Erie County, New York

Erie County, New York

Infobox U.S. County
county = Erie County
state = New York

map size = 250
founded = 1821
seat = Buffalo | area_total_sq_mi =1227
area_land_sq_mi =1044
area_water_sq_mi =183
area percentage = 14.89%
census yr = 2000
pop = 950265
density_km2 =351
web =

County of Erie, commonly referred to as Erie County, is a county located in the U.S. state of New York. As of the 2000 census, the population was 950,265. The county seat is Buffalo. The county's name comes from Lake Erie, which in turn comes from the Erie tribe of Indians who lived south and east of the lake before 1654.

Erie County is part of the Buffalo–Niagara Falls Metropolitan Statistical Area.


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

In the years prior to 1776, most of the Loyalists in Tryon County fled to Canada. In 1784, following the peace treaty that ended the American Revolutionary War, the name of Tryon County 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 turn, Genesee County was created from Ontario County in 1802, and Niagara County was created from Genesee County in 1808.

While Erie County was part of Ontario County, all of Erie County was in the now defunct Town of Montgomery (as opposed to the current Town of Montgomery in downstate New York. As part of Genesee County, all of Erie County was part of the Town of Batavia. Soon, for a time, Erie County was designated the now defunct Town of Erie.

Erie County was created when all of the land south of Tonawanda Creek was removed from Niagara County in 1821. Prior to that time the area now within the county had been composed of the Town of Clarence and the Town of Willink. Clarence comprised the northern lands of the current Erie county, and Willink the southern part. Clarence still exists as a town, but Willink has been partitioned completely into other towns in the county. By 1821, both these towns had already begun subdividing to form the new towns of the county.


Erie County is in the western portion of New York State, bordering on the lake of the same name. It is the most populous county in New York State outside of the New York City metropolitan area.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,227 square miles (3,178 km²), of which, 1,044 square miles (2,704 km²) of it is land and 183 square miles (473 km²) of it (14.89%) is water. The northern border of the county is Tonawanda Creek. Part of the southern border is Cattaraugus Creek. Other major streams include Buffalo Creek (Buffalo River), Cayuga Creek, Cazenovia Creek, Scajaquada Creek, Eighteen Mile Creek and Ellicott Creek.

The county's northern half, including Buffalo and its suburbs, is relatively flat and rises gently up from the lake. The southern half is much hillier and is the northwesternmost foothills of the Appalachian Mountains.

The highest elevation in the county is a hill in the Town of Sardinia that tops out at around 1,940 feet (591 m) above sea level. The lowest ground is about 560 feet (171 m), on Grand Island at the Niagara River.

The Onondaga Escarpment runs through the northern part of Erie County.

Adjacent Counties

*Niagara County, New York - north
*Wyoming County, New York - east
*Genesee County, New York - east
*Cattaraugus County, New York - south
*Chautauqua County, New York - southwest
*Niagara Region, Ontario - west

Major Highways

* (Niagara Thruway)
* (Youngmann Expressway)
* (Lockport Expressway)

* (Southern Expressway)
* (Kensington Expressway/Genesee Street)
* (Milestrip Expressway/Road)
* (Scajaquada Expressway)
* (Aurora Expressway)

Erie County Routes

National protected area

* Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site

Rivers, streams, and lakes

*Buffalo River
*Cattaraugus Creek
*Cayuga Creek
*Lake Erie
*Niagara River
*Scajaquada Creek
*Tonawanda Creek
*Ellicott Creek


1830 = 35719
1840 = 62465
1850 = 100993
1860 = 141971
1870 = 178699
1880 = 219884
1890 = 322981
1900 = 433686
1910 = 528985
1920 = 634688
1930 = 762408
1940 = 798377
1950 = 899238
1960 = 1064688
1970 = 1113491
1980 = 1015472
1990 = 968532
2000 = 950265
estyear = 2007 [ [ Population Estimates as of July 1, 2007 by U.S. Census Bureau] ]
estimate = 913338
footnote = Source [ [ New York State Department of Economic Development] ]
As of the censusGR|2 of 2000, there were 950,265 people, 380,873 households, and 243,377 families residing in the county. The population density was 910 people per square mile (351/km²). There were 415,868 housing units at an average density of 398 per square mile (154/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 82.18% White, 13.00% Black or African American, 0.61% Native American, 1.46% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 1.42% from other races, and 1.31% from two or more races. 3.27% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 19.6% were of German, 17.2% Polish, 14.9% Italian, 11.7% Irish and 5.0% English ancestry according to Census 2000. 91.1% spoke English, 3.0% Spanish and 1.6% Polish as their first language.

There were 380,873 households out of which 29.60% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.50% were married couples living together, 13.70% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.10% were non-families. 30.50% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.50% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.41 and the average family size was 3.04.

In the county the population was spread out with 24.30% under the age of 18, 8.70% from 18 to 24, 28.40% from 25 to 44, 22.70% from 45 to 64, and 15.90% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 91.60 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.80 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $38,567, and the median income for a family was $49,490. Males had a median income of $38,703 versus $26,510 for females. The per capita income for the county was $20,357. About 9.20% of families and 12.20% of the population were below the poverty line, including 17.30% of those under age 18 and 7.80% of those age 65 or over.

Cities, Towns, Villages, and other locations

* "label in parentheses refers to legal municipal designation".

Indian reservations

* Cattaraugus Reservation
* Tonawanda Reservation

State Parks and lands

*Amherst State Park, Village of Williamsville.
*Beaver Island State Park, Grand Island.
*Buckhorn Island State Park, Grand Island.
*Evangola State Park, Towns of Brant and Evans.
*Great Baehre Swamp, NY state wetland in the Town of Amherst.
*Knox Farm State Park, Town of East Aurora.
*Reinstein Woods Nature Preserve in the Town of Cheektowaga.
*Tillman Road Wildlife Management Area, Town of Clarence.
*Woodlawn Beach State Park, Town of Hamburg.

Information about Erie County

Erie County is home to the Buffalo Bills football team, the Buffalo Sabres hockey team, the Buffalo Bandits lacrosse team, the Buffalo Bisons minor league baseball team, and the Buffalo Silverbacks, a basketball team in the American Basketball Association. The city also features a zoo, a botanical garden, a science museum, an historical museum, and the famous Albright-Knox Art Gallery.

The Erie County Fair, now called America's Fair, held every August in the Town of Hamburg, is the second largest fair in the country.

Plans to merge Erie County with the City of Buffalo have been suggested, which would eliminate much of the extensive bureaucracy and political and municipal subdivisions among the various towns, cities, and villages in the county. The result would be a consolidated city-county controlled by a single government, effectively making Buffalo's borders and population contiguous with Erie County's. These plans have proven very controversial; opposition has come from the rural villages on the borders of Erie County, which feel the plan would not benefit them, and the suburbs, which want to avoid the financial troubles of Buffalo and Erie County while simultaneously benefiting from the amenities of close proximity to a large population base. [cite web | last = Hansen | first = Robert | title = Research Brief:County Government Structure Update (vol. 3, no. 1) | publisher = National Association of Counties | url = | month = July | year = 2005 | accessdate = 2007-11-12]

County Government

Executive Branch

*County Executive Chris Collins
*Deputy County Executive Mark Davis
*Comptroller Mark Poloncarz
*District Attorney Frank Clark
*Sheriff Tim Howard
*County Clerk Kathy Hochul

County Legislature

*Chairwoman Lynn Marinelli
*Majority Leader Maria Whyte
*Minority Leader John J. Mills
*Legislator Daniel Kozub
*Legislator Barbara Miller-Williams
*Legislator Michael Ranzenhofer
*Legislator Kathy Konst
*Legislator Betty Jean Grant
*Legislator Thomas Mazur
*Legislator Cynthia Locklear
*Legislator Michele Iannello
*Legislator Robert Reynolds, Jr.
*Legislator Edward A. Rath
*Legislator Thomas Loughran
*Legislator Tim Kennedy

Educational institutions

Many educational institutions include: Bryant and Stratton, Buffalo State College, Canisius College, Daemen College, D'Youville College, Erie Community College, Hilbert College, Houghton College, Medaille College, Trocaire College, University at Buffalo, and Villa Maria College.

School Districts

*Akron Central School District
*Alden Central School District
*Amherst Central School District
*Buffalo City School District
*Cheektowaga Central School District
*Cheektowaga-Maryvale Union Free School District
*Cheektowaga-Sloan Union Free School District (John F. Kennedy Middle/High School)
*Clarence Central School District
*Cleveland Hill Union Free School District
*Depew Union Free School District
*East Aurora Union Free School District
*Eden Central School District
*Evans-Brant Central School District (Lake Shore)
*Frontier Central School District
*Grand Island Central School District
*Gowanda Central School District
*Hamburg Central School District
*Holland Central School District
*Hopevale Union Free School District At Hamburg
*Iroquois Central School District
*Kenmore-Tonawanda Union Free School District
*Lackawanna City School District
*Lancaster Central School District
*North Collins Central School District
*Orchard Park Central School District
*Springville-Griffith Institute Central School District
*Sweet Home Central School District
*Tonawanda City School District
*West Seneca Central School District
* [ Williamsville Central School District]

ee also

* Erie County Sheriff's Office

External links

* [ Erie County Government website] (county overview [ here] )
* [ The Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society]
* [ U.S. Census Bureau]


*cite web | title = Erie County School Districts 2003-2004 | publisher = New York State Education Department | url = | accessdate = 2007-11-12

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