Norfolk County is a county located in the U.S. state of Massachusetts. At the 2010 census, the population was 670,850. Its county seat is Dedham. The county was named after the English county of the same name. Two towns, Cohasset and Brookline, are exclaves. Norfolk County is included in the Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA-NH Metropolitan Statistical Area.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 444 square miles (1,150 km²), of which 396 square miles (1,030 km²) is land and 48 square miles (120 km²) (11%) is water. It is the third-smallest county in Massachusetts by total area. The county is not completely contiguous; the towns of Brookline and Cohasset are each part of Norfolk County but are separated from the majority of Norfolk County (and each other) by either water or other counties. At the county's formation, Hingham and Hull were to be part of it, but joined Plymouth County instead, leaving Cohasset as the initial exclave of Norfolk County and an enclave of Plymouth County. Brookline became the second exclave of Norfolk County in 1873 when the neighboring town of West Roxbury was annexed by Boston (thus leaving Norfolk County to join Suffolk County) and Brookline refused to be annexed by Boston after the Brookline-Boston annexation debate of 1873.
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 670,850 people, 257,914 households, and 168,903 families residing in the county. The population density was 1,693.6 inhabitants per square mile (653.9/km²). There were 270,359 housing units at an average density of 682.5 per square mile (263.5/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 82.3% white, 8.6% Asian, 5.7% black or African American, 0.2% American Indian, 1.3% from other races, and 1.9% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 3.3% of the population.
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