Brockton, Massachusetts

Brockton is a city in Plymouth County, Massachusetts, United States; the population was 105,643 at the 2020 United States census. Along with Plymouth, it is one of the two county seats of Plymouth County.[2] It is the sixth-largest city in Massachusetts and is sometimes referred to as the "City of Champions", due to the success of native boxers Rocky Marciano and Marvin Hagler, as well as its successful Brockton High School sports programs. Two villages within it are Montello and Campello, both of which have MBTA Commuter Rail Stations and post offices. Campello is the smallest neighborhood, but also the most populous. Brockton hosts a baseball team, the Brockton Rox. It is the second-windiest city in the United States, with an average wind speed of 14.3 mph (23.0 km/h).[3]

Brockton, Massachusetts
City Hall
City Hall
Official seal of Brockton, Massachusetts
The City of Champions
"Education, Industry, Progress"
Location in Plymouth County in Massachusetts
Location in Plymouth County in Massachusetts
Brockton is located in Massachusetts
Location within Massachusetts
Brockton is located in the United States
Location within the United States
Brockton is located in North America
Location within North America
Coordinates: 42°05′00″N 71°01′08″W / 42.08333°N 71.01889°W / 42.08333; -71.01889
Country United States
State Massachusetts
Incorporated (town)1821
Incorporated (city)1881
 • TypeStrong mayor/council
 • MayorRobert F. Sullivan
 • Total21.52 sq mi (55.73 km2)
 • Land21.33 sq mi (55.25 km2)
 • Water0.18 sq mi (0.48 km2)
112 ft (34 m)
 • Total105,643
 • Density4,952.09/sq mi (1,912.05/km2)
Time zoneUTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (Eastern)
ZIP Codes
Area code508/774
FIPS code25-09000
GNIS feature ID0617571



In 1649, Ousamequin (Massasoit) sold the surrounding Wampanoag land—then known as Saughtucket—to Myles Standish as an addition to Duxbury.[4] Brockton was part of this area, which the English renamed Bridgewater. On June 15, 1821, a portion of the then Bridgewater Township was established as North Bridgewater.[5] Brockton is named after Isaac Brock. He was the British commanding general at Queenston Heights—the first major battle of the War of 1812—where invading American troops retreated in defeat. Because Brock was a loyalist, naming the town after him was a subject of contention among its colonial residents. Ultimately, it was given the name Brockton in 1874, and officially became a city on April 9, 1881.

Brockton was a stop on the Underground Railroad, a network of secret routes and safe houses that helped enslaved people escape to freedom in the North and Canada.[6] Famous abolitionist Frederick Douglass, spoke to a crowd at the Liberty Tree in Brockton during the pre-Civil War period.[7] During the American Civil War, Brockton was America's largest producer of shoes, and until the latter parts of the 20th century, Brockton had a large shoe and leather products industry.[8]

Since the company's 1898 founding, Brockton has been the headquarters city of office supplies retailer W.B. Mason, itself founded to provide those supplies to the city's shoe industry. The city's economy was once based on the shoe industry, but it has since diversified to include other industries such as healthcare, education, and manufacturing. Brockton has faced a number of challenges, including poverty, crime, and regional and local racial segregation.[9] Despite these challenges, the city has made progress in recent years,[9] particularly in the development of its downtown area, by highlighting its diversity and rich history, and working toward a more welcoming atmosphere for businesses and residents.[10]

Historical firsts


World firsts

  • On October 1, 1883, Brockton became the first place in the world to have a three-wire underground electrical system when Thomas Edison threw a switch to activate it.[11]
  • The City Theater opened on October 24, 1894, the first theater in the world to be tied into the three-wire electrical system.

US firsts

  • On December 30, 1884, the first electrically operated fire station in the United States opened in Brockton.
  • The department store Santa Claus appeared in Brockton in December 1890, when James Edgar, of Edgar's Department Store, suited up for the first time.[12]
  • Brockton became the first city in the country to abolish grade crossings in 1896.
  • In 2020, Brockton became the first city in New England with a majority-Black population. Brockton's new majority-Black population is expected to have a positive impact on the city's culture, economy, and politics.[13]

World records

  • On November 23, 2010, Brockton set the world record for the most Santa Hat wearers in one place at one time, with 872 people participating in the event.[14]
  • On November 20, 2011, Brockton doubled the city's Santa Claus hat-wearing record with 1792 people in downtown Brockton wearing Santa hats.[15]



According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 21.6 square miles (56 km2), of which 21.5 square miles (56 km2) is land and 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2) (0.56%) is water. Brockton is the 162nd largest city by land area in the Commonwealth, and the twelfth largest of the twenty-seven towns in Plymouth County. Brockton is bordered by Stoughton to the northwest, Avon to the north, Holbrook to the northeast, Abington to the northeast, Whitman and East Bridgewater to the southeast, West Bridgewater to the south, and Easton to the west. Brockton is approximately 25 miles south of Boston, and 30 miles northeast of Providence, Rhode Island.

Brockton is mostly an urban setting, lying along the Salisbury Plain River, which once powered the many shoe factories of the city. To the northeast lies the Beaver Brook Conservation Land, attached to the southern end of the Ames Nowell State Park in Abington. There are several parks throughout the city, but the largest is D.W. Field Park, an Olmsted-inspired park which includes ponds, Waldo Lake and Brockton Reservoir in Avon, as well as a golf course.



According to the Köppen climate classification, Brockton has either a hot-summer humid continental climate (abbreviated Dfa), or a hot-summer humid sub-tropical climate (abbreviated Cfa), depending on the isotherm used.

Climate data for Brockton, Massachusetts, 1991–2020 normals, extremes 1894–present
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 71
Mean maximum °F (°C) 59.7
Mean daily maximum °F (°C) 38.7
Daily mean °F (°C) 29.6
Mean daily minimum °F (°C) 20.6
Mean minimum °F (°C) 0.2
Record low °F (°C) −18
Average precipitation inches (mm) 4.02
Average snowfall inches (cm) 9.1
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in) 11.0 10.7 12.0 12.3 12.8 11.4 9.7 9.3 9.4 11.4 11.0 12.3 133.3
Average snowy days (≥ 0.1 in) 2.2 2.3 1.5 0.2 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.1 1.4 7.7
Source 1: NOAA[16]
Source 2: National Weather Service[17]


Historical population
* = population estimate.
Source: United States census records and Population Estimates Program data.[18][19][20][21][22][23][24][25][26][27][28][29]
U.S. Decennial Census[30]
Map of racial distribution in Brockton, 2020 U.S. census. Each dot is one person:  White  Black  Asian  Hispanic  Multiracial  Native American/Other

2020 census

Brockton, Massachusetts – Racial and ethnic composition
Note: the US Census treats Hispanic/Latino as an ethnic category. This table excludes Latinos from the racial categories and assigns them to a separate category. Hispanics/Latinos may be of any race.
Race / Ethnicity (NH = Non-Hispanic) Pop 2000[31] Pop 2010[32] Pop 2020[33] % 2000 % 2010 % 2020
White (NH) 54,902 40,268 29,392 58.22% 42.93% 27.82%
Black or African American (NH) 15,913 27,939 35,656 16.87% 29.78% 33.75%
Native American or Alaska Native (NH) 276 253 232 0.29% 0.27% 0.22%
Asian (NH) 2,044 2,131 2,243 2.17% 2.27% 2.12%
Pacific Islander or Native Hawaiian (NH) 27 37 28 0.03% 0.04% 0.03%
Some other race (NH) 6,971 8,329 7,315 7.39% 8.88% 6.92%
Mixed race or Multiracial (NH) 6,619 5,496 18,015 7.02% 5.86% 17.05%
Hispanic or Latino (any race) 7,552 9,357 12,762 8.01% 9.97% 12.08%
Total 94,304 93,810 105,643 100.00% 100.00% 100.00%

As of the census[34] of 2020, there were 105,643 people, 31,440 households, and about 3.04 people living in each household, and about an average family size of 3.59. The population density was 4,486.3 people per square mile. The racial makeup of the city treating Hispanics as if a separate race was 27.8% White, 33.8% African American, 0.2% Native American, 2.1% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 6.9% other race; 17.1% Mixed race or Multiracial, and 12.1% Hispanic or Latino of any race. The African-American population in Brockton has grown significantly since the beginning of the early 2000s.

Brockton has one of the largest population of Cape Verdean ancestry in the United States, with about 9% of its population.[35] Brockton also has a significant Angolan American community.[36]

Statistically, Brockton is the most populous and most densely populated community in Plymouth County. It is the sixth largest community in the commonwealth. However, it is only the twenty-seventh most densely populated community in the Commonwealth. [citation needed]

As of 2010, there were 33,675 households, out of which 35.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.0% were married couples living together, 19.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.4% were non-families. 26.6% of all households were made up of individuals, and 9.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. In the city, the population was spread out, with 27.8% under the age of 18, 9.1% from 18 to 24, 30.5% from 25 to 44, 20.8% from 45 to 64, and 11.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females, there were 92.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.4 males.

As of 2018, the median income for a household in Brockton is $55,140. Males have an average income of $41,093 versus $35,145 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,163. The poverty rate in Brockton is 15.61% of the population. Notably by race, 23.55% of Hispanics were in poverty, while the Black population of Brockton had about 18.61% of its population living in poverty.



Data is from the 2009–2013 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates.[37][38][39]

Rank ZIP Code (ZCTA) Per capita
Population Number of
Massachusetts $35,763 $66,866 $84,900 6,605,058 2,530,147
Plymouth County $35,220 $75,092 $90,431 497,386 179,617
United States $28,155 $53,046 $64,719 311,536,594 115,610,216
1 02301 (West Brockton) $22,728 $61,060 $65,914 34,929 11,516
Brockton $21,942 $49,025 $57,773 93,911 32,856
2 02302 (East Brockton) $21,477 $44,144 $53,080 58,982 21,340

Arts and culture




Brockton is home to the Brockton Symphony Orchestra, a community orchestra founded in 1948.[40][41] The orchestra performs five or six concerts per season at local venues such as Brockton's West Middle School Auditorium and the Oliver Ames Auditorium in the neighboring town of Easton. The orchestra comprises 65 musicians from the greater Brockton area and its musical director since 2007 is James Orent, a guest conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Boston Pops.[42][43]


  • Brockton Summer Concert Series[44]
  • Downtown Brockton Arts and Music Festival – End of August annually[45][46]
  • Towerfest – Columbus Day Weekend annually [47]
  • Greek Festival – Third week of September
  • Veterans Day Parade annually
  • Holiday Parade – Late November annually
  • The Cape Verdean Festival – Last Sunday in July[48]
Headlines posted in street-corner window of newspaper office (Brockton Enterprise), 60 Main Street, Brockton, Massachusetts, December 1940. Additionally upstairs, the first main offices of W.B. Mason.



The city supports three buildings within the Brockton Public Library system. The main library is a Carnegie building.[49]

Notable sites


Sites listed on National Register of Historic Places




Based at Campanelli Stadium, the Brockton Rox play in the Futures Collegiate Baseball League (FCBL). From 2003 through 2011, the team was a member of the independent professional Can-Am League, then in 2012 joined the amateur FCBL.[50] Collegiate players on FCBL teams, who are looking for more experience and scouting exposure, are offered non-paid playing opportunities. The New England Knockouts, a professional baseball team of the Frontier League, begin play in 2024, also using Campanelli Stadium.[51]



On the national level, Brockton is a part of Massachusetts's 8th congressional district, and has been represented since January 2013 by Stephen Lynch.

On the state level, Brockton is represented in three districts in the Massachusetts House of Representatives: the Ninth Plymouth, Tenth Plymouth (which includes West Bridgewater and Precinct 1 of East Bridgewater), and the Eleventh Plymouth (which includes most of Easton). The city is represented in the Massachusetts Senate as a part of the Second Plymouth and Bristol district, which includes Halifax, Hanover, Hanson, Whitman and portions of East Bridgewater and Easton[52]

Brockton has a city government led by a mayor and city council. The city elects a mayor for two-year terms. Previous mayors include Winthrop H. Farwell Jr., John T. Yunits Jr., David Crosby, Carl Pitaro, Richard L. Wainwright, John E. Sullivan, Alvin Jack Sims, Joseph H. Downey and Paul Studenski. James Harrington was elected mayor in 2005 and began his term in January 2006. He was re-elected on November 6, 2007, for another two-year term. He had previously served 16 years as a City Councilor. In the fall of 2009, City Councilor Linda Balzotti defeated Harrington to become the city's first female mayor. Balzotti was defeated in 2013 by Bill Carpenter, who won the election by only 44 votes. After the unexpected death of Bill Carpenter on July 3, 2019, City Councillor President Moises Rodrigues become the acting Mayor. On July 15, 2019 Rodrigues was unanimously elected by the 11-person City Council to become the Mayor of Brockton.[53] Rodrigues became the first person of color to become Mayor of Brockton after serving six years on the Brockton city council. In 2009, community activist Jass Stewart was elected to councilor-at-large becoming the first African American to serve in Brockton's city council.[54] The city council consists of four Councilors-at-Large and seven ward Councilors, one for every ward in the city. As of January 2020, the mayor of Brockton is Robert F. Sullivan.

Voter Registration and Party Enrollment as of October 17, 2018[55]
Party Number of Voters Percentage
Democratic 27,843 49.63%
Republican 3,612 6.44%
Libertarian 211 0.38%
Minor Parties 787 1.40%
Unenrolled 23,644 42.15%
Total 56,097 100%



Public schools


Brockton operates its own school system for the city's approximately 17,000 students. There is an early education school (Barrett Russell), ten elementary schools (Angelo, Arnone, Baker, Brookfield, Downey, George, Gilmore, Hancock, John F. Kennedy and Raymond), the Davis K–8 school, six middle/junior high schools (North, East, West, South, Ashfield and the Plouffe Academy), Brockton High School and four alternative schools (Huntington, Edison, Champion and B.B. Russell). Brockton High School's athletics teams are called the Boxers (after the city's undefeated heavyweight boxing champion, Rocky Marciano[56]). In February of 2024, Brockton High School entered the national spotlight following four district committee members requesting National Guard assistance via letter to the state’s Governor to deal with increasing levels of violence between students and security staffing shortages at the school, a request opposed by the Mayor of Brockton at the time.[1]

Private schools


Brockton was home to three parochial schools (Sacred Heart, Saint Casimir and Saint Edward) which merged in 2007 to form two schools. Trinity Lower Campus at the former Saint Edwards school site, and Trinity Upper Campus located on the former site of the Saint Colman's school, one Christian school (South Shore Christian and the Brockton Christian School closed in 2010), and Cardinal Spellman High School, a Catholic high school named for Francis Cardinal Spellman, Brockton area native and former Archbishop of New York. Students may also choose to attend tuition-free Southeastern Regional Vocational Technical High School (in South Easton). [citation needed]

Higher education


Brockton is the site of Massasoit Community College and offers Adult Studies/LEAD classes in Brockton.[57] Fisher College also has a campus in Brockton. The Brockton VA Hospital offers classes and apprenticeships to medical students from Fisher College, Harvard University, Boston University, Northeastern University, University of Massachusetts Boston, and Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. Additionally, the city also has a campus for the National College of Technical Instruction. Porter and Chester Institute also has a campus in Brockton. Brockton is also home to the Brockton Hospital School of Nursing as well as the Monna Bari Medical School.





Major highways


Massachusetts Route 24, a six-lane divided motorway, passes through the west side of the city, with exits at Route 27 to the north and Route 123 to the south. The two routes pass through the center of the city, crossing at that point. Massachusetts Route 28 passes from north to south through the center of the city, The western end of Route 14 (at its intersection with Route 27) and the southern end of Route 37 (at its intersection with Route 28) both are in the city.

Brockton has its own bus services, operated by the Brockton Area Transit Authority (BAT). Each bus has a designated route running through a section of Brockton, i.e. Montello, Campello, Cary Hill, etc. There are also buses that have routes outside the city, i.e., Bridgewater Industrial Park, Ashmont Station (MBTA subway end-of-line), Stoughton and a connecting bus stop in Montello to the Braintree Station (MBTA subway end-of-line).



The Middleborough/Lakeville Line of the MBTA's commuter rail system bisects the city running north-south, with stops in the Montello and Campello neighborhoods, as well as in the city center, providing service to points south and South Station in Boston north of the city.



Brockton has three hospitals: Signature Healthcare Brockton Hospital on the east side, Good Samaritan Medical Center—a Steward Family Hospital (formerly Caritas Good Samaritan, and before that Cardinal Cushing) Hospital to the northwest, and the Brockton Veterans Administration Hospital to the southwest. The VA Hospital is the sponsoring institution for the Harvard South Shore Psychiatry program. It serves as a teaching facility for students of various medical specialties from Boston University, physician assistant students from Northeastern University, nursing students from the University of Massachusetts Boston and physician assistant and pharmacy students from the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. [citation needed]

Brockton has a community health center that serves individuals with low income and poor access to health care at Brockton Neighborhood Health Center.[58]

Fire department

Central Fire Station

The city of Brockton is protected around the clock by 174 paid, professional firefighters of the city of Brockton Fire Department. The Brockton Fire Department currently operates out of six fire stations, located throughout the city, and maintains a fire apparatus fleet of five engines, three ladders, one squad, one tactical rescue unit and several other special, support, and reserve units. The fire department does not provide EMS services; ambulance coverage is currently contracted to Brewster Ambulance Service.[59]

In 1905, local newspapers recounted many heroic acts by Brockton firefighters during the Grover Shoe Factory disaster.[60] On March 10, 1941, thirteen Brockton firefighters died when the roof collapsed as they were fighting a fire at the Strand Theatre.[61] That fire resulted in one of the worst firefighting tragedies in American history.

Law enforcement


The City of Brockton Police Department has roughly 181 sworn members and 31 non-sworn employees. The officers are assigned to the Patrol Division, and Operations Division which includes; Detectives, Narcotics, Gang Unit, Special Weapons And Tactics, K-9, Quality of Life, GREAT Program, Elderly Affairs, and Community Education Units.[62] In addition, the city is patrolled by the Fourth (Middleborough) Barracks of Troop D of the Massachusetts State Police.[63] Brockton also has several citizen anti-crime groups, including the Guardian Angels and Operation Archangel.

Notable people




Brockton was named one of the 100 Best Communities for Young People in the United States in 2005, 2008, 2010, and 2011 by the America's Promise Alliance.[66]


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