These Are The 10 Best Counties To Live In Massachusetts For 2018

Using science and data, we can tell you which counties in Massachusetts have the most for people looking to make the move to Massachusetts.

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Some of you might be asking yourself, at this very moment: is Massachusetts a good place?

The answer is unequivocally yes… if you know where to locate the best places to live in Massachusetts.

Lucky for you, we’re here to help you identify the best counties to live in the Bay State based on the most recently available data from the Census. And this isn’t our first rodeo — we’ve been helping people find the best places to live in America for years.

So, the question becomes, if you wanted to relocate to the best pat of Massachusetts, where would you go? To answer that we looked at crime, cost of living, and demographic data for all 14 counties in the state.

After the analytic dust settled, we identified the 10 best counties to live in Bay State for 2018:

  1. Norfolk County (Photos)
  2. Nantucket County
  3. Middlesex County (Photos)
  4. Plymouth County (Photos)
  5. Franklin County (Photos)
  6. Essex County (Photos)
  7. Hampshire County (Photos)
  8. Barnstable County (Photos)
  9. Dukes County
  10. Bristol County (Photos)

Norfolk County is the county to be when it comes to living the good life in Massachusetts. And you might want to avoid Hampden County if you can — at least according to the data.

So if you’re thinking of making the move Massachusetts, we’ve got you covered. Keep on reading for a detailed methodology.

Or, check out the best places to live in Massachusetts and the best places to raise a family in Massachusetts.


How do you determine which Massachusetts county is the best?

To give you the best county in Massachusetts, we have to look at a handful of metrics that signal the quality of a place. To do that, we need to make some assumptions about what’s a ‘best county’ and what isn’t. And, for reference, we are trying to make the kind of argument you’d make at a bar using facts, don’t take this analysis to court.

With that in mind, we went to two of the best sources of data on the internet; the American Community Survey data and FBI Crime data for the most recent time period.

We paid particular attention to:

  • Violent Crime Rates
  • Property Crime Rates
  • Median Home Values
  • Median Income
  • Unemployment Rates
  • Adult Education Levels
  • Health Insurance Coverage
  • Poverty Rates

We then ranked each county in Massachusetts across each of the criteria from one to 14, with one being the best.

Taking the average rank across all criteria, we created a quality of life score with the county posting the lowest overall score being the ‘Best County To Live In Massachusetts’.

The result is some of the safest, quiet, and best counties to raise a family in the Bay State.

Read on to see why Norfolk County is the best county, while Hampden County is probably in contention for being the worst county in Massachusetts.


1. Norfolk County

Brookline, MA

Biggest Place: Quincy
Population: 691,218
Median Income: $90,226 (1st best)
Median Home Price: $414,000 (4th best)
Unemployment Rate: 6.3% (5th best)
More on Norfolk County: PhotosData

2. Nantucket County

Madaket, MA

Biggest Place: Nantucket
Population: 10,694
Median Income: $89,428 (2nd best)
Median Home Price: $966,600 (1st best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.4% (1st best)
More on Nantucket County: Data

3. Middlesex County

Arlington, MA

Biggest Place: Lowell
Population: 1,567,610
Median Income: $89,019 (3rd best)
Median Home Price: $432,300 (3rd best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.4% (3rd best)
More on Middlesex County: PhotosData

4. Plymouth County

Bridgewater, MA

Source: Wikipedia

Biggest Place: Brockton
Population: 506,657
Median Income: $77,627 (4th best)
Median Home Price: $333,600 (8th best)
Unemployment Rate: 6.9% (8th best)
More on Plymouth County: PhotosData

5. Franklin County

Greenfield Town, MA

Biggest Place: Greenfield Town
Population: 70,916
Median Income: $56,347 (12th best)
Median Home Price: $224,200 (12th best)
Unemployment Rate: 6.1% (4th best)
More on Franklin County: PhotosData

6. Essex County

Beverly, MA

Biggest Place: Lynn
Population: 769,362
Median Income: $70,886 (5th best)
Median Home Price: $362,200 (7th best)
Unemployment Rate: 7.0% (9th best)
More on Essex County: PhotosData

7. Hampshire County

Amherst Center, MA

Biggest Place: Northampton
Population: 161,035
Median Income: $62,608 (9th best)
Median Home Price: $270,100 (10th best)
Unemployment Rate: 7.1% (10th best)
More on Hampshire County: PhotosData

8. Barnstable County

Barnstable Town, MA

Biggest Place: Barnstable Town
Population: 214,703
Median Income: $65,382 (7th best)
Median Home Price: $367,200 (6th best)
Unemployment Rate: 6.3% (5th best)
More on Barnstable County: PhotosData

9. Dukes County

Edgartown, MA

Biggest Place: Vineyard Haven
Population: 17,137
Median Income: $63,534 (8th best)
Median Home Price: $656,000 (2nd best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.3% (2nd best)
More on Dukes County: Data

10. Bristol County

Attleboro, MA

Biggest Place: New Bedford
Population: 554,868
Median Income: $59,343 (10th best)
Median Home Price: $273,700 (9th best)
Unemployment Rate: 8.1% (12th best)
More on Bristol County: PhotosData

There You Have It – The Best Counties In Massachusetts To Call Home For 2018

It turns out living in Massachusetts can vary from one part of the state to the next — who woulda thought?

But now you the know the really good parts and the parts to avoid and that’s why you came here to learn at the end of the day. And for that, you are welcome.

Here’s a look at the worst counties in Massachusetts according to the data:

  1. Hampden County
  2. Berkshire County
  3. Suffolk County

For more Massachusetts reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Counties In Massachusetts

County Rank Population Median Income Median Home Price
Norfolk County 1 691,218 $90,226 $414,000
Nantucket County 2 10,694 $89,428 $966,600
Middlesex County 3 1,567,610 $89,019 $432,300
Plymouth County 4 506,657 $77,627 $333,600
Franklin County 5 70,916 $56,347 $224,200
Essex County 6 769,362 $70,886 $362,200
Hampshire County 7 161,035 $62,608 $270,100
Barnstable County 8 214,703 $65,382 $367,200
Dukes County 9 17,137 $63,534 $656,000
Bristol County 10 554,868 $59,343 $273,700
Worcester County 11 813,589 $67,005 $254,100
Suffolk County 12 767,719 $57,439 $398,000
Berkshire County 13 128,563 $52,253 $204,200
Hampden County 14 468,072 $51,005 $196,500

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.

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