Worcester County is a county located in the U.S. state of Massachusetts. As of the 2010 census, the population was 798,552, making it the second-most populous county in Massachusetts while also being the largest in area. The estimated population as of July 1, 2018 is 830,839. The largest city and traditional county seat is the city of Worcester.
|Worcester County, Massachusetts|
Worcester County Courthouse
Location within the U.S. state of Massachusetts
Massachusetts's location within the U.S.
|Founded||April 2, 1731|
|• Total||1,579 sq mi (4,090 km2)|
|• Land||1,511 sq mi (3,913 km2)|
|• Water||68 sq mi (176 km2), 4.3%|
|• Density||529/sq mi (204/km2)|
|Congressional districts||1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th|
|Time zone||Eastern: UTC−5/−4|
Worcester County was formed from the eastern portion of colonial Hampshire County, the western portion of the original Middlesex County and the extreme western portion of the original Suffolk County. When the government of Worcester County was established on April 2, 1731, Worcester was chosen as its shire town (later known as a county seat). From that date until the dissolution of the county government, it was the only county seat. Because of the size of the county, there were fifteen attempts over 140 years to split the county into two counties, but without success. Initially, Lancaster was proposed as the seat of the northern county; later, Petersham was proposed once and Fitchburg was proposed repeatedly, most recently in 1903. Perhaps as a concession, in August 1884 the Worcester County Registry of Deeds was split in two, with the Worcester Northern registry placed in Fitchburg.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,579 square miles (4,090 km2), of which 1,511 square miles (3,910 km2) is land and 68 square miles (180 km2) (4.3%) is water. It is the largest county in Massachusetts by area. The county is larger geographically than the entire state of Rhode Island even including Rhode Island's water ocean limit boundaries. The county constitutes Central Massachusetts, separating the Greater Springfield area from the Greater Boston area. It stretches from the northern to the southern border of the state. The geographic center of Massachusetts is in Rutland.
Worcester County is one of two Massachusetts counties that borders three different neighboring states; the other being Berkshire County. They are also the only two counties to touch both the northern and southern state lines.
|U.S. Decennial Census|
In 1990 Worcester County had a population of 709,705.
As of the census of 2000, there were 750,963 people, 283,927 households, and 192,502 families residing in the county. The population density was 496 people per square mile (192/km²). There were 298,159 housing units at an average density of 197 per square mile (76/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 89.61% White, 2.73% Black or African American, 0.25% Native American, 2.62% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 2.93% from other races, and 1.82% from two or more races. 6.77% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 15.9% were of Irish, 12.3% Italian, 11.7% French, 8.0% French Canadian, 8.0% English, 5.6% Polish and 5.0% American ancestry according to Census 2000. 85.1% spoke English, 6.1% Spanish and 1.9% French as their first language.
There were 283,927 households out of which 33.60% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.50% were married couples living together, 11.40% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.20% were non-families. 26.20% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.40% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.56 and the average family size was 3.11.
In the county, the population was spread out with 25.60% under the age of 18, 8.40% from 18 to 24, 31.10% from 25 to 44, 21.80% from 45 to 64, and 13.00% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females, there were 95.50 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.10 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $47,874, and the median income for a family was $58,394. Males had a median income of $42,261 versus $30,516 for females. The per capita income for the county was $22,983. About 6.80% of families and 9.20% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.30% of those under age 18 and 9.50% of those age 65 or over.
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 798,552 people, 303,080 households, and 202,602 families residing in the county. The population density was 528.6 inhabitants per square mile (204.1/km2). There were 326,788 housing units at an average density of 216.3 per square mile (83.5/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 85.6% white, 4.2% black or African American, 4.0% Asian, 0.2% American Indian, 3.6% from other races, and 2.3% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 9.4% of the population. In terms of ancestry, 22.2% were Irish, 15.1% were French as well as 6.7% French Canadians, 14.4% were Italian, 11.7% were English, 7.0% were Polish, 6.9% were German, and 3.2% were American.
Of the 303,080 households, 33.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.0% were married couples living together, 12.2% had a female householder with no husband present, 33.2% were non-families, and 26.2% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.55 and the average family size was 3.09. The median age was 39.2 years.
The median income for a household in the county was $64,152 and the median income for a family was $79,121. Males had a median income of $56,880 versus $42,223 for females. The per capita income for the county was $30,557. About 6.9% of families and 9.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 12.1% of those under age 18 and 9.0% of those age 65 or over.
The ranking of unincorporated communities that are included on the list are reflective of the census designated locations and villages were included as cities or towns. Data is from the 2007-2011 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates.
|County-level state agency heads|
|Clerk of Courts:||Dennis P. McManus (D)|
|District Attorney:||Joe Early Jr. (D)|
|Register of Deeds:||Katie Toomey (D)|
|Register of Probate:||Stephanie Fattman (R)|
|County Sheriff:||Lew Evangelidis (R)|
|State Representative(s):||by community|
|State Senator(s):||by community|
|Governor's Councilor(s):||Jen Caissie (R)|
|U.S. Representative(s):||by Congressional district|
|U.S. Senators:||Elizabeth Warren (D), Ed Markey (D)|
Worcester County is one of 8 of the 14 Massachusetts counties, which has had no county government or county commissioners since July 1, 1998, when county functions were assumed by state agencies at local option following a change in state law. The County has an elected county sheriff, county prosecutor, and court officials, administered under the state department of public safety. The state correctional system in the County is known as the Worcester County Jail or "House of Corrections" at West Boylston, and the Worcester County District courts (state administered) are housed at Worcester, Fitchburg and other district courts within county boundaries. The Worcester County district attorney is a county-wide position even though the district includes one town from a neighboring county. In Massachusetts, Sheriffs have more limited roles than most states and are responsible for corrections, court service and bailiffs and jail release programs. County Sheriffs in Massachusetts are elected to six-year terms. The Worcester County Sheriff is Lewis Evangelidis, (R), and the Worcester County District Attorney is Joseph Early (D).(see the info-box at lower right for elected officials at county level). The Worcester County 4 H fair is in its 63rd year in 2014 with the fairgrounds at Spencer. Worcester County has one commercial airport at Worcester. The Worcester County Conservation District has countywide boundaries. The County has a regional planning commission.
Massachusetts law allows regional compacts, traditional counties and other governmental entities. Traditional County governments in the state include: Norfolk, Bristol, Dukes, Nantucket, and Plymouth Counties. Barnstable County, which is Cape Cod, functions as a modern regional county government. Suffolk County which is mainly Boston is under the Boston City Council. The Massachusetts General Laws describe this relationship of county government and the options for abolishing county governments and/or chartering regional governmental compacts in subchapter 34 B. Four other new county compacts have been created by the state legislature and these are in Hampshire, Franklin, Barnstable Counties, and a regional planning council level for Berkshire County. Thus 9 of 14 Counties have some form of county regional governments. Worcester County could exercise that option if it chooses for example, for public safety and, or preparedness due to its rather large geography, by a request to and a special act of the legislature, by local referendum or by one of three mechanisms. See the references for the state statute, and the League of Women Voters link.
|Voter registration and party enrollment as of October 17, 2018|
|Party||Number of voters||Percentage|
Blueberry Island is an inhabited island in Worcester County, Massachusetts. It is surrounded by Lake Monomonac, an artificial lake that straddles the border between Rindge, New Hampshire, and Winchendon, Massachusetts.Burnshirt River
The Burnshirt River is a 12.9-mile-long (20.8 km) stream in Worcester County, Massachusetts. It is a tributary of the Ware River, draining ultimately into the Connecticut River and thence the Long Island Sound.
The river rises about one mile southwest of Templeton, Massachusetts at an elevation of 653 feet (199 m) above sea level. From there it flows through forest and marshes south to Williamsville, then southeast to join the Ware River about two miles east of Barre. It is stocked with trout for fishing.
For much of its length, the river is paralleled by the former Ware River Railroad, now the Ware River Rail Trail.Cedar Hill (Northborough, Massachusetts)
Cedar Hill is located in Northborough, Massachusetts. It is part of the larger Crane Swamp Conservation Area.
It is in the care of the Sudbury Valley Trustees.Clinton, Massachusetts
Clinton is a town in Worcester County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 13,606 at the 2010 census.
For geographic and demographic information on the census-designated place Clinton, please see the article Clinton (CDP), Massachusetts.Cranberry River (Massachusetts)
The Cranberry River is a river in central Massachusetts that is part of the Chicopee River Watershed. It rises in Cranberry Meadow Pond in Spencer, Massachusetts, and flows northward for 3.7 miles (6.0 km) to its confluence with the Sevenmile River southwest of Spencer.Faggot Hill
Faggot Hill is a summit in Worcester County, Massachusetts, United States. It stands 1.4 miles (2.3 km) from the town center of Boylston, Massachusetts. With an elevation of 554 feet (169 m), Faggot Hill is the 969th highest summit in Massachusetts.Lake Monomonac
Lake Monomonac is an artificial lake that straddles the border between Rindge, New Hampshire, and Winchendon, Massachusetts, in the United States. It was created from a small pond in New Hampshire by the construction of dams on the North Branch of the Millers River, a part of the Connecticut River watershed.
Lake Monomonac is 594 acres (240 ha) in size with 411 acres (166 ha) in New Hampshire and the remaining 183 acres (74 ha) in Massachusetts. The lake has a maximum recorded depth of 22 feet (6.7 m) and an average depth of 10 feet (3.0 m).The lake is classified as a warmwater fishery, with observed species including smallmouth and largemouth bass, black crappie, chain pickerel, white perch, pumpkinseed, bluegill, horned pout, and green sunfish.Lunenburg, Massachusetts
Lunenburg is a town in Worcester County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 10,086 at the 2010 census.Milford, Massachusetts
Milford is a town in Worcester County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 27,999 according to the 2010 census. First settled in 1662 and incorporated in 1780, Milford became a booming industrial and mining community in the 19th century due to its unique location which includes the nearby source of the Charles River, the Mill River, the Blackstone River watershed, and large quantities of Milford pink granite.National Register of Historic Places listings in Worcester County, Massachusetts
This is a list of the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) designated in Worcester County, Massachusetts. The locations of NRHP properties and districts for which the latitude and longitude coordinates are included below, may be seen in a map.
This National Park Service list is complete through NPS recent listings posted June 14, 2019.National Register of Historic Places listings in northern Worcester County, Massachusetts
This is a list of the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) designated in northern Worcester County, Massachusetts. It includes listings from all Worcester County communities through which Massachusetts Route 2 passes, and those that lie to their north. This includes the communities of Ashburnham, Ashby, Athol, Fitchburg, Gardner, Harvard, Lancaster, Leominster, Lunenburg, Phillipston, Royalston, Templeton, Westminster, and Winchendon. National Register listings for other communities in the county are listed elsewhere.
This National Park Service list is complete through NPS recent listings posted June 14, 2019.Otter River (Massachusetts)
The Otter River is a river in Massachusetts that flows approximately 10 miles and is a major tributary of the Millers River which in turn is a tributary of the Connecticut River. The Otter River enters the Millers River in Winchendon in Otter River State Forest.Oxford, Massachusetts
Oxford is a town in Worcester County, Massachusetts, United States.South Branch Souhegan River
The South Branch of the Souhegan River is a 5.8-mile-long (9.3 km) river located in northern Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire in the United States. It is a tributary of the Souhegan River, which flows to the Merrimack River and ultimately to the Gulf of Maine.
The South Branch begins near Mount Watatic at the outlet of Stodge Meadow Pond in the town of Ashburnham, Massachusetts and flows through a chain of small lakes (Marble Pond, Ward Pond, and Watatic Pond) before flowing northeast into the town of Ashby, Massachusetts. North of Ashby, the river enters New Ipswich, New Hampshire, passes through a small flood-control reservoir, and joins the West Branch to form the Souhegan River, just north of the intersection known as "Gibson Four Corners".South County (Massachusetts)
South County is a region comprising several towns in the south-central area of Massachusetts. As it has no legal standing in state government, definitions of the region vary.
The term "South County" is usually understood to refer to southern Worcester County, Massachusetts, including those towns southwest, south or southeast of the county seat, Worcester.
The region's leading daily newspaper, the Telegram & Gazette of Worcester, defines South County differently, placing the region's eastern border at the Auburn, Oxford and Webster; it places towns in southeastern Worcester County in the Blackstone Valley region. The Telegram West/South edition also includes "South County" news from neighboring towns in Hampden County, Massachusetts and Windham County, Connecticut, however.
South County towns include (towns fitting both definitions in bold):
A broader definition defines "South County" as all parts of the county that are not part of "North County". In this definition, towns that align economically with Fitchburg and Leominster are "North County", while towns closer to Worcester—as well as Worcester itself—are "South County".Southbridge, Massachusetts
The Town of Southbridge has a city form of government with a city council legislative body, but via a statute calls itself a Town. It is located in Worcester County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 16,719 at the 2010 census. Southbridge is one of thirteen Massachusetts municipalities that have applied for, and been granted, city forms of government but wish to retain "The town of" in their official names.Tarbell Brook
Tarbell Brook is a 10.1-mile-long (16.3 km) stream located in southwestern New Hampshire and northern Massachusetts in the United States. It is a tributary of the Millers River, itself a tributary of the Connecticut River, which flows to Long Island Sound.
Tarbell Brook rises in the northeast corner of the town of Fitzwilliam, New Hampshire, and southeast into Rindge, where it receives the outflow of Pearly Lake and continues south to the Damon Reservoirs. The brook then passes into Winchendon, Massachusetts, reaching the Millers River approximately two miles west of the town center.Wallum Lake
Wallum Lake is a 322-acre (1.30 km2) lake that lies in Burrillville, Providence County, Rhode Island and Douglas, Worcester County, Massachusetts. It is adjacent to Douglas State Forest and Wallum Lake Park.
There are two paved boat ramps: one at the north end off Wallum Lake Road, Douglas, Massachusetts, the second at the southern extreme in Burrillville, Rhode Island. A study reported ten species of fish, based upon a 1994 summer sampling. Largemouth bass, yellow perch and bluegills are common. Additional species present included pumpkinseed, chain pickerel, landlocked alewife, brood salmon and eels. Licenses from either state are valid, but Rhode Island regulations apply.Wallum Lake has been stocked with rainbow trout and brown trout. Rainbow trout are stocked on a put-and-take basis, and the state of Rhode Island has stocked numerous landlocked salmon and occasionally broodstock salmon.
Places adjacent to Worcester County, Massachusetts
Municipalities and communities of Worcester County, Massachusetts, United States
|Cities and towns|
|Cities and towns|
|Cities and towns|