Rochester (/rtstr, -s-/) is a city on the southern shore of Lake Ontario in western New York. With a population of 208,046 residents, Rochester is the seat of Monroe County and the third most populous city in New York state, after New York City and Buffalo. The metropolitan area has a population of just over 1 million people. It is about 73 miles (117km) east of Buffalo and 87 miles (140km) west of Syracuse.
Rochester was one of America's first boomtowns, initially due to the fertile Genesee River Valley, which gave rise to numerous flour mills, and then as a manufacturing hub. Several of the region's universities (notably the University of Rochester and Rochester Institute of Technology) have renowned research programs. Rochester is the site of many important inventions and innovations in consumer products. The Rochester area has been the birthplace to Kodak, Western Union, French's, Bausch & Lomb, Gleason and Xerox, which conduct extensive research and manufacturing of industrial and consumer products. Until 2010, the Rochester metropolitan area was the second-largest regional economy in New York State, after the New York City metropolitan area. Rochester's GMP has since ranked just below Buffalo, New York, while exceeding it in per-capita income.
The 25th edition of the Places Rated Almanac rated Rochester as the "most livable city" in 2007, among 379 U.S. metropolitan areas. In 2010, Forbes rated Rochester as the third-best place to raise a family in the United States. In 2012, Kiplinger rated Rochester as the fifth-best city in the United States for families, citing low cost of living, top public schools, and a low jobless rate.
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