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Ontario County, New York facts for kids

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Ontario County
Ontario County Courthouse in Canandaigua, 2014
Ontario County Courthouse in Canandaigua, 2014
Flag of Ontario County
Official seal of Ontario County
Map of New York highlighting Ontario 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 1789
Named for Lake Ontario
Seat Canandaigua
Largest city Geneva
 • Total 663 sq mi (1,720 km2)
 • Land 644 sq mi (1,670 km2)
 • Water 18 sq mi (50 km2)  2.8%
 • Total 112,458
 • Density 169/sq mi (65/km2)
Time zone UTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional districts 23rd, 27th

Ontario County is a county in the U.S. State of New York. As of the 2020 census, the population was 112,458. The county seat is Canandaigua.

Ontario County is part of the Rochester, NY Metropolitan Statistical Area.

In 2006, Progressive Farmer rated Ontario County as the "Best Place to Live" in the U.S., for its "great schools, low crime, excellent health care" and its proximity to Rochester.


This area was long controlled by the Seneca people, one of the Five Nations of the Iroquois Confederacy, or Haudenosaunee. They were forced to cede most of their land to the United States after the American Revolutionary War.

When the English established counties in New York Province in 1683, they designated Albany County as including all the northern part of New York State, the present State of Vermont, and, in theory, extending westward to the Pacific Ocean. On July 3, 1766 Cumberland County was organized, and on March 16, 1770 Gloucester County was founded, both containing territory now included in the state of Vermont. The English claims were their assertion; the Five and then Six Nations of the Iroquois occupied and controlled most of the territory in central and western New York until after the Revolutionary War.

As New York was more heavily settled in the 18th century, the colonial government organized additional counties, but European settlement did not proceed very far west past Little Falls, New York, about halfway through the Mohawk Valley, until after the revolutionary war. This area was temporarily part of Montgomery County, renamed after the war for an American officer. Seth Reed, a Colonel in the Battle of Bunker Hill, moved here with his family as a pioneer between 1787 and 1795. See also Geneva (town), New York

Land-hungry settlers from New England swept into upstate and western New York after the Revolution, as nearly five million acres of new lands were available for purchase since the Iroquois were forced to cede most of their territories to the United States. Four tribes had allied with the British and were mostly resettled in Canada: the Mohawk, Onondaga, Seneca and Cayuga.

In 1789, Ontario County was split off from Montgomery. The territory first organized as Ontario County was much larger than at present and ran south from the shore of Lake Ontario. As the area was settled, new counties were organized. The following counties were rapidly organized from this territory in the first decades after the war: Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Niagara, Orleans, Steuben, Wyoming, and Yates counties, and parts of Schuyler and Wayne counties.

In 1796, Ontario County was divided and Steuben County was organized. In 1802, Ontario County was reduced when Genesee County was split off. The new county was originally very large, including the present Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Niagara, Orleans and Wyoming Counties and parts of Livingston and Monroe counties.

In 1821, portions of Genesee County were combined with portions of Ontario County to create Livingston and Monroe counties.

In 1823, a portion of Seneca County was combined with a portion of Ontario County to create Wayne County. The same year, a portion of Steuben County was combined with a portion of Ontario County to create Yates County.

Great Awakening

This frontier area was part of the evangelistic activities during the Second Great Awakening of the early 19th century, when Baptist, Methodist and Congregational preachers traveled and organized revivals and camp meetings. In addition, independent sects developed in central and western New York during this period, including the Church of Latter Day Saints and the Shakers.

Latter Day Saint movement

Smith frame home 1
Home of the Joseph Smith, Sr. family in Manchester, known as the "frame home".

Joseph Smith, founder of the Latter Day Saint movement, lived in Manchester in the 1820s on the border with Palmyra. Several events in the early history of the movement occurred in Ontario County. Hill Cumorah in Manchester is where Smith said he discovered the Golden plates said to contain the writings later known as the Book of Mormon. Smith visited the hill each year on the fall equinox (September 22) between 1823 and 1827, and claimed to be instructed by the Angel Moroni. Smith said he was finally permitted to take the record on September 22, 1827. He published the Book of Mormon in Palmyra in 1830. The 110-foot (34 m) hill (which was then unnamed) is on the main road toward Canandaigua from Palmyra to Manchester (modern State Route 21); it was a few miles from Joseph Smith's home.

Since the 1930s The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has held the [[Cumorah


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 663 square miles (1,720 km2), of which 644 square miles (1,670 km2) is land and 18 square miles (47 km2) (2.8%) is water.

Ontario County is in western New York State, east of Buffalo, southeast of Rochester, and northwest of Ithaca. The county is within the Finger Lakes Region of the state.

Adjacent counties

Major highways

  • I-90.svgNYS Thruway Sign.svg Interstate 90 (New York State Thruway)
  • US 20.svg U.S. Route 20
  • US 20A.svg U.S. Route 20A
  • NY-5.svg New York State Route 5
  • NY-14.svg New York State Route 14
  • NY-14A.svg New York State Route 14A
  • NY-15A.svg New York State Route 15A
  • NY-21.svg New York State Route 21
  • NY-53.svg New York State Route 53
  • NY-64.svg New York State Route 64
  • NY-65.svg New York State Route 65
  • NY-88.svg New York State Route 88
  • NY-96.svg New York State Route 96
  • NY-245.svg New York State Route 245
  • NY-247.svg New York State Route 247
  • NY-251.svg New York State Route 251
  • NY-318.svg New York State Route 318
  • NY-332.svg New York State Route 332
  • NY-364.svg New York State Route 364
  • NY-444.svg New York State Route 444
  • NY-488.svg New York State Route 488


Historical population
Census Pop.
1790 1,075
1800 15,218 1,315.6%
1810 42,032 176.2%
1820 88,267 110.0%
1830 40,288 −54.4%
1840 43,501 8.0%
1850 43,929 1.0%
1860 44,563 1.4%
1870 45,108 1.2%
1880 49,541 9.8%
1890 48,453 −2.2%
1900 49,605 2.4%
1910 52,286 5.4%
1920 52,652 0.7%
1930 54,276 3.1%
1940 55,307 1.9%
1950 60,172 8.8%
1960 68,070 13.1%
1970 78,849 15.8%
1980 88,909 12.8%
1990 95,101 7.0%
2000 100,224 5.4%
2010 108,085 7.8%
2020 112,458 4.0%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2020

As of the census of 2000, there were 100,224 people, 38,370 households, and 26,360 families residing in the county. The population density was 156 people per square mile (60/km2). There were 42,647 housing units at an average density of 66 per square mile (26/km2). According to respondents' self-identification, the racial makeup of the county was 95.04% White, 2.06% African American, 0.22% Native American, 0.69% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.70% from other races, and 1.26% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.14% of the population. Based on self-identification, 17.9% were of German, 14.9% Irish, 14.8% English, 13.8% Italian, 7.3% American and 5.1% Dutch ancestry according to Census 2000. 95.6% spoke English and 2.3% Spanish as their first language.

There were 38,370 households, out of which 32.80% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.00% were married couples living together, 9.90% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.30% were non-families. 24.70% of all households were made up of individuals, and 10.10% 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 3.03.

In the county, the population was spread out, with 25.40% under the age of 18, 8.30% from 18 to 24, 28.40% from 25 to 44, 24.80% from 45 to 64, and 13.20% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 95.60 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.70 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $44,579, and the median income for a family was $52,698. Males had a median income of $36,732 versus $26,139 for females. The per capita income for the county was $21,533. About 4.90% of families and 7.30% of the population were below the poverty line, including 9.10% of those under age 18 and 6.40% of those age 65 or over.





Census-designated places


See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Condado de Ontario (Nueva York) para niños

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