Suffolk County is a county located in the state of New York. As of 2000, the population is 1,419,369. It was named for Suffolk, a county in England, from which its earliest settlers came. The county seat is Riverhead, though most county offices are located in Hauppauge. There are also offices in Smithtown, for the legislature, and Yaphank.
Suffolk and Nassau counties are generally referred to as "Long Island" by area residents (as distinct from Brooklyn and Queens, both physically on Long Island but part of New York City). Suffolk County is the easternmost county in New York.
Suffolk County was an original county of New York State, one of twelve created in 1683. Its boundaries were substantially the same as at present, with only minor changes in the boundary with its western neighbor, which was originally Queens County but since 1899 has been Nassau County. However, as western Suffolk County has become more suburbanized there has been agitation by people living in the more rural East End of the island to divide Suffolk into two counties, with the easternmost part tentatively named Peconic County, after the Peconic Bay. Supporters of the idea feel that this create a more efficient and responsive government and would would give them a larger voice than they currently have in Suffolk County as it now stands, as well as lower taxes. Peconic County would tentatively include the towns of East Hampton, Riverhead, Shelter Island, Southampton and Southold.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 6,146 km² (2,373 mi²). 2,363 km² (912 mi²) of it is land and 3,784 km² (1,461 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 61.56% water.
The eastern end of the county splits into two peninsulas, known as the North Fork and the South Fork. The county is surrounded by water on three sides, including the Atlantic Ocean and the Long Island Sound. The eastern end contains large bays.
Suffolk County occupies the easternmost portion of Long Island, in the southeastern portion of New York State. It is divided into 10 towns:
- Babylon, containing 3 villages:
- Babylon (Note that the Village of Babylon is contained within the Town of Babylon.)
- Brookhaven, containing 8 villages:
- Belle Terre
- Lake Grove
- Old Field
- Port Jefferson
- East Hampton, containing
- 2 villages:
- East Hampton(Note that the Village of East Hampton is contained within the Town of East Hampton.)
- Sag Harbor (This village is shared with the Town of Southampton.)
- 4 hamlets:
- East Hampton(Note that the Hamlet of East Hampton is contained within the Town of East Hampton, and is distinct from the Village of East Hampton.)
- Huntington, containing 4 villages:
- Huntington Bay
- Lloyd Harbor
- Islip, containing 4 villages:
- Ocean Beach
- Riverhead, containing no villages.
- Shelter Island, containing 1 village:
- Dering Harbor
- Smithtown, containing 4 villages:
- Head of the Harbor
- Village of the Branch
- Southampton, containing 6 villages:
- North Haven
- Southampton (Note that the Village of Southampton is contained within the Town of Southampton, and is distinct from the Hamlet of Southampton.)
- Westhampton Beach
- Westhampton Dunes
- Sag Harbor (This village is shared with the Town of East Hampton.)
- 17 hamlets:
- Eastport (This hamlet is only partly within the Town of Southampton.)
- East Quogue
- Hampton Bays
- North Sea
- Shinnecock Hills
- Southampton (Note that the Hamlet of Southampton is contained within the Town of Southampton, and is distinct from the Village of Southampton.)
- Water Mill
- Southold, containing 1 village:
Major facilities include Brookhaven National Laboratory, Plum Island Animal Disease Center, and several airports that serve commuters and business travelers, most notably Republic Airport, Francis S. Gabreski Airport, and Macarthur Airport.
Law and government
The county legislature has 18 members.
Suffolk County has long been a Republican bastion in New York. U.S. Congressman Rick Lazio, who opposed Hillary Clinton in the 2000 Senate Race was from here. However, recent elections have turned the county more toward the Democrats. In 2003, Democrat Steve Levy was elected county executive, ending longtime Republican control. Although Suffolk voters gave George H. W. Bush a victory here in 1992, the county voted for Bill Clinton in 1996 and continued the trend by giving Al Gore a large victory here in 2000 and John Kerry a smaller margain of victory in 2004.
Suffolk County is represented by three congressional districts, the first, second and part of the third. The former two seats are held by Democrats. Tim Bishop, a Democrat, represents the once heavily Republican first district, which includes almost half of the county, from Smithtown to Montauk, including The Hamptons and Riverhead. The second district, which includes Huntington, Brentwood and Bay Shore, is represented by Steve Israel. A Democrat, Israel won a seat in 2000 vacated by Republican Rick Lazio when made an unsuccessful run for the U.S. Senate. The third district, which is mainly in Nassau County, but includes wealthy coastal areas of southeastern Suffolk County, is represented by Peter King, a Republican.
Democratic voters in Suffolk, as well as next-door Nassau County have helped to turn New York into a solidly Democratic state.
As of the census2 of 2000, there are 1,419,369 people, 469,299 households, and 360,421 families residing in the county. The population density is 601/km² (1,556/mi²). There are 522,323 housing units at an average density of 221/km² (573/mi²). The racial makeup of the county is 84.60% White, 6.94% African American, 0.27% Native American, 2.45% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 3.65% from other races, and 2.06% from two or more races. 10.53% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.
Some main European ancestries in Suffolk county, 2000 :
- Italian : 28,33%
- Irish : 22,02%
- German : 16,95%
- English : 5,98%
There are 469,299 households out of which 37.00% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 62.00% are married couples living together, 10.80% have a female householder with no husband present, and 23.20% are non-families. 18.30% of all households are made up of individuals and 7.80% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.96 and the average family size is 3.36.
In the county the population is spread out with 26.10% under the age of 18, 7.60% from 18 to 24, 31.20% from 25 to 44, 23.30% from 45 to 64, and 11.80% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 36 years. For every 100 females there are 95.90 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 92.80 males.
The median income for a household in the county is $65,288, and the median income for a family is $72,112. Males have a median income of $50,046 versus $33,281 for females. The per capita income for the county is $26,577. 6.00% of the population and 3.90% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 6.70% of those under the age of 18 and 6.30% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.
Towns, Villages, and other communities