Reading, Middlesex County, Massachusetts

Middlesex County, Massachusetts

Middlesex County is a county located in the U.S. state of Massachusetts. It is the most populous county in Massachusetts. As of the 2000 census, the population was 1,465,396. The center of population of Massachusetts is located in Middlesex County, in the town of Natick. Its county seats are Cambridge and Lowell. The county government was abolished in 1997 but the county boundaries continue to describe a state district for court jurisdictions and for other administrative purposes.

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 sheires". Middlesex initially contained Charlestown, Cambridge, Watertown, Sudbury, Concord, Woburn, Medford, and Reading.

Law and government

Like an increasing number of Massachusetts counties, Middlesex County exists today only as a historical geographic region, and has no county government. All former 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, but there is no county council or commissioner. However, communities are now granted the right to form their own regional compacts for sharing services. See also: League of Women Voters page on Massachusetts counties


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 848 sq mi (2,195 km²). 823 sq mi (2,133 km²) of it is land and 24 sq mi (62 km² ) of it (2.84%) is water.

The MetroWest region comprises much of the southern portion of the county.

Adjacent counties

National protected areas


As of the census of 2000, there were 1,465,396 people, 561,220 households, and 360,864 families residing in the county. The population density was 1,780/sq mi (687/km²). There were 576,681 housing units at an average density of 700 per square mile (270/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 85.88% White, 3.36% Black or African American, 0.15% Native American, 6.26% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 2.07% from other races, and 2.24% from two or more races. 4.55% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 20.0% were of Irish, 15.7% Italian and 8.0% English ancestry according to Census 2000. 79.6% spoke English, 4.3% Spanish, 2.7% Portuguese, 1.6% Italian, 1.6% Chinese or Mandarin and 1.5% French as their first language. Middlesex county is the most-Irish county in the entire country

There were 561,220 households out of which 30.20% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.30% were married couples living together, 9.90% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.70% were non-families. 27.10% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.50% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.52 and the average family size was 3.11.

In the county the population was spread out with 22.50% under the age of 18, 9.00% from 18 to 24, 33.40% from 25 to 44, 22.40% from 45 to 64, and 12.80% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 93.70 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.70 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $60,821, and the median income for a family was $74,194. Males had a median income of $49,460 versus $36,288 for females. The per capita income for the county was $31,199. About 4.30% of families and 6.50% of the population were below the poverty line, including 7.20% of those under age 18 and 7.10% of those age 65 or over.


Presidential Election Results 1960-2004
Year Democrat Republican
2004 63.99% 440,862 34.52% 237,815
2000 61.49% 404,043 30.27% 198,914
1996 63.41% 398,190 27.06% 169,926
1992 49.89% 343,994 28.10% 193,703
1988 54.57% 361,563 43.82% 193,703
1984 50.26% 325,065 49.42% 319,604
1980 42.46% 270,751 40.30% 256,999
1976 55.94% 359,919 40.42% 260,044
1972 55.91% 345,343 43.56% 269,064
1968 64.11% 370,310 32.60% 188,304
1964 76.25% 439,790 23.36% 134,729
1960 59.01% 356,130 40.78% 246,126

Cities and towns

Most municipalities in Middlesex County have a town form of government; the remainder are cities, and are so designated on this list. Villages listed below are census or postal divisions, but have no separate corporate existence from the cities and towns in which they are located.

See also


External links

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