Clay, New York

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Clay is a town in Onondaga County, New York, USA. As of the 2000 census, the town had a total population of 58,805, making it Syracuse's largest suburb. The town was named after Henry Clay, statesman.

The Town of Clay is northwest of Syracuse. It is the largest town in the county and contains part of the Village of North Syracuse, New York. It contains the major retail strip of Syracuse's northwesterly suburbs, along NY-31, including the Great Northern Mall.



Clay was within the Central New York Military Tract. The town was first settled by outsiders around 1791 and was previously known as West Cicero, NY.

The Town of Clay was formed in 1827 from the Town of Cicero, one of the original townships of the military tract.

Most famous son: actor Richard Gere.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 48.8 square miles (126.4 km²), of which, 48.0 square miles (124.3 km²) of it is land and 0.8 square miles (2.0 km²) of it (1.60%) is water.

The north town line is the border of Oswego County, New York, marked by the Oneida River. The Seneca River marks the west town line. Both these rivers join into the Oswego River near the community of Three Rivers. The renovated Erie Canal follows the rivers around the border of Clay.

New York State Route 31 is an east-west highway through the town. New York State Route 481 intersects NY-31 west of Euclid.

Clay is north of Onondaga Lake.


As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 58,805 people, 22,294 households, and 15,940 families residing in the town. The population density was 1,224.9 people per square mile (472.9/km²). There were 23,398 housing units at an average density of 487.4/sq mi (188.2/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 92.13% White, 3.50% African American, 0.47% Native American, 2.01% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.38% from other races, and 1.48% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.39% of the population.

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