Tompkins County, New York
Learn more about Tompkins County, New York
|Tompkins County, New York|
|Image:Tompkins County ny seal.gif|
| Image:Map of New York highlighting Tompkins County.png|
Location in the state of New York
1,273 km² (476 mi²)
sq mi ( km²)
40 km² (16 mi²), 3.17%
Tompkins County is a county located in the U.S. state of New York, and comprises the whole of the Ithaca metropolitan area. As of 2000, the population was 96,501. The county seat is Ithaca, and is home to Cornell University and Ithaca College. The name is in honor of Daniel D. Tompkins, who served as Governor of New York and Vice President of the United States of America.
When counties were established in New York State in 1683, the present Tompkins 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. 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 in honor of 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.
In 1804, Seneca County was formed by the splitting of Cayuga County.
In 1817, Tompkins County was created by combining portions of Seneca and the remainder of Cayuga County. Named after then Vice-President (to President James Monroe and former New York Governor Daniel Tompkins. Tompkins almost certainly never visited the county named for him.
Tompkins County is in the west central part of New York State, south of Syracuse and northwest of Binghamton. It is usually geographically grouped with the Central New York region, but locals often consider themselves to be part of the Southern Tier.
 Adjacent Counties
- Cayuga County, New York - north
- Cortland County, New York - northeast
- Tioga County, New York - southeast
- Chemung County, New York - southwest
- Schuyler County, New York - west
- Seneca County, New York - northwest
As of the census² of 2000, there were 96,501 people, 36,420 households, and 19,120 families residing in the county. The population density was 78/km² (203/mi²). There were 38,625 housing units at an average density of 31/km² (81/mi²). The racial makeup of the county was 85.50% White, 3.64% African American, 0.28% Native American, 7.19% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 1.09% from other races, and 2.26% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.08% of the population.
There were 36,420 households out of which 25.80% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 41.20% were married couples living together, 8.20% had a female householder with no husband present, and 47.50% were non-families. 32.50% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.10% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.32 and the average family size was 2.93.
In the county the population was spread out with 19.00% under the age of 18, 26.00% from 18 to 24, 26.20% from 25 to 44, 19.30% from 45 to 64, and 9.60% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 29 years. For every 100 females there were 97.60 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.20 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $37,272, and the median income for a family was $53,041. Males had a median income of $35,420 versus $27,686 for females. The per capita income for the county was $19,659. About 6.80% of families and 17.60% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.00% of those under age 18 and 5.40% of those age 65 or over.
 Cities, Towns, Villages, and Hamlets
- Town of Caroline, containing
- Caroline Center
- Caroline Depot
- Slaterville Springs
- Town of Danby, containing
- West Danby
- Town of Dryden (town), containing
- Town of Enfield
- Town of Groton, containing
- Village of Groton
- City of Ithaca
- Town of Ithaca, containing
- Town of Lansing
- Village of Lansing
- Town of Newfield, containing
- Town of Ulysses, containing
 Colleges and Universities in county
 External links
- Tompkins County, NY official site
- Tompkins County, NY Trip Planner (bus)
- Official brief history of Tompkins County by Carol Kammen, Tompkins County Historian
- Historical summary of Tompkins County
- Jane M. Dieckmann, A Short History of Tompkins County (Ithaca, 1986)
- W. Glenn Norris, The Origin of Place Names in Tompkins County (Ithaca, 1951)
- The Towns of Tompkins County, Jane M. Dieckmann ed., (Ithaca, 1998)