Columbia County is a county located in the state of New York. As of 2000, the population is 63,094. The county seat is Hudson. The name comes from the Latin feminine form of the name of Christopher Columbus, which was at the time of the formation of the county a popular proposal for the name of the United States of America.
When counties were established in New York State in 1683, the present Columbia 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. The other two were called Tryon County (later renamed Montgomery County) and Charlotte County (later renamed Washington County). From 1772 to 1786 Albany County included, besides the present territory of Albany County, all of the present Columbia County, as well as what are now Rensselaer, Saratoga, and Schenectady Counties, parts of the present Greene and Washington Counties, and a piece of what is now southwestern Vermont. In 1786, Columbia County was split off from Albany County.
Columbia County is in the eastern part of New York State, southeast of Albany and immediately west of the Massachusetts border. The western border is the Hudson River. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,679 km (648 mi). 1,647 km (636 mi) of it is land and 32 km (13 mi) of it is water. The total area is 1.93% water. The terrain is gentle, rolling hills, rising sharply into the Taconic and Berkshire Mountains along the state line. The highest point is on the Massachusetts state line near the summit of Alander Mountain, at approximately 2,110 feet (643 m) above sea level, in the town of Copake. The lowest point is at or near sea level along the Hudson.
As of the census of 2000, there were 63,094 people, 24,796 households, and 16,588 families residing in the county. The population density was 99 people per square mile (38/km²). There were 30,207 housing units at an average density of 48 per square mile (18/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 92.09% White, 4.52% Black or African American, 0.21% Native American, 0.80% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.90% from other races, and 1.45% from two or more races. 2.53% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 17.2% were of German, 14.7% Italian, 14.5% Irish, 9.0% English, 6.3% Polish and 6.1% American ancestry according to Census 2000. 94.0% spoke English and 2.1% Spanish as their first language.
There were 24,796 households out of which 29.90% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.20% were married couples living together, 10.30% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.10% were non-families. 27.10% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.50% 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 2.95.
In the county, the population was spread out with 24.10% under the age of 18, 6.40% from 18 to 24, 26.90% from 25 to 44, 26.30% from 45 to 64, and 16.40% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 99.00 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.30 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $41,915, and the median income for a family was $49,357. Males had a median income of $34,702 versus $25,878 for females. The per capita income for the county was $22,265. About 6.40% of families and 9.00% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.80% of those under age 18 and 6.80% of those age 65 or over.
As of the 2010 census, the racial makeup of the county was 90.6% White, 4.5% African American, 0.2% Native American and 1.6% Asian. Hispanic or Latino people of any race were 3.9% of the population.
(Source: Wikipedia Encyclopedia...wikipedia.org)
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