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Ulster County, New York
Seal of Ulster County, New York
Map of New York highlighting Ulster 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 1683
Seat Kingston
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

1,161 sq mi (3,007 km²)
1,126 sq mi (2,916 km²)
34 sq mi (88 km²), 2.95%
 - (2000)
 - Density

158/sq mi (61/km²)

Ulster County is a county located in the state of New York, USA. It sits in the state's Mid-Hudson Region of the Hudson Valley. As of the 2000 census, the population is 177,749. However, recent population estimates completed by the United States Census Bureau for the 12-month period ending July 1 (2006) are at 182,742 residents. It is the northernmost county and largest county (by land area) in the New York Metropolitan Area. The county seat and only large city is Kingston. The county is named for the Irish province of Ulster, then an earldom of the Duke of York (later James II).


In 1683, the Province of New York established its first twelve counties. Ulster County was one of them. Its boundaries at that time included the present Sullivan County, and portions of the present Delaware and Greene Counties.

In 1777, the capital of New York State (the first state capital of independent New York) was established at Kingston, though it was subsequently moved when the British burned that city.

In 1797, portions of Otsego and Ulster Counties were split off to create Delaware County.

In 1800, portions of Albany and Ulster Counties were split off to create Greene County.

In 1809, Sullivan County was split off from Ulster County.


Ulster County is in the southeast part of New York State, south of Albany, immediately west of the Hudson River. Much of the county is within the Catskill Mountains and the Shawangunk Ridge. Ulster County also has Sam's Point Preserve, which includes rare dwarf pine trees and VerKeerderkill falls.

The highest point is Slide Mountain, at approximately 4,180 feet (1,274 m) above sea level. The lowest point is sea level along the Hudson River.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 3,006 km² (1,161 sq mi). 2,918 km² (1,126 sq mi) of it is land and 89 km² (34 sq mi) of it is water. The total area is 2.95% water.

The New York State Thruway Interstate 87 runs north-south through the county, carrying a lot of traffic to and from New York City and its surroundings.

Adjacent Counties[]

Northwest: Delaware County North: Greene County Northeast: Columbia County
  Ulster County East: Hudson River
Southwest: Sullivan County South: Orange County Southeast: Dutchess County


As of the census² of 2000, there were 177,749 people, 67,499 households, and 43,536 families residing in the county. The population density was 61/km² (158/sq mi). There were 77,656 housing units at an average density of 27/km² (69/sq mi). The racial makeup of the county was 88.91% White, 5.43% Black or African American, 0.27% Native American, 1.24% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 2.15% from other races, and 1.98% from two or more races. 6.16% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 67,499 households out of which 30.70% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.20% were married couples living together, 10.90% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.50% were non-families. 27.90% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.20% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.47 and the average family size was 3.03.

In the county the population was spread out with 23.50% under the age of 18, 8.70% from 18 to 24, 29.70% from 25 to 44, 24.70% from 45 to 64, and 13.30% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 99.10 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.60 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $42,551, and the median income for a family was $51,708. Males had a median income of $36,808 versus $27,086 for females. The per capita income for the county was $20,846. About 7.20% of families and 11.40% of the population were below the poverty line, including 13.00% of those under age 18 and 8.70% of those age 65 or over.


Ulster had long had a county-scale version of a council-manager government, with the county legislature hiring a county administrator to handle executive functions. The chair of the legislature had a great deal of power and was only accountable to the voters of his own district. The only countywide elected officials were the district attorney and sheriff.

In 2006, voters approved the first-ever county charter, changing to an elected executive branch. Ulster will hold elections in 2008 for its first-ever county executive and comptroller.[1]

Additional County Information[]

Ulster County contains a large part of Catskill Park and the Catskill Forest Preserve. The former Delaware and Hudson Canal brought Pennsylvania coal to Kingston on the Hudson. Former Orleans band member John Hall served in the Ulster County legislature before moving to the 19th Congressional District to run for Congress. [2]

The former Ulster and Delaware Railroad runs through Ulster County. There are three railroad attractions in the county on this corridor: Trolley Museum of New York, Catskill Mountain Railroad, and Empire State Railway Museum.


  • The county's total area (1,161 square miles) makes it almost as large as Rhode Island (1,214 square miles, according to the Wikipedia article on that state). Some sources give Rhode Island a smaller area than Ulster County.

External links[]

Coordinates: 41°53′N 74°16′W / 41.89, -74.26

This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Ulster 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.