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Schenectady, New York

Schenectady is a city located in Schenectady County, New York, of which it is the county seat. It is a city in central New York State, near the confluence of the Mohawk and Hudson Rivers. It is in the same metropolitan area as the state capital, Albany, New York; central Schenectady is about 15 miles north-west of central Albany. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 61,821.

Table of contents
1 Geography
2 History
3 Demographics


Schenectady is located at 42°48'15" North, 73°55'45" West (42.804076, -73.929289)1. The altitude above sea-level is 211 to 275 feet.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 28.5 km² (11.0 mi²). 28.1 km² (10.9 mi²) of it is land and 0.4 km² (0.1 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 1.27% water.


Schenectady was first settled in 1661 when the area was a colony of the Netherlands. Settlement was led by Arent Van Curler, who was granted letters of patent to Schenectady in 1684.

On February 8, 1690 the town was attacked and overrun by forces of France and their Native American allies, who burned the town and killed all but 60 of the inhabitants.

In 1765 Schenectady was incorporated as a borough. It was chartered as a city in 1798.

Union College was founded here in 1795.

In 1887 Thomas Edison moved his Edison Machine Works to Schenectady. In 1892 Schenectady became the headquarters of the General Electric Company.

The first regularly scheduled broadcast television programing originated in Schenectady in 1928 (see: 1928 in television).

Historic population of Schenectady: 13,655 in 1880; 31,682 in 1900; 92,061 in 1950.


As of the census of 2000, there are 61,821 people, 26,265 households, and 14,051 families residing in the city. The population density is 2,199.9/km² (5,699.0/mi²). There are 30,272 housing units at an average density of 1,077.2/km² (2,790.6/mi²). The racial makeup of the city is 76.77% White, 14.77% African American, 0.36% Native American, 2.00% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 2.52% from other races, and 3.53% from two or more races. 5.88% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There are 26,265 households out of which 27.2% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 32.0% are married couples living together, 16.7% have a female householder with no husband present, and 46.5% are non-families. 38.6% of all households are made up of individuals and 13.8% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.23 and the average family size is 2.98.

In the city the population is spread out with 24.3% under the age of 18, 11.6% from 18 to 24, 29.7% from 25 to 44, 19.1% from 45 to 64, and 15.2% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 35 years. For every 100 females there are 91.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 87.4 males.

The median income for a household in the city is $29,378, and the median income for a family is $36,458. Males have a median income of $30,869 versus $25,292 for females. The per capita income for the city is $17,076. 20.8% of the population and 16.8% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total people living in poverty, 30.5% are under the age of 18 and 9.6% are 65 or older.

2002 Audit

In 2002 the New York State Comptroller's Office completed an audit of the City's finances. It was discovered that Mayor Al Jurczynski's administration combined all funds into a single bucket and used them to pay the city's day-to-day operating expenses.

The property owners of the City of Schenectady have been hit with a 24.8 percent increase in their taxes, to be at $18.33 per $1,000.00 of assessed property value for the year 2003. Combined with Schenectady County taxes, expected to be increased 12%, and school taxes along with an increased rate of water and sewer services, the average property owner with the average $75,000 valuation on their property, will pay $4,061 to the city and county of Schenectady in the year 2002.

At the end of 2002 it was realized that the actual tax increase would be 25.1%. As of March 2003, the City Council is not looking at ways to reduce the tax rate and the amount of the school tax increase has not been determined.