Niagara County, New York facts for kids
Quick facts for kids
Niagara County Clerks Office
Location within the U.S. state of New York
New York's location within the U.S.
|Founded||March 11, 1808|
|Largest city||Niagara Falls|
|• Total||1,140 sq mi (3,000 km2)|
|• Land||522 sq mi (1,350 km2)|
|• Water||617 sq mi (1,600 km2) 54%%|
| • Estimate
|• Density||414/sq mi (160/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−5 (Eastern)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−4 (EDT)|
|Congressional districts||26th, 27th|
- See also: Niagara (electoral district)
Niagara County is a county in the U.S. state of New York. As of the 2010 census, the population was 216,469. The county seat is Lockport. The county name is from the Iroquois word Onguiaahra; meaning the strait or thunder of waters.\
It is the location of Niagara Falls and Fort Niagara, and has many parks and lake shore recreation communities. In the summer of 2008, Niagara County celebrated its 200th birthday with the first town of the county, Town of Cambria.
When counties were established in the New York colony in 1683, the present Niagara 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.
Niagara County was created from Genesee County in 1808. It was, however, larger than the present Niagara County even though it consisted of only the Town of Cambria.
In 1821, Erie County was created from Niagara County.
The county has a number of properties on the National Register of Historic Places.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,140 square miles (3,000 km2), of which 522 square miles (1,350 km2) is land and 617 square miles (1,600 km2) (54%) is water.
The county's primary geographic feature is Niagara Falls, the riverbed of which has eroded seven miles south over the past 12,000 years since the last Ice Age. The Niagara River and Niagara Falls, are in effect, the drainage ditch for four of the Great Lakes which constitute the world's largest supply of fresh water. The water flows north from Lake Erie, then through the Niagara River, goes over Niagara Falls, and then on to Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River, eventually emptying into the North Atlantic Ocean. Today, tourists and visitors to the Falls see a diminished flow of water over the Falls, since a portion of the flow has been diverted for hydroelectric power purposes. Both the American and Canadian side of the Niagara River have massive electrical power plants.
The spectacular Niagara Gorge is the path Niagara Falls has taken over thousands of years as it continues to erode. Niagara Falls started at the Niagara Escarpment which cuts Niagara County in half in an east-west direction. North of the Escarpment lies the Lake Ontario plain, which is a fertile flatland used to grow grapes, apples, peaches and other fruits and vegetables. The grape variety Niagara, source of most American white grape juice but not esteemed for wine, was first grown in the county, in 1868. Viticulture, or wine culture has begun to take place, with several wineries below the escarpment. This has helped to improve the depressed economy of the region. To further capitalize on economic development, the state has created the Niagara Wine Trail.
Adjacent counties and areas
- Orleans County - east
- Genesee County - southeast
- Erie County - south
- Regional Municipality of Niagara, Ontario, Canada - west
- Interstate 190 (Niagara Thruway)
- U.S. Route 62
US 62 Business
- New York State Route 18
- New York State Route 31
- New York State Route 78
- New York State Route 93
- New York State Route 104
- New York State Route 265
- New York State Route 384
- New York State Route 425
- Robert Moses State Parkway
- LaSalle Expressway
State protected areas
- De Veaux Woods State Park, north of the City of Niagara Falls.
- Devil's Hole State Park, immediately north of the City of Niagara Falls.
- Fort Niagara State Park, located at the mouth of the Niagara River.
- Earl W. Brydges Artpark State Park, in the Town of Lewiston.
- Four Mile Creek State Park, on the shore of Lake Ontario.
- Golden Hill State Park, on the shore of Lake Ontario.
- Hartland Swamp Wildlife Management Area—a conservation area in the Town of Hartland.
- Joseph Davis State Park, along the Niagara River.
- Niagara Reservation State Park, in the City of Niagara Falls.
- Reservoir State Park, south of the power reservoir.
- Tonawanda Wildlife Management Area, partly in the Town of Royalton.
- Wilson-Tuscarora State Park, on the shore of Lake Ontario.
|U.S. Decennial Census
As of the census of 2010, there were 216,469 people, 87,846 households, and 58,593 families residing in the county. The population density was 420 people per square mile (162/km²). There were 95,715 housing units at an average density of 183 per square mile (71/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 90.70% White, 6.15% Black or African American, 0.94% Native American, 0.58% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.40% from other races, and 1.21% from two or more races. 1.33% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 23.6% were of German, 18.1% Italian, 11.3% Irish, 11.2% Polish and 8.3% English ancestry. 94.5% spoke English, 1.6% Spanish and 1.0% Italian as their first language.
There were 87,846 households out of which 30.90% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.30% were married couples living together, 12.30% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.30% were non-families. 28.60% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.00% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.45 and the average family size was 3.03.
In the county, the population was spread out with 24.70% under the age of 18, 8.50% from 18 to 24, 28.40% from 25 to 44, 23.10% from 45 to 64, and 15.40% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 93.30 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.50 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $38,136, and the median income for a family was $47,817. Males had a median income of $37,468 versus $24,668 for females. The per capita income for the county was $19,219. About 8.20% of families and 10.60% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.00% of those under age 18 and 7.30% of those age 65 or over.
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