Rensselaer County, New York
|Rensselaer County, New York|
Rensselaer County Courthouse
Location in the state of New York
New York's location in the U.S.
|Named for||Kiliaen van Rensselaer|
|• Total||665 sq mi (1,722 km2)|
|• Land||654 sq mi (1,694 km2)|
|• Water||11 sq mi (28 km2), 1.72%|
|• Density||244/sq mi (94/km²)|
|Congressional districts||19th, 20th|
|Time zone||Eastern: UTC-5/-4|
Rensselaer County is a county in the U.S. state of New York. As of the 2010 census, the population was 159,429. Its county seat is Troy. The county is named in honor of the family of Kiliaen van Rensselaer, the original Dutch owner of the land in the area.
The area that is now Rensselaer County was inhabited by the Algonquian-speaking Mohican Indian tribe at the time of European encounter. Kiliaen van Rensselaer, a Dutch jeweler and merchant, purchased the area in 1630 and incorporated it in his patroonship Rensselaerswyck. (It was part of the Dutch colony New Netherland).
The land passed into English rule in 1664; the Dutch regained control in 1673, but the English took it back in 1674. Until 1776, the year of American independence, the county was under English or British control. The county was not organized as a legal entity until after the Revolution in 1791, when it was created from an area that was originally part of the very large Albany County.
In 1807, in a county re-organization, the rural sections of Troy were set off as Towns, and the city was incorporated. The two towns created were Brunswick and Grafton, both named after British dukes, (the of Brunswick and Grafton). A third town, Philipstown, was set off in 1806. In 1808 it was renamed Nassau after the duke of that area.
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.
- Washington County, New York—north
- Bennington County, Vermont—northeast
- Berkshire County, Massachusetts—southeast
- Columbia County, New York—south
- Greene County, New York—southwest
- Albany County, New York—west
- Saratoga County, New York—northwest
As of the census of 2010, there were 161,129 people, 62,694 households, and 39,989 families residing in the county. The population density was 233 people per square mile (90/km²). There were 69,120 housing units at an average density of 109 per square mile (39/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 88.73% White, 7.14% 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. 5.01% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 22.3% were of Irish, 14.7% Italian, 12.8% German, 7.5% English, 6.2%French, 5.3% American and 2.3% Puerto Rican ancestry according to Census 2010. 95.4% spoke English and 2.7% Spanish as their first language.
There were 61,094 households out of which 33.30% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.80% 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.
Government and politics
|This section requires expansion. (August 2008)|
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.
In 1970, the Rensselaer County Legislature was created, which elected Edward J. "Ned" Quinn as Chairman. The Chairman served as the equivalent to an executive until the office of County Executive was created in 1972. Since its creation, Democrats have never won the office, although they controlled the Legislature until 1994. One notable candidate for Executive was Edward 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. Legislative authority is vested in the County Legislature, which consists of 19 members representing 16 different communities, separated into six districts. The current composition of the Legislature is as follows (10 Republicans, 5 Democrats, 3 Conservatives that caucus with the Republicans and 1 Blank who caucuses with the Democrats):
District 1 – Troy:
- Kathleen Cassidy (B)
- Cindy Doran (D)
- Mark Fleming (D)
- Peter Grimm, Minority Leader (D)
- Edward Manny (D)
- Gary Pavlic (D)
- Michael Cristo, Jr. (C)
- Philip Danaher, Vice Chairman-Finance (C)
- Louis Desso (C)
- Leon Fiacco (R)
- Thomas Walsh (R)
- Richard Salisbury (R)
- Kenneth Herrington, Majority Leader (R)
- Judith Breselor (R)
- Martin Reid, Chairman (R)
- Alex Shannon (R)
- Stanley Brownell, Vice Chairman (R)
- Lester Goodermote (R)
District 6 – Rensselaer:
- Mike Stammel (R)
|William J. Murphy||Republican||January 1, 1974 – December 31, 1985|
|John L. Buono||Republican||January 1, 1986 – May, 1995|
|Henry F. Zwack||Republican||May, 1995 – May 13, 2001|
|Kathleen M. Jimino||Republican||May, 2001 –|
The county is serviced by 16 school districts. Some are completely contained in the county while some cross county lines into other counties. No school districts cross either the Vermont or Massachusetts state borders. Below is a table that shows the districts within the county, which BOCES they belong to, and which other counties they may serve.
|Averill Park Central School District||Questar III||None|
|Berlin Central School District||Questar III||None|
|Brunswick (Brittonkill) Central School District||Questar III||None|
|Cambridge Central School District||WSWHE BOCES||Washington County|
|East Greenbush Central School District||Questar III||Columbia County|
|Hoosic Valley Central School District||Questar III||Washington County|
|Hoosick Falls Central School District||N/A||Washington County|
|Ichabod Crane Central School District||Questar III||Columbia County|
|Lansingburgh Central School District||Questar III||None|
|Mechanicville City School District||WSWHE BOCES||Saratoga County|
|New Lebanon Central School District||Questar III||Columbia County|
|North Greenbush Common School District||Questar III||None|
|Rensselaer City School District||Questar III||None|
|Schodack Central School District||Questar III||Columbia County|
|Troy City School District||Questar III||None|
|Wynantskill Union Free School District||Questar III||None|
- List of counties in New York
- List of county routes in Rensselaer County, New York
- National Register of Historic Places listings in Rensselaer County, New York
- "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved October 13, 2013.
- "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
- "Freedoms, as Given by the Council of the Nineteen of the Chartered West India Company to All those who Want to Establish a Colony in New Netherland". World Digital Library. 1630. Retrieved 2013-07-28.
- The Kingdom of England existed until the Acts of Union 1707, when Scotland and England (including Wales) came together to form the Kingdom of Great Britain.
- "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
- "U.S. Decennial Census". Census.gov. Retrieved October 13, 2013.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- Albany Politics blog – Capital Region – Rensselaer – Saratoga – Schenectady – Albany County – NY – timesunion.com – Local politics » New legislator seated
- Rensselaer County School Districts. Capital District Regional Planning Commission. Retrieved 14 October 2008.
- Questar III Component School Districts. Questar III. Retrieved 14 October 2008.
- Washington-Saratoga-Warren-Hamilton-Essex BOCES Component Districts. Washington-Saratoga-Warren-Hamilton-Essex BOCES. Retrieved 14 October 2008.
- Anderson, George Baker (1897). Landmarks of Rensselaer County New York. Syracuse, New York: D. Mason and Company. OCLC 1728151.
- Hayner, Rutherford (1925). Troy and Rensselaer County New York: A History. New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Company, Inc. OCLC 22524006.
- Sylvester, Nathaniel Bartlett (1880). History of Rensselaer Co., New York with Illustrations and Biographical Sketches of its Prominent Men and Pioneers. Philadelphia: Everts & Peck. OCLC 3496287.
- Weise, Arthur James (1880). History of the Seventeen Towns of Rensselaer County from the Colonization of the Manor of Rensselaerwyck to the Present Time. Troy, New York: J. M. Francis & Tucker. OCLC 6637788.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Rensselaer County, New York.|
- Rensselaer County homepage
- Rensselaer County at DMOZ
- Hudson Valley Directory, listings pertaining to Rensselaer County, New York
||Saratoga County||Washington County||Bennington County, Vermont|
|Greene County||Columbia County||Berkshire County, Massachusetts|