Strafford County is a county in the U.S. state of New Hampshire. As of the 2010 census, the population was 123,143. Its county seat is Dover. Strafford County was one of the five original counties identified for New Hampshire in 1769. It was named after William Wentworth, 2nd Earl of Strafford in the mistaken belief that he was the ancestor of governor John Wentworth – although they were distantly related, William had no descendants. The county was organized at Dover in 1771. In 1840, the size of the original county was reduced with the creation of Belknap County. Strafford County constitutes a portion of the Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA-NH Metropolitan Statistical Area as well as of the greater Boston-Worcester-Providence, MA-RI-NH-CT Combined Statistical Area.
Strafford County is in southeastern New Hampshire, separated from York County in the state of Maine by the Salmon Falls River. The southern part of the Salmon Falls, from Rollinsford to Dover, is a tidal river that flows into the Piscataqua River. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 384 square miles (990 km²), of which 369 square miles (960 km²) is land and 15 square miles (39 km²) (3.9%) is water. It is the smallest county in New Hampshire by area.
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 123,143 people, 47,100 households, and 29,862 families residing in the county. The population density was 333.7 inhabitants per square mile (128.8/km²). There were 51,697 housing units at an average density of 140.1 per square mile (54.1/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 93.8% white, 2.6% Asian, 1.0% black or African American, 0.2% American Indian, 0.5% from other races, and 1.9% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 1.8% of the population. In terms of ancestry, 24.4% were French or French Canadian, 19.7% were Irish, 17.4% were English, 9.5% were Italian, 8.7% were German, 5.2% were American, and 5.0% were Scottish.
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