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Rensselaer County, New York

Rensselaer County is a county in the U.S. State of New York. As of 2000, the population is 152,538. Its name is in honor of the family of Killiaen Van Rensselaer, the original Dutch owner of the land in the area. Its county seat is Troy.

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History When counties were established in New York State in 1683, the present Rensselaer 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.

Then, on March 12, 1772, Albany County was divided into the counties of Albany, Tryon (now Montgomery), and Charlotte (now Washington). From 1772 to 1786 Albany County included, besides the present territory of Albany County, all of the present Columbia, Rensselaer, Saratoga, and Schenectady Counties, parts of the present Greene and Washington Counties, and a piece of what is now southwestern Vermont.

In 1786, Albany County was reduced in size by the splitting off of Columbia County.

In 1791, Rensselaer County (as well as Saratoga County) was split off from Albany County.

Geography Rensselaer County is in the eastern part of New York State. The eastern boundary of Rensselaer County runs along the New York-Vermont and New York-Massachusetts borders.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,723 km² (665 mi²). 1,694 km² (654 mi²) of it is land and 30 km² (11 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 1.72% water.

Demographics As of the census of 2000, there are 152,538 people, 59,894 households, and 39,050 families residing in the county. The population density is 90/km² (233/mi²). There are 66,120 housing units at an average density of 39/km² (101/mi²). The racial makeup of the county is 91.13% White, 4.69% African American, 0.23% Native American, 1.71% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.89% from other races, and 1.34% from two or more races. 2.11% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There are 59,894 households out of which 31.30% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.80% are married couples living together, 12.00% have a female householder with no husband present, and 34.80% are non-families. 27.90% of all households are made up of individuals and 10.30% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.46 and the average family size is 3.02.

In the county the population is spread out with 24.20% under the age of 18, 10.10% from 18 to 24, 29.10% from 25 to 44, 23.00% from 45 to 64, and 13.60% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 37 years. For every 100 females there are 95.90 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 93.70 males.

The median income for a household in the county is $42,905, and the median income for a family is $52,864. Males have a median income of $36,666 versus $28,153 for females. The per capita income for the county is $21,095. 9.50% of the population and 6.70% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total people living in poverty, 11.90% are under the age of 18 and 6.60% are 65 or older.

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