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There is also a Town of Nassaumarker in Rensselaer County.

Nassau County is a suburban county in the New York Metropolitan Areamarker east of New York Citymarker in the U.S. state of New Yorkmarker. As of the 2000 census, the population was 1,334,544. The name of the county comes from an old name for Long Island, which was at one time named Nassau, after Dutchmarker William of Nassau, Prince of Orange (who later also ruled as King William III of England.) The county colors, orange and blue, are also the colors of the House of Orange. Nassau's county seat is located in the Village of Garden City; however, it is served by the Mineola Post Officemarker, ZIP Code 11501.

Nassau and Suffolk countiesmarker together are generally referred to as "Long Islandmarker" by area residents — as distinct from the New York Citymarker boroughs of Queensmarker (Queens County) and Brooklynmarker (Kings County), which physically make up the island's westernmost end.

In 2005, Forbes magazine named Nassau County, along with Suffolk County, New Yorkmarker, as the safest region in the United Statesmarker, with the lowest crime rate.

As of 2008, Nassau County is the second richest county per capita in the State of New York and the 10th richest in the nation, with a median household income of $85,994.


Nassau County was originally the eastern 70% of Queens Countymarker, when New York was divided into 12 counties in 1683. The area was originally contained in two towns: Hempsteadmarker and Oyster Baymarker. In 1784, following the American Revolutionary War, the town of Hempstead was split into two, when Patriot in the northern part formed the new town of North Hempsteadmarker, leaving Loyalist majorities in the town of Hempstead. Following the 1898 formation of the City of Greater New York, the part of Queens County that was not annexed to New York City, consisting of the two towns of North Hempstead and Oyster Bay and most of the town of Hempstead (excluded was the Rockaway Peninsulamarker, which did join Greater New York), was constituted as the new Nassau County, but not until 1899, one year later. Several other names had been considered, including Matinecock (a village within the county currently has that name), Norfolk (presumably because of the proximity to Suffolk County), Bryant, and Sagamore. However, Nassau had the historical advantage of having at one time been the name of Long Island itself, and was the name most mentioned when the new county was proposed as early as 1876.

In 1917, the village of Glen Covemarker was granted a city charter, making it independent from the town of Oyster Bay. In 1918, the village of Long Beachmarker was incorporated in the town of Hempstead. In 1922, it became a city, making it independent of the town. These are the only two cities in Nassau County.

The United Nations Security Council was temporarily located in Nassau County from 1946 to 1951. Council meetings were held at the Sperry Gyroscope headquarters in the village of Lake Successmarker near the border with Queens County. It was here on June 27, 1950 that the Security Council voted to back U.S. President Harry S Truman and send a coalition of forces to the Korean Peninsula, leading to the Korean War.

During the latter part of the 20th Century, Nassau County saw an influx of migrants from the five boroughs of New York City, especially Brooklyn and Queens, who left their urban dwellings for a more suburban setting. This led to a massive boom in population in the county, especially on the south shore. In 1947, William Levitt built his first planned community in Nassau County, in the Island Trees section (later renamed Levittownmarker). (This should not be confused with the county's first planned community, in general, which is Garden Citymarker). In later decades, communities such as Wantaghmarker, East Meadowmarker, Massapequamarker, Massapequa Parkmarker, and Franklin Squaremarker began to grow.

In 1994, Federal Judge Arthur Spatt declared the Nassau County Board of Supervisors unconstitutional and directed that a 19-member legislature be formed. Elections were held and Republicans won 13 seats and elected Bruce Blakeman as its first Presiding Officer (Speaker).

In the 1990s, the long-time Republican run Nassau County saw huge budget problems, forcing the county to near bankruptcy. The county government increased taxes to prevent a takeover by the state of New York. This has led to the county having notoriously high property taxes, leaving some migrants from New York City who are seeking suburban life to move to Suffolk Countymarker, the Hudson Valley, New Jerseymarker, Connecticutmarker or Pennsylvaniamarker.

The economy has been booming and according to the United States Census Bureau, residents of Nassau County have among the highest per capita wealth in the country. Nassau County has also experienced heavy urbanization in many areas, such as Hempsteadmarker, Freeportmarker, Mineolamarker, and Westburymarker, leading some to say that some parts of the county resemble the outer boroughs of New York City rather than a suburb of it, though the Five Towns region tends to be more affluent than western Queens. The northern "Gold Coast" region tends to more closely resemble nearby Westchester Countymarker.

Law and government

The head of the executive is the County Executive, a post created in Nassau County in 1938. The current county executive is Thomas Suozzi, a Democrat who was elected in 2001; he is the first Democratic county executive since Eugene Nickerson left office in 1970. The District Attorney is Democrat Kathleen Rice, who in November, 2005 defeated 30-year incumbent Republican Denis Dillon in an upset victory. The county comptroller is Howard Weitzman, a Democrat, the county clerk is Republican Maureen O'Connell, and the county assessor is Harvey Levinson, another Democrat.

Nassau County Executives
Name Party Term
J. Russell Sprague Republican 1938–1953
A. Holly Patterson Republican 1953–1962
Eugene Nickerson Democrat 1962–1970
Ralph G. Caso Republican 1970–1978
Francis T. Purcell Republican 1978–1987
Thomas Gulotta Republican 1987–2001
Thomas Suozzi Democrat 2001–Present
The 2009 Race is too close to call with Ed Mangano in the lead with 122 votes to Thomas Suozzi.

The county legislature has 19 members. There are ten Democrats, nine Republicans.

Nassau County Legislature
District Legislator Party
1 Kevan Abrahams Democrat
2 Robert Troiano Democrat
3 John Ciotti Republican
4 Denise Ford Republican
5 Joseph Scannell Democrat
6 Francis X. Becker, Jr. Republican
7 Howard Kopel Republican
8 Vincent Muscarella Republican
9 Richard Nicolello Republican
10 Judi Bosworth Democrat
11 Wayne H. Wink, Jr. Democrat
12 Peter J. Schmitt, minority leader Republican
13 Norma L. Gonsalves Republican
14 Joseph Belesi Republican
15 Dennis Dunne, Sr. Republican
16 Judith Jacobs Democrat
17 Rose Marie Walker Republican
18 Diane Yatauro, presiding officer Democrat
19 David Denenberg Democrat

Law enforcement

County police services are provided by the Nassau County Police Department. The cities of Glen Covemarker and Long Beachmarker, as well as a number of villages are not members of the county police district and maintain their own police forces. The following village police departments exist in Nassau County: Centre Island, Floral Park, Freeport, Garden City, Great Neck Estates, Hempstead, Kensington, Kings Point, Lake Success, Lynbrook, Malverne, Old Brookville, Old Westbury, Oyster Bay Cove, Rockville Centre and Sands Point. The Port Washington Police Department is not a village department but is authorized by a special district, the only such district in New York State . These smaller forces, however, make use of such specialized county police services as the police academy and the aviation unit. Also, all homicides in the county are investigated by the county police, regardless of whether or not they occur within the police district.

In 2006, Village leaders in the county seat of Mineolamarker expressed dissatisfaction with the level of police coverage provided by the county force and actively explored seceding from the police district and having the village form its own police force. A referendum on December 5, 2006, however, decisively defeated the proposal.

Since the Long Island State Parkway Police was disbanded in 1980, all of Nassau County's state parkways have been patrolled by Troop L of the New York State Police. State parks in Nassau are patrolled by the New York State Park Police. In 1996, the Long Island Rail Road Police Department was consolidated into the Metropolitan Transportation Authority Police. The MTA Police patrol Long Island Rail Road tracks, stations and properties. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Police provides enforcement of state environmental laws and regulations. The State University of New York Police provides enforcement for SUNY Old Westbury.

The Nassau County Police Department posts the mug shots of DWI offenders as press releases on their website. This practice has come under the scrutiny of residents, media, and those pictured in these press releases. This practice has been criticized as being able to cause potential employees, students, or public figures their positions.

County correctional services and enforcement of court orders are provided by the Nassau County Sheriff's Department. New York State Court Officers provide security for courthouses.


Presidential elections results
Year Republican Democrat
2008 45.9% 293,758 53.4% 337,067
2004 46.6% 288,355 52.2% 323,070
2000 38.5% 226,954 57.9% 341,610
1996 36.1% 196,820 55.7% 303,587
1992 40.5% 246,881 46.4% 282,593
1988 57.0% 337,430 42.2% 250,130
1984 61.8% 392,017 38.0% 240,697
1980 56.0% 333,567 34.8% 207,602
1976 53.7% 329,176 47.6% 302,869
1972 63.3% 438,723 36.5% 252,831
1968 51.3% 329,792 43.3% 278,599
1964 39.4% 248,886 60.5% 382,590
1960 55.1% 324,255 44.8% 263,303
Like neighboring Suffolk Countymarker, Nassau County residents primarily supported the Republican Party in national elections until the 1990s. That decade, it began to shift toward the Democratic Party. Democrat Bill Clinton carried the county in the presidential elections of 1992 and 1996. Later Nassau voters gave a large margin of victory to Al Gore in 2000 (19.4%), but John Kerry's winning margin in 2004 was considerably slimmer (5.6%). In that election, Kerry won the towns of Hempstead and North Hempstead, but lost the town of Oyster Bay.

Democratic strength is chiefly concentrated in the central and northern part of the county. This includes the central area near the Village of Hempstead and Uniondalemarker, where there are large middle-class populations as well as the affluent northern half of the county. This includes Great Neckmarker, Glen Covemarker and Roslynmarker. There are also pockets of staunch Democrats in the equally affluent Five Towns area in the southwest part of the county and in Long Beachmarker.

Republican voters are chiefly concentrated in the more suburban areas of the county. The middle class southeastern portion of the county is heavily Republican, and communities such as Massapequamarker, Seafordmarker, Wantaghmarker, Levittownmarker,Bethpagemarker Farmingdalemarker are the political base of Congressman Peter T. King. In the western portion of the county, wealthy Garden Citymarker is solidly Republican, as is the more middle-class community of Franklin Squaremarker.

Areas of the county containing large numbers of swing voters are in East Meadowmarker, Mineolamarker, Oceansidemarker and Rockville Centremarker.

Long Island's only Republican member of Congress, Representative Peter T. King, is from Nassau County. His 3rd District includes heavily populated suburban neighborhoods like Long Beachmarker, Massapequamarker, Levittownmarker, Hicksvillemarker, Seafordmarker, Wantaghmarker, and Farmingdalemarker. But Nassau County is also home to the popular gun-control advocate, Democrat Carolyn McCarthy, whose 4th District includes Garden Citymarker, Hempsteadmarker, Uniondalemarker, East Meadowmarker, Valley Streammarker and Rockville Centremarker. McCarthy defeated Republican congressman Dan Frisa in 1996 and has held on to her seat since.

Nassau County's other two congressmen are both Democrats. Representative Gary Ackerman, represents the 5th District, which includes the northwestern part of the county, including Great Neckmarker, Sands Pointmarker, and Port Washingtonmarker, and stretches into northeastern Queensmarker. Steve Israel's 2nd District is mainly in Suffolk Countymarker, but also includes parts of Plainviewmarker, Old Bethpagemarker, Jerichomarker, Syossetmarker, and Woodburymarker in Nassau County.

All of Nassau County's state senators were Republicans until February 2007 when Nassau County Legislator Craig Johnson was elected to the State Senate in a special election in the 7th district. The Democrats added another seat during the 2008 election, so the Republicans now have a 7-2 advantage in the State Senate on Long Island. The districts are drawn so as not to overlap Queens, which supports the Democratic Party more strongly.


Nassau County occupies a portion of Long Island immediately east of the New York City borough of Queens. It is divided into two cities and three towns, the latter of which contain numerous villages and hamlets.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 453 square miles (1,173 km²), of which, 287 square miles (743 km²) of it is land and 166 square miles (431 km²) of it (36.72%) is water.

Adjacent counties

National protected areas


As of the census of 2000, there were 1,334,544 people, 447,387 households, and 347,172 families residing in the county. The population density was 4,655 people per square mile (1,797/km²). There were 458,151 housing units at an average density of 1,598 per square mile (617/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 79.30% White (73.95% White Non-Hispanic), 10.01% African American, 0.16% Native American, 4.73% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 3.57% from other races, and 2.12% from two or moreraces. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 10.09% of the population.

Italian Americans make up a large portion of Nassau, and there are numerous Italian communities throughout the county. The large Sikh population in Nassau County has built numerous Sikh Gurdwaras or temples; the two main ones are in Plainviewmarker and Glen Covemarker. The top 5 ancestories are 23% Italian, 14% Irish, 7% German, 5% American and 4% Polish. According to the Census Bureau, the population of the county has slightly decreased to 1,333,137 people in 2005, although it had increased to 1,339,641 in 2004.About 15.5% of population of Nassau County are Jewish by religion.

There were 447,387 households, out of which 35.30% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 63.10% were married couples living together, 10.90% had a female householder with no husband present, and 22.40% were non-families. 18.80% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.40% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.93 and the average family size was 3.34.

In the county the population was spread out with 24.70% under the age of 18, 7.30% from 18 to 24, 28.90% from 25 to 44, 24.00% from 45 to 64, and 15.00% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females, there were 92.80 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.00 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $72,030, and the median income for a family was $81,246 (these figures had risen to $87,658 and $101,661 respectively as of a 2007 estimate). Males had a median income of $52,340 versus $37,446 for females. The per capita income for the county was $32,151. About 3.50% of families and 5.20% of the population were below the poverty line, including 5.80% of those under age 18 and 5.60% of those age 65 or over.

Colleges and universities

Nassau County is home to numerous colleges and universities, including Adelphi Universitymarker, Molloy College, Briarcliffe College, New York Institute of Technologymarker, SUNY Old Westbury, Nassau Community Collegemarker, Hofstra Universitymarker, C.W. Post Campus of Long Island University, United States Merchant Marine Academymarker,Webb Institute, and St. Joseph's College.


Nassau County is home to the New York Islanders of the National Hockey League, who play at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseummarker in Uniondalemarker.

County symbols

See also


External links

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