Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Provincetown is a town located at the tip of Cape Cod in Barnstable County, Massachusetts. As of the 2000 census, the town had a total population of 3,431. "P-town", as it is sometimes called, is known for its beaches, artists, and tourist industry, and is a significant gay resort. The United States Census Bureau provides additional demographic detail for the more densely populated central village area within the town. Those details are included in the aggregate population and area values reported here. See: Provincetown (CDP), Massachusetts.
When Provincetown was incorporated in 1727, it had already been harboring ships for more than a century. French explorer Samuel de Champlain visited Provincetown as early as 1605. In 1620 the Pilgrims signed the Mayflower Compact in Provincetown's harbor, agreeing to settle and build a self-governing community. Though the Pilgrims chose to settle across the bay in Plymouth, Provincetown was eventually settled as a fishing village in 1700.
The population of Provincetown remained small through most of the 18th century. Following the American Revolution, however, Provincetown grew rapidly as the fishing and whaling center of Cape Cod. The population was bolstered by a number of Portuguese sailors who, hired to work on US ships, came to live in Provincetown. By the 1890s, Provincetown was booming, and had begun to develop a resident population of writers and artists, as well as a summer tourist industry. When the 1898 Portland Gale severely damaged the town's fishing industry, the artistic industry of the town took over many of the abandoned buildings. By the early decades of the 20th century, the town had acquired an international reputation for its artistic and literary output.
To this day, Provincetown continues to be a working site for many artists, and galleries can be found throughout the town. The town becomes quiet and peaceful during the cold New England winters, and raucously crowded during the tourist-packed summers.
In recent years, Provincetown has become a major gay and lesbian center. The contribution of these individuals has added significantly to the flavor of the town, rejuvenating it at a time when many Cape destinations were losing their vitality at the hands of the tourist industry.
Provincetown is located in Barnstable County. Residents elect selectmen, employ a town manager, and hold open town meetings.
As of the census2 of 2000, there are 3,431 people, 1,837 households, and 464 families residing in the town. The population density is 137.1/km² (355.2/mi²). There are 3,890 housing units at an average density of 155.5/km² (402.7/mi²). The racial makeup of the town is 87.55% White, 7.52% African American, 0.32% Native American, 0.50% Asian, 1.08% from other races, and 3.03% from two or more races. 2.16% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There are 1,837 households out of which 9.0% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 17.7% are married couples living together, 5.3% have a female householder with no husband present, and 74.7% are non-families. 53.2% of all households are made up of individuals and 14.5% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 1.69 and the average family size is 2.65.
In the town the population is spread out with 8.0% under the age of 18, 5.2% from 18 to 24, 36.1% from 25 to 44, 32.9% from 45 to 64, and 17.8% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 45 years. For every 100 females there are 115.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 116.2 males.
The median income for a household in the town is $32,716, and the median income for a family is $39,679. Males have a median income of $30,556 versus $25,298 for females. The per capita income for the town is $26,109. 16.3% of the population and 8.5% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 22.7% of those under the age of 18 and 17.0% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.
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