Suffolk County, Massachusetts

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Suffolk County, Massachusetts
County
County of Suffolk
Suffolk County Courthouse Boston.jpg
Suffolk County Courthouse
Seal of Suffolk County, Massachusetts
Seal
Map of Massachusetts highlighting Suffolk County
Location in the U.S. state of Massachusetts
Map of the United States highlighting Massachusetts
Massachusetts's location in the U.S.
Founded May 10th, 1643
Named for Suffolk
Seat Boston
Largest city Boston
Area
 • Total 120 sq mi (311 km2)
 • Land 58 sq mi (150 km2)
 • Water 62 sq mi (161 km2), 52%
Population (est.)
 • ( 2015) 778,121
 • Density 13,229/sq mi (5,108/km²)
Congressional districts 5th, 7th, 8th
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/ -4

Suffolk County is a county in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, in the United States. As of 2016, the population was 784,230 [1] making it the fourth-most populous county in Massachusetts. The county seat is Boston, the state capital and largest city. [2] 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 is included in the Boston- Cambridge- Newton, MA- NH Metropolitan Statistical Area.

History

Old Suffolk County Courthouse 1810-1841

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. [3] The county was named after Suffolk, England, which means "southern folk." [4]

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. [5] 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.

Government and politics

Presidential Elections Results [6]
Year Republican Democratic Third Parties
2016 16.1% 50,421 78.4% 245,751 5.5% 17,111
2012 20.8% 59,999 77.5% 223,896 1.8% 5,203
2008 21.2% 57,194 76.9% 207,128 1.8% 4,900
2004 22.8% 54,923 75.9% 182,592 1.3% 3,130
2000 20.5% 44,441 71.4% 154,888 8.2% 17,671
1996 19.9% 39,753 73.0% 145,586 7.1% 14,053
1992 23.4% 51,378 60.6% 132,921 16.0% 34,974
1988 34.4% 77,137 64.0% 143,677 1.6% 3,596
1984 37.4% 91,563 62.3% 152,568 0.4% 866
1980 33.9% 73,271 52.5% 113,416 13.7% 29,520
1976 34.7% 80,623 61.1% 142,010 4.2% 9,739
1972 33.7% 85,272 65.8% 166,250 0.5% 1,299
1968 18.2% 48,952 75.6% 203,406 6.2% 16,619
1964 13.5% 40,251 86.2% 257,161 0.3% 842
1960 25.3% 85,750 74.4% 252,823 0.3% 1,044
1956 45.8% 162,836 53.8% 191,245 0.5% 1,605
1952 40.1% 162,147 59.5% 240,957 0.4% 1,775
1948 27.4% 105,671 69.0% 265,611 3.6% 13,785
1944 37.2% 139,285 62.6% 234,475 0.2% 727
1940 36.1% 138,575 63.3% 243,233 0.6% 2,337
1936 27.6% 96,418 63.9% 223,732 8.5% 29,860
1932 30.0% 88,737 67.1% 198,792 2.9% 8,543
1928 32.5% 99,392 66.8% 204,603 0.7% 2,135
1924 47.1% 104,658 35.5% 78,702 17.4% 38,633
1920 58.1% 108,089 36.3% 67,552 5.6% 10,457
1916 40.0% 42,492 57.5% 61,047 2.5% 2,609
1912 24.7% 24,179 47.1% 46,059 28.2% 27,613
1908 48.5% 46,337 45.8% 43,773 5.7% 5,429
1904 44.1% 43,681 52.3% 51,714 3.6% 3,569
1900 44.8% 40,951 52.0% 47,534 3.2% 2,880
1896 59.9% 53,633 35.5% 31,744 4.7% 4,174
1892 43.4% 35,304 54.7% 44,504 2.0% 1,584
1888 44.2% 31,191 54.6% 38,540 1.3% 921
1884 36.9% 23,283 54.8% 34,621 8.4% 5,278
1880 49.2% 28,346 50.1% 28,861 0.7% 396
1876 47.5% 22,832 52.2% 25,101 0.3% 141

Like an increasing number of Massachusetts counties, Suffolk County exists today only as a historical geographic region, and has no county government. [7] 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. [8] Politically speaking, Suffolk County supports the Democratic Party overwhelmingly. No Republican presidential candidate has won there since 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 15, 2008 [9]
Party Number of Voters Percentage
Democratic 234,443 54.46%
Republican 31,271 7.26%
Unenrolled 161,320 37.47%
Minor Parties 3,489 0.81%
Total 430,523 100%

Geography

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. [10] It is the second-smallest county in Massachusetts by land area and smallest by total area.

Adjacent counties

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.

National protected areas

Major Highways

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1790 44,865
1800 28,015 −37.6%
1810 34,381 22.7%
1820 43,940 27.8%
1830 62,163 41.5%
1840 95,773 54.1%
1850 144,517 50.9%
1860 192,700 33.3%
1870 270,802 40.5%
1880 387,927 43.3%
1890 484,780 25.0%
1900 611,417 26.1%
1910 731,388 19.6%
1920 835,522 14.2%
1930 879,536 5.3%
1940 863,248 −1.9%
1950 896,615 3.9%
1960 791,329 −11.7%
1970 735,190 −7.1%
1980 650,142 −11.6%
1990 663,906 2.1%
2000 689,807 3.9%
2010 722,023 4.7%
Est. 2016 784,230 [11] 8.6%
U.S. Decennial Census [12]
1790-1960 [13] 1900-1990 [14]
1990-2000 [15] 2010-2013 [16]

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 722,023 people, 292,767 households, and 140,412 families residing in the county. [17] The population density was 12,415.6 inhabitants per square mile (4,793.7/km2). There were 315,522 housing units at an average density of 5,425.6 per square mile (2,094.8/km2). [18] The racial makeup of the county was 56.0% white, 21.6% black or African American, 8.2% Asian, 0.4% American Indian, 9.7% from other races, and 3.9% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 19.9% of the population. [17] The largest ancestry groups were:

Republic of Ireland 16.4% Irish

Italy 10.4% Italian

England 5.2% English

Puerto Rico 5.1% Puerto Rican

Germany 4.3% German

Dominican Republic 3.8% Dominican

China 3.5% Chinese

Haiti 3.4% Haitian

El Salvador 2.8% Salvadoran

Poland 2.6% Polish

France 2.5% French

United States 2.0% American

Russia 1.8% Russian

South Vietnam 1.7% Vietnamese

Cape Verde 1.6% Cape Verdean

Colombia 1.4% Colombian

Scotland 1.4% Scottish

Quebec 1.3% French Canadian

Arab League 1.3% Arab

Jamaica 1.1% Jamaican

Mexico 1.1% Mexican

India 1.1% Indian

Guatemala 1.1% Guatemalan

Portugal 1.1% Portuguese

Honduras 1.0% Honduran

Northern Ireland 1.0% Scotch-Irish

[19]

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. [17]

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. [20]

Demographic breakdown by town

Income

Data is from the 2007-2011 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates. [21] [22] [23]

Rank Town Area (land) Per capita
income
Median
household
income
Median
family
income
Population Number of
households
1 Winthrop City 2.0 sq mi (5.2 km2) $36,624 $61,744 $81,647 17,430 7,356
Massachusetts State $35,051 $65,981 $83,371 6,512,227 2,522,409
2 Boston City 48.42 sq mi (125.41 km2) $33,158 $51,739 $61,035 609,942 247,621
Suffolk County County $32,034 $51,638 $60,342 713,089 286,437
United States Country $27,915 $52,762 $64,293 306,603,772 114,761,359
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

Communities

Map of Suffolk County showing (clockwise from bottom) Boston (red), Chelsea (yellow), Revere (green), and Winthrop (blue). Interior water features such as Boston Harbor are filled in by the color of the containing city.

SUFFOLK COUNTY MASSACHUSETTS INFORMATION


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