Franklin County, Massachusetts

Franklin County, Massachusetts

Infobox U.S. County
county = Franklin County
state = Massachusetts

map size = 200
founded = 1811
seat = None (formerly Greenfield)
County government was abolished in 1997 | area_total_sq_mi = 725
area_total_km2 = 1877
area_total_sq_mi = 702
area_total_km2 = 1818
area_total_sq_mi = 23
area_total_km2 = 59
area percentage = 3.13%
census yr = 2000
pop = 71535
density_sq_mi = 102
density_km2 = 39
web =

Franklin County is a non-governmental county located in the U.S. state of Massachusetts. As of 2000, the population was 71,535. Its largest community and county seat is GreenfieldGR|6.

Franklin County is part of the Springfield Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Law and government

Like most 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 state 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. [ [| Massachusetts Government: County Government] Massachusetts League of Women Voters. Retrieved October 10, 2007.] 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.

Geography & Climate

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 725 square miles (1,877 km²), of which, 702 square miles (1,818 km²) of it is land and 23 square miles (59 km²) of it (3.13%) is water. central southern Franklin is dominated by the northern end of the pioneer valley with steep hills slowly rising on either side of the Connecticut river.

ClimateThe Climate in Franklin County is typically cool temperate, the area is also somewhat maritime with the 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 Counties

*Windham County, Vermont (north)
*Cheshire County, New Hampshire (northeast)
*Worcester County (east)
*Hampshire County (south)
*Berkshire County (west)

National protected area

* Silvio O. Conte National Wildlife Refuge (part)


As of the censusGR|2 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. 94.5% spoke English and 1.8% Spanish as their first language.

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 villages*

**"South Deerfield (a village of Deerfield)"
**"Lake Pleasant (a village of Montague)"
**"Millers Falls (a village of Montague)"
**"Montague Center (a village of Montague)"
**"Montague City (a village of Montague)"
**"Turners Falls (a village of Montague)"
*New Salem
**"Shelburne Falls (a village partially within the two towns of Shelburne and Buckland)"
*Whately*" Villages are census division, but have no separate corporate existence from the towns they are in."


External links

* [ National Register of Historic Places listing for Franklin Co., Massachusetts]
* [ Map of cities and towns of Massachusetts]
* [ Franklin Regional Council of Governments website]
* [ Franklin County Solid Waste Management District website]
* [ Franklin Regional Transit Authority website]
* [ Franklin County Chamber of Commerce website]
* Wall & Gray. 1871 [ "Atlas of Massachusetts".] [ Map of Massachusetts.] [ USA] . [ New England] . Counties - [ Berkshire] , [ Franklin] , [ Hampshire and Hampden] , [ Worcester] , [ Middlesex] , [ Essex and Norfolk] , [ Boston - Suffolk] , [ Plymouth] , [ Bristol] , [ Barnstable and Dukes (Cape Cod)] . Cities - [ Springfield] , [ Worcester] , [ Lowell] , [ Lawrence] , [ Haverhill] , [ Newburyport] , [ Salem] , [ Lynn] , [ Taunton] , [ Fall River] . [ New Bedford] . These 1871 maps of the Counties and Cities are useful to see the roads and rail lines.
* Beers,D.G. 1872 "Atlas of Essex County" [ Map of Massachusetts Plate 5] . Click on the map for a very large image.

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