Location within the U.S. state of New York
New York's location within the U.S.
|• County Executive||Mark Poloncarz (D)|
|• Total||1,227 sq mi (3,180 km2)|
|• Land||1,043 sq mi (2,700 km2)|
|• Water||184 sq mi (480 km2) 15%|
| • Estimate |
|• Density||881/sq mi (340/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−5 (Eastern)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−4 (EDT)|
|Congressional districts||26th, 27th|
Erie County is a highly populated county located along the shore of Lake Erie in western New York State. As of the 2010 census, the population was 919,040.The county seat is Buffalo, which makes up about 28% of the county's population. Both the county and Lake Erie were named for the regional Iroquoian language-speaking Erie tribe of Native Americans, who lived in the area before 1654. They were later pushed out by the more powerful Iroquoian nations tribes.
Erie County, along with its northern neighbor Niagara County, makes up the Buffalo-Niagara Falls metropolitan area, the second largest in New York State behind New York City. The county's southern part is known as the Southtowns.
When counties were established by the English colonial government in the Province of New York in 1683, present-day Erie County was part of Indian territory occupied by Iroquoian-speaking peoples. It was administered as part of New York colony. Significant European-American settlement did not begin until after the United States had gained independence with the end of the American Revolutionary War in 1783. They forced the Iroquois to cede most of their lands, as many had been allies of the British.
About 1800, the Holland Land Company, formed by Americans and Dutch associates, extinguished Indian claims by purchasing the land from New York, acquired the title to the territory of what are today the eight westernmost counties of New York, surveyed their holdings, established towns and began selling lots to individuals. The state was eager to attract settlers and have farms and businesses developed. At this time, all of western New York was included in Ontario County.
As the population increased, the state legislature created Genesee County in 1802 out of part of Ontario County. In 1808, Niagara County was created out of Genesee County. In 1821, Erie County was created out of Niagara County, encompassing all the land between Tonawanda Creek and Cattaraugus Creek.The first towns formed in present-day Erie County were the Town of Clarence and the Town of Willink. Clarence and Willink comprised the northern and southern portions of Erie county, respectively. Clarence is still a distinct town, but Willink was quickly subdivided into other towns. When Erie County was established in 1821, it consisted of the towns of Amherst, Aurora, Boston, Clarence, Collins, Concord, Eden, Evans, Hamburg, Holland, Sardinia and Wales.
The county has a number of houses and other properties listed on the National Register of Historic Places listings in Erie County, New York.
In 1861, the hamlet of Town Line in the Town of Lancaster voted 85–40 to secede from the Union.Town Line never sought admission into the Confederate States of America and there is no evidence that men from the community ever fought for the Confederacy. Some reporting from that time indicates the vote was a joke. On January 24, 1946, as part of a nationally reported event, Town Line voted to officially return to the Union after 85 years of Union secession.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,227 square miles (3,180 km2), of which 1,043 square miles (2,700 km2) (85%) is land and 184 square miles (480 km2) (15%) is water.
Erie County is in the western portion of upstate New York, bordering on the lake of the same name. Part of the industrial area that has included Buffalo, it is the most populous county in upstate New York outside of the New York City metropolitan area. The county also lies on the international border between the United States and Canada, bordering the Province of Ontario.
The northern border of the county is Tonawanda Creek. Part of the southern border is Cattaraugus Creek. Other major streams include Buffalo Creek (Buffalo River), Cayuga Creek, Cazenovia Creek, Scajaquada Creek, Eighteen Mile Creek and Ellicott Creek. The county's northern half, including Buffalo and its suburbs, is known as the Northtowns and is relatively flat and rises gently up from the lake. The southern half, known as the Southtowns,is much hillier. It has the northwesternmost foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. The highest elevation in the county is a hill in the Town of Sardinia that tops out at around 1,940 feet (591 m) above sea level. The lowest ground is about 560 feet (171 m), on Grand Island at the Niagara River. The Onondaga Escarpment runs through the northern part of Erie County.
|U.S. Decennial Census |
As of the 2010 census, mile (154/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 82.18% White, 13% Black or African American, 0.61% Native American, 1.46% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 1.42% from other races and 1.31% from two or more races. 3.27% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 19.6% were of German, 17.2% Polish, 14.9% Italian, 11.7% Irish and 5.0% English ancestry according to Census 2000. 91.1% spoke English, 3% Spanish and 1.6% Polish as their first language.there were 919,040 people living in the county. The population density was 910 people per square mile (351/km2). There were 415,868 housing units at an average density of 398 per square
There were 380,873 households, out of which 29.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.5% were married couples living together, 13.7% had a female householder with no husband present and 36.1% were non-families. 30.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.41 and the average family size was 3.04. In the county, the population was spread out, with 24.3% under 18, 8.7% from 18 to 24, 28.4% from 25 to 44, 22.7% from 45 to 64 and 15.9% older than 65. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females, there were 91.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.8 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $38,567 and the median income for a family was $49,490. Males had a median income of $38,703 versus $26,510 for females. The per capita income for the county was $20,357. About 9.2% of families and 12.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 17.3% of those under 18 and 7.8% of those older than 65.
Plans to merge Erie County with the City of Buffalo have been suggested, which proponents say would eliminate much of the extensive bureaucracy and political and municipal subdivisions among the various towns, cities and villages in the county. The result would be a consolidated city-county controlled by a single government, effectively making Buffalo's borders and population contiguous with that of Erie County's. These plans have proven controversial; there is controversy on the impact of the city's debt on a regional government. Concerns have also been raised that a regional government would dilute minority representation in government.
Prior to 1936, Erie County predominantly backed Republican Party candidates, with only two Democratic Party candidates winning the county in a presidential election-- Grover Cleveland in 1892 and Woodrow Wilson in 1912. However, starting with the 1936 election, it has turned predominantly Democratic since then, with only two Republicans carrying the county in a presidential election-- Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1952 and 1956 and Richard Nixon in 1972, with Nixon being the most recent. However, like in most counties in the Rust Belt, Donald Trump fared better than other recent Republican presidential candidates, holding Hillary Clinton to a single-digit margin of victory in the county (50.9%-44.5%), the first Republican not to lose the county by double digits since Ronald Reagan held Walter Mondale to a 51.5%-48.3% margin of victory in 1984, yet still won the state. Before the Erie County Board of Elections tabulated the approximately 83,000 mail-in ballots, Donald Trump outperformed his 2016 margin by 1.68%.Once the mail-in ballots were counted, Joe Biden managed to return to historical norms and beat the incumbent president by a double-digit 56.3%-41.6% margin in the 2020 election. Despite steady population decreases in Erie County, NY over the past few decades, Joe Biden outperformed Barack Obama's raw-vote totals in 2008, along with every past Democratic Presidential candidate, excluding John F. Kennedy in 1960, and Lyndon B. Johnson, in his landslide victory in 1964.
|Edward C. Rath||Republican||1962-1969|
|B. John Tutuska||Republican||1969-1971|
|County Executive||Mark Poloncarz||Democratic||Buffalo|
|County Comptroller||Stefan I. Mychajliw||Republican||Hamburg|
|County Clerk||Mickey Kearns|| Democratic |
|District Attorney||John J. Flynn||Democratic||Buffalo|
|County Sheriff||Tim Howard||Republican||Wales|
|2||Chair||April N.M. Baskin||Democratic||Buffalo|
|3||Lisa M. Chimera||Democratic||Kenmore|
|6||Christopher D. Greene||Republican||Clarence|
|7||Majority Leader||Timothy J. Meyers||Democratic||Cheektowaga|
|8||Frank Todaro||Republican||Cheektowaga and Lancaster|
|10||Minority Leader||Joseph C. Lorigo||Conservative||West Seneca|
|11||John J. Mills||Republican||Orchard Park|
Erie County is home to three professional teams—the NFL's Buffalo Bills, the NHL's Buffalo Sabres and the NLL's Buffalo Bandits, along with Division I's Buffalo Bulls and MILB's Buffalo Bisons. The city of Buffalo also features the Buffalo Zoo, Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society, Burchfield-Penney Art Center and Albright-Knox Art Gallery (all located within a mile of each other in the Delaware Park System), Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens and Buffalo Museum of Science, in addition to tourist districts such as Canalside and Larkinville. The Erie County Fair, held every August in the Town of Hamburg from 1820 to 2019 (the 2020 event, like much everything else across the country, was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic), is one of the largest county fairs in the United States.
The Erie County Department of Parks, Recreation and Forestry was established in 1925 with four parks spanning 2,280 acres (9.2 km2). As of 2003, the county managed 38 properties, totaling approximately 11,000 acres (45 km2) of land. Management objectives include providing and maintaining recreational space and the conservation of the county's natural and historic resources. A 2003 Master Plan identified several broad categories of parks operated by the county, including heritage parks, waterfront parks, conservation parks, special purpose parks and forest management areas.
Erie County's heritage parks include the five original county parks that were established during the 1920s and 1930s. These parks are examples of multiple-use sites with significant scenic, natural and historic features. Each park has unique man-made structures of historical character, many constructed as part of the Works Progress Administration movement in the 1930s.
Waterfront parks include the significant scenic sites and recreational trail systems along the county's Lake Erie shoreline.
These largely-undeveloped parks are managed primarily for conservation of the natural environment and passive nature-based outdoor recreation activities. These lands are intended to generally remain in a natural state.
Special purpose parks have unique characteristics that provide specific recreational functions within the county's park system.
Forest management areas are managed by the Erie County Bureau of Forestry, which was established in 1927. These areas include several thousand acres of mostly-coniferous plantation style forest, much of which was planted on abandoned farmland by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s. These areas are located mostly in the rural southern portion of the county.These lands have limited recreation potential, mostly in the form of trails. Management of these lands is focused on natural resource conservation, in addition to potential commercial resource extraction of timber products or maple syrup.
Niagara County is located in the U.S. state of New York. As of the 2010 census, the population was 216,469. The county seat is Lockport. The county name is from the Iroquois word Onguiaahra; meaning the strait or thunder of waters.
Amherst is a town in Erie County, New York, United States. Amherst is the most populated town in New York state outside of the New York City Metropolitan area, and an inner ring suburb of Buffalo. As of the 2010 census, the town had a total population of 122,366. This represents an increase of 5.0% from the 2000 census.
Clarence is a town located in the northeastern part of Erie County, New York, United States, northeast of Buffalo. The population was 30,673 according to the 2010 census. This represents an increase of 17.42% from the 2000 census figure. The Clarence census-designated place occupies the southeast part of the town and roughly corresponds to a postal district with ZIP code 14031 and 14221 in the western side which it shares with nearby Williamsville. The town is named in honor of Prince William, Duke of Clarence and St Andrews (1765–1837), the third son of King George III and later king himself, as William IV.
Elma is a town in Erie County, New York, United States. The population was 11,317 at the 2010 census. The town is named after a type of tree.
Cheektowaga is a town in Erie County, New York, United States. As of the 2010 census, it had a population of 88,226. The town is in the north-central part of the county, and is an inner ring suburb of Buffalo. It is the second-largest Buffalo suburb, after the town of Amherst.
Lancaster is a town in Erie County, New York, United States, centered 14 miles east of downtown Buffalo. Lancaster is an outer ring suburb of Buffalo. As of the 2010 census, the town population was 41,604.
Tonawanda is a town in Erie County, New York, United States. As of the 2010 census, the town had a population of 73,567. The town is at the north border of the county and is the northern inner ring suburb of Buffalo. It is sometimes referred to, along with its constituent village of Kenmore, as "Ken-Ton". The town was established in 1836, and up to 1903 it included what is now the city of Tonawanda.
West Seneca is a town in Erie County, New York, United States. The population was 44,711 at the 2010 census. West Seneca is a centrally located interior town of the county, and a suburb of Buffalo. West Seneca, Orchard Park and Hamburg form the inner "Southtowns", a cluster of middle-class suburban towns.
Interstate 290 (I-290) is a 10.24-mile-long (16.48 km) auxiliary Interstate Highway in the Buffalo–Niagara Falls metropolitan area It connects I-190 in Tonawanda with I-90 in Williamsville, via Amherst. It provides a route to Niagara Falls and Canada from the east that bypasses the city of Buffalo. I-290 also connects to I-990, and through this connection, provides access to the Amherst Campus of the University at Buffalo. Its official name is the Youngmann Memorial Highway, but locally, it is colloquially referred to as "the 290" and "the Youngmann". The highway provides the fastest road link between Toronto and the heavily-populated Northeastern United States via I-90.
Ellicott Creek is a stream in Western New York, United States. It is a tributary of Tonawanda Creek, which in turn flows into the Niagara River.
New York State Route 324 (NY 324) is an east–west state highway located in the western portion of New York in the United States. Officially, NY 324 begins at NY 384 in Niagara Falls and overlaps Interstate 190 south to Grand Island, where it separates from I-190 and continues southward as Grand Island Boulevard. As signed, however, NY 324 begins at the southern end of the official overlap and is contained entirely within Erie County. At the southern edge of Grand Island, NY 324 joins I-190 to cross over to the mainland, where it runs due east across three towns before reaching its eastern end at a junction with NY 5 in the town of Clarence.
New York State Route 78 (NY 78) is a 73.49-mile-long (118.27 km) state highway in western New York in the United States. While it is signed north–south, the southern portion runs in an east–west direction across Wyoming and Erie counties, from its beginning at a junction with NY 19 north of the village of Gainesville to the village of East Aurora. The part of the route north of East Aurora follows a generally north–south alignment to an intersection with NY 18 in the Niagara County town of Newfane, just south of the Lake Ontario shoreline. The route is most closely identified in the region with Transit Road, a major north–south trunk road through the center of Erie and Niagara counties; however, NY 78 does not follow Transit Road for its entire length, nor does Transit Road comprise more than half its length. The highway joins Transit Road north of East Aurora and stays with the road until nearly its end in the city of Lockport.
New York State Route 240 (NY 240) is a 51.64-mile (83.11 km) state highway in western New York in the United States. The southern terminus of the route is at an intersection with NY 242 in the Ellicottville community of Ashford Junction in northern Cattaraugus County. Its northern terminus is at a junction with NY 324 and Interstate 290 (I-290) in Amherst in northern Erie County. The route passes through the villages of Springville and Orchard Park, where it meets NY 39 and U.S. Route 20A (US 20A), respectively. Much of NY 240 between Concord and Aurora follows the west branch of Cazenovia Creek. The northern part of NY 240 in Erie County, named Harlem Road, is a major north–south route through the suburbs east of the city of Buffalo.
New York State Route 265 (NY 265) is a 19.75-mile (31.78 km) long state highway located in the western part of New York in the United States. NY 265 is a north–south route that roughly parallels the western parts of the Niagara River in Erie County and Niagara County. For much of its southern course, it is more frequently referred to by its longtime name, Military Road, which dates back to 1801 as a road to connect the city of New Amsterdam and Fort Niagara near Lake Ontario.
Snyder is a hamlet within the town of Amherst in Erie County, New York, United States that is part of the Buffalo – Niagara Falls metropolitan area. The hamlet was established in 1837. It was named for Michael Snyder, its first postmaster, who also operated a store at the corner of Harlem Road, which is also known as New York State Route 240, and Main Street, which is also known as New York State Route 5. The hamlet blossomed due to retail activity demand created along the Main Street transportation route between Buffalo and points to the east in the 19th and early 20th century.
The Buffalo & Erie County Public Library is located on Lafayette Square, Buffalo, New York. The current facility, designed by Kideney Architects and built in 1964, replaced the original Cyrus Eidlitz Buffalo Public Library Building dedicated in February 1887. The first Buffalo Public Library, in turn, replaced the Erie County, New York courthouse, which occupied the parcel from 1816-1876.
The Buffalo–Niagara Falls Metropolitan Statistical Area is a metropolitan area, designated by the United States Census Bureau, encompassing two counties — Erie and Niagara in Western New York. It has a population, as of the 2010 census, of 1,135,509 inhabitants. It is the second-largest metropolitan area in the state of New York, centering on the urbanized area of Buffalo.
The Southtowns is a region of Western New York, United States, that lies within the snowbelt or ski country. It includes the southern suburbs of Buffalo, New York. This is the common name for the southern part of Erie County, New York.
U.S. Route 62 is a part of the U.S. Highway System that travels from the United States–Mexico border at El Paso, Texas, to Niagara Falls, New York. In the U.S. state of New York, US 62 extends 102.77 miles (165.39 km) from the New York–Pennsylvania border south of Jamestown to an intersection with New York State Route 104 in downtown Niagara Falls, bypassing the city of Jamestown and serves the cities of Buffalo and Niagara Falls, along with several villages. It is the only north–south mainline U.S. highway in Western New York. US 62 was extended into New York c. 1932 and originally was concurrent with the state highways that had previously been designated along its routing—namely NY 18, NY 60, NY 83 and NY 241. These concurrencies were eliminated individually during the 1940s and 1960s. The last of the four concurrencies, with NY 18 from Dayton to Niagara Falls, was removed c. 1962. US 62 has one special route, US 62 Business, located in Niagara Falls. US 62 Business is a former routing of US 62 within the city and was once NY 62A.
Transportation in Buffalo, New York is dominated by automobile use, but other modes of transportation exist in the city.
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Erie County (New York) .|
|Wikisource has the text of a 1920 Encyclopedia Americana article about Erie County, New York .|