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 311,000 114,000 126,000 19,849,000 325,719,000
Pop growth, 10-year change1 -2.1% -0.8% -2.1% 3.7% 8.1%
GDP, billions2 $10 $6 $5 $1,500 $18,500
Job growth, 5-year change1 2.2% 0.5% 0.8% 8.3% 9.3%
Median household income2 $52,000 $46,000 $52,000 $62,000 $57,000
Median home price2 $110,000 $140,000 $165,000 $300,000 $200,000
Pop share age 25+ with BA+2 21.5% 20.6% 24.9% 35.7% 31.3%


1 2017

2 2016

* Neighboring Metros

Sources: U.S. Census Bureau; U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics; IPUMS USA-University of Minnesota. Data retrieved through American FactFinder, Moody's Economy.com, 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)
Labor Markets in the Region Are Exceptionally Tight (Dec 4, 2018)
New York State's Community Colleges are Successfully Partnering with Employers (Nov 14, 2018)
Upstate New York's Expansion Is Losing Steam (Oct 13, 2017)
Just Released: Economic Press Briefing Focuses on Regional Wage Inequality (Aug 10, 2017)
A Tale of Two States: The Recession's Impact on N.Y. and N.J. School Finances (Feb 2017)