Southeastern Massachusetts

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Southeastern Massachusetts
Region of Massachusetts
Country  United States
State  Massachusetts
Largest city (population) New Bedford (95,072)
Largest city (land) Taunton (50 square miles)
Subregions South Shore, Cape Cod and Islands, South Coast
A view from New Bedford overlooking Buzzards Bay

Southeastern Massachusetts consists of those portions of Massachusetts that are, by their proximity, economically and culturally linked to Providence, Rhode Island as well as Boston. Despite the location of Cape Cod and the islands to its south, which are the southeasternmost parts of the state, they are not always grouped in this designation. At its broadest definition, it includes all of Massachusetts south of Boston and southeast of Worcester.

Definition[edit]

As Southeastern Massachusetts is not an official designation, its borders are not exactly defined.

Almost certainly, it includes all of Bristol County, Massachusetts, particularly the South Coast along Buzzards Bay, as well as Norfolk County towns on the Rhode Island border such as Bellingham, Plainville, and Wrentham and potentially some towns in Plymouth County.

The terms "Southeastern Massachusetts," "Southeastern New England", and "Southern New England" are much-used by Providence-area broadcasters and other local companies and organizations but are not used as frequently in other parts of Massachusetts.

Characteristics[edit]

The Southeastern Regional Planning and Economic Development District (SRPEDD) task force, which concerns Southeastern Massachusetts in its broadest definition, describes:

For this effort, southeastern [sic] Massachusetts is defined as fifty-two cities and towns from Bristol, Plymouth and Norfolk Counties. The region is geographically defined by Massachusetts Bay, Buzzards Bay, The [sic] Taunton River watershed, and its location relative to Boston, Rhode Island and Cape Cod. Bristol County, Massachusetts and Bristol County, Rhode Island are contiguous and are the only counties in the nation where Portuguese Americans make up the plurality of the population. This is due to the Portuguese-American population, the Portuguese-Brazilian population, and the Portuguese-Cape Verdean population that came to Southern New England in the 19th century to do the much needed whaling work; in fact, New Bedford is called "the Whaling City."

...[it] is home to approximately one million people residing in over 1,300 square miles (3,400 km2). We have been adding 10,000 new residents and consuming 4.7 square miles (12 km2) of undeveloped land each year for the past thirty years, and new transportation improvements (commuter rail, Route 44 and Route 3 & 24 improvements) continue to attract more growth. Southeastern Massachusetts comprises several clearly defined sub-regions, including the South Shore, the South Coast and the Tri-City area around Brockton, Attleboro and Taunton. Despite the diversity within the region, the fifty-two cities and towns all have common concerns and opportunities.[1]

Brockton, New Bedford, Taunton, and Fall River are the largest cities in Southeastern Massachusetts and are close to one another in size. All four have a strong Portuguese and Cape Verdean presence. In 2000, 43.9% of Fall River residents identified as being of Portuguese heritage. This is the highest percentage of Portuguese Americans in the country. Most of the population claims to be of Azorean origin, many from São Miguel Island. There are smaller, but significant presences of other Portuguese-speaking communities, such as other Azorean Islanders, Portuguese from mainland Portugal, Madeirans, Cape Verdeans, Brazilians, and Angolans. In 2000 New Bedford had the second highest percentage of Portuguese Americans with 38.6% of residents reporting that ancestry. New Bedford is also 8.0% Cape Verdean, 4.39% African American and 7.1% Puerto Rican, and 3% were other Hispanics, In 2000 it was 75% White alone.[2]

Like most of the state, Southeastern Massachusetts is ethnically and linguistically diverse. However, Portuguese-speakers are especially well represented in this area due to a pattern of immigration that began in the 19th century and was tied to the whaling industry. Today, many people in Southeastern Massachusetts trace their ancestry to mainland Portugal, the Azores and Cape Verde. Quincy, Milton, and Randolph are all in Norfolk County and are included in the Southeastern Massachusetts definition; they are populated by Irish Americans, African Americans and Asian Americans. Irish Americans dominate Norfolk County, Bristol County and Plymouth County which has been known as the "Irish Riviera". Cape Verdean Americans, African Americans, and Irish Americans preside over Brockton, Taunton and New Bedford.[3][4]

Cities and towns[edit]

Municipality Type[5] County[6] Form of government[5] Population
(2010)[6]
Year
established[7]
Abington Town Plymouth Open town meeting 15,985 1712
Acushnet Town Bristol Open town meeting 10,303 1860
Aquinnah Town Dukes Open town meeting 311 1870
Attleboro City Bristol Mayor-council 43,593 1694
Barnstable City[8] Barnstable Council-manager 45,193 1639
Bellingham Town Norfolk Open town meeting 16,332 1719
Berkley Town Bristol Open town meeting 6,411 1735
Bourne Town Barnstable Open town meeting 19,754 1884
Braintree City[8] Norfolk Mayor-council 35,744 1640
Brewster Town Barnstable Open town meeting 9,820 1803
Brockton City Plymouth Mayor-council 93,810 1821
Carver Town Plymouth Open town meeting 11,509 1790
Chatham Town Barnstable Open town meeting 6,125 1712
Chilmark Town Dukes Open town meeting 866 1714
Cohasset Town Norfolk Open town meeting 7,542 1775
Dartmouth Town Bristol Representative town meeting 34,032 1664
Dighton Town Bristol Open town meeting 7,086 1712
Duxbury Town Plymouth Open town meeting 15,059 1637
Eastham Town Barnstable Open town meeting 4,956 1646
Easton Town Bristol Open town meeting 23,112 1725
Edgartown Town Dukes Open town meeting 4,067 1671
Fairhaven Town Bristol Representative town meeting 15,873 1812
Fall River City Bristol Mayor-council 88,857 1803
Falmouth Town Barnstable Representative town meeting 31,531 1686
Foxborough Town Norfolk Open town meeting 16,865 1778
Franklin City[8] Norfolk Council-administrator 31,635 1778
Freetown Town Bristol Open town meeting 8,870 1683
Gosnold Town Dukes Open town meeting 75 1864
Halifax Town Plymouth Open town meeting 7,518 1734
Hanover Town Plymouth Open town meeting 13,879 1727
Hanson Town Plymouth Open town meeting 10,209 1820
Harwich Town Barnstable Open town meeting 12,243 1694
Hingham Town Plymouth Open town meeting 22,157 1635
Holbrook Town Norfolk Representative town meeting 10,791 1872
Hull Town Plymouth Open town meeting 10,293 1644
Kingston Town Plymouth Open town meeting 12,629 1726
Mansfield Town Bristol Open town meeting 23,184 1775
Marion Town Plymouth Open town meeting 4,907 1852
Marshfield Town Plymouth Open town meeting 25,132 1640
Mashpee Town Barnstable Open town meeting 14,006 1870
Mattapoisett Town Plymouth Open town meeting 6,045 1857
Milton Town Norfolk Representative town meeting 27,003 1662
Nantucket Town Nantucket Open town meeting 10,172 1671
New Bedford City Bristol Mayor-council 95,072 1787
North Attleborough Town Bristol Representative town meeting 28,712 1887
Norton Town Bristol Open town meeting 19,031 1711
Norwell Town Plymouth Open town meeting 10,506 1849
Oak Bluffs Town Dukes Open town meeting 4,527 1880
Orleans Town Barnstable Open town meeting 5,890 1797
Pembroke Town Plymouth Open town meeting 17,837 1712
Plainville Town Norfolk Open town meeting 8,264 1905
Plymouth Town Plymouth Representative town meeting 56,468 1620
Plympton Town Plymouth Open town meeting 2,820 1707
Provincetown Town Barnstable Open town meeting 2,942 1727
Quincy City Norfolk Mayor-council 92,271 1792
Randolph City[8] Norfolk Council-manager 32,112 1793
Raynham Town Bristol Open town meeting 13,383 1731
Rehoboth Town Bristol Open town meeting 11,608 1645
Rochester Town Plymouth Open town meeting 5,232 1686
Rockland Town Plymouth Open town meeting 17,489 1874
Sandwich Town Barnstable Open town meeting 20,675 1638
Scituate Town Plymouth Open town meeting 18,133 1636
Seekonk Town Bristol Open town meeting 13,722 1812
Sharon Town Norfolk Open town meeting 17,612 1775
Somerset Town Bristol Open town meeting 18,165 1790
Stoughton Town Norfolk Representative town meeting 26,962 1726
Swansea Town Bristol Open town meeting 15,865 1667
Taunton City Bristol Mayor-council 55,874 1639
Tisbury Town Dukes Open town meeting 3,949 1671
Truro Town Barnstable Open town meeting 2,003 1709
Wareham Town Plymouth Open town meeting 21,822 1739
Wellfleet Town Barnstable Open town meeting 2,750 1775
West Tisbury Town Dukes Open town meeting 2,740 1892
Westport Town Bristol Open town meeting 15,532 1787
Weymouth City[8] Norfolk Mayor-council 53,743 1635
Whitman Town Plymouth Open town meeting 14,489 1875
Wrentham Town Norfolk Open town meeting 10,955 1673
Yarmouth Town Barnstable Open town meeting 23,793 1639

References[edit]

  1. ^ (SRPEDD) task force
  2. ^ Largest Cities in Massachusetts
  3. ^ Massachusetts Alliance of Portuguese Speakers
  4. ^ University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth
  5. ^ a b "2009-10 Municipal Directory". Massachusetts Municipal Association. Archived from the original on 2013-06-15. Retrieved 2010-01-25. 
  6. ^ a b "Population and Housing Occupancy Status: 2010 - State -- County Subdivision, 2010 Census Redistricting Data (Public Law 94-171) Summary File". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 2011-03-23. 
  7. ^ "Massachusetts City and Town Incorporation and Settlement Dates". Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Retrieved 2009-05-06. 
  8. ^ a b c d e One of 14 municipalities with a city form of government that refers to itself as "The Town of". "Citizen Information Service: Massachusetts City and Town Incorporation and Settlement Dates". Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Retrieved 2016-08-11.