Massachusetts Counties
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Massachusetts Counties

Massachusetts consists of the fourteen counties. Massachusetts has abolished seven of its fourteen county governments, leaving five Counties with county-level local government (Barnstable, Bristol, Dukes, Norfolk, Plymouth) and two, Nantucket County and Suffolk County, with combined county/city government. The oldest counties still in Massachusetts are Essex County, Middlesex County, and Suffolk County, created in 1643 with the original Norfolk County which was absorbed by New Hampshire and bears no relation to the modern Norfolk County.

Hampden County, Massachusetts

Hampden County Education, Geography, and HistoryHampden County, Massachusetts Courthouse

Hampden County is a non-governmental county located in the Pioneer Valley of the state of Massachusetts. Based on the 2010 census, Hampden County's population was 463,490. Its traditional county seat is Springfield, the Connecticut River Valley's largest city, and economic and cultural capital. Hampden County was split from Hampshire County in 1812, because Northampton, Massachusetts was made Hampshire County's "shire town" in 1794; however, Springfield- theretofore Hampshire County's traditional shire town, dating back to its founding in 1636- grew at a pace far quicker than Northampton and was granted shire town-status over its own, southerly jurisdiction. It was named for John Hampden. To the north of Hampden County is modern-day Hampshire County; to the west is Berkshire County; to the east is Worcester County; to the south is Hartford County, Connecticut.

Hampden County is part of the Springfield, MA Metropolitan Statistical Area. It is the most urban county in Western Massachusetts.

Etymology - Origin of Hampden County Name

Possibly named for John Hampden (1595- 1643), the famous 17th century English parliamentarian


County QuickFacts: CensusBureau Quick Facts

Hampden County History

Hampden County is located in southwestern Massachusetts, with the state of Connecticut at its southern boundary; it was split from Hampshire County in 1812. Its largest city and county seat is Springfield

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.

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the 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.

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • North: Hampshire County
  • Northeast: Worcester County
  • Southeast: Tolland County, Conn.
  • South: Hartford County, Conn.
  • Southwest: Litchfield County, Conn.
  • Northwest: Berkshire County


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