The island was originally inhabited by the Unami, a branch of the Leni Lenape commonly known as the Delaware Indians[?]. To the hunter-gatherers, the island was known as Monacnong ("Enchanted Forest").
The island was first visited by Europeans in 1609 by Henry Hudson, in Dutch service, and it was named Staaten Eylandt (after the Dutch parliament, Staaten Generaal der Vereenigde Nederlanden). A permanent Dutch settlement was founded in 1661, but replaced by the English only a few years later. In 1670, after years of murderous conflicts, the Indians ceded all claims to Staten Island to the English in a deed to Gov. Francis Lovelace[?].
Richmond County was an original county of New York State, one of twelve created in 1683. At the time, it was divided into four towns: Castleton, Northfield, Southfield, and Westfield. In 1860, parts of Castleton and Southfield were made into a new town, Middletown. The Village of New Brighton in the town of Castleton was incorporated in 1866, and in 1872 the Village of New Brighton annexed all the remainder of the Town of Castleton and became coterminous with the town. All these towns and the villages within them were abolished in 1898 when the five-borough New York City was created and included Staten Island.
Law and Government Like the other counties which are contained within New York City, there is no county government, but county courts and some others such as the district attorney (public prosecutor) do exist.
|Mercator projection: public domain Online Map Creation (http://www.aquarius.geomar.de/omc/)|
Geography As a part of New York City, Richmond County contains no other political subdivisions. It occupies the whole of Staten Island, surrounded by the Arthur Kill, the Kill Van Kull, New York Bay[?], and the Atlantic Ocean.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough / county has a total area of 265.5 km² (102.5 mi²). 151.5 km² (58.5 mi²) of it is land and 114.0 km² (44.0 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 42.95% water.
Demographics As of the census of 2000, there are 443,728 people, 156,341 households, and 114,128 families residing in the borough / county. The population density is 2,929.6/km² (7,587.9/mi²). There are 163,993 housing units at an average density of 1,082.7/km² (2,804.3/mi²). The racial makeup is 77.60% White, 9.67% African American, 0.25% Native American, 5.65% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 4.14% from other races, and 2.65% from two or more races. 12.07% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There are 156,341 households out of which 35.8% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.0% are married couples living together, 13.9% have a female householder with no husband present, and 27.0% are non-families. 23.2% of all households are made up of individuals and 8.4% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.78 and the average family size is 3.31.
The population is spread out with 25.5% under the age of 18, 8.5% from 18 to 24, 30.9% from 25 to 44, 23.4% from 45 to 64, and 11.6% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 36 years. For every 100 females there are 93.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 89.6 males.
The median income for a household is $55,039, and the median income for a family is $64,333. Males have a median income of $50,081 versus $35,914 for females. The per capita income for the borough is $23,905. 10.0% of the population and 7.9% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total people living in poverty, 13.2% are under the age of 18 and 9.9% are 65 or older.