County Information - Onondaga
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The name Onondaga derives from the name of the Native American people who lived here, who called
themselves Onoda'gega, sometimes spelled Onontakeka. The word means "People of the Hills." Sometimes
the term was Onondagaono ("The People of the Hills"). Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) people continue to reside
in a separate nation within Onondaga County.
Onondaga County is in the west central portion of New York State, west of Utica, east of Rochester and north
of Ithaca. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 2,087 km² (806 sq mi). 2,021
km² (780 sq mi) of it is land and 66 km² (25 sq mi) of it (3.15%) is water. Onondaga Lake is bordered by many
of the larger communities in the county.
The northern part of the county is fairly level lake plain, extending northward to Lake Ontario. Oneida Lake
three rivers, as well as the Erie and subsequent Barge Canals are in the lake plain. The main line of the New
York Central Railroad and the New York State Thruway extend east and west aross the county through the lake
plain. The southern part of the county is Appalachian Plateau, with high hills rising at the southern edge of
Syracuse. This is the eastern part of the Finger Lakes region. Skaneateles Lake and Otisco Lake are both in
Onondaga County. Route US 20 extends east and west across the county, traversing dramatic hill-and-valley
terrain. Between the lake plain and Appalachian highlands is a zone noted for drumlins, smaller, scattered
hills formed as mounds of debris left by the last glacier. Tully is geologically noted for the terminal moraine
deposited there by the glacier, filling the deep Tully Valley, which might have been another Finger Lake, had
the moraine been left closer to Syracuse, impounding water. Tully is at the divide between two major
watersheds, one flowing northward to the Atlantic Ocean by way of the St. Lawrence River and the other
southward to the ocean vie the Susquehanna River. Onieda Lake, the Finger Lakes, and smaller bodies of
water provide recreation. Several ski slopes are located in the Appalachian hills, where there are waterfalls
and historic villages as attractions, as well as parks and large forest preserves.
* Oswego County, New York - north
* Madison County, New York - east
* Cortland County, New York - south
* Cayuga County, New York - west
As of the census² of 2000, there were 458,336 people, 181,153 households, and 115,394 families residing in
the county. The population density was 227/km² (587/sq mi). There were 196,633 housing units at an average
density of 97/km² (252/sq mi). The racial makeup of the county was 84.78% White, 9.38% African American,
0.86% Native American, 2.09% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.89% from other races, and 1.97% from two or
more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.44% of the population.
There were 181,153 households out of which 31.90% had children under the age of 18 living with them,
46.90% were married couples living together, 12.90% had a female householder with no husband present,
and 36.30% were non-families. 29.40% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.80% had
someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.46 and the
average family size was 3.07.
In the county the population was spread out with 25.80% under the age of 18, 9.50% from 18 to 24, 28.80%
from 25 to 44, 22.10% from 45 to 64, and 13.80% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36
years. For every 100 females there were 91.70 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were
The median income for a household in the county was $40,847, and the median income for a family was
$51,876. Males had a median income of $39,048 versus $27,154 for females. The per capita income for the
county was $21,336. About 8.60% of families and 12.20% of the population were below the poverty line,
including 15.50% of those under age 18 and 7.10% of those age 65 or over.
Demographic trends (2006): County population has decreased from a high in 1970. Increasing number of
housing units apparently is due to smaller family units and more individuals living alone. While the City of
Syracuse population has declined, some suburban towns have grown.
Camillus | Cicero | Clay | DeWitt | Elbridge | Fabius | Geddes | LaFayette | Lysander | Manlius | Marcellus |
Onondaga | Otisco | Pompey | Salina | Skaneateles | Spafford | Tully | Van Buren
Baldwinsville | Camillus | East Syracuse | Elbridge | Fabius | Fayetteville | Jordan | Liverpool | Manlius |
Marcellus | Minoa | North Syracuse | Skaneateles | Solvay | Tully
Amber | Amboy | Apulia | Apulia Station | Borodino | Brewerton | Bridgeport | Cardiff | Cedarvale | Cicero |
Clay | Clintonville | Collingwood | Delphi | Delphi Falls | DeWitt | Fairmount | Galeville | Geddes | Hart Lot |
Hinsdale | Howlett Hill | Indian Village | Jamesville | LaFayette | Long Branch | Lysander | Marcellus Falls |
Marietta | Mattydale | Memphis | Mottville | Navarino | Nedrow | Onondaga Hill | Oran | Otisco | Plainville |
Pompey | Pompey Center | Rose Hill | Skaneateles Falls | South Onondaga | South Spafford | Southwood |
Spafford | Split Rock | State Fair Grounds | Taunton | Thorn Hill | Van Buren | Vesper | Warners | Watervale
Jack's Reef | Lakeland | Lyncourt | Messina Springs | Mycenae | Seneca Knolls | Shepard Settlement |
Spafford Valley | Village Green | Westvale
* Onondaga County, NY official site
* Onondaga County information at newyorkerslinks.com
* Onondaga County, NY U.S. Census Page
* Brief early history of Onondaga County and its towns
Onondaga County is a county located in the U.S. state of New
York. As of the 2000 census, the population was 458,336. The
estimated population for 2004 is 459,805, an increase of 0.3%.
The county seat is Syracuse.
Year Organized: 1789
Area: 644 Square Miles
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