Chester, New York
Chester, New York
Location of Chester in New York
|• Type||Town Council|
|• Town Supervisor||Robert Valentine (R)|
|• Town Council|
|• Total||25.20 sq mi (65.27 km2)|
|• Land||25.05 sq mi (64.88 km2)|
|• Water||0.15 sq mi (0.39 km2)|
| • Estimate |
|• Density||476.83/sq mi (184.10/km2)|
The town was first settled by Europeans in the 1700s, made up of ethnic Dutch and English colonists.
The economy of the early town was based on dairy products, particularly milk. This industry flourished because completion of the Erie Railroad in 1841, which ran through Chester, enabled local farmers to ship their prices to New York City, where demand was high. For instance, local farmer Phil Gregory would ship 240 quarts (230 l) of milk by train to New York City. The railroad earned $1.20 ($29 in modern dollars) in freight charges; Gregory's business eventually grew to 300,000 quarts (280,000 l) of milk per day, which in turn gave the railroad over $1,000 ($24,000 in modern dollars) in profit.
In 2018, the Town of Chester approved a large residential development. It learned that the development appeared to be targeted toward the Satmar Hasidim community, whose rapid growth in this area had caused tensions. The large families of the Orthodox created strains for the local public school system, and there were other tensions between the strict Kiryas Joel and neighboring communities. Town supervisor Alex Jamieson told a local newspaper that the town would be buying up areas of undeveloped open space, including around the planned development in Chester, in order "to keep the Hasidic out so that they can't control the Town Board." His comments were widely reported and criticized by The Forward as antisemitic.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 25.2 square miles (65.4 km²), of which, 25.2 square miles (65.2 km2) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.2 km2) of it (0.24%) is water.
|U.S. Decennial Census|
As of the census of 2017, there were 12,140 people, 3,848 households, and 3,016 families residing in the town. The population density was 482.2 people per square mile (186.2/km²). There were 3,984 housing units at an average density of 158.3 per square mile (61.1/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 76.7% White, 9.8% Black or African American, 0.5% Native American, 4.3% Asian, 0.0% Pacific Islander, and 3.2% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 10.14% of the population.
There were 3,782 households out of which 41.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 66.7% were married couples living together, 8.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 21.6% were non-families. 16.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 4.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.92 and the average family size was 3.31.
In the town, the population was spread out with 27.4% under the age of 18, 5.6% from 18 to 24, 33.8% from 25 to 44, 25.7% from 45 to 64, and 7.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females, there were 111.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 112.0 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $69,280, and the median income for a family was $75,222. Males had a median income of $53,528 versus $36,673 for females. The per capita income for the town was $25,900. About 2.7% of families and 7.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 4.9% of those under age 18 and 3.7% of those age 65 or over.
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