Hanson is a town in Plymouth County, Massachusetts, United States and is one of the inland towns of the South Shore. The population was 10,209 at the 2010 census.
Hanson was first settled in 1632 as the western parish of Pembroke. The town was officially incorporated in 1820, and was named for Maryland publisher of the Federal Republican newspaper and U.S. Senator Alexander Contee Hanson. Hanson was a champion of free speech and freedom of the press, and he was severely beaten and his newspaper offices were attacked and destroyed by an angry mob after he published an article that was critical of the administration shortly after the outbreak of the War of 1812.
The town’s early industry revolved around farming, as well as bog iron and quarrying. Mills also popped up along the rivers during the nineteenth century. Today the town is mostly residential, with some farming and cranberry farming. Ocean Spray was first started by several bogs in Hanson, and remained headquartered in Hanson before moving to Plymouth in September 1977.
Hanson was home to the Cranberry Specialty Hospital, which opened in 1919 as the Plymouth County Hospital for Tuberculosis and closed in 1992.
Hanson shares a pre-K through grade 12 school district (Whitman-Hanson Regional School District) with neighboring Whitman. The yearly operating assessments to both Towns are determined on the basis of student population. The town of Hanson owns the Hanson Middle School, and two elementary schools, Indian Head and Maquan, and leases them to the Whitman Hanson Regional School District, which is responsible for keeping the buildings in good repair. Maquan Elementary School has closed, and Indian Head Elementary serves students from kindergarten through fourth grades. Hanson Middle School serves students in grades five through eight. The town sends their students to Whitman-Hanson Regional High School, which is shared with the neighboring town of Whitman. The school was recently rebuilt through part of a $50 million project. It is located behind the previous building (which has been torn down and replaced with new athletic fields, including a synthetic turf football field) along Route 27 on the town line. Whitman-Hanson’s teams are known as the Panthers, and their colors are red and black. Their chief rival is nearby Abington High, whom they play in the annual Thanksgiving Day football game.
In addition to Whitman-Hanson, students may choose to attend South Shore Vocational Technical High School in Hanover free of charge.
The nearest colleges to Hanson are Massasoit Community College in Brockton, Bridgewater State College in Bridgewater, and Quincy College in Quincy.
As of the census of 2000, there were 9,495 people, 3,123 households, and 2,545 families residing in the town. The population density was 632.5 people per square mile (244.2/km2). There were 3,178 housing units at an average density of 211.7 per square mile (81.7/km2).
There were 3,123 households, out of which 40.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 69.6% were married couples living together, 8.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 18.5% were non-families. 14.8% of all households were made up of individuals, and 6.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.03 and the average family size was 3.38.
In the town, the population was spread out, with 28.2% under the age of 18, 6.9% from 18 to 24, 31.1% from 25 to 44, 25.1% from 45 to 64, and 8.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females, there were 97.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.7 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $62,687, and the median income for a family was $68,560. Males had a median income of $46,508 versus $31,337 for females. The per capita income for the town was $23,727. About 2.8% of families and 3.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 2.3% of those under age 18 and 11.6% of those age 65 or over.
Statistically, Hanson is the 180th most populous and the 154th most densely populated town in Massachusetts. It is just below the median in terms of population, and below the average but above the median in terms of density.