Bethpage is within the Town of Oyster Bay with its own school district. The boundaries of the school district include parts of some surrounding hamlets (such as Old Bethpage and Plainedge). The Zip Code for most of the hamlet is 11714, though the most northeastern part of Bethpage is in the Old Bethpage postal district of 11804. The Town of Hempstead, on its website, includes a small part of Bethpage that is in the Levittown census-designated place.
The name Bethpage comes from the Bethpage Purchase in 1695. An early name for the northern section of present-day Bethpage was Bedelltown.
On maps just before the arrival of the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR), the name Bethpage appears for a community now included in both the post office district and school district of the adjacent community of Farmingdale. In 1841, train service began to Farmingdale station, near a new settlement less than a mile eastward from what had previously appeared on maps as Bethpage. Schedules at that time do not mention Bethpage as a stop, but have a notation "late Bethpage". On an 1855 map, the location identified as Bethpage has shifted slightly westward to include a nearby area now called Plainedge.
From at least 1854, the LIRR stopped within present-day Bethpage at a station then called Jerusalem Station, and on January 29, 1857 a local post office opened, also named Jerusalem Station. LIRR schedules listed the station also as simply Jerusalem. Residents succeeded in changing the name of the post office to Central Park, effective March 1, 1867 (respelled as Centralpark from 1895 to 1899). The Central Park Fire Company was organized in April 1910, and incorporated in May 1911. In May 1923 the Central Park Water District was created.
Following the 1932 opening of nearby Bethpage State Park, the name of the local post office was changed to Bethpage on October 1, 1936. The name Bethpage was, however, already in use by an adjacent community, which resisted suggestions of a merger and instead renamed itself Old Bethpage. The change from Central Park to Bethpage was one of the last complete name changes of Nassau County's post offices.
From 1936 until 1994, Bethpage was home to the Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation, which made, among other things, the F-14 Tomcat and the Apollo Lunar Module for moon landings. (Bethpage is thus mentioned in the film Apollo 13.) Cablevision Systems Corporation, a Fortune 500 company, is headquartered in Grumman's former main office.
There were 5,710 households out of which 32% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 66.0% were married couples living together, 10.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 20.9% were non-families. 17.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.89 and the average family size was 3.27.
In the CDP the population was spread out with 22.7% under the age of 18, 6.4% from 18 to 24, 29.0% from 25 to 44, 23.2% from 45 to 64, and 18.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 93.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.8 males.
The median income for a household in the CDP was $70,173, and the median income for a family was $78,573. Males had a median income of $53,404 versus $36,708 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $27,850. About 2.1% of families and 3.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 4.0% of those under age 18 and 4.3% of those age 65 or over.
Bethpage Little League is a volunteer organization, operating under charter of Little League Baseball and Softball, whose purpose is to provide a Little League Baseball and Softball Program for the Community of Bethpage.Established in 1952, Bethpage Little League is a non-profit organization run entirely by volunteers (board of directors, managers, coaches and all other duties). The league is dedicated to the principle of providing a safe, fun environment in which the children can enjoy learning the rules and playing baseball or softball. The League boundaries are specified by the Little League National organization. Bethpage Little League is part of Little League New York District 32.
Bethpage State Park offers five golf courses to choose from. One of them, the black course, was the site of the U.S. Open in 2002 and will again be the site for the upcoming event in 2009. Tiger Woods won the event in 2002. While much of the park and its five golf courses are located within Bethpage and Old Bethpage, the offices are within the neighboring Farmingdale postal district.
Congressional Medal of Honor recipient, Stephen Edward Karopczyc, lived in Bethpage. The former Karopczyc School in Levittown (part of the Island Trees Union Free School District) was renamed for him. The school now houses the Island Trees Public Library.