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Orleans County, New York facts for kids

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Orleans County
County Courthouse in Albion
County Courthouse in Albion
Flag of Orleans County
Official seal of Orleans County
Map of New York highlighting Orleans 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 1824
Named for House of Orléans
Seat Albion
Largest village Albion
 • Total 817 sq mi (2,120 km2)
 • Land 391 sq mi (1,010 km2)
 • Water 426 sq mi (1,100 km2)  52%
 • Total Decrease 40,343
 • Density 103/sq mi (40/km2)
Time zone UTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional district 27th

Orleans County is a county in the western part of the U.S. state of New York. As of the 2020 census, the population was 40,343. The county seat is Albion. The county received its name at the insistence of Nehemiah Ingersoll though historians are unsure how the name was selected. The two competing theories are that it was named to honor the French Royal House of Orleans or that it was to honor Andrew Jackson's victory in New Orleans.

Located on the south shore of Lake Ontario, Orleans County since the late 20th century has been considered part of the Rochester, NY Metropolitan Statistical Area.


When counties were established in New York State in 1683, the present Orleans 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.

Before 1776, most of Tryon County's Loyalists fled to Canada. In 1784, following the peace treaty that ended the American Revolutionary War, Tryon County's name was changed 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, replacing the name of the hated British governor.

In 1789, Ontario County was split off from Montgomery.

In 1802, Genesee County was created by a splitting of Ontario County. This was much larger than the present Genesee County, however, containing the present Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Niagara, Orleans, and Wyoming Counties, and parts of Livingston and Monroe Counties.

In 1806, Genesee County was reduced in size by the splitting off of Allegany County. In 1808, Genesee County was further reduced in size by the splitting off of Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, and Niagara Counties. Niagara County at that time also included the present Erie County.

In 1821, Genesee County was reduced in size by the splitting off of portions which were combined with portions of Ontario County to create Livingston and Monroe Counties. By this time Genesee County had been reduced considerably in size from its original area of 1802, still containing the present Orleans and Wyoming Counties in addition to its present area, however.

In 1824, Orleans County was created from what was left of Genesee County. When the county was formed, a dispute arose about naming it after Andrew Jackson or John Adams; the conflict was ended by choosing the name Orleans.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 817 square miles (2,120 km2), of which 391 square miles (1,010 km2) is land and 426 square miles (1,100 km2) (52%) is water.

The high proportion of water is due to the extension of Orleans County north into Lake Ontario to the Canada–US border (a line of latitude running through the middle of the lake). The distance from the Orleans shore north to the international border is greater than the distance from the shore south to the Genesee County line, meaning the area of Orleans underwater is actually greater than that above water.

Orleans County is in western New York State, northeast of Buffalo and west of Rochester, on the southern shore of Lake Ontario.

The Erie Canal passes (east–west) through the middle of the county.

Adjacent counties

Major highways

  • NY-18.svg New York State Route 18
  • NY-31.svg New York State Route 31
  • NY-63.svg New York State Route 63
  • NY-98.svg New York State Route 98
  • NY-104.svg New York State Route 104
  • Lake Ontario State Parkway.svg Lake Ontario State Parkway

National protected area

State protected areas

  • Lakeside Beach State Park
  • Oak Orchard State Marine Park
  • Oak Orchard Wildlife Management Area
  • Tonawanda Wildlife Management Area


Historical population
Census Pop.
1830 17,732
1840 25,127 41.7%
1850 28,501 13.4%
1860 28,717 0.8%
1870 27,689 −3.6%
1880 30,128 8.8%
1890 30,803 2.2%
1900 30,164 −2.1%
1910 32,000 6.1%
1920 28,619 −10.6%
1930 28,795 0.6%
1940 27,760 −3.6%
1950 29,832 7.5%
1960 34,159 14.5%
1970 37,305 9.2%
1980 38,496 3.2%
1990 41,846 8.7%
2000 44,171 5.6%
2010 42,883 −2.9%
2020 40,343 −5.9%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2013

As of the census of 2010, there were 42,883 people, 16,119 households, and 10,872 families residing in the county. The population density was 113 people per square mile (44/km2). There were 17,347 housing units at an average density of 44 per square mile (17/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 89.8% White, 5.9% Black or African American, 0.6% Native American, 0.4% Asian, 0.0% Pacific Islander, 1.3% from other races, and 1.9% from two or more races. 4.1% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. According to Census 2000, 20.3% were of German, 18.3% English, 10.8% Italian, 10.3% Irish, 9.4% American and 7.3% Polish ancestry and 96.0% spoke English and 3.0% Spanish as their first language.

Census 2010 showed there were 16,119 households, out of which 31.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49% were married couples living together, 12.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.6% were non-families. 26.2% of all households were made up of individuals, and 11% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.5 and the average family size was 2.99.

In the county, the population was spread out, with 19.8% under the age of 18, 8.8% from 18 to 24, 24.2% from 25 to 44, 29.8% from 45 to 64, and 17.40% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years.

The median income for a household in the county was $48,731. Males had a median income of $32,450 versus $22,605 for females. The per capita income for the county was $16,457. About 15.2% of the population were below the poverty line.


Orleans County (New York) - Towns and Villages
The town and village borders





Public schools

The county has five school districts, although the actual district boundaries can extend into neighboring counties, and the same is true for neighboring counties' districts. The five districts, from west to east, are:

  • Lyndonville Central School District (northern half of western third, roughly covering Lyndonville village and the towns of Yates and Ridgeway)
  • Medina Central School District (southern half of western third, roughly covering Medina village and the towns of Ridgeway and Shelby)
  • Albion Central School District (middle third, roughly covering Albion village and the towns of Carlton, Gaines, Albion, and Barre)
  • Kendall Central School District (northern half of eastern third, roughly covering the towns of Kendall and Murray)
  • Holley Central School District (southern half of eastern third, roughly covering Holley village and the towns of Murray and Clarendon)

Each of these school districts participates in Orleans/Niagara BOCES or Monroe #2-Orleans BOCES.

Private school

There is currently one non-denominational K-12 school in the county.

  • Orleans County Christian School


One college maintains satellite campuses in Orleans County.

  • Genesee Community College - Albion
  • Genesee Community College - Medina

See also

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

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