district profile
Rochester Metro Area

Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Orleans and Wayne Counties

Metropolitan Rochester is home to nearly 1.1 million people, based on the 2010 Census, having grown by a relatively modest 1.6 percent during the preceding decade. More than 70 percent of the metro area’s population resides in Monroe County, which includes the city of Rochester. The other five counties are predominantly rural and suburban and are much less densely populated; Monroe County’s population density is about ten times higher than in the rest of the metro area and nearly three times the state-wide average. The fastest-growing of these five counties has been Ontario, whose population expanded by nearly 8 percent between 2000 and 2010. The population in the other counties was stable to rising modestly, except in Orleans County, whose population declined by roughly 3 percent.

The educational profile of the population is slightly more advanced than that of the nation: 31 percent of adults hold college degrees, slightly below the statewide figure but above the national average. Within the metro area, though, only Monroe County's figure is above average. Median household income is somewhat above the national figure, except in Orleans County, where it is substantially lower. In terms of the area's demographic profile, Blacks make up roughly 12 percent of the population—somewhat below the national average. The figures for Hispanics (6 percent) and Asians (2½ percent) are well below the respective national averages.

Historically, Rochester's key industry has been photographic equipment and related manufacturing. Largely as a result, Rochester has developed a well-educated, high-tech workforce. Prior to 2000, its industry mix and the presence of a number of large multinational headquarters had enabled the local economy to weather recessions better than almost any other part of New York State. However, the Rochester metropolitan area sustained fairly steep job losses during the 2001 recession and never fully recovered the jobs it lost. Manufacturing employment shrank by roughly 40 percent over the last decade, though it has stabilized since 2010.

Home values across the Rochester metro area tend to be below the nationwide average: based on data from 2007-2009, the median home value was just under $126,000—about a third lower than for the U.S. and 60 percent below the state-wide median. Across the five counties, the median ranged from $87,000 in Orleans County to just under $134,000 in Ontario County. Over the past decade, home prices in this area have been far more stable than either nationwide or statewide, as Rochester’s housing market experienced neither a huge boom nor a huge bust. Between 2000 and 2006, while prices more than doubled at the national level, they rose by just 25 percent in the Rochester area, and have generally held steady since.1

Recent Trends
Total employment has grown slowly but steadily during the first half of 2012. Most of the growth has been in professional and business services and educational and health services. The manufacturing sector has added jobs, but at a relatively slow pace. The weakest sector has been retail trade, which lost approximately 1,600 jobs in the first half of 2012. Overall, the Rochester metropolitan area has now recovered nearly all of the jobs lost since the start of the local downturn in 2008. However, despite this steady job growth, unemployment has been climbing in 2012 and stands above 8 percent. Home prices have held steady in the region.

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

  Rochester MSA*: selected characteristics
    Population in 2010 % of 2010 Population that is1  
  Total Population1 % Change from 20001 per Sq. Mile2 Black Hispanic Asian  
  Rochester Metro Area 1,054,323   1.6   360   11.6   6.1   2.5  
    Livingston 65,393   1.7   103   2.4   2.8   1.2  
    Monroe 744,344   1.2   1,129   15.2   7.3   3.3  
    Ontario 107,931   7.7   167   2.3   3.4   1.0  
    Orleans 42,883   -2.9   110   5.9   4.1   0.4  
    Wayne 93,772   0.0   155   3.1   3.7   0.5  
  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  

  Rochester MSA*: selected characteristics
    Median % of Homes % of Adults with5  
  Household Income3 Home Value4 Owner Occupied4 College Degrees HS Degrees  
  Rochester Metro Area $51,444   $125,900   69.7   30.8   88.1 
    Livingston $52,342   $114,800   76.0   22.4   87.9 
    Monroe $51,065   $131,800   67.1   33.9   88.2 
    Ontario $55,602   $133,700   75.1   29.8   90.5 
    Orleans $44,755   $87,200   75.1   13.9   83.7 
    Wayne $52,775   $108,700   77.3   21.2   86.3 
  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)
4

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

5

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

October 2012