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Harwich, Massachusetts

Harwich is a town on Cape Cod, in Barnstable county in the state of Massachusetts in the United States. The town is a popular vacation spot, being near many beaches of the Cape Cod National Seashore. Harwich has its own small port, Harwich Port, and beach front on Nantucket Sound.

The town is know for its many cranberry salt bogs, which produce cranberries that are commercially farmed. Harwich also contains the largest lake on the Cape, called Long Pond, which serves as a private airport for planes with the ability to land on water.

For geographic and demographic information on specific parts of the town of Harwich, please see the articles on East Harwich, Harwich Center, Harwich Port, and Northwest Harwich.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 85.9 km² (33.2 mi²). 54.5 km² (21.0 mi²) of it is land and 31.4 km² (12.1 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 36.53% water.


As of the census of 2000, there are 12,386 people, 5,471 households, and 3,545 families residing in the town. The population density is 227.3/km² (588.6/mi²). There are 9,450 housing units at an average density of 173.4/km² (449.1/mi²). The racial makeup of the town is 95.41% White, 0.71% African American, 0.19% Native American, 0.22% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 2.03% from other races, and 1.40% from two or more races. 0.96% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There are 5,471 households out of which 21.3% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.4% are married couples living together, 9.0% have a female householder with no husband present, and 35.2% are non-families. 29.8% of all households are made up of individuals and 16.9% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.20 and the average family size is 2.72.

In the town the population is spread out with 18.3% under the age of 18, 4.2% from 18 to 24, 22.1% from 25 to 44, 25.8% from 45 to 64, and 29.6% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 49 years. For every 100 females there are 84.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 79.7 males.

The median income for a household in the town is $41,552, and the median income for a family is $51,070. Males have a median income of $38,948 versus $27,439 for females. The per capita income for the town is $23,063. 5.5% of the population and 2.9% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total people living in poverty, 8.4% are under the age of 18 and 4.1% are 65 or older.