North Country

The North Country is a large, mostly rural region near the Canadian border that is sparsely populated and peppered with small towns and cities, such as Lake Placid and Plattsburgh. With more than 300,000 residents, the area encompasses a substantial swath of New York’s land area, and includes the Adirondack Park forest preserve. Like the rest of upstate New York, the North Country has seen little net population or job growth over the past few decades, in part because of steep declines in the region’s manufacturing sector. The area includes several higher education institutions, which serve as key employers in the region. Other important local job sectors include health care, retail, tourism, agriculture, manufacturing, timber, and prisons.

Economic and Demographic Trends
North Country Watertown* Glens Falls* New York State USA
Population1 307,000 112,000 125,000 19,542,000 327,167,000
Pop growth, 10-year change1 -3.1% -2.8% -2.8% 1.7% 7.6%
GDP, billions2 $11 $6 $5 $1,598 $19,485
Job growth, 5-year change1 3.2% -0.2% 1.6% 8.0% 9.3%
Median household income2 $52,000 $50,000 $56,000 $64,000 $60,000
Median home price2 $110,000 $140,000 $169,000 $300,000 $200,000
Pop share age 25+ with BA+2 21.9% 21.2% 25.5% 36.0% 32.0%

1 2018

2 2017

* Neighboring Metros

Sources: U.S. Census Bureau; U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics; U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis; IPUMS USA-University of Minnesota; New York Fed calculations. Data retrieved through American FactFinder, Moody's, or directly from source.

Notes: Educational attainment figures reflect the American Community Survey 5-Year Estimate. Employment for North Country is calculated using the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages instead of the Current Employment Statistics.

Reports & Analysis
North Country Economic Indicators (detailed data and timely updates)
Finally, Some Signs of Improvement in the Regional Economy (Jun 16, 2020)
New York Fed Surveys: Business Activity in the Region Sees Historic Plunge in April (Apr 16, 2020)
Businesses in the Tri-State Region Struggling to Weather the Coronavirus Outbreak (Mar 30, 2020)
North Country Household Debt & Credit Snapshot (data in Excel) (Q4 2018)
New York Household Debt & Credit Snapshot (Q4 2018)
Jaison Abel’s January 2020 Briefing on the Regional Economy with a Focus on Central New York
Press Briefing on Economic Conditions in the Region (Dec 17, 2019 Webcast)
Growth Has Slowed across the Region (Dec 17, 2019)
Listening Session | Strategies for Equitable Growth in New York’s North Country (Jul 23, 2019)
New York State's Community Colleges are Successfully Partnering with Employers (Nov 14, 2018)