Rochester Metro Area

With a population of more than one million people, Rochester is the third-largest metropolitan area in New York State. Rochester’s economy was historically centered around large manufacturing companies such as Eastman Kodak, Bausch & Lomb, and Xerox, but the number of manufacturing jobs in the region has shrunk considerably since the 1980s. As a result, the Rochester area has seen little growth in both population and employment in recent decades. In place of manufacturing, health care and higher education have become the most significant industries in the area, with the University of Rochester now the region’s largest employer. Rochester is well known for its world-class optics, imaging, and photonics cluster, which includes a number of small to medium-sized companies often working in partnership with local higher education institutions.

Economic and Demographic Trends
Rochester Buffalo* Syracuse* New York State USA
Population1 1,071,000 1,130,000 651,000 19,542,000 327,167,000
Pop growth, 10-year change1 -0.4% -0.5% -1.3% 1.7% 7.6%
GDP, billions2 $57 $60 $34 $1,598 $19,485
Job growth, 5-year change1 3.5% 3.3% 2.4% 8.0% 9.3%
Median household income2 $56,000 $55,000 $56,000 $64,000 $60,000
Median home price2 $140,000 $145,000 $130,000 $300,000 $200,000
Pop share age 25+ with BA+2 34.1% 32.5% 31.8% 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. Data retrieved through American FactFinder, Moody's Economy.com, or directly from source.

Reports & Analysis
Rochester Economic Indicators (detailed data and timely updates)
NEW: Early Benchmarked Employment Data
Rochester Metro Area Household Debt & Credit Snapshot (Q4 2018)
New York Household Debt & Credit Snapshot (Q4 2018)
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)
President Dudley Visits Syracuse, Ithaca & Rochester (Sep 25-27, 2017)
City of Rochester Credit Profile, 2016 (released Sep 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)