district profile
Syracuse Metro Area

Madison, Onondaga and Oswego Counties

Metropolitan Syracuse is home to roughly 663,000 people, based on the 2010 Census, an increase of a modest 1.9 percent from 2000. The majority of the population in the metropolitan area resides in the city of Syracuse and the surrounding county of Onondaga, which includes approximately 70 percent of the three-county population. The two remaining counties are predominantly suburban and rural, and are much less thickly populated. Madison County's population expanded by nearly 6 percent between 2000 and 2010, making it, by far, the fastest growing of these three counties. Onondaga's population rose by just under 2 percent, while Oswego's population was little changed.

The metro area's demographic mix is somewhat less diverse than the nation's and considerably less diverse than New York State's. Blacks, Asians and Hispanics all represent a below-average proportion of the population in all three counties. On many socioeconomic dimensions, this metro area resembles the U.S. population as a whole. Median household income was close to $50,000 in 2009, below the New York State median but almost identical to the nationwide level; Onondaga and Madison counties have somewhat higher incomes than Oswego County. According to the 2010 Census, 28 percent of adults held a college degree—again on par with the U.S., but below the statewide average. Onondaga residents are substantially more likely to hold college degrees than residents of the other counties. The median home value, based on 2009 estimates, ranged from $89,000 in Oswego County to roughly $124,000 in Onondaga County.

The Syracuse metropolitan area's industry mix closely parallels the nation's. Manufacturing accounts for roughly 11 percent of employment—in line with the national average. In particular, computer and electronics manufacturing is highly concentrated in the metro area, especially in Onondaga County. Educational services is also a major industry, led by Syracuse University in Onondaga County and Colgate University in Madison County.

In terms of economic performance, this metro area's economy lagged the nation's during the last economic expansion: employment grew only marginally, while home prices rose by roughly 50 percent from 2000-07, compared with a nearly 100 percent increase nationally. However, the Syracuse metropolitan area weathered the economic downturn better than the nation: employment fell by roughly 4 percent, compared to a 6.5 percent decline nationwide. In addition, home prices have been stable, while the unemployment rate has climbed.1

Recent Trends
Employment in the Syracuse metropolitan area remains 11,000 below its peak in January 2008. Thus far in 2012, the area has added only 500 jobs. The biggest gains have come from educational and health services and construction. Manufacturing is little changed and job losses in leisure and hospitality, government, and professional and business services have offset some of these job gains. Unemployment has trended back upward in the first half of the year, rising to 8.7 percent, a level that exceeds the nation and state. Housing prices have appreciated slightly in recent months.

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1Trends in home prices referred to here are all based on repeat-sales indexes from CoreLogic.

  Syracuse MSA*: selected characteristics
    Population in 2010 % of 2010 Population that is1  
  Total Population1 % Change from 20001 per Sq. Mile2 Black Hispanic Asian  
  Syracuse Metro Area 662,577   1.9   277   8.1   3.4   2.4  
    Madison 73,442   5.8   112   1.8   1.8   0.8  
    Onondaga 467,026   1.9   599   11.0   4.0   3.1  
    Oswego 122,109   -0.2   128   0.8   2.1   0.6  
  New York State 19,378,102   2.1   410   15.9   17.6   7.3  
  USA 308,745,538   9.7   87   12.6   16.3   4.8  

  Syracuse MSA*: selected characteristics
    Median % of Homes % of Adults with5  
  Household Income3 Home Value4 Owner Occupied4 College Degrees HS Degrees  
  Syracuse Metro Area $49,850   $114,800   69.2   27.7   88.3 
    Madison $52,450   $112,700   76.2   21.3   87.7 
    Onondaga $50,689   $124,400   66.6   31.9   88.9 
    Oswego $45,704   $89,400   74.2  15.5   86.2 
  New York State $54,659   $310,100   55.4   31.8   84.2 
  USA $50,221   $191,900   66.4   27.5   84.6 
* Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) are metro areas defined by the Office of Management and Budget for use by federal statistical agencies.
1 Source: US Bureau of the Census, decennial Census of Population.
2 Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Census of Population; land area data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s geographic database (TIGER® database) for Census 2000.
3 Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census, American Community Survey, 2009 (1-year estimates)
4

Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census, American Community Survey, 2007-09 (3-year estimates)

5

Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census, American Community Survey, 2006-08 (3-year estimates)

October 2012