but have no separate corporate existence from the towns in which they are located.

See alsoEdit

References Edit

  1. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  2. ^ Massachusetts Government: County Government Massachusetts League of Women Voters. Retrieved October 10, 2007.
  3. ^ "Registration and Party Enrollment Statistics as of October 13, 2010" (PDF). Massachusetts Elections Division. Retrieved 2011-03-14. 
  4. ^ "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". Retrieved 2011-06-11. 
  5. ^ "Census 2000 U.S. Gazetteer Files: Counties". United States Census. Retrieved 2011-02-13. 
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  10. ^ Sharing the Dream: White Males in a Multicultural America By Dominic J. Pulera.
  11. ^ Reynolds Farley, 'The New Census Question about Ancestry: What Did It Tell Us?', Demography, Vol. 28, No. 3 (August 1991), pp. 414, 421.
  12. ^ 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.
  13. ^ 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.
  14. ^ Mary C. Waters, Ethnic Options: Choosing Identities in America (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1990), p. 36.

External linksEdit

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

This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Franklin 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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