district profile
Mid-Hudson Valley (Poughkeepsie & Kingston Metro Areas)

Dutchess, Orange, and Ulster Counties

These three counties (two metro areas) comprising the Mid-Hudson Valley are home to more than 850,000 people and roughly 430,000 jobs. Nearly 80 percent of this region’s population and jobs are in Dutchess and Orange counties, which comprise the Poughkeepsie-Newburgh-Middletown metropolitan area. The Kingston metro area comprises only Ulster County. All three counties are largely rural and agricultural, though Dutchess and Orange have a significant industrial presence as well. The largest cities are Poughkeepsie (in Dutchess County) and Newburgh (in Orange County); both have a population of roughly 30,000. Smaller urban hubs include Middletown (in Orange County) and Kingston (Ulster), and Beacon (Dutchess). Orange County’s population grew by a brisk 9 percent between 2000-10, while Dutchess County’s expanded by 6 percent and Ulster County’s increased by just 3 percent.

These counties are less affluent than the Lower Hudson Valley counties of Westchester, Rockland and Putnam, but still above the U.S. average: as of 2009, median household income was approximately $69,000 in Dutchess and Orange counties, and $58,000 in Ulster. In Dutchess County, nearly one third of adults over 25 are college graduates; in Orange and Ulster counties, the proportion is somewhat lower, at 29 percent, but still slightly above the U.S. average.

Dutchess County’s industry composition is heavily weighted toward high-tech manufacturing, though less so than in the past. In 2009, computer and electronics manufacturing accounted for 8 percent of county employment—down from 12 percent in 2003, but still nearly ten times the nationwide share. Orange County does not have a dominant industry but rather a typical balance of local market sectors, such as retailing and health services. The expansion of Stewart Airport (formerly Stewart Airforce Base) over the years has evidently been a source of some growth in the county, and transportation accounts for an above-average share of employment.

Home prices tend to be above average in these areas: based on the 2009 American Community Survey, the median home price was roughly $327,000 in Dutchess County, $318,000 in Orange County and $247,000 in Ulster County, versus a nationwide median of $185,000. Home prices more than doubled in the Poughkeepsie area and increased by 150 percent in the Kingston metro area during the housing boom (2000-06)—compared with a rise of 88 percent nationally. During the housing bust (2007-09), prices fell by roughly 20 percent in both areas.1

Recent Trends
The Poughkeepsie-Newburgh-Middletown metro area had been experiencing slow but steady improvement in the unemployment rate following the 2008-2009 recession. However, Spring 2012 brought job losses and a corresponding increase in the unemployment rate to 2009 levels. Employment in the Kingston area stagnated for two years following the 2008-2009 downturn, but has shown some growth in late 2011 and early 2012. Housing prices in both metro areas fell by approximately 30 percent from their peak in 2006 to mid-2011. Kingston housing prices experienced a slight uptick in early 2012, but Poughkeepsie’s have continued declining.

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

  Mid Hudson Valley (Poughkeepsie and Kingston Metro Areas)*: selected characteristics
    Population in 2010 % of 2010 Population that is1  
  Total Population1 % Change from 20001 per Sq. Mile2 Black Hispanic Asian  
  Mid Hudson Valley 852,794   6.7   311   9.2   13.4   2.6 
    Dutchess 297,488   6.2   371   9.9   10.5   3.5 
    Orange 154,727   5.6   751   9.5   0.6   2.4 
    Ulster 32,749   3.7   53   1.3   0.7   1.7 
  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 

  Mid Hudson Valley (Poughkeepsie and Kingston Metro Areas)*: selected characteristics
    Median % of Homes % of Adults with5  
  Household Income3 Home Value4 Owner Occupied4 College Degrees HS Degrees  
  Mid Hudson Valley $66,399   $193,600   71.1   30.9   95.3 
    Dutchess $68,804   $326,700   71.4   31.8   88.7 
    Orange $55,856   $177,000   65.6   26.2   86.8 
    Ulster $64,964   $223,100   74.3   33.9   87.9 
  New York State $54,659   $310,000   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)

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


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

September 2012