Monroe is located on the Hoosac Range, the northern end of the Berkshire Mountains. The town's border with Rowe lies along the Deerfield River, which enters the state at this point, heading south and eastward towards the Connecticut River. The river is dammed for part of this length as the southern end of the Sherman Reservoir, which formerly supplied power to the Yankee Rowe Nuclear Power Station. There are also several brooks which run through town. Much of the central and southern part of town is covered by the Monroe State Forest, which extends into neighboring Florida.
Monroe is one of a handful of towns in the state without any state highways (half of these are on Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket). The nearest state highway is Massachusetts Route 2, also known as the Mohawk Trail, which runs through the neighboring towns. The nearest interstate is Interstate 91, which runs along the Connecticut River, 28 miles east of town. The nearest regional rail, bus and air service can be found in North Adams, and the nearest national air service is at Albany International Airport in New York State.
There were 43 households out of which 32.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 27.9% were married couples living together, 16.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 44.2% were non-families. 37.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.16 and the average family size was 2.83.
In the town the population was spread out with 24.7% under the age of 18, 8.6% from 18 to 24, 23.7% from 25 to 44, 25.8% from 45 to 64, and 17.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females there were 86.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 79.5 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $25,500, and the median income for a family was $21,250. Males had a median income of $23,750 versus $28,125 for females. The per capita income for the town was $12,400. There were 37.5% of families and 21.8% of the population living below the poverty line, including 30.8% of under eighteens and 26.7% of those over 64.
On the state level, Monroe is represented in the Massachusetts House of Representatives as part of the First Berkshire district, which includes the northern portion of Berkshire County as well as several towns in northwest Franklin County. In the Massachusetts Senate, the town is part of the Berkshire, Hampshire and Franklin district, which includes all of Berkshire County and the western portions of Hampshire and Franklin Counties. The town is patrolled by the Second (Shelburne Falls) Station of Troop "B" of the Massachusetts State Police.
On the national level, Monroe is represented in the United States House of Representatives as part of Massachusetts's 1st congressional district, and has been represented by John Olver of Amherst since June 1991. Massachusetts is represented in the United States Senate by senior Senator Ted Kennedy and junior Senator John Kerry.
The nearest community college, Greenfield Community College, is located in Greenfield. The nearest state college is Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts in North Adams, and the nearest state university is the University of Massachusetts Amherst. The nearest private college is Williams College in Williamstown.