Stream in the hamlet of Rock Hill
Location within the U.S. state of New York
New York's location within the U.S.
|Named for||John Sullivan|
|o Total||997 sq mi (2,580 km2)|
|o Land||968 sq mi (2,510 km2)|
|o Water||29 sq mi (80 km2) 2.9%|
| o Estimate |
|o Density||78/sq mi (30/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-5 (Eastern)|
|o Summer (DST)||UTC-4 (EDT)|
Sullivan County is a county in the U.S. state of New York. As of the 2010 census, the population was 77,547. The county seat is Monticello. The county's name honors Major General John Sullivan, who was a hero in the American Revolutionary War.
The county was the site of hundreds of Borscht Belt hotels and resorts, which had their heyday from the 1920s through the 1970s.
In 2010, New York's center of population was at the southern edge of Sullivan County.
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In the late 19th century, the Industrial Revolution and the advent of factories driven by water power along the streams and rivers led to an increase in population attracted to the jobs. Hamlets enlarged into towns. As industry restructured, many of those jobs left before the middle of the twentieth century. The economy changed again after that, shifting to a more tourist-based variety and benefiting from resorts established by European Jewish immigrants and their descendants in what became called the Borscht Belt of the 20th century. Resort hotels featured a wide variety of entertainers, some nationally known. At the beginning of this period, visitors traveled to the area by train, and later by automobile. The area's natural resources also provided a setting for numerous summer camps frequented by the children of immigrants and their descendants.
The highest point in the county is a 3,118-foot (950 m) peak unofficially known as Beech Mountain, near Hodge Pond, a subsidiary summit to Mongaup Mountain across the Ulster County line. The lowest point is along the Delaware River.
As of the census of 2000, there were 73,966 people, 27,661 households, and 18,311 families residing in the county. The population density was 76 people per square mile (29/km²). There were 44,730 housing units at an average density of 46 per square mile (18/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 85.31% White, 8.51% Black or African American, 0.27% Native American, 1.12% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 2.89% from other races, and 1.87% from two or more races. 9.25% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 16.6% were of German, 13.9% Irish, 12.5% Italian, 7.3% American and 6.2% English ancestry according to Census 2000. 86.6% spoke English, 7.4% Spanish and 1.0% German as their first language. A small population of Russians, late twentieth-century immigrants, live in the villages.
There were 27,661 households out of which 31.30% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.10% were married couples living together, 11.40% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.80% were non-families. 27.90% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.40% 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 3.05.
In the county, the population was spread out with 24.90% under the age of 18, 7.30% from 18 to 24, 28.10% from 25 to 44, 25.40% from 45 to 64, and 14.30% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females, there were 103.60 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 102.80 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $36,998, and the median income for a family was $43,458. Males had a median income of $36,110 versus $25,754 for females. The per capita income for the county was $18,892. About 11.60% of families and 17.40% of the population were below the poverty line, including 21.60% of those under age 18 and 10.70% of those age 65 or over.
Sullivan County is a swing county, backing the national winner in all but two presidential elections from 1952 to the present. In 2004, Republican George W. Bush defeated Democrat John Kerry by a margin of 49.47% to 48.55%, or a difference of 285 votes.  In 2008, however, it was won by Democrat Barack Obama over Republican John McCain by a margin of 54% to 45%. Then, in 2016, the county voted for Republican Donald Trump over Democrat Hillary Clinton by a margin of 53% to 42%.
There are thirty-six town and village courts in Sullivan County.
Legislative authority is vested in the county legislature which consists of nine members, each elected from single member districts. Currently, there are five Republican and four Democrats.
|1||Scott B. Samuelson||Democratic|
|2||Nadia Rajsz||Vice Chair||Democratic|
|8||Ira Steingart||Minority Leader||Democratic|
Sullivan County International Airport is located in Bethel.
Sullivan County has been a popular vacation spot since the 19th Century, with mountain climbing, boating, and other outdoor activities, and the Monticello Raceway being among the attractions. The majority of the tourism occurs in the summer months. It was the site of the hundreds of resort complexes of the Borscht Belt (with their golf courses, social events, and entertainers), between the 1920s and 1970s.
Many famous comedians tested their material and performed regularly at Borscht Belt hotels, including Milton Berle, Mel Brooks, and Henny Youngman. Eddie Fisher performed often at Grossinger's, where in 1955 he married Debbie Reynolds.
Sullivan County was the site of the 1969 Woodstock Festival located at the present-day Bethel Woods Center for the Arts. During the period August 15-18, 1969, approximately 500,000 people gathered in Sullivan County's Town of Bethel at Max Yasgur's farm to attend the Woodstock Festival. The entertainers included The Who; the Grateful Dead; Jefferson Airplane; The Band; Canned Heat; Joan Baez; Arlo Guthrie; Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young; Janis Joplin; Santana; Sly and the Family Stone; Blood, Sweat and Tears; Jimi Hendrix; and Richie Havens.
Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, which also includes a museum of the sixties and Woodstock, holds many concerts and other events throughout the year.
Other notable cultural destinations include the CAS Arts Center, a multi-arts exhibit space and education center run by the Catskill Art Society in Livingston Manor, New York, the NaCl Theatre, a professional regional theater company focusing on experimental work in Highland Lake, and the Delaware Valley Arts Alliance (DVAA) which serves as the Arts Council for Sullivan County and is located in Narrowsburg. DVAA offers two art galleries, performing arts and cultural programming, grant opportunities for artists and nonprofits, the Big Eddy Film Festival, and Riverfest.