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 306,000 110,000 125,000 19,454,000 328,240,000
Pop growth, 10-year change1 -3.7% -4.5% -2.8% 0.8% 7.0%
GDP, billions1 $14 $7 $7 $1,772 $21,433
Job growth, 5-year change1 2.4% -1.9% -0.3% 7.4% 8.6%
Median household income1 $53,600 $52,000 $61,700 $71,600 $65,000
Median home price1 $120,000 $140,000 $175,000 $320,000 $230,000
Pop share age 25+ with BA+1 22.6% 22.4% 26.7% 37.8% 33.1%

1 2019

* Neighboring Metros

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

Reports & Analysis
North Country Economic Indicators (detailed data and timely updates)
Regional Employment Trends (May 23, 2022)
Press Briefing on the Regional Economic Recovery (Dec 17, 2021)
Jaison Abel's Briefing on Economic Conditions in the Region (Nov 5, 2021)
Severe Supply Disruptions Are Impeding Business Activity in the Region (Oct 21, 2021)
Jaison Abel’s Briefing on the New York State Economy During the Pandemic (Sep 30, 2020)
President John Williams's Remarks at St. Lawrence University: Ever Upward (Sep 8, 2021)
Tracking the Spread of COVID-19 in the Region (Aug 27, 2020)
Jason Bram's Briefing on Regional Economic Conditions During the Pandemic (July 14, 2020)
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)
Jaison Abel’s Briefing on the Regional Economy with a Focus on Central New York (Jan 2020)
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