Situated between Rochester and Buffalo, Orleans County is among the smaller counties in the Finger Lakes region. Orleans was formed in 1824 from portions of Genesee County, and saw a large population increase shortly thereafter, due to the Erie Canal. Large portions of the county consist of farmland; other sectors driving the economy include Manufacturing and Government.
Orleans County has a declining population, one of the highest rates of single families in the region, and growing child poverty. However, prekindergarten participation is the highest in the region, and the high school graduation rate exceeds the region and state. While unemployment has been relatively high, growth in salaries has been strong. This rural county, sandwiched between the 'big cities' of Buffalo and Rochester, may not have the amenities or marquee attractions of its neighbors, but it makes for a serene and convenient home or getaway for those looking to “stop and smell the roses.” With several creeks and streams perfect for fishing, quaint 19th-century villages, a long Lake Ontario shoreline, and a number of well-maintained historical attractions, often-overlooked Orleans County offers a change of pace for those seeking serenity and adventure.
Manufacturing has never been as important here as in neighboring counties, due to the low population and lack of readily available power. Instead, farming remains the county's major industry.
Orleans County Official Website
Orleans County Chamber of Commerce
Orleans County Census Data