From left to right: Westwood First Parish Church, inscription on town clock, Fisher School House, Hale Reservation, Town Hall, and the Old Burial Ground
"Committed to service"
Location in Norfolk County in Massachusetts
|• Type||Open town meeting|
|• Total||11.1 sq mi (28.8 km2)|
|• Land||11.0 sq mi (28.4 km2)|
|• Water||0.2 sq mi (0.4 km2)|
|Elevation||220 ft (67 m)|
|• Density||1,328.9/sq mi (514.7/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-5 (Eastern)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-4 (Eastern)|
|Area code(s)||339 / 781|
|GNIS feature ID||0618333|
Westwood is a town in Norfolk County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 16,056 in 2017. In July 2005, CNN/Money and Money magazine ranked Westwood 13th on its list of the 100 Best Places to Live in the United States. Boston magazine included Gay Street in Westwood on its list of the Best Streets in the Boston area. It is the 9th wealthiest town in the state of Massachusetts.
Westwood was first settled in 1641 and was part of the town of Dedham, originally called 'West Dedham', until it was officially incorporated in 1897. It was the last town to split from the original town of Dedham. From early in the settlement of Dedham, the people of the Clapboard Trees Precinct were "a wealthy, sophisticated lot, familiar with the bigwigs of provincial politics and prone to the religious liberalism that was à la mode in Boston." Residents did not care for the politically more powerful Calvinist views of those who lived in the village of Dedham and asked to separate.
It was originally to have been named the "Town of Nahatan:"
|“||a bill to incorporate the Town of Nahatan was reported in the Senate on March 8, 1897, by Senator Charles F. Woodward, Chairman of the Committee on Towns. No opposition to the passage of the bill appeared until it reached the House, when the representative from Nahant objected to the name "Nahatan," owing to its alleged similarity to the name Nahant.
It was desirable for the old, as well as the new town, to have the question of incorporation settled, if possible, before April 5, when appropriations for the coming year were going to be made. Therefore, in order to remove every trace of friction, however trivial, and thus expedite matters, the name was changed to Westwood.
In 1970, Westwood was home to The Westwood Study, an assessment which measured the amount of racism in the almost entirely white town. Conducted in the context of efforts at integrating housing, what the study revealed was how large proportions of the town had racist views while at the same time viewing themselves as not racist.
In July 2005, CNN/Money and Money magazine ranked Westwood 13th on its list of the 100 Best Places to Live in the United States. Boston magazine listed Gay Street in Westwood on its list of the Best Streets in the Boston area.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 11.1 square miles (29 km2), of which, 11.0 square miles (28 km2) of it is land and 0.2 square miles (0.52 km2) of it (1.35%) is water.
Westwood is located in eastern Massachusetts, bordered by:
|* = population estimate. Source: United States Census records and Population Estimates Program data.|
As of the census of 2000, there were 14,117 people, 5,122 households and 3,867 families residing in the town. The population density was 1,286.7 people per square mile (496.9/km²). There were 5,251 housing units at an average density of 478.6/sq mi (184.8/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 95.98% White, 0.50% African American, 0.04% Native American, 2.48% Asian, 0.21% from other races, and 0.79% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.94% of the population.
There were 5,122 households out of which 36.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 67.1% were married couples living together, 6.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 24.5% were non-families. 22.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 16.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.73 and the average family size was 3.24.
In the town, the population was spread out with 27.8% under the age of 18, 3.4% from 18 to 24, 25.4% from 25 to 44, 24.2% from 45 to 64, and 19.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females, there were 90.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.5 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $128,984, and the median income for a family was $157,656. Males had a median income of $71,801 versus $46,194 for females. The per capita income for the town was $71,553. About 1.3% of families and 2.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 1.5% of those under age 18 and 5.0% of those age 65 or over.
The town of Westwood operates under a home rule charter. This means that the town is given a degree of autonomy in regards to internal affairs. The charter defines the powers of elected boards, including the board of selectmen, which serves as the executive branch of government and hires a Town Administrator responsible for day-to-day operations of town departments. The legislative branch operates through open town meeting, which meets at least once and often twice a year where all residents are entitle to speak and vote on approval of warrant articles which authorize the town budget and may create or modify town bylaws. Selectmen and other town officials are elected through an annual town election at the end of April. The board of selectmen appoints residents to various volunteer boards and committees. The Town Administrator appoints town staff who manage public safety, recreation, and other services. The board of selectmen has three members who serve overlapping three-year terms. Michael F. Walsh, John M. Hickey, and Nancy Hyde are currently Westwood's selectmen. On April 24, 2018, Hyde was opposed by Ellen Larkin Rollings and was elected to her 4th consecutive term on the board. Walsh's term will be up in 2019, and Hickey's in 2020. 
In the 2007-2008 April election cycle, then college student Gregory J. Agnew became the youngest person to run for an elected office in Westwood, MA at age 20, running for Selectman against Doug Obey, Jason Lee, and Philip N. Shapiro.  Although he did not emerge victorious, he became the first candidate to win his home precinct without winning the general election. 
Westwood has five public elementary schools:
A new Westwood High School was recently constructed at a cost of $45 million, and the old school, built in 1957, was demolished. The gymnasium and swimming facility from the old school were refurbished and are now part of the new high school campus. The school facilities also include a new multi-use artificial turf field (named after former Westwood High School principal and teacher Charles Flahive) with a synthetic track, both of which are open to the public.
Westwood has an active Interfaith Council.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Westwood, Massachusetts.|