Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Hampshire County, Massachusetts
Law and government
Like an increasing number of Massachusetts counties, Hampshire 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 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 or commissioner. However, communities are now granted the right to form their own regional compacts for sharing services (Hampshire County's communities, in toto, have entered into such a compact). See also: MassGov page on counties.
As of the census2 of 2000, there are 152,251 people, 55,991 households, and 33,818 families residing in the county. The population density is 111/km² (288/mi²). There are 58,644 housing units at an average density of 43/km² (111/mi²). The racial makeup of the county is 91.10% White, 1.96% Black or African American, 0.19% Native American, 3.40% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 1.50% from other races, and 1.80% from two or more races. 3.42% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There are 55,991 households out of which 28.20% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.40% are married couples living together, 9.80% have a female householder with no husband present, and 39.60% are non-families. 28.60% of all households are made up of individuals and 10.20% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.39 and the average family size is 2.96.
In the county the population is spread out with 19.60% under the age of 18, 19.30% from 18 to 24, 26.80% from 25 to 44, 22.20% from 45 to 64, and 12.00% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 34 years. For every 100 females there are 87.40 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 83.90 males.
The median income for a household in the county is $46,098, and the median income for a family is $57,480. Males have a median income of $39,327 versus $30,362 for females. The per capita income for the county is $21,685. 9.40% of the population and 5.10% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 8.20% of those under the age of 18 and 6.70% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.
Cities, towns, and villages*
- -- Amherst Center (a village of Amherst)
- -- North Amherst (a village of Amherst)
- -- South Amherst (a village of Amherst)
- Enfield (disincorporated for the creation of the Quabbin Reservoir)
- Greenwich (disincorporated for the creation of the Quabbin Reservoir)
- -- Leeds (a village of Northampton)
- -- Florence (a village of Northampton)
- Prescott (disincorporated for the creation of the Quabbin Reservoir)
- South Hadley
* Villages are census division, but have no separate corporate existence from the towns they are in.
The Five Colleges
Hampshire County is notable for the presence within its borders of the "five colleges," comprising the University of Massachusetts flagship campus and four well-known private colleges:
- Amherst College, Amherst
- Hampshire College, Amherst
- Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley
- Smith College, Northampton
- University of Massachusetts Amherst, Amherst
A consortium, Five Colleges, Inc. provides easy course cross-registration and free bus service between the campuses.
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