Chemung County Courthouse
Location within the U.S. state of New York
New York's location within the U.S.
|Founded||March 29, 1836|
|• Total||411 sq mi (1,060 km2)|
|• Land||407 sq mi (1,050 km2)|
|• Water||3.4 sq mi (9 km2) 0.8%|
|• Density||218/sq mi (84/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−5 (Eastern)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−4 (EDT)|
Chemung County is a county in the southern tier of the U.S. state of New York. The population was 88,830 as of the 2010 census and was estimated at 83,456 as of 2019. Its county seat is Elmira. Its name is derived from a Delaware Indian village whose name meant "big horn".
Many signs posted along roads in Chemung County refer to the area as "Mark Twain Country," because the noted author lived and wrote for many years in Elmira.
Chemung County was formed from 520 square miles (1,300 km2) of Tioga County in 1836.
In the late 1870s, the Greenback Party became prominent in Chemung and nearby counties in western New York. Here it was primarily allied with labor in a critique of capital, reaching its peak in 1878, the year following the Great Railroad Strike of 1877 and the Scranton General Strike in Pennsylvania. There were also strikes that year in Albany, Syracuse and Buffalo, starting with the railroad workers. In Steuben and Chemung counties, Greenbackers were elected to county councils in 1878 instead of Democrats, and others were elected from there and nearby counties to the state legislature, gaining votes of more than 25 percent in several of the Southern Tier counties. It gradually declined after that, due to internal dissension and the strength of the two major parties.
|U.S. Decennial Census|
As of the 2000 census, there were 91,070 people, 35,049 households and 23,272 families residing in the county. The population density was 223 per square mile (86/km²). There were 37,745 housing units at an average density of 92 per square mile (36/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 90.96% White, 5.82% Black or African American, 0.23% Native American, 0.78% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.75% from other races, and 1.44% from two or more races. 1.77% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 16.4% were of German, 15.7% Irish, 12.5% English, 11.8% Italian, 7.8% American and 6.3% Polish ancestry according to Census 2000 . Most of those claiming to be of "American" ancestry are of English descent and, in upstate New York, also in some cases of Dutch descent, but have family that has been in the country for so long, in many cases since the early seventeenth century, that they choose to identify simply as "American". 96.2% spoke English and 1.6% Spanish as their first language.
There were 35,049 households of which 31.00% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.80% were married couples living together, 12.40% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.60% were non-families. 27.90% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.20% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.44 and the average family size was 2.97.
Age distribution was 24.40% under the age of 18, 8.80% from 18 to 24, 28.30% from 25 to 44, 22.90% from 45 to 64, and 15.60% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 97.70 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.30 males.
The median household income was $36,415, and the median family income was $43,994. Males had a median income of $35,076 versus $24,215 for females. The per capita income for the county was $18,264. About 9.10% of families and 13.00% of the population were below the poverty line, including 18.40% of those under age 18 and 6.80% of those age 65 or over.
Before 1974, Chemung County was governed by a board of supervisors. On January 1, 1974, executive and legislative powers were split between a county executive and a 15-seat legislature. All 15 members are elected from single-member districts. Chemung County is a part of the 23rd congressional district, currently represented by Republican Tom Reed
|John H. Hazlett||Republican||January 1, 1974 – 1975|
|Morris E. Blostein||Republican||1975 – 1979|
|R. Stanley Benjamin||Republican||1979 – 1983|
|Robert G. Densberger||Republican||1983 – 1991|
|G. Thomas Tranter, Jr.||Republican||1991 – 2000|
|Thomas J. Santulli||Republican||2000 – 2019|
|Christopher J. Moss||Republican||2019 -|
In presidential elections Chemung County tends to vote Republican. It voted for George W. Bush in 2004 by a 10.85% margin. In 2008 the margin was much closer, but voters still gave John McCain a 1.23% win over Barack Obama. In 2012 Mitt Romney carried the county by 2.33%. In 2016 Donald Trump carried Chemung County with 55.64% of the total vote compared to Hillary Clinton's 38.09%, giving Trump a margin of victory of 17.55%.
Education in Chemung County is provided by various private and public institutions. High school students and adults have access to GST BOCES. BOCES provides vocation-style training in a wide range of fields as well as adult education.
Chemung County Library District
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Chemung County.|