Bristol County, Massachusetts

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Bristol County is a county located in the U.S. state of Massachusetts adjacent to the state of Rhode Island. As of 2005, the population was estimated at 546,331. It is nicknamed "The Bayou", because of the many wetlands that dominate the rural landscape. Despite multiple seats being displayed on some maps, its only legal county seat is Taunton. While often designated as such, Fall River and New Bedford are not county seats, legally or otherwise. They do, however, host several court buildings. The High Sheriff of Bristol County is currently Thomas M. Hodgson, a Republican from Fall River.


The land that is now Bristol County was part of the Plymouth Colony, which pre-dates the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

Part of the county was detached to form Bristol County, Rhode Island.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,790 km² (691 mi²). 1,440 km² (556 mi²) of it is land and 350 km² (135 mi²) of it (19.56%) is water. The highest point in Bristol County is Sunrise Hill at 390 feet above sea level located in World War I Memorial Park in North Attleborough.

Adjacent Counties


As of the census of 2000, there were 534,678 people, 205,411 households, and 140,706 families residing in the county. The population density was 371/km² (962/mi²). There were 216,918 housing units at an average density of 151/km² (390/mi²). The racial makeup of the county was 90.98% White, 2.03% Black or African American, 0.24% Native American, 1.26% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 3.12% from other races, and 2.34% from two or more races. 3.60% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. The United States Census Bureau reported Bristol County as being one of two counties in the United States with a majority Portuguese population (the other being the contiguous Bristol County, Rhode Island).

There were 205,411 households out of which 33.00% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.60% were married couples living together, 13.00% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.50% were non-families. 26.50% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.00% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.54 and the average family size was 3.08.

In the county the population was spread out with 24.60% under the age of 18, 8.50% from 18 to 24, 30.50% from 25 to 44, 22.20% from 45 to 64, and 14.10% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 92.40 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.50 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $43,496, and the median income for a family was $53,733. Males had a median income of $39,361 versus $27,516 for females. The per capita income for the county was $20,978. About 7.80% of families and 10.00% of the population were below the poverty line, including 13.00% of those under age 18 and 12.00% of those age 65 or over.

Cities, towns, and villages*

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

See also

External links