|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%%|
|• Density||13,698/sq mi (5,289/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−5 (Eastern)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−4 (EDT)|
|Congressional districts||5th, 7th, 8th|
Suffolk County is located in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, in the United States. As of the 2020 census, the population was 797,936,making 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 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 is located at 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 Mendon and 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. 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 former governor of Massachusetts 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%. In 2020, Joe Biden won the county by the largest margin of any presidential candidate since Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964, and was the first candidate since then to win more than 80% of the vote in the county.
|Voter registration and party enrollment as of October 17, 2018|
|Party||Number of voters||Percentage|
The Suffolk County Sheriff's Department's primary responsibility is oversight of the Nashua Street Jail and the South Bay House of Correction. These were built in the 1990s to replace the historic Charles Street Jail and Deer Island Prison, respectively. The Suffolk County Sheriff's Department was among those named in a 2020 WBUR report about the neglect of inmates with medical conditions in Massachusetts prisons leading to their deaths.
Several notable figures in Massachusetts history were once the sheriff of Suffolk County:
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|
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (July 2022)
Each city has its own school district (including Boston Public Schools, Chelsea Public Schools, Revere Public Schools, and Winthrop Public Schools), which all follow municipal boundaries.
Tertiary institutions in the county include:
Public library systems in the county include:
Berkshire County is a county on the western edge of the U.S. state of Massachusetts. As of the 2020 census, the population was 129,026. Its largest city and traditional county seat is Pittsfield. The county was founded in 1761. The Berkshire Hills are centered on Berkshire County. Residents are known as Berkshirites. It exists today only as a historical geographic region, and has no county government, with the exception of the retirement board for former county workers, and certain offices such as the sheriff and registry of deeds.
Bristol County is a county in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. As of the 2020 census, the population was 579,200. The shire town is Taunton. Some governmental functions are performed by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, others by the county, and others by local towns and cities. See administrative divisions of Massachusetts. The property deed records are kept in Taunton, Attleboro, Fall River, and New Bedford.
Essex County is a county in the northeastern part of the U.S. state of Massachusetts. At the 2020 census, the total population was 809,829, making it the third-most populous county in the state, and the eightieth-most populous in the country. 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. It has two traditional county seats: Salem and Lawrence. Prior to the dissolution of the county government in 1999, Salem had jurisdiction over the Southern Essex District, and Lawrence had jurisdiction over the Northern Essex District, but currently these cities do not function as seats of government. However, the county and the districts remain as administrative regions recognized by various governmental agencies, which gathered vital statistics or disposed of judicial case loads under these geographic subdivisions, and are required to keep the records based on them. The county has been designated the Essex National Heritage Area by the National Park Service.
Hampden County is a non-governmental county located in the Pioneer Valley of the state of Massachusetts, in the United States. As of the 2020 census, Hampden County's population was 465,825. 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. Hampden County is part of the Springfield, MA Metropolitan Statistical Area. It is the most urban county in Western Massachusetts. The Knowledge Corridor surrounding Springfield-Hartford is New England's second most populous urban area with 1.9 million people.
Middlesex County is located in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, in the United States. As of the 2020 census, the population was 1,632,002, making it the most populous county in both Massachusetts and New England and the 22nd most populous county in the United States. Middlesex County is one of two U.S. counties to be amongst the top 25 counties with the highest household income and the 25 most populated counties. It is included in the Census Bureau's Boston–Cambridge–Newton, MA–NH Metropolitan Statistical Area. As part of the 2020 United States census, the Commonwealth's mean center of population for that year was geo-centered in Middlesex County, in the town of Natick.
Norfolk County is located in the U.S. state of Massachusetts. At the 2020 census, the population was 725,981. 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, south of Boston. As of the 2020 census, the population was 530,819. 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 in the U.S. state of Massachusetts. At the 2020 census, the population was 862,111, making it the second-most populous county in Massachusetts. It is also the largest county in Massachusetts by geographic area. The largest city and traditional shire town is Worcester, Massachusetts. Worcester County is part of the Worcester, MA-CT metropolitan statistical area and as the Boston-Worcester-Providence, MA-RI-NH-CT combined statistical area.
Newton is a city in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States. It is approximately 7 miles (11 km) west of downtown Boston. Newton resembles a patchwork of thirteen villages, without a city center. According to the 2020 U.S. Census, the population of Newton was 88,923.
Cohasset is a town in Norfolk County, Massachusetts, United States. As of the 2020 census the population was 8,381.
Norwell is a town in Plymouth County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 11,351 at the 2020 United States census. The town's southeastern border runs along the North River.
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 2020 United States Census, the city has a population of 62,186 inhabitants.
Hull is a town in Plymouth County, Massachusetts, United States, located on a peninsula at the southern edge of Boston Harbor. Its population was 10,072 at the 2020 census. Hull is the smallest town by land area in Plymouth County and the fourth smallest in the state. However, its population density is nearly four times that of Massachusetts as a whole.
Winthrop is a town in Suffolk County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 19,316 at the 2020 census. 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.
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 2020 census, the population was 24,284. 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.
Greater Boston is the metropolitan region of New England encompassing the municipality of Boston and its surrounding areas. The region forms the northern arc of the Northeast megalopolis, so Greater Boston means both a metropolitan statistical area (MSA) and a combined statistical area (CSA), which is broader. The MSA consists of most of the eastern third of Massachusetts, excluding the South Coast and Cape Cod; the CSA additionally includes the municipalities of Providence, Manchester, Worcester, the South Coast region, and Cape Cod. While the city of Boston covers 48.4 square miles (125 km2) and has 675,647 residents as of the 2020 census, the urbanization has extended well into surrounding areas and the CSA has a population of more than 8.4 million people, making it one of the most populous such regions in the U.S. The CSA is one of two in Massachusetts, the other being Greater Springfield. Greater Boston is the only CSA in New England that lies in three states ; some definitions extend it into a fourth (Connecticut).
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.
Norfolk and Suffolk is a district of the Massachusetts Senate. It covers 13.1% of Norfolk County and 9.4% of Suffolk County population in 2010. Democrat Mike Rush of West Roxbury has represented the district since 2011.
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. Democrat James Murphy of Weymouth has represented the district since 2001. Candidates for this district seat in the 2020 Massachusetts general election are Paul Rotondo and incumbent James Murphy.
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. Democrat Dan Hunt of Dorchester has represented the district since 2014.
70 Everett Avenue Chelsea, MA 02150