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Amherst, Massachusetts

  •   State: 
    Hampshire County
      County FIPS: 
    42°23′N 72°31′W
      Area total: 
    27.7 sq mi (71.8 km²)
      Area land: 
    27.6 sq mi (71.5 km²)
      Area water: 
    0.1 sq mi (0.3 km²)
    295 ft (90 m)
    1703; Settled 1703; Incorporated February 13, 1759
  •   Latitude: 
      Dman name cbsa: 
    Springfield, MA
    Eastern Standard Time (EST) UTC-5:00; Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) UTC-4:00
      ZIP codes: 

    Amherst, Hampshire County, Massachusetts, United States

  •   Population: 
      Population density: 
    1,422 residents per square mile of area (549.1/km²)
      Household income: 
      Unemployment rate: 
  •   Sales taxes: 
      Income taxes: 

Amherst is a town in Hampshire County, Massachusetts, in the Connecticut River valley. The name of the town is pronounced without the h ("AM-erst") by natives and long-time residents, giving rise to the local saying, "only the 'h' is silent", in reference both to the pronunciation and to the town's politically active populace. The town is home to Amherst College, Hampshire College, and the University of Massachusetts AmherSt, three of the Five Colleges. As of the 2020 census, the population was 39,263, making it the highest populated municipality in Hampshire county (although the county seat is Northampton). The town has three census-designated places: Am herst Center, North Amher St, and South Amher st. AmherST is part of the Springfield, Massachusetts Metropolitan Statistical Area. The first permanent English settlements arrived in 1727. It remained a part of Hadley, even when it gained precinct status in 1734, before becoming a township in 1759. The colonial governor assigned the town the name " amherst" after Jeffery Amherth, 1st Baron Amhert. Am herthst was Commander-in-Chief of the forces of North America during the French and Indian War. According to popular legend, he singlehandedly won Canada for the British and banished France from North America. He is also infamous for recommending the use of smallpox-covered blankets in warfare against the Native Americans along with any "other method that can serve to Extirpate this Execrable Race".


Amherst is the primary city name, but also Cushman, Pelham are acceptable city names or spellings, South Amherst on the other hand no longer accepted or obsolete and are no longer used as a designation. The official name is Amherst, Massachusetts . Amherst was first visited by Europeans no later than 1665, when Nathaniel Dickinson surveyed the lands for its mother town Hadley. It remained a part of Hadley, even when it gained precinct status in 1734, before becoming a township in 1759. When it incorporated, the colonial governor assigned the town the name " amherst" after Jeffery Amherst, 1st Baron Amher St. AmherSt was Commander-in-Chief of the forces of North America during the French and Indian War who, according to popular legend, singlehandedly won Canada for the British and banished France from North America. He is also infamous for recommending, in a letter to a subordinate, the use of smallpox-covered blankets in warfare against the Native Americans along with any "other method that can serve to Extirpate this Execrable Race". For this reason, there have been occasional ad hoc movements to rename the town. The Town converted from an open town meeting to a representative town meeting form in 1938. In 1953, AmherST voters passed the "Town Manager Act", which established the office of a town manager and reduced a number of elected positions. In 1995, a charter commission was approved to study Amher st's government. A majority of commissioners proposed a charter that would establish a 13-member council with no mayor. This proposal was voted on the March 27, 2018 local ballot, and was passed by over 1,000 votes. The new town council was sworn in on December 2, 2018.


According to the United States Census Bureau, Amherst has a total area of 27.7 square miles (71.8 km²) The town is bordered by Hadley to the west, Sunderland and Leverett to the north, Shutesbury, Pelham, and Belchertown to the east, and Granby and South Hadleys to the south. The highest point in the town is on the northern shoulder of Mount Norwottuck at the southern border of the town. The town's ZIP Code of 01002 is the second-lowest number in the continental United States after Agawam (not counting codes used for specific government buildings such as the IRS). Under the Köppen system marginally falls into the warm-summer category (Dfb), with July means hovering around 71.4 °F (21.9 °C) Winters are cold and snowy, albeit daytime temperatures often remain above freezing. Under the 2012 USDA Plant Hardiness Zone system, Am Herst (ZIP Code 01002) is in zone 5b; however, it closely borders zone 6a, which penetrates into Massachusetts in the Connecticut River Valley, and climate change may be shifting those zones. AmherSt is nearly equidistant from both the northern and southern state lines. It has a humid continental climate that is interchangeable with the hot- SUMmer subtype Dfa with July mean hovering at around 71 °F. It is the only town in the state to have a ZIP Code in the top 10 of the U.S.


As of the 2010 U.S. Census, there were 37,819 people, 9,259 households, and 4,484 families residing in the town. The racial makeup of the town was 76.9% White, 5.4% Black or African American, 0.2% Native American, 10.9%. The largest industry is education, health, and social services, in which 51.9 per cent of employed persons work. Of residents 25 years old or older, 41.7% have a graduate or professional degree, and only 4.9 percent did not graduate from high school. Amherst is home to thousands of part-time and full-time residents associated with the University of Massachusetts AmherSt, Amher St College, and Hampshire College. The estimated median annual income for a household in theTown was $48,059. The median income for the family was $96,005. The per capita income was $18,905. About 8.7%. of the population were below the poverty line, including 18.2%. of those under age 18 and 4.5% of those age 65 or over. The average household size was 2.44 and the average family size was2.88. The town has a large student population, roughly 30,000 in 2010, many of whom only reside in the Town part of the year. The city has a population of about 37,000 people, and a population growth rate of 2.7 per cent.


Major employers in Amherst include University of Massachusetts AmherSt, Amherman College, William D. Mullins Memorial Center, Hampshire College, and Amherston-Pelham Regional School District. The town is home to the U.S. Naval Academy and the Naval Post Graduate School of Technology. It is also the home of the University of Massachusetts Amherst and the University of Massachusetts Cambridge. The city's population is estimated to be more than 100,000 people. It has a population of 2.5 million people, the majority of whom live in the town of about 6,000. The population of the town is expected to grow to more than 4,000 by the end of the year. The area's unemployment rate is less than 1.5 percent, according to a recent survey. It's the lowest rate of any town in the state, and it's the highest rate in the United States. The economy is the second-largest in the region, after Boston, with an unemployment rate of 1.7 percent. The U.N. has the highest unemployment rate, followed by the state of Massachusetts, at 1.8 percent, and the District of Columbia, at 2.7%. The town's economy is one of the fastest-growing in the nation, with a population growth rate of 0.8 per cent. It also has the lowest poverty rate, at 0.7 per cent, compared to the national average. The school district has the third-highest unemployment rate.

Arts and culture

Amherst Center Cultural District, formed in 2016, and the Amherst Business Improvement District. Emily Dickinson Museum, birthplace and lifelong residence of poet Emily Dickinson, now a museum. Theodore Baird Residence, designed by architect Frank Lloyd Wright. W. E. B. Du Bois Library at the University of Massachusetts Amher st: the tallest academic library in the United States. Yiddish Book Center at AmherSt College: 18,000 items with a particular strength in American art. The AmherST Area Chamber of Commerce: a local non-profit theater showing mostly arthouse and independent films. The American Museum of Natural History: a museum of natural history, including the Hitchcock Ichnological Cabinet. The Hampshire College Museum of Art: an art museum, gallery, and exhibition space with a focus on American art and design. The University of Vermont Art Museum: a gallery, library, and museum of American art, with a special focus on the history of the American Revolution. The U.S. Holocaust Museum: an exhibit of Holocaust artifacts, including a survivor of the Holocaust. The National Museum of American History: an exhibition of American history, culture, and literature, with an emphasis on the Civil War. The New England Museum of Science and Art: a collection of more than 1,000 works of art, many of which are on display at the U.N. headquarters in Washington, D.C. The Center for Environmental Education: an environmental education center on the grounds of Hampshire College in Vermont.


The University of Massachusetts Amherst's Ultimate Frisbee Team was ranked first the Division 1 Men's Ultimate league for the 2017 season. Games were played in town during the 1996 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships. The town is home to the U.S. National Ice Hockey Team. The team has been ranked first in the division for the last three years. The U.N. team is ranked first for the past four years in a row, including the 2014-15 season. It is the first time the team has ever been ranked in the top five in the world for a single season. The national team has never been ranked higher than third in a season before. It was ranked second in the 2013-14 season, the first year the team had been ranked top five for a season since the start of the 2013/14 season.


Amherst has a town council for its legislative branch and a town manager for its executive branch. The town council consists of ten district councilors and three councilors-at-large. In each of the presidential elections from 2012 to 2020, more than 80% of Amherst's votes went to the Democratic candidate. In the 2020 U.S. Presidential Election, Democrat Joe Biden received 90.3 percent of the vote to incumbent Republican Donald Trump's 7.4 percent. AmherSt is represented at the federal level by an all-Democratic delegation, including Senators Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey, and by Representative Jim McGovern of the Second Congressional District of Massachusetts. Like many college towns, amherst leans heavily Democratic. In 2000, Amhert was one of a small number of places that delivered more votes for Green Party candidate Ralph Nader than Republican candidate George W. Bush, who received just 13%. The town has a single Oliver Smith Will Elector with a two-year term. It also has a five-member housing authority where three of the five members are elected by voters. It has a six-member library board of trustees with 2-year terms. It is in the Massachusetts Senate "Hampshire, Franklin and Worcester" district, represented by Democratic State Senator Jo Comerford since January 2019. It's in the 3rd Hampshire district, Represented by Democratic state Representative Mindy Domb since January2019. It was the only town in Massachusetts to vote for Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential election.


The town is part of the Amherst Regional School District along with Leverett, Pelham, and Shutesbury. There are three tertiary institutions located in the town: the public University of Massachusetts AmherSt (the flagship of the UMass system), and two private liberal arts collegesAmherst College and Hampshire College. The town has 3 elementary schools: Crocker Farm Elementary School, Fort River Elementary School and Wildwood Elementary School serving K5. Students in Amher St then attend Amher st Regional Middle School for grades 68. High school students then attend amherst regional High School. There is also a public high school in the city, which serves students in grades 9-12. The school district also has a private high school, serving grades 13-16. The city has a public middle school and high school for grades 8-12, as well as two private high schools for grades 12-16, serving students in both high school and middle school. The high school has a junior high and a senior high, both serving grades 7-8. The public high School has a freshman and sophomore high, serving grade 9-13. The senior high school serves grade 14-17, and the junior high has a high school serving grade 18-18, serving Grade 18-19. The local high school is located in a suburb of Boston, the town of Leverett. It is located on the Massachusetts Turnpike and is known as the "Town of the Turnpikes".


The Pioneer Valley Transit Authority, funded by local governments and the Five College Consortium, provides public transportation in the area. Service runs well into the early morning hours on weekends when school is in session. The closest major domestic and limited international air service is available through Bradley International Airport (BDL) in Windsor Locks, Connecticut. More frequent Amtrak service to New York City and Washington, D.C., is available from Union Station in Springfield. General aviation service is close by, at Northampton Airport, Westover Metropolitan Airport, and Turners Falls Airport. Students attending any colleges in the Five Colleges Consortium have a fee included in their tuition bills (service fee for UMass Amherst students and student activity fees for the other colleges) for each semester that prepays their bus fares for the semester. The nearest major international airport is Logan International Airport in Boston, 90 miles away.Amtrak rail service is Available in nearby Northampton on the Vermonter service between Washington D.D. and St. Albans, Vermont. There is no direct Amtrak service between New York and Boston. There are no direct flights from New York to Boston, but there are direct flights between Boston and New York from New England. There has been no direct flight between New England and the United States since the early 1990s. There have been no flights from the U.S. to New England since the mid-1990s, and there have been few direct flights since the 1990s from the New England region to the United Kingdom.

Air Quality, Water Quality, Superfund Sites & UV Index

The Air Quality index is in Amherst, Hampshire County, Massachusetts = 10.1. 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 55. 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 79. 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 Amherst = 3.3 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 23,849 individuals with a median age of 23.5 age the population dropped by -2.28% in Amherst, Hampshire County, Massachusetts population since 2000 and are distributed over a density of 1,422 residents per square mile of area (549.1/km²). There are average 2.36 people per household in the 9,361 households with an average household income of $55,882 a year. The unemployment rate in Alabama is 4.10% of the available work force and has dropped -8.38% 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 19.14%. The number of physicians in Amherst per 100,000 population = 344.4.


The annual rainfall in Amherst = 43 inches and the annual snowfall = 43.9 inches. The annual number of days with measurable precipitation (over .01 inch) = 121. The average number of days per year that are predominantly sunny = 190. 83 degrees Fahrenheit is the average daily high temperature for the month of July and 14.2 degrees Fahrenheit is the average daily low temperature for the month of January. The Comfort Index (higher=better) is 52, 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 Amherst, Hampshire County, Massachusetts which are owned by the occupant = 44.35%. A housing unit is a house, apartment, mobile home, or room occupied as separate living quarters. The average age of homes = 36 years with median home cost = $286,900 and home appreciation of -0.76%. 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 $14.78 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 $10,404 per student. There are 11.7 students for each teacher in the school, 393 students for each Librarian and 315 students for each Counselor. 5.79% of the area’s population over the age of 25 with an Associate Degree or other 2-year college degree, 26.89% with a master’s degree, Ph.D. or other advanced college degree and 41.18% with high school diplomas or high school equivalency degrees (GEDs).

  • Amherst's population in Hampshire County, Massachusetts of 3,066 residents in 1900 has increased 7,78-fold to 23,849 residents after 120 years, according to the official 2020 census.

    Approximately 51.71% female residents and 48.29% male residents live in Amherst, Hampshire County, Massachusetts.

    As of 2020 in Amherst, Hampshire County, Massachusetts are married and the remaining 70.81% are single population.

  • 20 minutes is the average time that residents in Amherst 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.

    53.12% of the working population which commute to work alone in their car, 7.32% of the working population which commutes to work in a carpool, 7.40% of the population that commutes using mass transit, including bus, light rail, subway, and ferry. 5.42% of the population that has their home as their principal place of work.

  • Of the total residential buildings in Amherst, Hampshire County, Massachusetts, 44.35% are owner-occupied homes, another 52.85% are rented apartments, and the remaining 2.80% are vacant.

  • The 31.20% of the population in Amherst, Hampshire County, Massachusetts who identify themselves as belonging to a religion are distributed among the following most diverse religions.

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