Otis, Massachusetts

Otis is a town in Berkshire County, Massachusetts, United States. It is part of the Pittsfield, Massachusetts Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 1,612 at the 2010 census.

For geographic and demographic information on East Otis, which is part of the town of Otis, see East Otis, Massachusetts. The numbers reported in that article are included in the figures below.


Officially incorporated in 1810, the town was created when the unincorporated town of Loudon annexed the adjacent District of Bethlehem in 1809. It was named after Harrison Gray Otis, an influential lawyer, financier, and politician in revolutionary Massachusetts. General Henry Knox passed through the town in January 1776, bringing cannons from Fort Ticonderoga in New York to aid in ending the Siege of Boston, a route now known as the Knox Trail. The town was a farming community, with several small mill industries growing along the waterways, and today is mostly rural with some tourism.


Otis, along with neighboring Sandisfield, Tolland and Becket, is part of the Farmington River Regional School District. The district’s only school, Farmington River Elementary School, houses students from pre-kindergarten through sixth grades. For the upper grades, most students attend either (1) Great Barrington-based Monument Valley Regional Middle School and Monument Mountain Regional High School or (2) Lee Middle/High School. Proximity to private schools located in Lenox, Great Barrington, or Westfield allow alternatives to public school.

The nearest community college is Berkshire Community College in Pittsfield and Great Barrington. The nearest state college is Westfield State University. The nearest private college is Bard College at Simon’s Rock in Great Barrington, with other private colleges in Springfield.


As of the census of 2000, there were 1,365 people, 567 households, and 386 families residing in the town. By population, Otis ranks 19th out of the 32 cities and towns in Berkshire County, and 312th out of 351 cities and towns in Massachusetts. The population density was 38.1 people per square mile (14.7/km2), which ranks it 18th in the county and 312th in the Commonwealth. There were 1,572 housing units at an average density of 43.9 per square mile (16.9/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 96.56% White, 0.59% African American, 0.29% Native American, 0.88% Asian, 0.37% from other races, and 1.32% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.29% of the population.

There were 567 households, out of which 26.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.1% were married couples living together, 5.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.9% were non-families. Of all households, 24.3% were made up of individuals, and 7.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.40 and the average family size was 2.90.

In the town, the population was spread out, with 21.8% under the age of 18, 5.7% from 18 to 24, 28.1% from 25 to 44, 30.3% from 45 to 64, and 14.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42 years. For every 100 females, there were 111.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 108.2 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $51,488, and the median income for a family was $55,455. Males had a median income of $41,065 versus $30,179 for females. The per capita income for the town was $25,029. About 4.6% of families and 7.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.4% of those under age 18 and 4.2% of those age 65 or over.

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