is a town in Albany County, New York, United States (). It is the largest suburb of Albany, New York. It is made up of many hamlets that make up the town. As of the 2000 census, the town had a total population of 79,258. The name is derived from the Dutch
or "Colonie," derived from the Colonie of Rensselaerswyck. All the land outside the Village of Beverwyck (now Albany) was referred to as the "Colonie."
is north of Albany, New York, and is at the northern border of the county. Within the town of Colonie are two villages, one also known as Colonie and the other known as Menands.
This area was once part of the Rensselaerwyck manor.
The town of Colonie was formed in 1895 after the rural residents of the town of Watervliet opposed the state's proposal to transform the entire town into a city of Watervliet. The village of Green Island was also split off as a town from the town of Watervliet as well and the village of West Troy that remained became the current city of Watervliet. All debts from the original town were divided proportionally between Green Island, Watervliet, and Colonie. Several lawsuits worked their way through the court system from the results of division. The original town of Watervliet was the "mother of towns" in Albany County,
having once been all the land outside of the city of Albany within the county, all current towns either were formed directly from Watervliet or from a town formed from Watervliet.
The central part of the town was once the location of the extensive Shaker community farms. Much of that land is now occupied by the Albany International Airport.
Through to the 1930s, Colonie was a simple series of extensive farms and a few hamlets. However, in the post-war years, there was intensive suburban development, originally on the corridor that connected Albany and Schenectady, but quickly throughout the entire township. By 1980, suburban development had saturated the community. At the same time, there were large highways (I-87, I-787, US Rt. 9 and NY Rt. 7) which drastically changed the nature of the town and life there. The Colonie of the 1990s was an entirely different community from the town of fifty years before.
In November 2007, the town of Colonie was ranked the sixth safest place to live in a Morgan Quitno Publishing study of crime rates across the United States.
The current Supervisor of the Town of Colonie is Democrat Paula Mahan. She was elected to her first term in November 2007, defeating long-time Republican incumbent Mary Brizzell. The Colonie GOP had held the reins of town government since the 1930s. Mahan's upset victory shook the local political scene as one of the great upsets in Albany County electoral history.