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In 1798, the first federal census recorded a population of 24,000 for the county.Two developments in the first half of the 19th century – the construction of the first Croton Dam and Aqueduct, and the coming of the railroad – had enormous impacts on the growth of Westchester.At the time of European contact in the 16th and 17th centuries, the Native American inhabitants of present-day 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.Although the Revolutionary War devastated the county, recovery after the war was rapid.In 1788, five years after the end of the war, the county was divided into 20 towns.Clockwise from top: The Tappan Zee Bridge and replacement; Mamaroneck Harbor; Philipsburg Manor; downtown White Plains; downtown Scarsdale; shops in Katonah; the New Croton Dam; Getty Square in Yonkers The annual per capita income for Westchester was ,813 in 2011.The 2011 median household income of ,006 was the fifth highest in New York (after Nassau, Putnam, Suffolk, and Rockland counties) and the 47th highest in the United States.
Westchester County is located in southern New York, also known as Downstate.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 first European explorers to visit the Westchester area were Giovanni da Verrazzano in 1524 and Henry Hudson in 1609.Westchester County ranks second in the state after New York County for median income per person, with a higher concentration of incomes in smaller households.
Simultaneously, Westchester County had the highest property taxes of any county in the United States in 2013.
Dutch settlers began arriving in the 1620s, followed by settlers from England in the 1640s.