Tioga County is a county located in the U.S. state of New York. As of the 2000 census, the population was 51,784. Its name derives from an American Indian word meaning "at the forks," describing a meeting place. Its county seat is Owego.
In 1789, Montgomery County was reduced in size by the splitting off of Ontario County. The actual area split off from Montgomery County was much larger than the present county, also including the present Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Niagara, Orleans, Steuben, Wyoming, Yates, and part of Schuyler and Wayne Counties.
Tioga County was one of three counties split off from Montgomery County (the others being Herkimer and Otsego Counties) in 1791. Tioga County was at this time much larger than the present county, also including the present Broome and Chemung Counties and parts of Chenango and Schuyler Counties.
Tioga County was reduced in size in 1798 by the splitting off of Chemung County (which also included part of the present Schuyler County and by the combination of a portion with a portion of Herkimer County to create Chenango County. In 1806 it was further reduced by the splitting off of Broome County.
The highest elevation is an unnamed 1,994-foot (607.8 m) hill in the county's northern corner.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 523 square miles (1,354 km²), of which, 519 square miles (1,343 km²) of it is land and 4 square miles (11 km²) of it (0.81%) is water.
There were 19,725 households out of which 34.70% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.70% were married couples living together, 9.80% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.40% were non-families. 22.40% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.40% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.60 and the average family size was 3.04.
In the county the population was spread out with 27.00% under the age of 18, 7.00% from 18 to 24, 28.80% from 25 to 44, 24.00% from 45 to 64, and 13.10% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 97.60 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.90 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $40,266, and the median income for a family was $46,509. Males had a median income of $32,161 versus $23,653 for females. The per capita income for the county was $18,673. About 6.00% of families and 8.40% of the population were below the poverty line, including 10.00% of those under age 18 and 4.20% of those age 65 or over. There were 8784 men of military age residing in the county at the last census.