Norwell is a town in Plymouth County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 10,506 at the 2010 Census. The town’s southeastern border runs along the North River.
Norwell was first settled in 1634 as a part of the settlement of Satuit (later Scituate), which encompassed present-day Scituate and Norwell. It was officially created in 1849 and soon became known as South Scituate. The town changed its name by ballot to Norwell in 1888, after Henry Norwell, a dry goods merchant who provided funds for the maintenance of the town roads. Early settlers were attracted to Norwell for agricultural reasons, with the town later developing a major shipbuilding industry, based on the North and Northwest rivers. Shipbuilding was a major industry in the 18th through the early 19th centuries. Some of the finest frigates, schooners, whalers, and merchant vessels were produced in Norwell. The Norwell Village Area Historic District is in the center of the town.
Today, Norwell is an affluent residential community with over 10,000 residents that has modern schools, shopping, churches, libraries, health facilities, a wildlife preserve, and other support facilities as well as three industrial parks.
Norwell has a school department for its approximately 2,200 students. There are two elementary schools for students from pre-kindergarten through fifth grade — the Grace F. Cole Elementary School in the western part of town and the William G. Vinal Elementary School in the east. The Norwell Middle School, near the Town Hall on Route 123, serves grades 6-8. It has two teams (sets of teachers) for each grade: Orange (6th), Purple (6th), Green (7th), Gold (7th), Red (8th) and Blue (8th).
Norwell High School is near Assinippi and serves students from ninth through twelfth grade. All high school and middle school students are provided with iPads by the district for school use. Norwell High School is a competitive school, known for its academic excellence.
Norwell High’s teams are known as the Clippers, and their colors are blue and gold. The school’s major rival is Hanover High School, whom the football team plays in their annual Thanksgiving Day game. At the high school, Norwell is very well known nationwide for their FIRST robotics team 348, which consistently performs well and won second place overall at the Florida Regionals in March 2015 in addition to other awards in the past few seasons. Norwell is also known for its extremely successful math team and award-winning theater company, the Fourth Wall Players. Norwell girls’ lacrosse is well known on the South Shore, having won three Division II state championships. Norwell’s girls soccer team and boys soccer team also perform consistently well, with the boys team finishing as finalists in the Division III state tournament in 2017, and the girls soccer team winning their first Division III Massachusetts state title in November 2018.
Norwell is also home to the South Shore Charter Public School, a charter school that serves students from kindergarten through twelfth grade. There are no private schools in the town. High school students have the option of attending South Shore Regional Vocational Technical High School in neighboring Hanover free of charge. The nearest college is Massasoit Community College in Brockton.
As of the census of 2000, there were 9,765 people, 3,250 households, and 2,710 families residing in the town. The population density was 467.8 inhabitants per square mile (180.6/km2). There were 3,318 housing units at an average density of 158.9 per square mile (61.4/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 97.58% White, 0.37% African American, 0.05% Native American, 1.16% Asian, 0.16% from other races, and 0.68% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.63% of the population.
There were 3,250 households, out of which 42.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 74.6% were married couples living together, 6.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 16.6% were non-families. 14.2% of all households were made up of individuals, and 6.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.94 and the average family size was 3.27.
In the town, the population was spread out, with 28.6% under the age of 18, 4.3% from 18 to 24, 25.6% from 25 to 44, 28.9% from 45 to 64, and 12.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females, there were 95.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.6 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $113,944, and the median income for a family was $122,222. Males had a median income of $66,406 versus $40,625 for females. The per capita income for the town was $48,440. About 1.4% of families and 1.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 1.9% of those under age 18 and 2.2% of those age 65 or over.