Jay is a town in Essex County, New York, United States. The population was 2,506 at the 2010 census. The town is named after John Jay, governor of New York when the town was formed.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 68.1 square miles (176.4 km), of which 67.7 square miles (175.3 km) is land and 1.1 square kilometres (0.42 sq mi), or 0.62%, is water.
The north town line, partly defined by the Ausable River, is the border of Clinton County. The East Branch of the Ausable River flows northward the length of the town near the west town line.
New York State Route 9N is a north-south highway through the town, following the course of the East Branch of the Ausable. New York State Route 86 leads west from NY-9N at the hamlet of Jay.
As of the census of 2000, there were 2,306 people, 918 households, and 651 families residing in the town. The population density was 34.0 people per square mile (13.1/km²). There were 1,443 housing units at an average density of 21.3 per square mile (8.2/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 98.44% White, 0.30% African American, 0.22% Native American, 0.13% Asian, 0.17% Pacific Islander, 0.26% from other races, and 0.48% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.61% of the population.
There were 918 households out of which 30.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.0% were married couples living together, 8.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.0% were non-families. 23.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.50 and the average family size was 2.92.
In the town, the population was spread out with 24.1% under the age of 18, 6.2% from 18 to 24, 28.2% from 25 to 44, 26.1% from 45 to 64, and 15.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females, there were 93.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 97.3 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $35,612, and the median income for a family was $39,954. Males had a median income of $29,145 versus $21,438 for females. The per capita income for the town was $16,673. About 6.9% of families and 8.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 7.8% of those under age 18 and 11.7% of those age 65 or over.