Westchester County is a county in the U.S. state of New York. Westchester covers an area of , consisting of 48 municipalities. According to the 2010 Census, the county had a population of 949,113, estimated to have increased by 2.1% to 968,802 by 2013. Established in 1683, Westchester was named after the city of Chester, England. The county seat of Westchester is the city of White Plains.
According to 2011 U.S. Census Bureau data, the per-capita income in the county was $47,814 and the median income for a household in the county was $77,006. In terms of household income, Westchester County is the fifth-wealthiest county in New York (after Nassau, Putnam, Suffolk, and Rockland Counties) and is the forty-seventh wealthiest county nationally. Westchester County ranks second after New York County in terms of highest median income per person, with a higher concentration of incomes in smaller households.
The county's location places New York City, Nassau and Suffolk Counties on Long Island, and the Long Island Sound to its south, Putnam County to its north, Fairfield County, Connecticut to its east, and Rockland County as well as New Jersey across the Hudson River to the west. Westchester is the first suburban area of its scale in the world to develop, due mostly to the upper-middle class development of entire communities in the late 19th century, and the subsequent rapid population growth.
At the time of European contact in the 16th and 17th centuries, the Native American inhabitants of present Westchester County were part of the Algonquian peoples, whose name for themselves was Lenape, meaning the people. They called the region Lenapehoking, which consisted of the area around and between the Delaware and Hudson Rivers. Several different tribes occupied the area, including The Manhattans, and the Weckquaesgeek and Siwanoy bands of the Wappinger in the south, and Tankiteke, Sintsink and Kitchawank Wappinger in the north.
The period following the American Civil War enabled entrepreneurs in the New York area to create fortunes, and many built large estates, such as Lyndhurst, in Westchester. During the latter half of the 19th century, Westchester's transportation system and labor force attracted a manufacturing base, particularly along the Hudson River and Nepperhan Creek. In 1874, the western portion of the present Bronx County, was transferred to New York County; and in 1895 the remainder of the present Bronx County, was also transferred to New York County. These would later split from Manhattan to form their own county.
During the 20th century, the rural character of Westchester would transform into the suburban county known today. The Bronx River Parkway, completed in 1925, was the first modern, multi-lane limited-access roadway in North America. The development of Westchester's parks and parkway systems supported existing communities and encouraged the establishment of new ones, transforming the development pattern for Westchester. With the need for homes expanding after World War II, multistory apartment houses appeared in the urbanized areas of the county, while the market for single-family houses continued to expand. By 1950, the total County population was 625,816. Major interstate highways were constructed in Westchester during the 1950s and 1960s. The establishment of these roadways, along with the construction of the Tappan Zee Bridge, led to further growth in the county.
Historic and Cultural Attractions
Note: Bronx County was formed from New York County in 1912, comprising territory that had been annexed by New York County from Westchester County in 1874 and 1895. (Since 1898 this area also has comprised Bronx Borough of New York city.) The population of Bronx's present-day area was 200,507 in 1900 and 430,980 in 1910. According to the 1900 census, its estimated population at earlier censuses was: 1790, 1,781; 1800, 1,755; 1810, 2,267; 1820, 2,782; 1830, 3,023; 1840, 5,346; 1850, 8,032; 1860, 23,593; 1870, 37,393; 1880, 51,980; 1890, 88,908. Estimates consistent with these for the present-day area of Westchester are: 1790, 22,222; 1800, 25,618; 1810, 28,005; 1820, 29,856; 1830, 33,433; 1840, 43,340; 1850, 50,231; 1860, 75,904; 1870, 93,955, 1880, 98,634; 1890, 131,949.