Essex County is a county in the U.S. state of New York. As of the 2010 census, the population was 39,370. Its county seat is the hamlet of Elizabethtown. Its name is from the English county of Essex. Along with Hamilton County, Essex is entirely within the Adirondack Park.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,916 square miles (4,960 km), of which 1,794 square miles (4,650 km) is land and 122 square miles (320 km) (6.4%) is water. It is the second-largest county in New York by land area and third-largest by total area.
Essex County is in the northeastern part of New York state, just west of Vermont along the eastern boundary of the state. The eastern boundary of Essex County is Lake Champlain, which serves as the New York – Vermont border at an elevation of just under 100 feet (30.5 m). The highest natural point in New York, Mount Marcy at 5,344 feet (1,629 m), is in the town of Keene.
The Ausable River forms a partial northern boundary for the county.
As of the census of 2000, there were 38,851 people, 15,028 households, and 9,828 families residing in the county. The population density was 22 people per square mile (8/km²). There were 23,115 housing units at an average density of 13 per square mile (5/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 94.84% White, 2.81% Black or African American, 0.31% Native American, 0.41% Asian, 0.07% Pacific Islander, 0.69% from other races, and 0.86% from two or more races; 2.19% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. Of the population, 22.0% were of French, 16.3% Irish, 13.0% English, 8.6% German, 7.1% American and 6.2% Italian ancestry; 95.2% spoke English, 2.2% Spanish, and 1.3% French as their first language.
There were 15,028 households out of which 29.20% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.20% were married couples living together, 8.90% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.60% were non-families. 28.30% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.60% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.39 and the average family size was 2.93.
In the county, the population was spread out with 22.80% under the age of 18, 6.90% from 18 to 24, 29.80% from 25 to 44, 24.50% from 45 to 64, and 16.00% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 107.60 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 108.60 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $34,823, and the median income for a family was $41,927. Males had a median income of $30,952 versus $22,205 for females. The per capita income for the county was $18,194. Of the population, 11.60% of individuals, 7.80% of families, 14.50% of those under the age of 18, and 8.60% of those 65 and older, were living below the poverty line.