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Census Data for Medford

Population ...

The most recent Census Estimate<1> was for 2019 and it gave Medford a population of 57,367 people.

The last Decennial Census<2> was in 2010, which gave Medford a population of 56,173 people.

The city of Medford is located in Middlesex County. The 2010 Census gave Middlesex County; a population of 1,503,085 people. This means that Medford had 3.74% of the county's total population, making it Middlesex's 8th most populous community.

At the same time, Massachusetts had a population of 6,547,629 people, meaning that Medford had 0.86% of the total population of Massachusetts - making it the state's 20th most populous community.

Area ...

The 2010 Census shows that the sampling area for Medford has a total area of 8.66 square miles [22.4 km²]. Of this total, 8.1 square miles [21 km²] is land, with the balance (6.43%) being water (0.56 square miles [1.4 km²]).

Middlesex County has a land area of 817 square miles [2,118.1 km²]. At 8.1 square miles [21 km²], Medford has 0.99% of the county's total land area.

  • Continue Reading ...
    • When the Census Bureau conducts a census for a city like Medford, they draw a boundary around the area in which they are going to conduct their count - this defines the sampling area (usually a polygon). The shape of the sampling area can be quite complex and it's important to keep in mind that the boundaries of the sampling area may or may not match the recognized boundaries of the city.
    • Things like population, area and housing for Medford reflect the sampling area. Since the shape of the sampling area and the actual boundaries of Medford might be different, it's best to check with the U.S. Census Bureau to resolve any difference between the two.
    • Not only does the sampling area define boundaries, it also has a GPS location (latitude & longitude) that indicates a point within the sampling area (usually the center of the polygon, known as the centroid). At the time of the 2010 Census, the sampling area was located at:
    • Lat:   42° 25' 25"   (or 42.42°)
    • Lon:   -71° 6' 33"   (or -71.11°)
    • More information on this topic and the changes between the 2000 Census and the 2010 Census can be found in the section for our Census-to-Census Observations ... (see below).

Housing Units ...

At the time of the 2010 Census, Medford had 24,046 Housing Units<3> and with its population of 56,173 people, this averages 2.34 people per Housing Unit.

  • Continue Reading ...
    • The 2010 Census shows Medford had a land area of 8.1 square miles [21 km²]. This translates to 2,777 Housing Units per square mile [1,072 housing units/km²].
    • From the Census of 2000: Medford had 22,687 Housing Units, a population of 55,765 people and a land area of 8.14 square miles [21.1 km²]. This gives a density of 2.46 people per Housing Unit and 2,625 Housing Units per square mile [1,013 housing units/km²].
    • Note: Repeating the caution above (under Population Density), be aware that when comparing Housing Units between the 2010 and the 2000 Census, there were changes in the sampling area for Medford and you need to be careful when comparing between the censuses. More information about these differences can be found in the section called Census-to-Census Observations ... (see below).

Middlesex County ...

Medford is located in Middlesex County<4>.

The county had a population of 1,503,085 people at the 2010 Census. With it's population of 56,173 people, Medford represented 3.74% of the county's total.

In addition, where the city of Medford has a population density of 6,487 people per square mile [2,505 people/km²], Middlesex County averages 1,837 people per square mile [709 people/km²].

For more information, please visit our Census Page for Middlesex County.

Census-to-Census Observations ...

Introduction ...

When the Census Bureau takes a census count (or enumeration) for Medford, they start by specifying the boundaries of the area to be counted. This area (or sampling area) is a polygon and its shape can be quite complex - it may or may not match the geographical boundaries of Medford. It's important to note that from one Census to the next, the shape and location of the polygon can change.

  • Continue Reading ...
    • Although we don't have specific information about the shape of the polygon for Medford or how it changed has over time, there is some information that can give us some hints. For example, since the shape of the sampling area is directly related to the shape of the polygon, any change to area probably indicates a new shape for the polygon.
    • If you need precision or details about the methodology of the Census, you should visit the U.S. Census Bureau for a definitive answer.

Location ...

While generally coinciding with the GPS location (latitude/longitude) of Medford, the latitude and longitude given by the Census Bureau actually indicates the GPS location of the polygon for Medford.

  • Continue Reading ...
    • For the 2010 Census, the location was given as:
    • Lat:   42.423844°   (or 42°25'25" N)
    • Lon:   -71.109231°   (or -71°6'33" W)
    • For the 2000 Census, the location given was:
    • Lat:   42.419996°   (or 42°25'11" N)
    • Lon:   -71.107942°   (or -71°6'28" W)
    • The difference indicates that the U.S. Census Bureau moved the location of the polygon for the 2010 Census 1,445 feet to the north<5> of the location that was used in the 2000 Census.
    • The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the U.S. Board on Geographic Names (BGN) have assigned a unique GNIS identifier (#619405) to Medford. This identifier also marks a GPS point on the map, and that point lies within the boundaries of Medford. The GNIS point has been mapped to the latitude/longitude:
    • Lat:   42.423473°   (or 42°25'24" N)
    • Lon:   -71.108490°   (or -71°6'30" W)
    • The GPS location given for the 2010 Census lies 241 feet to the northwest<6> of the point given by the GNIS for Medford. For more information about this and the relationship of the various Federal Codes, please visit our Misc Page for Medford.

Miscellaneous Information for Medford ...

The Federal government has assigned various identifying codes to each community, county and state. At one time or another, the US Census Bureau has used one (or more) of the following identifiers when referring to either Middlesex County or the city of Medford:

  • The GNIS Codes ...
    • The current system of identification is called the Geographic Names Information System (GNIS). The following GNIS codes relate to Medford:
    • GNIS ID for Medford: 619405
    • GNIS ID for Middlesex County: 606935
    • GNIS ID for State of Massachusetts: 606926
  • Misc. Census Codes ...
    • Medford is located in Census Region #1 (the Northeast Region) and Division #1 (the New England Division).
  • The US Postal Service ZIP Code ...
    • While some people have used ZIP codes to identify a community, the ZIP codes were actually created to make mail delivery more efficient by grouping addresses together. Although a ZIP Code doesn't specifically identify a city like Medford, they do identify addresses that are in (or near) the city. It's important to remember that the boundaries of the ZIP Code can be changed, re-assigned, eliminated or overlapped with other ZIP Codes.
    • Our list of ZIP codes for Medford:<7>
    •  & .
  • Census ZCTA Codes ...
    • The US Census Bureau created statistical entities that they call ZIP Code Tabulation Areas (ZCTAs) and these ZCTAs are frequently confused with the ZIP codes that come from the US Postal Service (USPS).
    • ZCTAs were first created for the 2000 Census and at that time, they were based upon the USPS ZIP codes. While largely covering the same areas, the boundaries of a ZCTA do not necessarily match the boundaries of a postal ZIP code with the same number. For example, while a postal ZIP code can cross a county or state line, a Census ZCTA can not. They should be treated as separate entities with no correlation between them.

For more information about the various Federal identification codes, please visit our Misc Page for Medford.

The official website for Medford:

The official website for State of Massachusetts:

The official website of the U.S. Census Bureau

The official website of the U.S. Board on Geographic Names (BGN)

The official website of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)

Footnotes ...

<1>Every year, the US Census Bureau creates a population estimate for the preceeding year. Keep in mind that this value is an estimate and not an actual count. The most recent Census estimate is for the year 2019.
<2>Every 10 years (eg- 1990, 2000, 2010), the US Census Bureau conducts a Constitutionally-mandated count (or enumeration) of people living within the United States. This count is called a Decennial Census. The last Decennial Census was the 2010 Census, with the next one planned for 2020.
<3>A Housing Unit is a broad term for those places where people live (whether occupied or temporarily vacant), such as a house, an apartment, a mobile home, or an area that is considered as a separate living quarter. Separate living quarters (consisting of one or more rooms) are considered to be those places where people live, sleep and eat separately from others and that have access to the outside (either directly or by a shared hallway).
<4>If you're interested in how the shape of Massachusetts' counties, including Middlesex, have changed over time, we recommend the Atlas of Historical County Boundaries.
<5>The calculated bearing (or angle) to the 2010 Census location is 13 degrees and a distance of 1,445 feet.
<6>The calculated bearing (or angle) to the GNIS point is 55 degrees and a distance of 241 feet.
<7>When looking for a ZIP Code, whether Medford or elsewhere, it's always best to check the website of the United States Postal Service (USPS).


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This page was last modified/updated: 07 Apr 2024