Chester is a town in Hampden County, Massachusetts, United States, situated in the western part of the state. It is part of the Springfield, Massachusetts metropolitan statistical area. The town includes the Chester Factory Village Historic District. The total population was 1,337 in the 2010 census.
The area opened for settlement in the 1750s as Township No. 9, chartered as Murrayfield on October 31, 1765. The town was incorporated as Chester on February 21, 1783. The Western Railroad (later Boston & Albany Railroad) opened to Chester on May 24, 1841.
The Chester public library was established in 1894. In fiscal year 2008, the town of Chester spent 1.04% ($28,512) of its budget on its public library—some $22 per person.
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,308 people, 500 households, and 360 families residing in the town. The population density was 35.6 people per square mile (13.7/km2). There were 580 housing units at an average density of 15.8 per square mile (6.1/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 98.24% White, 0.15% African American, 0.46% Native American, 0.08% Asian, 0.31% from other races, and 0.76% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.30% of the population.
There were 500 households, out of which 35.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.0% were married couples living together, 7.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.8% were non-families. 21.2% of all households were made up of individuals, and 8.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.62 and the average family size was 3.06.
In the town, the population was spread out, with 25.0% under the age of 18, 7.3% from 18 to 24, 30.2% from 25 to 44, 26.1% from 45 to 64, and 11.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females, there were 106.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 102.3 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $43,816, and the median income for a family was $51,932. Males had a median income of $38,083 versus $25,789 for females. The per capita income for the town was $18,098. About 2.9% of families and 5.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.0% of those under age 18 and 7.8% of those age 65 or over.