Delaware County is a county located in the U.S. State of New York. As of 2000, the population is 48,055. The county seat is Delhi. The name is in honor of Lord Delaware (or de la Warr), appointed governor of Virginia in 1609, who was much respected by the early colonists.
When counties were established in New York State in 1683, the present Delaware County was divided between Albany and Ulster Counties.
Albany County 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, Montgomery County was reduced in size by the splitting off of Ontario County. The actual area split off from Montgomery County was much larger than the present county, also including the present Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Niagara, Orleans, Steuben, Wyoming, Yates, and part of Schuyler and Wayne Counties.
Ulster County was an original county of New York State, considerably larger than the present Ulster County, and at the time that Delaware County was created it still contained most of its original area.
Delaware County was formed in 1797 by combining portions of Otsego and Ulster Counties.
Delaware County is located in the southern part of the state, separated from the state of Pennsylvania by the Delaware River. It is east of Binghamton and southwest of Albany. The county seat is Delhi, New York.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 3,802 km² (1,468 mi²). 3,746 km² (1,446 mi²) of it is land and 56 km² (22 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 1.48% water.
As of the census of 2000, there are 48,055 people, 19,270 households, and 12,737 families residing in the county. The population density is 13/km² (33/mi²). There are 28,952 housing units at an average density of 8/km² (20/mi²). The racial makeup of the county is 96.44% White, 1.18% African American, 0.31% Native American, 0.53% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.53% from other races, and 0.99% from two or more races. 2.05% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There are 19,270 households out of which 28.10% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.80% are married couples living together, 9.00% have a female householder with no husband present, and 33.90% are non-families. 28.30% of all households are made up of individuals and 13.60% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.39 and the average family size is 2.90.
In the county the population is spread out with 23.10% under the age of 18, 8.20% from 18 to 24, 24.00% from 25 to 44, 26.20% from 45 to 64, and 18.60% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 41 years. For every 100 females there are 97.00 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 93.80 males.
The median income for a household in the county is $32,461, and the median income for a family is $39,695. Males have a median income of $27,732 versus $22,262 for females. The per capita income for the county is $17,357. 12.90% of the population and 9.30% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total people living in poverty, 18.60% are under the age of 18 and 8.60% are 65 or older.