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New Bedford

New Bedford, Massachusetts

  •   State: 
    Bristol County
    New Bedford
      County FIPS: 
    41°38′10″N 70°56′05″W
      Area total: 
    24.13 sq mi (62.50 km²)
      Area land: 
    20.00 sq mi (51.80 km²)
      Area water: 
    4.13 sq mi (10.70 km²)
    50 ft (15 m)
    1652; Settled 1652; Incorporated (town) 1787; Incorporated (city) 1847
  •   Latitude: 
      Dman name cbsa: 
    Providence-Warwick, RI-MA
    Eastern Standard Time (EST) UTC-5:00; Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) UTC-4:00
      ZIP codes: 

    New Bedford, Bristol County, Massachusetts, United States

  •   Population: 
      Population density: 
    5,053.70 residents per square mile of area (1,951.25/km²)
      Household income: 
      Unemployment rate: 
  •   Sales taxes: 
      Income taxes: 

New Bedford (Massachusett: Accushnet) is a Bristol city. It is located on the Acushnet River in what is known as the South Coast region. Up through the 17th century, the area was the territory of the Wampanoag Native American people. English colonists bought the land on which New Bedford would later be built from the Wampsanoag in 1652. The town of New Bedford itself was officially incorporated in 1787. At its economic height during this period, New Bedford was the wealthiest city in the world per capita. The city also served as the primary setting of Herman Melville's 1851 novel, Moby-Dick. New Bedford remains known for its fishing fleet and accompanying seafood industry, which in 2019 generated the highest annual value of any fishing port in the United States. At the 2020 U.S. census, the city had a population of 101,079, making it the state's ninth-largest city and the largest of the South coast region. It was the home port for the Revenue Cutter School of Instruction, the precursor of the U. S. Coast Guard Academy, from 1876 to 1900. It also attracted many freed or escaped African-American slaves, including Frederick Douglass, who lived there from 1838 until 1841. In 1699, with the support of Peleg Slocum, the Quakers built their first meeting house in Old Dartmouth, where the Apponegansett Meeting House is now located. At this time, the economy primarily ran on agriculture and fishing.


New Bedford is the primary city name, but also Acushnet are acceptable city names or spellings. The official name is New Bedford, Massachusetts. Before the 17th century, the lands along the Acushnet River were inhabited by the Wampanoag Native Americans, who had settlements throughout southeastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island. In 1652, English colonists purchased Old Dartmoutha region of 115,000 acres (470 km²) that is now Dartmouth,Acushnet, New Bedford, Fairhaven, and Westport. The availability of land attracted many Quakers and Baptists from Newport and Portsmouth in Rhode Island, as well as more waves of Puritan migration. In the 1760s, between the Seven Years' War and the American Revolution, shipwrights, carpenters, mechanics, and blacksmiths, settled around New Bedford harbor. New Bedford was officially incorporated as the town of New Bedford on February 23, 1787, after the American Revolutionary War. The name was suggested by the Russell family, who were prominent citizens of the community. The town's first newspaper, The Medley (also known as the New Bedford Marine Journal), was founded in 1792. On June 12, 1792, the town set up its first postmaster office. The first toll bridge (originally a toll bridge) between New Bedford and Fairhaven (Fairhaven and present-day Fairhaven) was built in 1796. In 1812, the two towns separated from each other, forming an independent town that included Fairhaven andpresent-day Acush net. The city's name came from the Dukes of Bedford, a leading English aristocratic house, who bore the surname Russell.


New Bedford is located at 41°3906N 70°5601W (41.651803, 70.933705). According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 24.1 square miles (62.5 km²). Of the total area, 20.0 sq miles (51.8 km²) is land, and 4.1sq miles (10.7 km²), or 17.13%, is water. The highest point in the city is an unnamed hill crossed by Interstate 195 and Hathaway Road west of downtown, with an elevation greater than 180 feet (55 m) above sea level. New Bedford has a cooler than normal version of a humid subtropical climate that in many aspects resembles a humid continental one, but with slightly milder winters. There is high precipitation year-round, with winter being split between rainfall and snowfall. There are several parks and playgrounds, some with splash pads, scattered throughout the city, with the first four being primary parks: Fish Island, Pope's Island, Fairhaven and New Bedford Harbor. The city also lays claim to Palmer's Island and Fish Island. Between these two islands lies one of the three sections, the central section, of the New Bedford-Fairhaven Bridge. The central span, a swing bridge, connects the two islands as well as allowing boats and ships passage to the upper harbor. Two conventional bridges connect each of the islands to the nearest mainland, Fish Island to New Bedford andPope's Island to Fairhaven.


New Bedford and surrounding communities are a part of the Providence metropolitan area. The Greater Providence-Fall River-New Bedford area is home to the largest Portuguese-American community in the United States. At the 2010 census, there were 95,072 people, 39,204 households and 24,990 families residing in the city. The city's crime rate, including violent and property crime decreased by 38% from 2011 to 2020 with 4456 incidents in 2011 and 2171 incidents in 2020. The FBI reported a violent crime rate in New Bedford, Massachusetts, of 640 per 100,000 residents in 2019, compared to a national average of 366.7 per 100, 000 residents. The ethnic makeup of the city is estimated to be 33.8% Portuguese, 10.1% Puerto Rican, 9.1%. French, 8.8%. Cape Verdean, 6.9% Irish, 5.3% English. The average household size was 2.40 and the average family size was 3.01. The median household income was $37,569. The per capita income for the city was $15,602. About 17.3%. of families and 20.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 29.1. of those under age 18 and 15.7% of those age 65 or over. The population density was 4,760 inhabitants per square mile (1,840/km²). There were 42,781 housing units at an average density of 2,063 per squaremile (797/km 2).


New Bedford was a major whaling and foreign trade port in the 18th century. New Bedford was the site of the first petroleum fuel refinery in the U.S. Herman Melville, who worked in New Bedford as a whaler, wrote the novel Moby-Dick and published it in 1851; the city would be the initial setting of the book, including a scene set in the Seaman's Bethel, which still stands today. The city's textile industry grew large enough to sustain the city's economy in the 1880s and 1890s. The textile industry began to decline with the end of the textile period in the 1940s and ended in 1928 when it was hit with a national strike of 30,000 workers. In the 1970s, tourism became a growing industry, but it is still hard to come by by, and tourism figures are not accurate. The town is home to several festivals, including the Folk Festival, Working Waterfront Festival, Polish Fest, and the Holy Pedra feast of Da Pedra of Ponte della Pedra, Holy Pico, and Holy Piedra of Pedra della Pia, among others. The New Bedford Museum is located in the town's historic center. The museum is open to the public and has a collection of historic photographs, maps, and other memorabilia from New Bedford's history. It is also home to a museum of American history, which dates back to the 17th century and includes the oldest building in the city, the New Bedford Tavern.


The Port of New Bedford is a major harbor for freight and passenger services, generating over $9.8 billion in economic value annually. New Bedford fisherman landed 124 million pounds of fish in 2015, valued at $322 million, and the fishing industry accounts for the vast majority of the Port's annual economic value. Interstate 195 is the main freeway through central New Bedford, traveling from Providence, Rhode Island, to Wareham. U.S. Route 6 leaves the city toward Cape Cod over the New Bedford-Fairhaven Bridge, a swing truss bridge. The MBTA has proposed renewing commuter rail service to the city. As of 2020, New Bedford Regional Airport serves as the New England Fleet Base for Southern Airways Express, providing maintenance, storage, and offices for the airline. The city bus terminal offers local and long-distance bus connections. A free shuttle bus connects the bus terminal and the ferries. The Southeastern Regional Transit Authority (SRTA) provides bus service between the city, Fall River and the surrounding regions. Peter Pan Bus Lines makes a New Bedford stop on a New York City to Hyannis (Cape Cod) route. Until 1959, the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad provided train service to New Bedford from Providence via Taunton. On March 15, 2017, MassDOT filed a notice to advance South Coast Rail service serving both New Bedford and Fall River using the existing Middleborough/Lakeville Commuter Rail Line using the new New Bedford Rail Line.


New Bedford is governed by a Mayor-Council form of government. The city is part of Massachusetts's 9th congressional district, represented by U.S. Representative William R. Keating. Bristol County Sheriff's Office operates the Ash Street Jail and Regional Lock-Up and the Juvenile Secure Alternative Lock Up Program (JALP) in New Bedford. The New Bedford Fire Department responds to approximately 15,000 emergency calls annually. New Bedford has been known to be a very aggressive interior attack when responding to all fire station and fire apparatus emergencies. In addition to seven Fire Stations, the city also operates an Emergency Management facility/repair shop at 834 Liberty St., and a Fire Museum at 51 St. St., Kempton. In 2015, New Bedford received the "Class 1" ISO (Insurance Service Office) distinction becoming just the 3rd city in the state, Boston and Cambridge being the other two, to receive such a rating. In 2019, following a change in the city charter, the mayoral term was doubled from two years to four years. The council and mayoral positions do not have term limits. There are four post offices, the Central (modeled after New York's James A. Farley Post Office) located downtown, one in the South End, and two in the North End. The City also formerly operated a trash dump in the Mount Pleasant area of town between the regional airport and the Whaling City Golf Course, but it was closed in the 1990s due to pollution concerns.


New Bedford Public Schools is the community school district. New Bedford High School is the sole public high school in the city. There are three Catholic schools within the city, operated by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fall River. Bristol Community College has a satellite campus in Downtown New Bedford. Nearby Dartmouth is home to the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, the first public law school in Massachusetts. The city also is the site of the marine campus of University of. Massachusetts Dartmouth (located at Fort Rodman) There is one Non-Collegiate Flight School located at the New Bedford Regional Airport. The City of New Bedford spent 0.78% ($2,012,820) of its budget on its public library systemapproximately $21.20 per person, per year in fiscal year 2016. In fiscal year 2013-14, the city spent $1.2 million on public schools. The total cost of public schools in New Bedford was $2.3 million. The number of public high schools in the state was 1,856. The average school year in the U.S. is 3.2 years. The U.N. has a school in New England, which is one of the largest in the world, with more than 2,000 students. The state has a high school that serves grades 7-12. The school is located in the town of Fairhaven, Massachusetts. It is the home of the Fairhaven Regional Vocational-Technical High School, a large vocational high school serving the city New Bedford, and the towns of Dartmouth and Fairhaven.


Herman Melville is associated with New Bedford, with his 1851 novel Moby-Dick set in the city. New Bedford hosts the Feast of the Blessed Sacrament, the New Bedford Folk Festival, the Whaling City Festival, Jazzfest, and Working Waterfront Festival. The New Bedford Whaling Museum hosts an annual marathon reading of the whaling classic "The Great Whaling Voyage" New Bedford had a Class B professional Baseball team called The Whalers from 1895 to 1915. The city is the home of the Zeiterion Performing Arts Center, the home venue of the New Bedford Symphony Orchestra and AHA! (Art, History, and Architecture) Nights are free cultural events held monthly in downtown New Bedford. In 2018, the 1,275-foot (389 m) panoramic painting Grand Panorama of a Whaling voyage Round the World by Caleb Purrington and Benjamin Russell, depicting a 19th-century whaling voyage departing from New Bedford, was displayed at the Kilburn Mill. The Whaling City Concerto was composed by accordionist and accordion instructor Aldo DeRossi (1917-2010) in 1992, honoring New Bedford and was performed by the New Bedford Symphony Orchestra. In 2020, the team announced they were folding for the 2020 season and hoped to return in 2021. From 2005 to 2018, a semi-professional team called the New England Football League, played at Walsh Field. The team won the 1977 edition of the Pony League World Series.

Air Quality, Water Quality, Superfund Sites & UV Index

The Air Quality index is in New Bedford, Bristol County, Massachusetts = 52. These Air Quality index is based on annual reports from the EPA. Higher values are better (100=best). The number of ozone alert days is used as an indicator of air quality, as are the amounts of seven pollutants including particulates, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, lead, and volatile organic chemicals. The Water Quality Index is 47. A measure of the quality of an area’s water supply as rated by the EPA. Higher values are better (100=best). The EPA has a complex method of measuring the watershed quality, using 15 indicators such as pollutants, turbidity, sediments, and toxic discharges. The Superfund Sites Index is 10. Higher is better (100=best). Based upon the number and impact of EPA Superfund pollution sites in the county, including spending on the cleanup efforts. The UV Index in New Bedford = 3.5 and is a measure of an area's exposure to the sun's ultraviolet rays. This is most often a combination of sunny weather, altitude, and latitude. The UV Index has been defined by the WHO ( and is uniform worldwide.


The most recent city population of 101,079 individuals with a median age of 37.5 age the population dropped by -2.66% in New Bedford, Bristol County, Massachusetts population since 2000 and are distributed over a density of 5,053.70 residents per square mile of area (1,951.25/km²). There are average 2.36 people per household in the 37,955 households with an average household income of $33,469 a year. The unemployment rate in Alabama is 14.30% of the available work force and has dropped -4.66% over the most recent 12-month period and the projected change in job supply over the next decade based on migration patterns, economic growth, and other factors will increase by 16.38%. The number of physicians in New Bedford per 100,000 population = 141.2.


The annual rainfall in New Bedford = 46.1 inches and the annual snowfall = 33 inches. The annual number of days with measurable precipitation (over .01 inch) = 121. The average number of days per year that are predominantly sunny = 205. 81 degrees Fahrenheit is the average daily high temperature for the month of July and 24 degrees Fahrenheit is the average daily low temperature for the month of January. The Comfort Index (higher=better) is 51, where higher values mean a more pleasant climate. The Comfort Index measure recognizes that humidity by itself isn't the problem. (Have you noticed nobody ever complains about the weather being 'cold and humid?) It's in the summertime that we notice the humidity the most, when it's hot and muggy. Our Comfort Index uses a combination of afternoon summer temperature and humidity to closely predict the effect that the humidity will have on people.

Median Home Cost

The percentage of housing units in New Bedford, Bristol County, Massachusetts which are owned by the occupant = 40.03%. A housing unit is a house, apartment, mobile home, or room occupied as separate living quarters. The average age of homes = 66 years with median home cost = $148,900 and home appreciation of -11.58%. This is the value of the years most recent home sales data. Its important to note that this is not the average (or arithmetic mean). The median home price is the middle value when you arrange all the sales prices of homes from lowest to highest. This is a better indicator than the average, because the median is not changed as much by a few unusually high or low values. The property tax rate of $11.66 shown here is the rate per $1,000 of home value. If for simplification for example the tax rate is $14.00 and the home value is $250,000, the property tax would be $14.00 x ($250,000/1000), or $3500. This is the 'effective' tax rate.


The local school district spends $7,802 per student. There are 13.6 students for each teacher in the school, 1724 students for each Librarian and 546 students for each Counselor. 5.32% of the area’s population over the age of 25 with an Associate Degree or other 2-year college degree, 7.46% with a master’s degree, Ph.D. or other advanced college degree and 3.23% with high school diplomas or high school equivalency degrees (GEDs).

  • New Bedford's population in Bristol County, Massachusetts of 62,442 residents in 1900 has increased 1,62-fold to 101,079 residents after 120 years, according to the official 2020 census.

    Approximately 52.48% female residents and 47.52% male residents live in New Bedford, Bristol County, Massachusetts.

    As of 2020 in New Bedford, Bristol County, Massachusetts are married and the remaining 50.65% are single population.

  • 24.7 minutes is the average time that residents in New Bedford require for a one-way commute to work. A long commute can have different effects on health. A Gallup poll in the US found that in terms of mental health, long haul commuters are up to 12 percent more likely to experience worry, and ten percent less likely to feel well rested. The Gallup poll also found that of people who commute 61­–90 minutes each day, a whopping one third complained of neck and back pain, compared to less than a quarter of people who only spend ten minutes getting to work.

    74.58% of the working population which commute to work alone in their car, 16.11% of the working population which commutes to work in a carpool, 2.78% of the population that commutes using mass transit, including bus, light rail, subway, and ferry. 1.19% of the population that has their home as their principal place of work.

  • Of the total residential buildings in New Bedford, Bristol County, Massachusetts, 40.03% are owner-occupied homes, another 51.29% are rented apartments, and the remaining 8.68% are vacant.

  • The 55.43% of the population in New Bedford, Bristol County, Massachusetts who identify themselves as belonging to a religion are distributed among the following most diverse religions.

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