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Rochester Fast Facts

  • Rochester's Affordable Housing: at $119,200, the median home sales price is 57.7% lower than the national average.1
  • Rochester's Easy Commute Time: average daily commute under 20 minutes.
  • Rochester operates 21 parks totaling nearly 12,000 acres: the Lilac Festival celebrates the city's historic park system designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, and showcases over 500 varieties of lilacs, giving Rochester its nickname, The Flower City.
  • Beaches and water fronts: with Lake Ontario, the Genesee River, the Erie Canal, and the Finger Lakes region, water lovers will always find great activities, including cruises, boating, and concerts by the shore.
  • Golfing: Rochester and Monroe County have hosted three U.S. Open Championships, the PGA Championship, the U.S. Senior Open, the 1995 Ryder Cup Matches, and the annual LPGA event.

Rochester Rankings

  • Ranked 5th for Overall Innovation Capacity: based on jobs in high-tech industries, degrees granted in science and engineering, number of patents, academic research and development funding, and venture capital invested.2
  • Named 6th Most Livable City in the U.S.3
  • Ranked 7th Among the 10 Best Cities to Raise a Family: based on pediatric health characteristics and services, cost of living, economic strength, quality of life, education and environmental quality criteria.4
  • Ranked 1st Among 125 World Regions for Patent Registration.5
  • Ranked 11th Among 100 Metro Areas for Least Stressful City: based on unemployment rate, divorce rate, commute time, violent and property crime rates, suicide rate, alcohol consumption, self-reported poor mental health, and number of cloudy days.6
  • Ranked One of the 20 Strongest Metros in the U.S.: based on strength of its employment and housing prices.7
  • Ranked 1st for Overall Quality of Life: among metros with a population of 1 million.8

Living in Rochester

The High Falls Historic District offers laser shows, microbreweries, a variety of cuisines, shops featuring local artisans, and affordable city housing.

Located on the southern shore of Lake Ontario in the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York, Rochester is a stimulating and progressive metropolitan community of more than a million people. Within driving distance of New York City, Toronto, and Buffalo, Rochester is close to major metropolitan areas and international airports.

As the city's largest employer, the University of Rochester plays a key role in the economic and cultural life of the area. But due to Rochester's size, it's not really a college town; rather, it's developing into an entirely new entity: a university city. Thanks to the close connection between the city and the university, Rochester boasts a vibrant arts and cultural life usually enjoyed by much larger metropolitan areas. World-class music venues, international art exhibits, traditional and living museums, and literary events are hallmarks of Rochester's surprisingly rich cultural scene.

One of Rochester's oldest and most unique neighborhoods celebrates its annual festival of arts, crafts and music. The Park Avenue festival annually attracts over 250,000 people!

Rochester is also the corporate home for many leading high-technology manufacturers such as Xerox, Harris, and Bausch & Lomb. In addition to these Fortune 500 companies, Rochester also has a large number of small, high-technology companies that offer graduate students and spouses many options for research in business and industry.

The University of Rochester, along with the Center for Governmental Research, an independent think tank, have created a five-year strategic plan that depends on cutting-edge research and translational science to fuel the region's economic transformation. The Hajim School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and particularly the Biomedical Engineering Department, are poised to be an integral part of that growth.

Scenes from the vibrant night life in the city.

Theatre and culture are highlighted in lively downtown Rochester.

Music lovers enjoying the week-long annual Jazz Festival at Rochester's trendy East End.

The Rochester Region and the Biotech Industry9

  • Resilient, resourceful and top-ranked for its knowledge workforce, the Greater Rochester, New York Region is attracting and keeping smart people and smart businesses.
  • Rochester is located in the heart of the Upstate New York super-region, close to major markets without the major-market expense. It is the only city that is home to the best small, medium and large companies to work for in America.
  • According to Peter Robinson, URMC vice president and chief operating officer, We are distinguished by the amount of funding we receive from the National Institutes of Health, and we bring a significant amount of biomedical research expertise to the Upstate New York region. We rank among the top 10 medical centers in revenue generated from intellectual property over the past eight years.
  • Part of the Upstate Tech Corridor, Bio/Med is one of the region's key industries.
  • Thriving business and groundbreaking research make Upstate New York one of the richest Bio/Med regions in the country.
  • 70% of Upstate New York's 200+ Bio/Med companies are headquartered in the region.
  • 95,000 of the state's 130,000 Bio/Med jobs are located in Upstate New York.

The UR's jewel of an art gallery.

The LPGA is among the hundreds of golfing events held in Rochester from spring through fall.

The Rochester Philharmonic performs over 140 concerts per year!



National Association of Realtors (Q2, 2008), NAHB Housing Opportunity Index (Q2, 2008).


Metropolitan New Economy Index: Benchmarking Economic Transformation in the Nation's Metropolitan Areas, 2001.


Places Rated Almanac, 2007.


Child Magazine, 2003.


World Knowledge Competitiveness Index 2003-2004: Benchmarking the Globe's Leading Knowledge Economy Regions, Robert Huggins Business and Economic Policy Press.


Sperlings's Best Places, 2004.


Brookings Institution Analysis, June 2009.


Expansion Management, May/June, 2007.


2010 Forbes & MedTech Report.