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.

Middlesex County, Massachusetts

Middlesex County Education, Geography, and HistoryMiddlesex County, Massachusetts Courthouse

Middlesex County is a county in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 1,503,085, making it the twenty-third most populous county in the United States, and the most populous county in both Massachusetts and New England. For administrative purposes the county held two regions, Middlesex-North with its county seat in Lowell, and Middlesex-South with its county seat in Cambridge.

Middlesex County is included in the Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA-NH Metropolitan Statistical Area.

The county government was abolished in 1997, but the county boundaries continue to describe a state district for court jurisdictions and for other administrative purposes, such as an indicator for elections. Massachusetts counties also define locations for National Weather Service weather alerts (such as severe thunderstorm warnings).

Etymology - Origin of Middlesex County Name

For the former English county of Middlesex


County QuickFacts: CensusBureau Quick Facts

Middlesex County History

The county was created by the Massachusetts General Court on May 10, 1643, when it was ordered "that the whole plantation within this jurisdiction be divided into four sheires". Middlesex initially contained Charlestown, Cambridge, Watertown, Sudbury, Concord, Woburn, Medford, and Reading

Like an increasing number of Massachusetts counties, Middlesex County exists today only as a historical geographic region, and has no county government. All former county functions were assumed by state agencies in 1997

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 848 sq mi (2,195 km2). 823 sq mi (2,133 km2) of it is land and 24 sq mi (62 km2 ) of it (2.84%) is water.

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • Northeast: Essex County
  • Southeast: Suffolk County; Norfolk County
  • Southwest: Worcester County
  • Northwest: Hillsborough County, N.H.


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