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3 Historical Significance
4 External Links
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 62.2 km² (24.0 mi²). 52.1 km² (20.1 mi²) of it is land and 10.1 km² (3.9 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 16.23% water.
As of the census of 2000, there are 93,768 people, 38,178 households, and 24,090 families residing in the city. The population density is 1,799.4/km² (4,660.0/mi²). There are 41,511 housing units at an average density of 796.6/km² (2,063.0/mi²). The racial makeup of the city is 78.86% White, 4.39% African American, 0.62% Native American, 0.65% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 9.51% from other races, and 5.92% from two or more races. 10.21% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There are 38,178 households out of which 31.2% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 39.5% are married couples living together, 18.9% have a female householder with no husband present, and 36.9% are non-families. 31.6% of all households are made up of individuals and 13.6% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.40 and the average family size is 3.01.
In the city the population is spread out with 24.9% under the age of 18, 9.5% from 18 to 24, 28.8% from 25 to 44, 20.2% from 45 to 64, and 16.7% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 36 years. For every 100 females there are 89.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 84.4 males.
The median income for a household in the city is $27,569, and the median income for a family is $35,708. Males have a median income of $31,388 versus $22,278 for females. The per capita income for the city is $15,602. 20.2% of the population and 17.3% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total people living in poverty, 29.1% are under the age of 18 and 15.7% are 65 or older.
The city of New Bedford was (up until the Great Depression) one of the richest cities in the country. This was due to the city's control over the whaling industry. Herman Melville, famous for his novel Moby Dick, worked in New Bedford as a whaler and made it the initial setting of his most famous novel. Frederick Douglass, the famous abolitionist, lived there and today has a historical building and memorial in the city dedicated to him. New Bedford was also the home of some members of the 54th Regiment, an American Civil War regiment fighting for the Union and the first ever all-African-American regiment in the country's history. Most famous of these soldiers was William H. Carney, who made sure that the American flag never touched the ground during the attack on Fort Wagner. There is a school named in his honor in New Bedford today.