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Cortland County, New York

Cortland County is a county located in the U.S. State of New York. As of 2000, the population is 48,599. The county seat is Cortland. The name is in honor of Pierre Van Cortlandt (despite the difference in spelling), president of the convention at Kingston[?] that wrote the first New York State Constitution in 1777 and first lieutenant governor of the state.

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History When counties were established in New York State in 1683, the present Cortland County was part of Albany County. This was an enormous county, including the northern part of New York State as well as all of the present State of Vermont and, in theory, extending westward to the Pacific Ocean. This county was reduced in size on July 3, 1766 by the creation of Cumberland County, and further on March 16, 1770 by the creation of Gloucester County, both containing territory now in Vermont.

On March 12, 1772, what was left of Albany County was split into three parts, one remaining under the name Albany County. One of the other pieces, Tryon County, contained the western portion (and thus, since no western boundary was specified, theoretically still extended west to the Pacific). The eastern boundary of Tryon County was approximately five miles west of the present city of Schenectady, and the county included the western part of the Adirondack Mountains and the area west of the West Branch of the Delaware River. The area then designated as Tryon County now includes 37 counties of New York State. The county was named for William Tryon, colonial governor of New York.

In the years prior to 1776, most of the Loyalists in Tryon County fled to Canada. In 1784, following the peace treaty that ended the American Revolutionary War, the name of Tryon County was changed to honor the general, Richard Montgomery, who had captured several places in Canada and died attempting to capture the city of Quebec, replacing the name of the hated British governor. Montgomery County was reduced in size in 1789 by the splitting off of Ontario County. The actual area split off from Montgomery County was much larger than the present county, also including the present Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Niagara, Orleans, Steuben, Wyoming, Yates, and part of Schuyler and Wayne Counties.

In 1791, Herkimer County was one of three counties split off from Montgomery (the others being Otsego, and Tioga Counties).

Onondaga County was formed from Herkimer County in 1794.

Cortland County was formed by the splitting of Onondaga County in 1808.

Geography Cortland County is somewhat to the west of the center of New York State, south of Syracuse and north of Binghamton.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,299 km² (502 mi²). 1,294 km² (500 mi²) of it is land and 5 km² (2 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 0.37% water.

Demographics As of the census of 2000, there are 48,599 people, 18,210 households, and 11,617 families residing in the county. The population density is 38/km² (97/mi²). There are 20,116 housing units at an average density of 16/km² (40/mi²). The racial makeup of the county is 96.95% White, 0.86% African American, 0.27% Native American, 0.41% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.32% from other races, and 1.18% from two or more races. 1.16% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There are 18,210 households out of which 31.00% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.20% are married couples living together, 10.30% have a female householder with no husband present, and 36.20% are non-families. 26.50% of all households are made up of individuals and 10.40% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.50 and the average family size is 3.00.

In the county the population is spread out with 23.70% under the age of 18, 15.50% from 18 to 24, 26.50% from 25 to 44, 21.80% from 45 to 64, and 12.50% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 34 years. For every 100 females there are 93.50 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 90.00 males.

The median income for a household in the county is $34,364, and the median income for a family is $42,204. Males have a median income of $30,814 versus $22,166 for females. The per capita income for the county is $16,622. 15.50% of the population and 9.30% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total people living in poverty, 16.40% are under the age of 18 and 10.80% are 65 or older.

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