Otsego County, New York

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Otsego County, New York
Map of New York highlighting Otsego County
Location in the state of New York
Map of the United States highlighting New York
New York's location in the U.S.
Founded February 16, 1791
Seat Cooperstown
Largest city Oneonta
 • Total 1,015 sq mi (2,629 km2)
 • Land 1,003 sq mi (2,598 km2)
 • Water 12 sq mi (31 km2), 1.21%
 • (2010) 62,259
 • Density 62/sq mi (23.9/km²)
Congressional district 19th
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4
Website www.otsegocounty.com

Otsego County is a county located in the U.S. state of New York. At the 2010 census, the population was 62,259.[1] The county seat is Cooperstown.[2] The name Otsego is from a Mohawk word meaning "place of the rock."

Otsego County comprises the Oneonta, NY Micropolitan Statistical Area.


Map of Otsego County, at its formation
Map of Otsego County, New York, by Simeon De Witt c. 1792-1793
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.

The formation of Otsego County[edit]

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:

The founding of new towns[edit]

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

Areas of Otsego County used to form new counties[edit]

The area of Otesgo County was reduced by a number of subsequent splits.

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.


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.

According to the 2000 census, the county has a total area of 1,015 square miles (2,630 km2), of which 1,003 square miles (2,600 km2) is land and 12 square miles (31 km2) (1.21%) is water.[3]

Adjacent counties[edit]


The Village of Cooperstown (home of James Fenimore Cooper), located at the south end of Otsego Lake, attracts many tourists to the Baseball Hall of Fame and the New York State Historical Association museums. Its primary industry is healthcare as it is home to Bassett Medical Center, the headquarters of Bassett Healthcare Network and its more than 3,000 employees. The City of Oneonta is the home of Hartwick College, 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.


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%
Est. 2012 61,709 −0.9%
U.S. Decennial Census[4]
2012 Estimate[1]

As of the census[5] 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.

Government and politics[edit]

Otsego County is a true swing county and bellwether; it has chosen the winner of the presidency for the last three decades. In 2004, Otsego County voted 51-48 percent in favor of George W. Bush. In 2008 and 2012, Otsego County voted in favor of Barack Obama. Democrats are prevalent in the City of Oneonta and Village of Cooperstown, and the majority of voters in many of the surrounding towns are registered Republicans. Otsego County is the only county in New York that names its legislative body the Board of Representatives, which consists of members from 14 single-member districts. The Board Chair is Kathleen Clark (R). The county also has a County Attorney, County Auditor, County Clerk, and County Sheriff.

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


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved October 12, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  3. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  4. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". Census.gov. Retrieved October 12, 2013. 
  5. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 42°38′N 75°02′W / 42.63°N 75.04°W / 42.63; -75.04