Rensselaer County, New York

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Rensselaer County, New York
Map
Map of New York highlighting Rensselaer County
Location in the state of New York
Map of the USA highlighting New York
New York's location in the USA
Statistics
Founded 1791
Seat Troy
Area
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

1,723 km² (665 mi²)
1,694 km² (654 mi²)
30 km² (11 mi²), 1.72%
Population
 - (2000)
 - Density

152,538
90/km² 
Website: www.rensco.com

Rensselaer County is a county in the U.S. state of New York. As of the 2000 census, the population was 152,538. Its name is in honor of the family of Killiaen Van Rensselaer, the original Dutch owner of the land in the area. Its county seat is Troy. It is part of the Albany-Schenectady-Troy Metropolitan Statistical Area.It is one of only four counties in New York State to currently have a women county executive. The current county executive is Kathleen M. Jimino.


Contents

[edit] History

The county was a part of Rensselaerwyck, an immense land holding purchased by Kiliaen van Rensselaer from the Mohawk and Mohican Indians, starting in 1630.

When counties were established in New York in 1683, the present Rensselaer County was part of Albany County. This was an enormous county, including the northern part of present-day 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.

Then, on March 12, 1772, Albany County was divided into the counties of Albany, Tryon (now Montgomery), and Charlotte (now Washington). From 1772 to 1786 Albany County included, besides the present territory of Albany County, all of the present Columbia, Rensselaer, Saratoga, and Schenectady Counties, parts of the present Greene and Washington Counties, and a piece of what is now southwestern Vermont.

In 1786, Albany County was reduced in size by the splitting off of Columbia County.

In 1791, Rensselaer County (as well as Saratoga County) was split off from Albany County.

[edit] Geography

Rensselaer County is in the eastern part of New York State. The eastern boundary of Rensselaer County runs along the New York-Vermont and New York-Massachusetts borders.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,723 km² (665 mi²). 1,694 km² (654 mi²) of it is land and 30 km² (11 mi²) of it (1.72%) is water.

The terrain runs from level and flat near the Hudson and then rises into the Rensselaer Plateau around Poestenkill and Sand Lake, then to the Taconic Mountains along the Massachusetts state line.

The highest point is Berlin Mountain, 2,818 feet (859 m) above sea level, in the town of Berlin. The lowest point is sea level at the Hudson.

The Hoosick River, a tributary of the Hudson River, is in the north part of the county.

[edit] Adjacent Counties

[edit] Demographics

As of the census² of 2000, there were 152,538 people, 59,894 households, and 39,050 families residing in the county. The population density was 90/km² (233/mi²). There were 66,120 housing units at an average density of 39/km² (101/mi²). The racial makeup of the county was 91.13% White, 4.69% Black or African American, 0.23% Native American, 1.71% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.89% from other races, and 1.34% from two or more races. 2.11% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 59,894 households out of which 31.30% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.80% were married couples living together, 12.00% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.80% were non-families. 27.90% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.30% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.46 and the average family size was 3.02.

In the county the population was spread out with 24.20% under the age of 18, 10.10% from 18 to 24, 29.10% from 25 to 44, 23.00% from 45 to 64, and 13.60% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 95.90 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.70 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $42,905, and the median income for a family was $52,864. Males had a median income of $36,666 versus $28,153 for females. The per capita income for the county was $21,095. About 6.70% of families and 9.50% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.90% of those under age 18 and 6.60% of those age 65 or over.

[edit] Government

Beginning in 1791 Rensselaer County was governed by a Board of Supervisors, which acted as the legislature, with the chairman of the board serving as a de-facto Executive. At about 1970 the Rensselaer County Legislature was created, which elected Edward J. "Ned" Quinn as Chaiman. Until the mid 1970s, the Chairman served as the equivalent to an executive until the office of "County Executive" was created. Since its creation, Democrats have never won the office although they have controlled the County Legislature several times during it's inception. One notable candidate for Executive was ((Ned Pattison)) who was later elected to Congress and whose son Mark served two terms as Mayor of Troy. The current county executive is Kathleen M. Jimino.The Rensselaer County Government consists of a Legislature of 19 members representing 16 differemt communities, separated into districts. The current make up of the legislature is as follows, 13 Republicans and 6 Democrats:

District 1 ((Troy)) Neil J. Kelleher, Chairman (R) Robert Mirch, Majority Leader, District 1 (C) James Brearton, District 1 (R) Nancy McHugh, District 1 (R) Laura Bauer, District 1, (R) Peter Grimm, District 1, (D)

District 2 ((North Greenbush, East Greenbush, and Poestenkill) Ginny O'Brien, Minority Leader (D) Keith Hammond, Deputy Minoirty Leader, District 2 (C) W. Kenneth Harrington, District 2, (D) Brian Zweig, District 2 (D)

District 3 ((Brunswick, Schaghticoke, and Pittstown)) Thomas Walsh, Vice Chairman (R) Ken Salisbury,Vice Chairman/Finance (R) Kenneth Harrington (R)

District 4 ((Schodack, Sand Lake, and Nassau)) Flora Fasoldt (D) Martin Reid (R) Edward Swartz (R)

District 5 ((Hoosick, Berlin, Stpehentown, & Petersburgh)) Stanley Brownell (R) Lester Goodermote (R)

District 6 ((Rensselaer)) Mike Stammel (R)

[edit] Cities, towns, villages, and other locations

=> label in parentheses is official designation.




North: Washington County
West: Hudson River
Saratoga and
Albany Counties
Rensselaer County East: Bennington County, Vermont and
Berkshire County, Massachusetts
South: Columbia County

[edit] External links


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