The Town of Southampton is one of ten towns located in Suffolk County. It is located approximately eighty miles from New York City on the South Fork of Long Island. Encompassing an area of 140.2 square miles or 89,728 acres. Southampton is the largest and most populous of the five East End Towns of Suffolk County. Southampton is bordered by the Town of Brookhaven on its west and the Town of East Hampton on the east. To the north are the Great and Little Peconic Bays and the Town of Riverhead. To the south are the great bays of Moriches, Shinnecock, and Mecox, the barrier beach island, and the Atlantic Ocean.
There are seven incorporated villages within Southampton's boundaries, each with its own village administration: Sag Harbor, North Haven, Quogue, Westhampton Beach, West Hampton Dunes, Southampton and Sagaponack.
Southampton is home to nearly 55,210 persons on a year-round basis. The summer population can swell to twice that number or more. The Town of Southampton is considered a popular seasonal resort area drawing thousands of visitors and seasonal residents. Tourism and the vacation home industry drives the economic development engine of the town.
The Shinnecock Canal, the heart of the Southampton Town summer resort area, provides a connecting waterway for vessels traveling from the Atlantic Ocean to the Great Peconic Bay. It also serves as part of the Inland Waterway extending from the Atlantic Beach Inlet in western Nassau County, to Block Island Sound. Without the Shinnecock Canal, boats from the south would have to travel all the way to Montauk Point in East Hampton before turning north. The Shinnecock Canal locks are Long Island's only operating navigational lock system.
Southampton's communities of Remsenburg, Speonk, Hampton Bays, Westhampton, Quiogue, Flanders, Riverside, Northampton, East Quogue, and part of Eastport lie on the west side of the Shinnecock Canal. The communities of North Sea, Bridgehampton, Water Mill, Sagaponack, Noyac, Sag Harbor, Shinnecock Hills, Tuckahoe, and the unincorporated area of Southampton lie on the east side of the Shinnecock Canal.
The Shinnecock Nation is a self-governing, State-recognized Tribe. This special population of 375 persons is located in Shinnecock Hills. The reservation comprises 750 acres of land.
Other special populations include approximately 679 persons at the Suffolk County Jail and 375 persons residing at what was the Southampton Campus of Long Island University, and is now Stony Brook Southampton that is affiliated with SUNY @ Stony Brook.
(Based on the Town of Southampton 2000 Census)