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Swansea, Massachusetts

Swansea is a town located in Bristol County in southeastern Massachusetts. It is located at the mouth of the Taunton River, just west of Fall River, 47 miles south of Boston; and 12 miles southeast of Providence, Rhode Island. As of the 2000 census, the town had a total population of 15,901.

For geographic and demographic information on the village of Ocean Grove, please see the article Ocean Grove, Massachusetts.

Table of contents
1 Geography
2 History
3 Government
4 Demographics


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 66.1 km² (25.5 mi²). 59.7 km² (23.1 mi²) of it is land and 6.4 km² (2.5 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 9.67% water.


Swansea was first settled in 1663, and was named for Swansea, Wales which had been the hometown of some original settlers. William Brenton had purchased the land from the Indians.

On June 20, 1675 the first Indian attack of King Philip's War had all 70 settlers confined to their stockade. By June 25 the entire town had been burned, although a handful of the colonists escaped to Taunton. When the active war ended in 1676, the town was soon rebuilt.


The town is governed by Selectmen and an Administrator. Swansea also maintains the tradition of open Town Meetings. As of 2001, total property values are assessed at $980 million, and property taxes amount to $15 million. The town operates on a budget of approximately $10 million, which does not include another $13.5 million spent on schools. Swansea is served by the Greater Fall River school district.


As of the census of 2000, there are 15,901 people, 5,888 households, and 4,539 families residing in the town. The population density is 266.2/km² (689.4/mi²). There are 6,070 housing units at an average density of 101.6/km² (263.2/mi²). The racial makeup of the town is 97.91% White, 0.38% African American, 0.08% Native American, 0.36% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.27% from other races, and 1.00% from two or more races. 0.60% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There are 5,888 households out of which 31.1% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 64.6% are married couples living together, 8.8% have a female householder with no husband present, and 22.9% are non-families. 19.6% of all households are made up of individuals and 10.2% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.67 and the average family size is 3.06.

In the town the population is spread out with 22.2% under the age of 18, 6.7% from 18 to 24, 28.4% from 25 to 44, 27.0% from 45 to 64, and 15.7% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 40 years. For every 100 females there are 96.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 92.3 males.

The median income for a household in the town is $52,524, and the median income for a family is $60,567. Males have a median income of $40,056 versus $27,072 for females. The per capita income for the town is $21,776. 4.9% of the population and 3.4% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total people living in poverty, 2.9% are under the age of 18 and 11.0% are 65 or older.