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Encyclopedia > Nantucket County, Massachusetts
Image:Map of Massachusetts highlighting Nantucket County.png

Nantucket is an island south of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, formed of glacial moraine. Together with the small islands of Tuckernuck and Muskeget, it constitutes the town of Nantucket, Massachusetts and the coextensive Nantucket County. It was formerly the leading whaling port in the world. Although now primarily a tourist destination, it still houses a small fishing industry. The village of Surfside on Nantucket is the southernmost settlement in Massachusetts. Nantucket also is the root of the famous limerick: "There once was a man from Nantucket..."

For geographic and demographic information on the census-designated place called Nantucket, please see Nantucket (CDP).



Nantucket was part of Dukes County, New York until 1691, when it was transferred to Massachusetts and made its own county.

Along with the island of Martha's Vineyard, Nantucket voted in 1977 to secede from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The secession movement was sparked by a proposed change to the Massachusetts Constitution, which would cut eighty members from the 240-strong state House of Representatives, reducing the islands' representation. Needless to say, the movement was not carried to fruition, as the islands remain a part of Massachusetts.

45 miles south of Nantucket on July 25, 1956, the Italian ocean liner SS Andrea Doria sank after colliding with the SS Stockholm in heavy fog. 51 were killed in the crash but none lost their lives in the sinking.

On October 31, 1999, EgyptAir Flight 990 traveling from New York City to Cairo crashed off the coast of Nantucket, killing all 217 on board.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Nantucket County has a total area of 786 km˛ (304 mi˛). 124 km˛ (48 mi˛) of it is land and 663 km˛ (256 mi˛) of it is water. The total area of the county is 84.25% water. The area of Nantucket Island proper is 123.8 km˛ (47.8 mi˛).

The triangular region of ocean northeast of Nantucket, between it and Cape Cod, is Nantucket Sound.

Nantucket map
public (domain map source) (http://www.aquarius.geomar.de/omc/)


As of the census2 of 2000, there are 9,520 people, 3,699 households, and 2,104 families residing in Nantucket. The population density is 76.9/km˛ (199.1/mi˛). There are 9,210 housing units at an average density of 74.4/km˛ (192.6/mi˛). The racial makeup of the town is 87.85% White, 8.29% African American, 0.01% Native American, 0.64% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 1.60% from other races, and 1.58% from two or more races. 2.23% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There are 3,699 households out of which 26.9% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.7% are married couples living together, 8.0% have a female householder with no husband present, and 43.1% are non-families. 29.8% of all households are made up of individuals and 8.0% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.37 and the average family size is 2.90.

In the town the population is spread out with 19.2% under the age of 18, 7.4% from 18 to 24, 40.4% from 25 to 44, 22.5% from 45 to 64, and 10.5% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 37 years. For every 100 females there are 105.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 105.0 males.

The median income for a household in the town is $55,522, and the median income for a family is $66,786. Males have a median income of $41,116 versus $31,608 for females. The per capita income for the town is $31,314. 7.5% of the population and 3.0% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 2.3% of those under the age of 18 and 7.1% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.

External Link

  • National Register of Historic Places listing for Nantucket Co., Massachusetts (http://www.nationalregisterofhistoricplaces.com/MA/Nantucket/districts.html)
Regions of Massachusetts
The Berkshires | Greater Boston | Cape Cod | North Shore | Pioneer Valley | South Shore
Barnstable | Berkshire | Bristol | Dukes | Essex | Franklin | Hampden | Hampshire | Middlesex | Nantucket | Norfolk | Plymouth | Suffolk | Worcester

  Results from FactBites:
Nantucket County and town, Massachusetts, 1890 (1872 words)
Nantucket, the principal island, is about 15 miles in length from east to west, with an average breadth of 4½ miles; being wide at the eastern end, and narrowing to a point at the western extremity, where lie the other islands mentioned.
Nantucket County is in the First Congressional District; in the Cape section of the First Council District; and in conjunction with Barnstable and Dukes counties, has one State senator; and by itself, one representative in the General Court.
The post-offices are Nantucket and Siasconset, at the southeast extremity of the town.
Nantucket, Massachusetts - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (866 words)
Nantucket is an island south of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, formed of glacial moraine.
Nantucket was formerly the world's leading whaling port (and still serves as home port for a small fishing industry).
Nantucket is also the home of the mythical "man from Nantucket" made famous in numerous limericks, some of which are obscene.
  More results at FactBites »



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