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Oneida County, New York facts for kids

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Oneida County
Oneida County Courthouse
Oneida County Courthouse
Flag of Oneida County
Official seal of Oneida County
Map of New York highlighting Oneida 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 1798
Named for Oneida people
Seat Utica
Largest city Utica
 • Total 1,258 sq mi (3,260 km2)
 • Land 1,212 sq mi (3,140 km2)
 • Water 45 sq mi (120 km2)  3.6%
 • Total 232,125
 • Density 191.5/sq mi (73.9/km2)
Time zone UTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional district 22nd

Oneida County is a county in the state of New York, United States. As of the 2020 census, the population was 232,125. The county seat is Utica. The name is in honor of the Oneida, one of the Five Nations of the Iroquois League or Haudenosaunee, which had long occupied this territory at the time of European encounter and colonization. The federally recognized Oneida Indian Nation has had a reservation in the region since the late 18th century, after the American Revolutionary War.

Oneida County is part of the UticaRome, NY Metropolitan Statistical Area.


When colonial counties were established by England in New York State in 1683, the territory of present Oneida County was included in a very large, mostly undeveloped 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 sections, 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 included what are now 37 individual counties of New York State. The county was named for William Tryon, colonial governor of New York.

During and after the Revolution, most of the Loyalists in Tryon County fled to Canada. In 1784, following the peace treaty that ended the American Revolutionary War, Americans changed the name of Tryon County to Montgomery County to honor the general, Richard Montgomery, who had captured several places in Canada and died attempting to capture the city of Quebec. They replaced the name of the then hated British governor.

In 1789, the size of Montgomery County was reduced by the splitting off of Ontario County from Montgomery. 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 other two being Otsego, and Tioga County). This was much larger than the present county, however, and was reduced by a number of subsequent splits.

In 1794, Herkimer County was reduced in size by the splitting off of Onondaga County. This county was larger than the current Onondaga County, including the present Cayuga, Cortland, and part of Oswego counties.

In 1798, Oneida County was created from a part of Herkimer County. This county was larger than the current Oneida County, including the present Jefferson, Lewis, and part of Oswego counties.

In 1805, Jefferson and Lewis counties were split off from Oneida. In 1816, parts of Oneida and Onondaga counties were taken to form the new Oswego County.

In 1848, John Humphrey Noyes founded a religious and Utopian community, the Oneida Community, near Oneida. Its unconventional views on religion and relations between the sexes led to much controversy. The community lasted until 1881. The Oneida Silver Company was founded here to manufacture sterling silver, silverplate holloware and later stainless steel flatware.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,258 square miles (3,260 km2), of which 1,212 square miles (3,140 km2) is land and 45 square miles (120 km2) (3.6%) is water.

Oneida County is in the central portion of New York State, east of Syracuse, and west of Albany. Oneida Lake is on the northwestern corner of the county, and the Adirondack Park is on the northeast. Part of the Tug Hill Plateau is in the northern part of the county. Interestingly, Oneida County's highest point does not lie on either the plateau nor in the Adirondack Park, but in the county's southern extremity. The peak's name is Tassel Hill. It is located slightly southeast of Hardscrabble Road (Tassel Hill Road), between the villages of Waterville and Cassville.

The Erie Canal bisects the county. Oneida Lake and Oneida Creek form part of the western boundary.

In the early 21st century, it is the only county in New York state with a known presence of Chronic wasting disease among wild White-tailed deer.

Adjacent counties

National protected area


Historical population
Census Pop.
1800 22,047
1810 33,792 53.3%
1820 50,997 50.9%
1830 71,326 39.9%
1840 85,310 19.6%
1850 99,566 16.7%
1860 105,202 5.7%
1870 110,008 4.6%
1880 115,475 5.0%
1890 122,922 6.4%
1900 132,800 8.0%
1910 154,157 16.1%
1920 182,833 18.6%
1930 198,763 8.7%
1940 203,636 2.5%
1950 222,855 9.4%
1960 264,401 18.6%
1970 273,037 3.3%
1980 253,466 −7.2%
1990 250,836 −1.0%
2000 235,469 −6.1%
2010 234,878 −0.3%
2020 232,125 −1.2%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2020

As of the census of 2000, there were 235,469 people, 90,496 households, and 59,184 families residing in the county. The population density was 194 people per square mile (75/km2). There were 102,803 housing units at an average density of 85 per square mile (33/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 90.21% White, 5.74% African American, 0.23% Native American, 1.16% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 1.11% from other races, and 1.52% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.20% of the population.

21.7% were of Italian, 13.1% Irish, 12.1% German, 9.9% Polish, 8.5% English and 5.6% American ancestry according to self-identification of ethnic background in Census 2000. 90.6% spoke English, 2.7% Spanish, 1.3% Italian, 1.2% Serbo-Croatian and 1.1% Polish as their first language.

There were 90,496 households, out of which 30.40% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.10% were married couples living together, 12.00% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.60% were non-families. 29.50% of all households were made up of individuals, and 13.10% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.43 and the average family size was 3.02.

In the county, the population was spread out, with 23.90% under the age of 18, 8.60% from 18 to 24, 28.20% from 25 to 44, 22.90% from 45 to 64, and 16.50% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 98.60 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.30 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $35,909, and the median income for a family was $45,341. Males had a median income of $32,194 versus $24,295 for females. The per capita income for the county was $18,516. About 9.80% of families and 13.00% of the population were below the poverty line, including 18.90% of those under age 18 and 8.50% of those age 65 or over.





Census-designated places


Notable locations


The main product of Oneida County was once silverware, chiefly manufactured at Oneida Ltd.'s headquarters in Sherrill. In January 2005, the company ceased manufacturing their product, closing its main plant and selling its assets. The factory, under new ownership, continues to produce American-made silverware under the Liberty Tabletop brand.

Currently the largest non-governmental, non-healthcare product of Oneida County is gambling. Turning Stone Casino Resort is an enterprise of the Oneida Indian Nation of New York, and the largest private employer in Oneida County.


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