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.

Norfolk County, Massachusetts

Norfolk County Education, Geography, and HistoryNorfolk County, Massachusetts Courthouse

Norfolk County is a county located in the state of Massachusetts. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 670,850. Its county seat is Dedham. The county was named after the English county of the same name with the meaning "northern folk". Two towns, Cohasset and Brookline, are exclaves.

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

Etymology - Origin of Norfolk County Name

For the English county of Norfolk


County QuickFacts: CensusBureau Quick Facts

Norfolk County History

Norfolk County consists of twenty-eight eastern Massachusetts communities, mostly located to the South and West of Boston. The County was incorporated as a regional governmental entity in 1793, and has its county seat at the town of Dedham.

The county is not fully contiguous; the towns of Brookline and Cohasset are each part of Norfolk County but are separated from the majority of Norfolk County (and each other) by either water or other counties. At the county's formation, Hingham and Hull were to be part of it, but joined Plymouth County instead, leaving Cohasset as an enclave of Norfolk County. Brookline became an exclave of Norfolk County in 1873 when the neighboring town of West Roxbury was annexed by Boston (thus leaving Norfolk County to join Suffolk County) and Brookline refused to be annexed by Boston after the Brookline-Boston annexation debate of 1873.

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 444 square miles (1,150 km2), of which, 400 square miles (1,035 km2) of it is land and 44 square miles (115 km2) of it (10%) is water.

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • Northeast: Suffolk County; North Atlantic Ocean
  • Southeast: Plymouth County
  • South: Bristol County
  • Southwest: Providence County, R.I.
  • Northwest: Worcester County; Middlesex County


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