Suffolk County Courthouse
Location within the U.S. state of Massachusetts
Massachusetts's location within the U.S.
|Founded||May 10, 1643|
|• Total||120 sq mi (300 km2)|
|• Land||58.15 sq mi (150.6 km2)|
|• Water||62 sq mi (160 km2) 52%%|
| • Estimate |
|• Density||13,882/sq mi (5,360/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−5 (Eastern)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−4 (EDT)|
|Congressional districts||5th, 7th, 8th|
Suffolk County is a county in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, in the United States. As of 2019, the population was 803,907making it the fourth-most populous county in Massachusetts. The county comprises the cities of Boston, Chelsea, Revere and Winthrop.
The traditional county seat is Boston, the state capital and the largest city in Massachusetts.The county government was abolished in late 1999, and so Suffolk County today functions only as an administrative subdivision of state government and a set of communities grouped together for some statistical purposes. Suffolk County constitutes the core of the Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA-NH Metropolitan Statistical Area as well as the greater Boston-Worcester-Providence, MA-RI-NH-CT Combined Statistical Area.
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 (including Milton) 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.
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.
Politically speaking, Suffolk County supports the Democratic Party overwhelmingly. No Republican presidential candidate has won there since Calvin Coolidge in 1924. In 2012 Barack Obama received 77.4% of the vote, compared to 20.8% for Mitt Romney. In the 2014 gubernatorial election, Martha Coakley carried the county by a 32.4% margin, while losing the election statewide by 48.4 to 46.5%.
|Voter registration and party enrollment as of October 17, 2018|
|Party||Number of voters||Percentage|
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 120 square miles (310 km2), of which 58 square miles (150 km2) is land and 62 square miles (160 km2) (52%) is water. It is the second-smallest county in Massachusetts by land area and smallest by total area.
Suffolk County has no land border with Plymouth County to its southeast, but the two counties share a water boundary in the middle of Massachusetts Bay.
|U.S. Decennial Census |
Of the 292,767 households, 24.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 27.1% were married couples living together, 16.3% had a female householder with no husband present, 52.0% were non-families, and 36.3% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.30 and the average family size was 3.11. The median age was 31.5 years.
The median income for a household in the county was $50,597 and the median income for a family was $58,127. Males had a median income of $48,887 versus $43,658 for females. The per capita income for the county was $30,720. About 15.7% of families and 20.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 28.1% of those under age 18 and 19.1% of those age 65 or over.
|Race||Percentage of |
|Two or more races||3.4%||2.4%||2.7%||+1.0%||+0.7%|
According to the 2012-2016 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates, the largest ancestry groups in Suffolk County, Massachusetts are:
Data is from the 2007-2011 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates.
|Rank||Town||Area (land)||Per capita|
|1||Winthrop||City||2.0 sq mi (5.2 km2)||$36,624||$61,744||$81,647||17,430||7,356|
|2||Boston||City||48.42 sq mi (125.41 km2)||$33,158||$51,739||$61,035||609,942||247,621|
|3||Revere||City||5.9 sq mi (15.3 km2)||$25,085||$50,592||$58,345||50,845||19,425|
|4||Chelsea||City||2.2 sq mi (5.7 km2)||$20,214||$43,155||$46,967||34,872||12,035|
Essex County is a county in the northeastern part of the U.S. state of Massachusetts. As of the 2010 census, the total population was 743,159, making it the third-most populous county in the state. It is part of the Greater Boston area. The largest city in Essex County is Lynn. The county was named after the English county of Essex.
Franklin County is a nongovernmental county located in the U.S. state of Massachusetts. As of the 2010 census, the population was 71,372, which makes it the least-populous county on the Massachusetts mainland, and the third-least populous county in the state. Its traditional county seat and most populous city is Greenfield. Its largest town by area is New Salem.
Hampden County is a non-governmental county located in the Pioneer Valley of the state of Massachusetts, in the United States. As of the 2010 census, Hampden County's population was 463,490. As of 2019, Hampden County's estimated population was 466,372. Its traditional county seat is Springfield, the Connecticut River Valley's largest city, and economic and cultural capital; with an estimated population of 154,758, approximately 1 in 3 residents of Hampden County live in Springfield. Hampden County was split from Hampshire County in 1812, because Northampton, Massachusetts, was made Hampshire County's "shire town" in 1794; however, Springfield—theretofore Hampshire County's traditional shire town, dating back to its founding in 1636—grew at a pace far quicker than Northampton and was granted shire town-status over its own, southerly jurisdiction. It was named for parliamentarian John Hampden. To the north of Hampden County is modern-day Hampshire County; to the west is Berkshire County; to the east is Worcester County; to the south are Litchfield County, Hartford County, and Tolland County in Connecticut.
Hampshire County is a historical and judicial county located in the U.S. state of Massachusetts. Following the dissolution of the county government in 1999, county affairs were managed by the Hampshire Council of Governments, which itself ceased operations in 2019, due to mismanagement. As of the 2010 census, the population was 158,080. Its most populous municipality is Amherst, its largest town in terms of landmass is Belchertown, and its traditional county seat is Northampton. The county is named after the county Hampshire, in England.
Norfolk County is a county located in the U.S. state of Massachusetts. At the 2010 census, the population was 670,850. Its county seat is Dedham. It is the fourth most populous county in the United States whose county seat is neither a city nor a borough, and it is the second most populous county that has a county seat at a town. The county was named after the English county of the same name. Two towns, Cohasset and Brookline, are exclaves.
Plymouth County is a county in the U.S. state of Massachusetts. As of the 2010 census, the population was 494,919. Its county seats are Plymouth and Brockton. In 1685 the County was created by the Plymouth General Court, the legislature of Plymouth Colony, predating its annexation by the Massachusetts Bay Colony.
Worcester County is a county located in the U.S. state of Massachusetts. As of the 2010 census, the population was 798,552, making it the second-most populous county in Massachusetts while also being the largest in area. The estimated population as of July 1, 2019 is 830,622. The largest city and traditional county seat is the city of Worcester.
Windham County is a county located in the northeastern corner of the U.S. state of Connecticut. As of the 2010 census, the population was 118,428, making it the least populous county in Connecticut. It forms the core of the region known as the Quiet Corner.
Cohasset is a small town in Norfolk County, Massachusetts, United States. As of the 2010 census the population was 7,542, and in 2017 the estimated population was 8,516.
Chelsea is a city in Suffolk County, Massachusetts, United States, directly across the Mystic River from the city of Boston. As of 2018, Chelsea had an estimated population of 40,160. It is also the second most densely populated city in Massachusetts behind Somerville. With a total area of just 2.21 square miles, Chelsea is the smallest city in Massachusetts in terms of total area.
Revere is a city in Suffolk County, Massachusetts, United States, located approximately 5 miles (8.0 km) from downtown Boston. Founded as North Chelsea in 1846, it was renamed in 1871 after the American Revolutionary War patriot Paul Revere. In 1914, the Town of Revere was incorporated as a city. As of the 2010 United States Census, the city has a population of 51,755 inhabitants.
Exeter is a town in Rockingham County, New Hampshire, United States. The population was 14,306 at the 2010 census and an estimated 15,317 in 2018. Exeter was the county seat until 1997, when county offices were moved to neighboring Brentwood. Home to the Phillips Exeter Academy, a private university-preparatory school, Exeter is situated where the Exeter River feeds the tidal Squamscott River.
Hull is a town in Plymouth County, Massachusetts, United States, located on a peninsula at the southern edge of Boston Harbor. Its population was 10,293 at the 2010 census. Hull is the smallest town by land area in Plymouth County and the fourth smallest in the state. However, its population density is within the top thirty towns in the state.
Winthrop is a town in Suffolk County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 17,497 at the 2010 census and as of 2018 the population has grown to an estimated 18,688. Winthrop is an ocean-side suburban community in Greater Boston situated at the north entrance to Boston Harbor, close to Logan International Airport. It is located on a peninsula, 1.6 square miles (4.2 km2) in area, connected to Revere by a narrow isthmus and to East Boston by a bridge over the harbor inlet to the Belle Isle Marsh Reservation. Settled in 1630, Winthrop is one of the oldest communities in the United States. It is also one of the smallest and most densely populated municipalities in Massachusetts. It is one of the four municipalities in Suffolk County. It is the southernmost part of the North Shore, with a 7-mile (11 km) shoreline that provides views of the Atlantic Ocean to the east and of the Boston skyline to the west.
Hingham is a town in metropolitan Greater Boston on the South Shore of the U.S. state of Massachusetts in northern Plymouth County. At the 2010 census, the population was 22,157. Hingham is known for its colonial history and location on Boston Harbor. The town was named after Hingham, Norfolk, England, and was first settled by English colonists in 1633.
Revere Beach Parkway is a historic parkway in the suburbs immediately north of Boston, Massachusetts. It begins at Wellington Circle in Medford, where the road leading to the west is Mystic Valley Parkway, and the north–south road is the Fellsway, designated Route 28. The parkway proceeds east, ending at Eliot Circle, the junction of Revere Beach Boulevard and Winthrop Parkway in Revere. In between, the parkway passes through the cities of Everett and Chelsea. The parkway was built between 1896 and 1904 to provide access from interior communities to Revere Beach. It underwent two major periods of capacity expansion, in the 1930s and again in the 1950s. The parkway is designated as part of Route 16 west of Route 1A, and as part of Route 145 east of that point.
Massachusetts's 4th congressional district is located mostly in southern Massachusetts. It is represented by Democrat Joe Kennedy III.
Massachusetts's 9th congressional district is located in eastern Massachusetts. It is represented by Democrat William R. Keating. The 9th district is the least Democratic Congressional District in Massachusetts according to the PVI.
Massachusetts House of Representatives' 4th Norfolk district in the United States is one of 160 legislative districts included in the lower house of the Massachusetts General Court. It covers parts of Norfolk County and Plymouth County. Since 2001, James M. Murphy of the Democratic Party represents the district.
Massachusetts House of Representatives' 13th Suffolk district in the United States is one of 160 legislative districts included in the lower house of the Massachusetts General Court. It covers part of Quincy in Norfolk County and part of Boston in Suffolk County. Since 2014, Daniel J. Hunt of the Democratic Party represents the district.
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