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The Knowledge Corridor surrounding Springfield-Hartford is New England's second most populous urban area (after Greater Boston) with 1.9 million people.
Like an increasing number of Massachusetts counties, Hampden County exists today only as a historical geographic region, and has no county government.
The average household size was 2.49 and the average family size was 3.09. The median income for a household in the county was ,724 and the median income for a family was ,061.
Males had a median income of ,207 versus ,765 for females. About 13.2% of families and 17.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 26.5% of those under age 18 and 11.2% of those age 65 or over.
Hampden County is part of the Springfield, MA Metropolitan Statistical Area.
It is the most urban county in Western Massachusetts.
Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 20.9% of the population.
Of the 179,927 households, 32.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 41.9% were married couples living together, 17.5% had a female householder with no husband present, 35.6% were non-families, and 29.2% of all households were made up of individuals.
It was designed in 1891 by Frederick Law Olmsted, the designer of New York City's Central Park.
The ranking of unincorporated communities that are included on the list are reflective if the census designated locations and villages were included as cities or towns.
Data is from the 2007–2011 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates.
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. 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 are Litchfield County, Hartford County, and Tolland County in Connecticut.
The innovative Springfield Symphony Orchestra plays in a Greek Revival Symphony Hall renowned for its "perfect acoustics." One can watch off-Broadway plays at City Stage on Main Street, or see live comedy at Rascal's at Monarch Place.