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Hampden County is a non-governmental county located in the Pioneer Valley of the U.S. state of Massachusetts. As of 2008, the population was 482,228. The county seat is Springfield. Hampden County is located in southwestern Massachusetts, with the state of Connecticut at its southern boundary; it was split from Hampshire County in 1812.Hampden County is part of the Springfield MA Metropolitan Statistical Area

Law and government

Like an increasing number of Massachusetts counties, Hampden County exists today only as a historical geographic region, and has no county government. All former county functions were assumed by state agencies in 1998. 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. Communities are now granted the right to form their own regional compacts for sharing services. Hampden County and Hampshire County together are part of the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission.



According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 634 square miles (1,642 km²), of which, 618 square miles (1,602 km²) of it is land and 16 square miles (41 km²) of it (2.48%) is water.


Historical populations
Census Pop.
1900 175,603
1910 231,369 31.8%
1920 300,305 29.8%
1930 335,496 11.7%
1940 332,107 ?1.0%
1950 367,971 10.8%
1960 429,353 16.7%
1970 459,050 6.9%
1980 443,018 ?3.5%
1990 456,310 3.0%
2000 456,228 0%
Est. 2008 460,840 1.0%

As of the census[1] of 2004, there were 461,228 people, 175,288 households, and 115,690 families residing in the county. The population density was 738 people per square mile (285/km²). There were 185,876 housing units at an average density of 301 per square mile (116/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 79.10% White, 8.10% Black or African American, 0.26% Native American, 1.30% Asian, 0.07% Pacific Islander, 8.85% from other races, and 2.32% from two or more races. 15.17% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 13.3% were of Irish, 10.9% Polish, 10.2% Italian, 9.6% French, 7.5% French Canadian and 5.6% English ancestry according to Census 2000. 77.9% spoke English, 13.0% Spanish, 1.8% Polish, 1.6% French, 1.4% Portuguese and 1.0% Russian as their first language.

There were 175,288 households out of which 31.90% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.80% were married couples living together, 15.90% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.00% were non-families. 28.40% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.90% 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 3.10.

In the county the population was spread out with 26.10% under the age of 18, 9.20% from 18 to 24, 28.40% from 25 to 44, 21.90% from 45 to 64, and 14.50% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 91.90 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.70 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $39,718, and the median income for a family was $49,257. Males had a median income of $37,676 versus $27,621 for females. The per capita income for the county was $19,541. About 11.40% of families and 14.70% of the population were below the poverty line, including 22.70% of those under age 18 and 9.60% of those age 65 or over.

Cities, towns, subdivisions and villages*

* Villages are census division, but have no separate corporate existence from the towns they are in.

External links

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