Chautauqua County is a
county located in the U.S. state of New York.
of the 2000 census
population was 139,750. Its name may be a contraction of a Seneca Indian
word meaning "bag tied in the
middle". Its county seat is
County was created by partition of Genesee
County on 1808-03-11. This partition was
performed under the same terms that produced Cattaraugus and Niagara Counties. The partition was performed for political
purposes, but the counties were not properly organized, so they
were all controlled as part of Niagara County.
On February 9, 1811, Chautauqua was completely organized, and so
its separate government was launched. This established Chautauqua
as a county of 1,100 Square Miles (2,848.99 Square KM) of land.
Chautauqua was never altered.
County, in the southwestern corner of New York State, along the New
York-Pennsylvania border, is the westernmost of New York's
counties. Chautauqua Lake is located in the center of the county, and
Erie is its northern border.
Continental Divide runs through Chautauqua County.
that drains into the Conewango Creek
(including Chautauqua Lake) eventually empties into the Gulf of
Mexico; the rest of the county's watershed empties into Lake Erie
and out into the North Atlantic Ocean. This divide, known as the
, can be used to mark the border
between the Southern Tier
. It is also a
significant dividing point in the county's geopolitics
, with the "North County" being
centered around Dunkirk and the "South County" centered around
Jamestown each having their own interests.
According to the U.S.
county has a total area of 1,500 square miles
(3,885 km²). 1,062 square miles (2,751 km²) of it is
land and 438 square miles (1,134 km²) of it (29.20%) is
As of the census
of 2000, there were 139,750
people, 54,515 households, and 35,979 families residing in the
county. The population density
was 132 people per square mile (51/km²). There were 64,900 housing
units at an average density of 61 per square mile (24/km²).
The racial makeup of the county was 94.04% White
, 2.18% Black
or African American
, 0.43% Native American
, 0.36% Asian
, 0.03% Pacific Islander
, 1.73% from
, and 1.23%
from two or more races. 4.22% of the population were Hispanic
of any race. 17.3% were of
German, 15.1% Italian, 11.6% Swedish, 10.9% English, 9.3% Polish, 9.2% Irish
and 5.6% American ancestry according to Census
93.0% spoke English
and 3.8% Spanish
as their first language.
There were 54,515 households out of which 30.50% had children under
the age of 18 living with them, 50.90% were married couples
living together, 10.80% had a
female householder with no husband present, and 34.00% were
non-families. 28.10% of all households were made up of individuals
and 12.60% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or
older. The average household size was 2.45 and the average family
size was 2.99.
In the county the population was spread out with 24.50% under the
age of 18, 10.30% from 18 to 24, 26.30% from 25 to 44, 23.00% from
45 to 64, and 16.00% who were 65 years of age or older. The median
age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 95.20 males. For
every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.20 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $33,458, and
the median income for a family was $41,054. Males had a median
income of $32,114 versus $22,214 for females. The per capita income
for the county was
$16,840. About 9.70% of families and 13.80% of the population were
below the poverty line
19.30% of those under age 18 and 8.20% of those age 65 or
Government and politics
Chautauqua County was governed by a board of supervisors until
1975, when a new county charter went into effect with provisions
for a county executive
13-seat county legislature. The county council currently consists
of 25 members each elected from single member districts.
Chautauqua County Executives
||January 1, 1975
||May 10, 1983
|David Dawson (acting)
||May 10, 1983
||November 25, 1983
|John A. Glenzer
||November 25, 1983
||December 31, 1989
|Andrew W. Goodell
||January 1, 1990
||December 31, 1997
|Mark W. Thomas
||January 1, 1998
||December 31, 2005
|Gregory J. Edwards
||January 1, 2006
Most of the county is in the 150th New York State Assembly
represented by Democrat William
, with the exception of the eastern tier of towns, which
are in the 149th district represented by Joseph Giglio
. The entire county is within the
bounds of New
York's 27th congressional district
(served by Brian Higgins
) and the New York State Senate
(served by Catharine Young
to 2003, the county was part of New York's 31st
(now the 29th), but was controversially
redistricted out of that district and into what is now the 27th,
and was replaced in the 29th district by Rochester suburbs that had
never before been part of the district.
Chautauqua County has been a perfect bellwether
county since 1980, having correctly
voted for the winner of the presidential election in each election;
the county missed twice between 1960 and 1976.
has two campuses in the county at Jamestown and
Dunkirk. The State University of New
York at Fredonia
is located in the northern part of the county.
offers two year degrees and certificates in Jamestown.
Cities, Towns, Villages, and Hamlets
Places named for Chautauqua County, New York
- *Chautauqua County, Kansas
- New York. Laws of New York.;31st
Session; Chapter 40; Sections1—2; Page 266.
- Doty, William J., et al.;Historic Annals of
Southwestern New York.; 3 Volumes; New York: Lewis Historical
Publishing Company; 1940; Volume 1; Page
- Dean, Nicholas (2009-08-30). Legislators Cite North-South Discrepancies. The
Post-Journal. Retrieved 2009-08-30.