Binghamton is a city in upstate New York in the United States. It is the county seat of Broome County. It is nestled in the Southern Tier of New York, at the confluence of the Susquehanna and Chenango Rivers. The city is at the crossroads of Interstates 81 and 88, as well as Interstate 86 (also known as New York Route 17, The Southern Tier Expressway).
The population of the City of Binghamton, according to the 2000 Census, is 47,380 (1990 Census: 53,008). The Binghamton Metro Area includes approximately 252,000 residents. Binghamton is part of the "Triple Cities," which also include Endicott and Johnson City.
The city was named after William Bingham, a wealthy Philadelphian who bought the surrounding land in 1792. Before that, the first known people of European descent to come to the area were the troops of Gen. John Sullivan in 1779, during the American Revolutionary War.
Binghamton was incorporated as a village in 1834 and became a city in 1867.
Binghamton was nicknamed the "Parlor City" for its lack of industry and the people who lived in stately mansions. During the late 1800s and early 1900s, many immigrants moved to the area, finding an abundance of jobs, leading them to call it the "Valley of Opportunity." Famous people from Binghamton include Rod Serling (creator of The Twilight Zone) and Johnny Hart (cartoonist of B.C. and The Wizard of Id).
Binghamton is noted as being the birthplace of both IBM and the Link flight simulator. It is also famous for Dr. Kilmer's Swamp Root and the invention of margarine. Until the Cold War ended, the area never experienced an economic downfall, due in part to the generosity of employers (IBM and Endicott-Johnson) and also because of its defense-heavy industries. This concentration of the defense industry made the area the 7th most likely area in the nation for a nuclear attack during the Cold War, and the population peaked at around 85,000 in 1950.
Binghamton is located at 42°6'8" North, 75°54'42" West (42.102225, -75.911797).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 28.6 km² (11.0 mi²). 27.0 km² (10.4 mi²) of it is land and 1.6 km² (0.6 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 5.43% water.
The north branch Susquehanna River passes through downtown Binghamton. This branch rises in eastern New York and receives a number of tributaries above Binghamton, most notably the Chenango, which joins from the north just outside of the business district. Major floods occurred in the city in historical times in 1865 and 1936.
In 1935 the Chenango suffered a flash flood, which was damaging, but less severe once it joined the larger Susquehenna. So much water came from the Chenango, that the Susquehanna flowed backwards for some distance above the confluence. In 1972 the remnants of Hurricane Agnes flooded the entire Susquehanna basin downstream from Binghamton, but the damage in the city was minor.
As of the census2 of 2000, there are 47,380 people, 21,089 households, and 10,417 families residing in the city. The population density is 1,752.3/km² (4,539.2/mi²). There are 23,971 housing units at an average density of 886.5/km² (2,296.5/mi²). The racial makeup of the city is 83.18% White, 8.41% Black or African American, 0.26% Native American, 3.33% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 1.71% from other races, and 3.07% from two or more races. 3.90% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There are 21,091 households out of which 23.3% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 31.6% are married couples living together, 13.8% have a female householder with no husband present, and 50.6% are non-families. 40.3% of all households are made up of individuals and 15.5% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.19 and the average family size is 2.96.
In the city the population is spread out with 21.5% under the age of 18, 13.2% from 18 to 24, 26.6% from 25 to 44, 21.0% from 45 to 64, and 17.6% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 37 years. For every 100 females there are 89.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 86.6 males.
The median income for a household in the city is $25,665, and the median income for a family is $36,137. Males have a median income of $28,774 versus $23,014 for females. The per capita income for the city is $17,067. 23.7% of the population and 16.5% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 28.4% of those under the age of 18 and 10.3% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.
The region today
Current major companies in the area include IBM, L-3 Communications, Lockheed Martin, BAE SYSTEMS, and Universal Instruments .
Binghamton University, part of the SUNY system, is one of the nation's top public universities and is located in nearby Vestal.
It is the "carousel capital of the world," with six working carousels in the area. The Ross Park Zoo is the fifth-oldest zoo in the nation. The Binghamton area is the home of the regional dish known as the spiedie, celebrated at the annual Spiedie Fest and Balloon Rally, held at Otsiningo Park. The B.C. Open, part of the PGA Tour, is played at the En-Joie Golf Course in Endicott. The area's Kopernik Observatory is the largest public observatory in the northeast.
The nearby suburb of Vestal has many strip malls along a five-mile stretch of the Vestal Parkway (NY Route 434). Johnson City has the region's largest indoor mall, the Oakdale Mall. Other area shopping centers include the Metro Center, in downtown Binghamton.
The area is home to the Eastern League's Binghamton Mets (AA affiliate of the New York Mets) and the Binghamton Senators (AHL affiliate of the Ottawa Senators).
The area is served by a medium-sized regional airport, Greater Binghamton Airport.