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Otsego County, New York facts for kids

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Otsego County
Original Otsego County Bank, in Cooperstown
Original Otsego County Bank, in Cooperstown
Flag of Otsego County
Official seal of Otsego County
Map of New York highlighting Otsego 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 February 16, 1791
Seat Cooperstown
Largest city Oneonta
 • Total 1,016 sq mi (2,630 km2)
 • Land 1,002 sq mi (2,600 km2)
 • Water 14 sq mi (40 km2)  1.4%
 • Total 58,524
 • Density 58.4/sq mi (22.5/km2)
Time zone UTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional district 19th

Otsego County is a county in the U.S. state of New York. As of the 2020 census, the population was 58,524. The county seat is Cooperstown. The name Otsego is from a Mohawk or Oneida word meaning "place of the rock."


Otsego County 1791
Map of Otsego County, at its formation
Simeon DeWitt Otsego County NY c.1792
Map of Otsego County, New York, by Simeon De Witt c. 1792-1793
Otsego County NY 1829
1829 map of Otsego County, New York

In 1789, Ontario County was split off from Montgomery. The area split off from Montgomery County was much larger than the present county, as it included the present Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Niagara, Orleans, Steuben, Wyoming, Yates, and part of Schuyler and Wayne counties.


Otsego County was one of three counties split off from Montgomery (the other two being Herkimer and Tioga). Otsego County was officially established on February 16, 1791, with Cooperstown as its county seat, although at the time the village of Cherry Valley was much larger. The original county consisted of three large townships:

Otsego and Cherry Valley together roughly covered the area of modern Otsego County, while Harpersfield covered the area south of the current county as far as the Delaware River.

The original appointments to Otsego County government positions, made by Governor George Clinton included:

  • Richard R. Smith, county sheriff, from Otsego township,
  • Jacob Morris, county clerk, from Otsego township,
  • William Cooper, chief judge, from Otsego township,
  • Jedediah Peck, associate justice from Otsego township,
  • Edward Griswold, associate justice from Cherry Valley
  • Platt Townsend, associate justice from Harpersfield,
  • Alexander Harper, commander of the county militia, from Harpersfield.

New towns

By 1793, four towns had been added to the county by division of the existing towns:

In 1795, a piece of Otsego County was joined with a portion taken from Albany County to create Schoharie County.

In 1797, a piece of Otsego County was joined with a portion taken from Ulster County to create Delaware County.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,016 square miles (2,630 km2), of which 1,002 square miles (2,600 km2) is land and 14 square miles (36 km2) (1.4%) is water.

Otsego County is in central New York State, to the west of Albany, southeast of Utica, and northeast of Binghamton. The county is part of the Mohawk Valley region of New York State. The county is considered by some to belong to the Southern Tier region of New York State.

Adjacent counties


Historical population
Census Pop.
1800 21,343
1810 38,802 81.8%
1820 44,856 15.6%
1830 51,372 14.5%
1840 49,628 −3.4%
1850 48,638 −2.0%
1860 50,157 3.1%
1870 48,967 −2.4%
1880 51,397 5.0%
1890 50,861 −1.0%
1900 48,939 −3.8%
1910 47,216 −3.5%
1920 46,200 −2.2%
1930 46,710 1.1%
1940 46,082 −1.3%
1950 50,763 10.2%
1960 51,942 2.3%
1970 56,181 8.2%
1980 59,075 5.2%
1990 60,517 2.4%
2000 61,676 1.9%
2010 62,259 0.9%
2020 58,524 −6.0%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2020

As of the census of 2000, there were 61,676 people, 23,291 households, and 15,115 families residing in the county. The population density was 62 people per square mile (24/km2). There were 28,481 housing units at an average density of 28 per square mile (11/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 95.80% White, 1.75% African American, 0.23% Native American, 0.63% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 0.50% from other races, and 1.05% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.90% of the population. 15.0% were of Irish, 14.9% English, 14.9% German, 11.3% Italian and 9.1% American ancestry according to Census 2000. 95.4% spoke English and 2.1% Spanish as their first language.

There were 23,291 households, out of which 29.60% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.10% were married couples living together, 9.50% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.10% were non-families. 27.00% of all households were made up of individuals, and 11.60% 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 2.94.

In the county, the population was spread out, with 22.70% under the age of 18, 14.40% from 18 to 24, 24.30% from 25 to 44, 23.60% from 45 to 64, and 15.00% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 93.10 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.00 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $33,444, and the median income for a family was $41,110. Males had a median income of $29,988 versus $22,609 for females. The per capita income for the county was $16,806. About 8.80% of families and 14.90% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.80% of those under age 18 and 8.20% of those age 65 or over.


Map of Otsego County NY to accompany Bacon's History 1902




Census-designated places



The Village of Cooperstown (home of James Fenimore Cooper, whose father William Cooper founded it) is located at the south end of Otsego Lake. It attracts many tourists to the Baseball Hall of Fame and the New York State Historical Association museums. Cultural attractions also include the Glimmerglass Opera, with a summer season that draws many repeat visitors for stays.

The primary contributor to the economy is healthcare: Bassett Medical Center, the headquarters of Bassett Healthcare Network and its more than 3,000 employees, is located here.

The City of Oneonta has two institutions of higher education: Hartwick College and the State University of New York at Oneonta; A.O. Fox Memorial Hospital, an affiliate of the Bassett Network; major retail activity; and numerous small businesses. The county as a whole remains relatively rural, with dairy farming a contributing industry that has consolidated employment in recent years, although production has remained steady.

See also

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

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