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Tompkins County, New York
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Allan H. Treman State Marine Park, Ithaca, New York - Marina 2.jpgStewart Park July2014.jpg
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Images, from top down, left to right: Ithaca Falls, Johnson Museum of Art, Allan H. Treman State Marine Park, Stewart Park, Ithaca Commons, and Cornell University
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Seal of Tompkins County, New York
Seal
Map of New York highlighting Tompkins County
Location in the state of New York (state)
Map of the U.S. highlighting New York
New York's location in the U.S.
Founded April 17, 1817
Named for Daniel D. Tompkins
Seat Ithaca
Largest City Ithaca
Area
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

492 sq mi (1,274 km²)
475 sq mi (1,230 km²)
17 sq mi (44 km²), 3.4
Population
 - (2020)
 - Density

105,740
222.8/sq mi (86/km²)
Congressional district 23rd
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4
Website tompkinscountyny.gov

Tompkins County is a county located in the U.S. state of New York. As of the 2020 census, the population was 105,740.[1] The county seat is Ithaca.[2] The name is in honor of Daniel D. Tompkins, who served as Governor of New York and Vice President of the United States.

Tompkins County comprises the Ithaca, NY Metropolitan Statistical Area. It is home to Cornell University, Ithaca College and Tompkins Cortland Community College.

History[]

When counties were established in the British Province of New York 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.

McGraw Tower, Cornell University on East Hill above downtown Ithaca

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.

Herkimer County was one of three counties split off from Montgomery County (the others being Otsego and Tioga counties) in 1791. Onondaga County was formed in 1794 by the splitting of Herkimer County.

Cayuga County was formed in 1799 by the splitting of Onondaga County. This county was, however, much larger than the present Cayuga County. It also included the territory of the present Seneca and Tompkins counties.

In 1804, Seneca County was formed by the splitting of Cayuga County.

On April 7, 1817, Tompkins County was created by combining portions of Seneca and the remainder of Cayuga County. The county was 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.

In 1854, the county lost the town of Hector and the west line of lots in Newfield to the newly formed Schuyler County, New York.

Geography[]

Robert H. Treman State Park in Tompkins County

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 492 square miles (1,270 km2), of which 475 square miles (1,230 km2) is land and 17 square miles (44 km2) (3.4%) is water.[3]

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 Finger Lakes region, but some locals consider themselves to be part of Central New York or the Southern Tier.

Adjacent counties[]

Major highways[]

  • NY-13.svg New York State Route 13
  • NY-13A.svg New York State Route 13A
  • NY-34.svg New York State Route 34
  • NY-34B.svg New York State Route 34B
  • NY-38.svg New York State Route 38
  • NY-79.svg New York State Route 79
  • NY-89.svg New York State Route 89
  • NY-96.svg New York State Route 96
  • NY-96B.svg New York State Route 96B
  • NY-222.svg New York State Route 222
  • NY-227.svg New York State Route 227
  • NY-327.svg New York State Route 327
  • NY-366.svg New York State Route 366
  • NY-392.svg New York State Route 392

Upper Gorge, Buttermilk Falls State Park in Tompkins County

Demographics[]

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1820 20,681
1830 36,545 76.7%
1840 37,948 3.8%
1850 38,746 2.1%
1860 31,409 −18.9%
1870 33,178 5.6%
1880 34,445 3.8%
1890 32,923 −4.4%
1900 33,830 2.8%
1910 33,647 −0.5%
1920 35,285 4.9%
1930 41,490 17.6%
1940 42,340 2.0%
1950 59,122 39.6%
1960 66,164 11.9%
1970 77,064 16.5%
1980 87,085 13.0%
1990 94,097 8.1%
2000 96,501 2.6%
2010 101,564 5.2%
U.S. Decennial Census[4]
1790-1960[5] 1900-1990[6]
1990-2000[7] 2010-2020 [8]

As of the census[9] of 2000, there were 96,501 people, 36,420 households, and 19,120 families residing in the county. The population density was 203 people per square mile (78/km2). There were 38,625 housing units at an average density of 81 per square mile (31/km2). 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. 12.4% were of German, 11.7% English, 11.1% Irish, 9.2% Italian and 6.0% American ancestry according to Census 2000.[10] 2.85% of the population reported speaking Spanish at home, while 1.86% speak Chinese, 1.07% Korean, and 1.00% French.[11]

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.

Communities[]

Towns, cities, villages, and census divisions of Tompkins County

Tompkins County Court House in Ithaca New York

Larger Settlements[]

       County seat

Name Population
(2020)[12]
Type Area (2020)[12] Coordinates
sq mi km2
IthacaCounty seat 32,108 City 6.07 15.7 42°26′36″N 76°30′0″W / 42.44333, -76.5
South Hill 7,245 CDP 6 15.5 42°24′42″N 76°29′26″W / 42.41167, -76.49056
Cayuga Heights 4,114 Village 1.77 4.6 42°27′59″N 76°29′19″W / 42.46639, -76.48861
Lansing 3,648 Village 4.63 12.0 42°29′16″N 76°29′10″W / 42.48778, -76.48611
East Ithaca 3,175 CDP 1.8 4.7 42°25′36″N 76°27′33″W / 42.42667, -76.45917
Northeast Ithaca 2,701 CDP 1.5 3.9 42°28′12″N 76°27′51″W / 42.47, -76.46417
Northwest Ithaca 2,231 CDP 3.6 9.3 42°28′4″N 76°32′20″W / 42.46778, -76.53889
Groton 2,145 Village 1.74 4.5 42°35′13″N 76°21′54″W / 42.58694, -76.365
Dryden 1,887 Village 1.77 4.6 42°29′21″N 76°17′59″W / 42.48917, -76.29972
Trumansburg 1,714 Village 1.39 3.6 42°32′26″N 76°39′36″W / 42.54056, -76.66
Forest Home 1,168 CDP 0.3 0.8 42°27′11″N 76°28′17″W / 42.45306, -76.47139
South Lansing 1,078 CDP 2.8 7.3 42°32′16″N 76°30′21″W / 42.53778, -76.50583
Varna 767 CDP 0.71 1.8 42°27′18″N 76°26′17″W / 42.455, -76.43806
Newfield[lower-alpha 1] 725 CDP 1.2 3.1 42°21′43″N 76°35′32″W / 42.36194, -76.59222
Jacksonville 516 CDP 3.6 9.3 42°30′30″N 76°36′54″W / 42.50833, -76.615
Danby 506 CDP 3.46 9.0 42°21′9″N 76°28′50″W / 42.3525, -76.48056
Freeville 498 Village 1.09 2.8 42°30′45″N 76°20′45″W / 42.5125, -76.34583
McLean 378 CDP 0.23 0.6 42°33′07″N 76°17′28″W / 42.55194, -76.29111
Brooktondale 261 CDP 0.24 0.6 42°22′50″N 76°23′41″W / 42.38056, -76.39472
West Danby 211 CDP 1.36 3.5 42°19′8″N 76°31′31″W / 42.31889, -76.52528
Slaterville Springs 208 CDP 0.26 0.7 42°23′44″N 76°21′02″W / 42.39556, -76.35056

Towns[]

  • Caroline
  • Danby
  • Dryden
  • Enfield
  • Groton
  • Ithaca
  • Lansing
  • Newfield
  • Ulysses

Hamlets[]

  • Caroline Center
  • Enfield Center
  • Etna
  • Podunk

Government and politics[]

United States presidential election results for Tompkins County, New York[13]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 11,096 24.26% 33,619 73.51% 1,020 2.23%
2016 10,371 24.30% 28,890 67.69% 3,417 8.01%
2012 11,107 27.92% 27,244 68.48% 1,430 3.59%
2008 11,927 28.03% 29,826 70.09% 799 1.88%
2004 13,994 32.99% 27,229 64.19% 1,198 2.82%
2000 13,351 33.33% 21,807 54.44% 4,902 12.24%
1996 11,532 31.06% 20,772 55.95% 4,820 12.98%
1992 11,520 27.65% 23,197 55.68% 6,943 16.67%
1988 14,932 40.69% 21,455 58.46% 312 0.85%
1984 18,255 48.32% 19,357 51.24% 165 0.44%
1980 12,448 41.96% 11,970 40.35% 5,250 17.70%
1976 15,463 53.93% 12,808 44.67% 400 1.40%
1972 17,605 58.66% 12,344 41.13% 62 0.21%
1968 13,446 53.26% 10,343 40.97% 1,459 5.78%
1964 9,070 35.99% 16,103 63.90% 29 0.12%
1960 17,061 66.30% 8,659 33.65% 13 0.05%
1956 19,749 78.29% 5,475 21.71% 0 0.00%
1952 18,673 74.66% 6,285 25.13% 54 0.22%
1948 13,719 67.11% 5,721 27.98% 1,004 4.91%
1944 12,805 63.86% 7,174 35.78% 74 0.37%
1940 14,325 66.04% 7,118 32.81% 250 1.15%
1936 13,332 64.26% 7,007 33.78% 407 1.96%
1932 12,185 64.42% 6,180 32.67% 551 2.91%
1928 14,471 72.84% 5,114 25.74% 281 1.41%
1924 11,766 72.98% 3,701 22.95% 656 4.07%
1920 9,508 70.05% 3,487 25.69% 578 4.26%
1916 4,736 54.83% 3,455 40.00% 447 5.17%
1912 2,237 27.61% 3,272 40.38% 2,594 32.01%
1908 5,090 55.13% 3,734 40.45% 408 4.42%
1904 5,414 56.31% 3,780 39.31% 421 4.38%
1900 5,409 55.79% 3,852 39.73% 435 4.49%
1896 5,342 58.07% 3,506 38.11% 352 3.83%
1892 4,717 53.52% 3,404 38.62% 692 7.85%
1888 5,073 54.18% 3,909 41.75% 381 4.07%
1884 4,420 48.83% 3,992 44.10% 640 7.07%



Tompkins County was once a reliably Republican county. From 1916 to 1980, the only Democrat to carry it in a presidential election was Lyndon Johnson in 1964.[14] However, Democrats have won Tompkins County in every presidential election since 1984, helped by the dominant presence of Cornell University in Ithaca.[15] In 2008, Tompkins County was the only county in New York State in which Senator Barack Obama beat Senator Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primary.[16] In the 2008 U.S. presidential election, Obama won the county by a 41% margin over John McCain, with Obama winning by 25.5% statewide. It was his highest percentage by county in upstate New York.[17] In 2016 the county strongly supported Clinton over Trump (67.7% to 24.3%), but was surrounded by Trump-supporting counties.[18] It swung even further to Joe Biden in 2020, who took 73.5% to 24.3% for Trump, the highest voteshare it has given any candidate since 1956 when incumbent president Dwight D. Eisenhower won the county with 78.3% of the vote.

The Tompkins County Legislature consists of fifteen members, each from a single-member district. In November 2014, the Tompkins County legislature unanimously adopted a resolution recognizing freedom from domestic violence as a fundamental human right.[19] In doing so, Tompkins County became the first rural county in the United States to pass such a resolution.[20]

Voter registration as of April 1, 2016[21]
Party Active voters Inactive voters Total voters Percentage
Template:Party color cell Democratic 25,749 3,768 29,517 49.54%
Template:Party color cell Republican 11,623 1,290 12,913 21.67%
Template:Party color cell Unaffiliated 10,730 2,461 13,191 22.14%
Template:Party color cell Other[lower-alpha 2] 3,385 575 3,960 6.65%
Total 51,487 8,094 59,581 100%

Education[]

Tompkins County Public Library, 101 East Green St., Ithaca NY

The eight-square schoolhouse or Dryden District School No. 5 is a one room schoolhouse just south of New York Route 13 in Dryden Township.

There are three institutions of higher education in Tompkins County:

  • Cornell University in City of Ithaca
  • Ithaca College in the Town of Ithaca
  • Tompkins-Cortland Community College in the Town of Dryden

The county is served by several school districts (the largest being Ithaca City School District), and several public libraries including the Tompkins County Public Library, the Southworth Library and the Ulysses Philomathic Library.

See also[]

Notes[]

  1. ^ Called "Newfield Hamlet" in the 2010 census
  2. ^ Included are voters affiliated with the Conservative Party, Green Party, Working Families Party, Independence Party, Women's Equality Party, Reform Party, and other small parties.

References[]

  1. ^ "2020 Population and Housing State Data". United States Census Bureau. https://www.census.gov/library/visualizations/interactive/2020-population-and-housing-state-data.html. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. http://www.naco.org/Counties/Pages/FindACounty.aspx. 
  3. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. https://www.census.gov/geo/maps-data/data/docs/gazetteer/counties_list_36.txt. 
  4. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. https://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/decennial-census.html. 
  5. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. http://mapserver.lib.virginia.edu. 
  6. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. https://www.census.gov/population/cencounts/ny190090.txt. 
  7. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000". United States Census Bureau. https://www.census.gov/population/www/cen2000/briefs/phc-t4/tables/tab02.pdf. 
  8. ^ "Tompkins County QuickFacts". U.S. Census Bureau. http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/36/36109.html. 
  9. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. https://www.census.gov. 
  10. ^ "U.S. Census website". https://www.census.gov. 
  11. ^ "Language Map Data Center". http://www.mla.org/map_data_results&state_id=36&county_id=109&mode=geographic&zip=&place_id=&cty_id=&ll=all&a=&ea=&order=r. 
  12. ^ a b "2020 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. https://www2.census.gov/geo/docs/maps-data/data/gazetteer/2020_Gazetteer/2020_gaz_place_36.txt. 
  13. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". http://uselectionatlas.org/RESULTS. 
  14. ^ Menendez, Albert J. (2005). The Geography of Presidential Elections in the United States, 1868–2004. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland. pp. 261–265. 
  15. ^ Sullivan, Robert David; ‘How the Red and Blue Map Evolved Over the Past Century’; America Magazine in The National Catholic Review; June 29, 2016
  16. ^ Obama, McCain win in Tompkins County Ithaca Journal February 6, 2008
  17. ^ U.S. Election Atlas
  18. ^ "New York Election Results 2016" (in en). https://www.nytimes.com/elections/results/new-york. 
  19. ^ "Freedom from Domestic Violence Recognized as a Human Right". Tompkins County. http://tompkinscountyny.gov/news/freedom-domestic-violence-recognized-human-right. 
  20. ^ Popp, Evan (April 26, 2015). "Ithaca community takes back the night". The Ithacan. https://theithacan.org/news/ithaca-community-takes-back-the-night/. 
  21. ^ "NYSVoter Enrollment by County, Party Affiliation and Status". New York State Board of Elections. April 2016. http://www.elections.ny.gov/NYSBOE/enrollment/county/county_apr16.pdf. 
  • 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)

External links[]

Coordinates: 42°27′07″N 76°28′25″W / 42.451944, -76.473611



This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Tompkins County, New York. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.
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