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Cayuga County, New York facts for kids

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Cayuga County
Cayuga County Courthouse
Cayuga County Courthouse
Official seal of Cayuga County
Map of New York highlighting Cayuga County
Location within the U.S. state of New York
Map of the United States highlighting New York
New York's location within the U.S.
Country  United States
State  New York
Founded 1799
Named for Cayuga people
Seat Auburn
Largest city Auburn
 • Total 864 sq mi (2,240 km2)
 • Land 692 sq mi (1,790 km2)
 • Water 172 sq mi (450 km2)  20%
 • Total 76,248
 • Density 110.3/sq mi (42.6/km2)
Time zone UTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional district 24th

Cayuga County is a county in the U.S. state of New York. As of the 2020 census, the population was 76,248. Its county seat and largest city is Auburn. The county was named for the Cayuga people, one of the tribes of Indians in the Iroquois Confederation.

Cayuga County comprises the Auburn, NY Micropolitan Statistical Area, which is also included in the Syracuse-Auburn, NY Combined Statistical Area.


When counties were established in the Province of New York in 1683, the present Cayuga County was part of Albany County. This was an enormous county, including the northern part of the present state of New York and 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 Montgomery County in honor of 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.

In 1789, Montgomery County was reduced in size 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. Harriet Tubman visited Auburn, New York, located in Cayuga County, in 1887 with her daughter (adopted) and her 2nd husband.

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

Onondaga County was formed in 1794 by the splitting of Herkimer County.

Cayuga County was formed in 1799 by the splitting of Onondaga County. This county was, however, much larger than the present Cayuga County. It then included the present Seneca and Tompkins Counties.

In 1804, Seneca County was formed by the splitting of Cayuga County. Then in 1817, in turn, a portion of Seneca County was combined with a piece of the remainder of Cayuga County to form Tompkins County.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 864 square miles (2,240 km2), of which 692 square miles (1,790 km2) is land and 172 square miles (450 km2) (20%) is water.

Cayuga County is located in the west central part of the state, in the Finger Lakes region. Owasco Lake is in the center of the county, and Cayuga Lake forms part of the western boundary. Lake Ontario is on the northern border, and Skaneateles Lake and Cross Lake form part of the eastern border. Cayuga County has more waterfront land than any other county in the state not adjacent to the Atlantic Ocean.

Adjacent counties

Major highways

  • I-90.svg Interstate 90 (New York State Thruway)
  • US 20.svg U.S. Route 20
  • NY-3.svg New York State Route 3
  • NY-5.svg New York State Route 5
  • NY-31.svg New York State Route 31
  • NY-34.svg New York State Route 34
  • NY-38.svg New York State Route 38
  • NY-90.svg New York State Route 90
  • NY-104.svg New York State Route 104

National protected area


Historical population
Census Pop.
1800 15,871
1810 29,843 88.0%
1820 38,897 30.3%
1830 47,948 23.3%
1840 50,338 5.0%
1850 55,458 10.2%
1860 55,767 0.6%
1870 59,550 6.8%
1880 65,081 9.3%
1890 65,302 0.3%
1900 66,234 1.4%
1910 67,106 1.3%
1920 65,221 −2.8%
1930 64,751 −0.7%
1940 65,508 1.2%
1950 70,136 7.1%
1960 73,942 5.4%
1970 77,439 4.7%
1980 79,894 3.2%
1990 82,313 3.0%
2000 81,963 −0.4%
2010 80,026 −2.4%
2020 76,248 −4.7%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790–1960 1900–1990
1990–2000 2010–2020

As of the census of 2000, there were 81,963 people, 30,558 households, and 20,840 families residing in the county. The population density was 118 people per square mile (46/km2). There were 35,477 housing units at an average density of 51 per square mile (20/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 93.34% White, 3.99% Black or African American, 0.31% Native American, 0.42% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.88% from other races, and 1.03% from two or more races. 1.97% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 16.3% were of Irish, 16.0% English, 15.7% Italian, 11.3% German, 9.5% American and 6.3% Polish ancestry according to Census 2000. 94.9% spoke English, 2.0% Spanish and 1.0% Italian as their first language.

There were 30,558 households, out of which 32.60% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.00% were married couples living together, 11.00% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.80% were non-families. 26.20% of all households were made up of individuals, and 11.90% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.53 and the average family size was 3.04.

In the county, the population was spread out, with 25.10% under the age of 18, 8.20% from 18 to 24, 29.70% from 25 to 44, 22.60% from 45 to 64, and 14.40% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 102.20 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 101.80 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $37,487, and the median income for a family was $44,973. Males had a median income of $33,356 versus $23,919 for females. The per capita income for the county was $18,003. About 7.80% of families and 11.10% of the population were below the poverty line, including 14.90% of those under age 18 and 8.20% of those age 65 or over.

At 2.3%, Cayuga County has the highest share of Ukrainian Americans of any county in New York State. The Ukrainian-American population in Cayuga County is heavily concentrated in the Auburn area.


Cayuga County
A map of the towns and villages in Cayuga County




Census-designated place

  • Melrose Park


Notable people

Adam Helmer Grave NY-DOT Sign
Marker at the burial site of Helmer and his wife on the north side of Cottle Road in the Town of Brutus, New York. Their grave stones were moved to the Weedsport Rural Cemetery.
  • Charles Bogardus (1841–1929), Illinois state legislator and businessman
  • William H. Carpenter (1821-1885), U.S. Consul to Foochow, China 1861–1865 and a founding member of Cayuga County Historical Society in 1877.
  • Adam Helmer, (c.1754–1830), American Revolutionary War hero in the Mohawk Valley and surrounding regions of New York
  • William H. Seward (1801–1872), U. S. Secretary of State, Governor of New York, abolitionist
  • Harriet Tubman (1822–1913), Conductor on the Underground Railroad, Civil War hero, abolitionist, suffragette

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Condado de Cayuga para niños

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