Chautauqua County, New York
|Chautauqua County, New York|
Location in the state of New York
New York's location in the U.S.
|Founded||March 11, 1808|
1,500 sq mi (3,885 km²)
1,062 sq mi (2,751 km²)
438 sq mi (1,134 km²), 29.20%
127/sq mi (49/km²)
Chautauqua County is a county located in the U.S. state of New York. As of the 2010 census, the population was 134,905. Its name may be a contraction of a Seneca Indian word meaning "bag tied in the middle". Its county seat is Mayville, and its largest city is Jamestown.
Chautauqua County was created by the partition of Genesee County on March 11, 1808. This partition was performed under the same terms that produced Cattaraugus and Niagara Counties. The partition was performed for political purposes, but the counties were not properly organized, so they were all controlled as part of Niagara County.
On February 9, 1811, Chautauqua was completely organized, and so its separate government was launched. This established Chautauqua as a county of 1,100 square miles (2,850 square km) of land. Chautauqua was never altered.
Chautauqua County, in the southwestern corner of New York State, along the New York-Pennsylvania border, is the westernmost of New York's counties. Chautauqua Lake is located in the center of the county, and Lake Erie is its northern border.
Part of the Eastern Continental Divide runs through Chautauqua County. The area that drains into the Conewango Creek (including Chautauqua Lake) eventually empties into the Gulf of Mexico; the rest of the county's watershed empties into Lake Erie and out into the North Atlantic Ocean. This divide, known as the Chautauqua Ridge, can be used to mark the border between the Southern Tier and the Niagara Frontier. It is also a significant dividing point in the county's geopolitics, with the "North County" being centered around Dunkirk and the "South County" centered around Jamestown each having their own interests.
The county is generally composed of rolling hills and valleys with elevations ranging anywhere between 1100 and 2100 feet, although the land within a few miles of Lake Erie is generally flat and at an elevation of 1000 feet or lower. The lowest point in the county is Lake Erie, at 571 feet (174 meters), and the highest point is Gurnsey Benchmark at 2180 feet (664 meters).
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,500 square miles (3,885.0 km2). 1,062 square miles (2,750.6 km2) is land and 438 square miles (1,134.4 km2) (29.20%) is water.
Adjacent counties/borders 
- Lake Erie - northwest
- Erie County, New York - northeast
- Cattaraugus County, New York - east
- Warren County, Pennsylvania - southeast
- Erie County, Pennsylvania - southwest
||Lake Erie||Erie County|
|Erie County, Pennsylvania||Warren County, Pennsylvania|
Major highways 
- Interstate 86/New York State Route 17 (Southern Tier Expressway)
- Interstate 90 (New York State Thruway)
- U.S. Route 20
- U.S. Route 62
- New York State Route 5
- New York State Route 39
- New York State Route 60
- New York State Route 394
- New York State Route 430
As of the census of 2000, there were 139,750 people, 54,515 households, and 35,979 families residing in the county. The population density was 132 people per square mile (51/km²). There were 64,900 housing units at an average density of 61 per square mile (24/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 94.04% White, 2.18% Black or African American, 0.43% Native American, 0.36% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 1.73% from other races, and 1.23% from two or more races. 4.22% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 17.3% were of German, 15.1% Italian, 11.6% Swedish, 10.9% English, 9.3% Polish, 9.2% Irish and 5.6% American ancestry according to Census 2000. 93.0% spoke English and 3.8% Spanish as their first language.
There were 54,515 households out of which 30.50% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.90% were married couples living together, 10.80% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.00% were non-families. 28.10% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.60% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.45 and the average family size was 2.99.
In the county the population was spread out with 24.50% under the age of 18, 10.30% from 18 to 24, 26.30% from 25 to 44, 23.00% from 45 to 64, and 16.00% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 95.20 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.20 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $33,458, and the median income for a family was $41,054. Males had a median income of $32,114 versus $22,214 for females. The per capita income for the county was $16,840. About 9.70% of families and 13.80% of the population were below the poverty line, including 19.30% of those under age 18 and 8.20% of those age 65 or over.
As of the 2010 Census, there were 134,905 people in the county. The population density was 127 people per square mile (49/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 92.57% (124,875 people) white, 2.37% (3,197 people) African-American, 0.51% (688 people) Asian, 0.51% (689 people) Native American/Alaskan, 0.03% (34 people) Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, 1.98% (2,669 people) other, and 2.04% (2,751 people) two or more races. The Hispanic/Latino population of any race was 6.11% (8,241 people).
In the county, the population was spread out with 21.83% of the population under the age of 18, 3.82% (5,155 people) ages 18 and 19, 7.50% (10,113 people) ages 20-24, 10.37% (13,985 people) ages 25-34, 18.83% (25,406 people) ages 35-49, 21.07% (28,419 people) ages 50-64, and 16.59% (22,381 people) over the age of 65. Of the population, 49.3% (66,509 people) were male and 50.7% (68,396 people) were female.
Government and politics 
|This section requires expansion. (August 2008)|
Chautauqua County was governed by a board of supervisors until 1975, when a new county charter went into effect with provisions for a county executive and a 13-seat county legislature. The county council currently consists of 25 members each elected from single member districts.
|Name||Party||Took office||Left office|
|Joe Gerace||Democratic||January 1, 1975||May 10, 1983|
|David Dawson (acting)||Democratic||May 10, 1983||November 25, 1983|
|John A. Glenzer||Republican||November 25, 1983||December 31, 1989|
|Andrew W. Goodell||Republican||January 1, 1990||December 31, 1997|
|Mark W. Thomas||Democratic||January 1, 1998||December 31, 2005|
|Gregory J. Edwards||Republican||January 1, 2006||Incumbent|
|11||Victoria R. James||Democratic|
|18||Paul "PJ" Wendel||Republican|
|19||Jay Gould chairman||Republican|
All of the county is in the 150th New York State Assembly district, represented by Andy Goodell. The entire county is within the bounds of New York's 23rd congressional district (served by Tom Reed) and the New York State Senate 57th district (served by Catharine Young). Prior to 2013, the county was part of New York's 27th congressional district. Prior to 2003, the county was part of New York's 31st congressional district (now the 29th), but was controversially redistricted out of that district and into what was the 27th, and was replaced in the 29th district by Rochester suburbs that had never before been part of the district. Chautauqua County, at the same time, joined southern Erie County and portions of the City of Buffalo in the 27th, areas that had also never been in the same district with each other. In both cases, the suburban additions were significantly more Democratic populations than the rural 31st was, leading to Democrats winning both portions of the divided territory and accusations of cracking-based gerrymandering. The 2012 redistricting process moved all of Chautauqua County into Goodell's assembly district, while the county also rejoined the former 31st (renumbered the 23rd) congressional district along with Cattaraugus and Allegany Counties.
Chautauqua County had been a perfect bellwether county from 1980 to 2008, correctly voting for the winner of each presidential election in all eight elections in that time frame. Its 2012 vote (in which it voted for Republican Mitt Romney instead of incumbent Democrat Barack Obama) was its first miss since 1976.
Jamestown Community College has two campuses in the county at Jamestown and Dunkirk. The State University of New York at Fredonia is located in the northern part of the county. Jamestown Business College offers two year degrees, certificates, and a four year degree in Jamestown.
Cities, towns, villages, and hamlets 
Indian reservations 
See also 
- List of counties in New York
- National Register of Historic Places listings in Chautauqua County, New York
- New York. Laws of New York.;31st Session; Chapter 40; Sections1—2; Page 266.
- Doty, William J., et al.;Historic Annals of Southwestern New York.; 3 Volumes; New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Company; 1940; Volume 1; Page 360.
- Dean, Nicholas (2009-08-30). Legislators Cite North-South Discrepancies. The Post-Journal. Retrieved 2009-08-30.
- "GNIS Feature Search for Chautauqua County, New York".
- "New York County High Points".
- New York State Department of Economic Development
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "2010 US Census". Retrieved 13 September 2012.
- "3 MORE COUNTIES ADOPT CHARTERS", The New York Times (New York, New York), 1973-11-25: 59