The Largest Cities in New York State

New York City is the most populous city in the U.S.
New York City is the most populous city in the U.S. (Image: Thomas Northcut/Photodisc/Getty Images)

According to the 2010 U.S. Census, New York state is home to 19,378,102 people. Located in the northeastern region of the U.S., it has the third-largest state population. As one of the original 13 colonies and the gateway to America for immigrants, many of its cities are very diverse and have a deep history. New York state offers everything from city life to scenic beauty in the Catskills and the Adirondacks. Although the majority of the state comprises mountains, forest, lakes and open land, 92 percent of its population live in urban cities.

New York City

New York City is the most populous city in the U.S. With a population of 8,175,133 as of the 2010 census, NYC is a center for finance, culture, arts, music, transportation, manufacturing, publishing and fashion. The city is made up of five boroughs, the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens and Staten Island. As the home of Ellis Island, the city has a very diverse population, with more than 800 languages spoken. The Manhattan skyline includes some of the nation's tallest buildings. Most residents use public transportation since the city has the oldest and most extensive transportation infrastructures in the country. Tourism is huge, and many tourists come to see its famous attractions such as the Statue of Liberty, the New York Stock Exchange, Wall Street, Time Square, the Broadway Theater District and its famous museums and dine on its world-class cuisine.


Buffalo is New York's second-largest city, with a population of 261,310. It's located in Erie County on the eastern end of Lake Erie, across the Niagara River from Canada. Its most famous attraction is Niagara Falls, and it's also home of the Anchor Bar, the originators of the buffalo wing. Buffalo is a working-class city that has world-famous architecture with art deco buildings, landmarks, churches and old mansions. Located on the waterfront, Buffalo is legendary for its extreme winter weather and amounts of snowfall.


Rochester is the third-largest city in New York state, with a population of 210,565. It's located in Monroe County and is nicknamed the "Flower City” for its horticultural success. Rochester is where the Finger Lakes meet the Great Lakes, and it is the center of a large metropolitan area and the second largest regional economy in the state. Sitting on the southern shore of Lake Ontario, it has a small-town feel but is home to a number of big corporations like Xerox, Kodak and Bausch & Lomb. Rochester has quaint neighborhoods, historic canal towns, museums, fine restaurants and many festivals.


New York's fourth-largest city is Yonkers. As of the 2010 census,195,976 people lived in this historically industrial city. It's located in Westchester County on the east bank of the Hudson River. Yonkers borders the Bronx and is just two miles from Manhattan. Because of this close proximity to New York City, it is often referred to by locals as the sixth borough. Its best-known attraction is the Yonkers Raceway, a harness racing track that also has legalized video slot machines. Because of early immigration, visitors will find many small ethnic communities and a diverse population in this city.


Syracuse, located in Onondaga County in central New York, has a population of 145,710. It's the economic and educational hub for the central region; this industrial city sits on the shores of the Onondaga and Ontario Lakes. The geography of Syracuse offers opportunities for diverse activities, from fishing and boating, to skiing and golf. Its Expo Center is the home of the Great New York State Fair. Syracuse offers a small town feel but has the arts, entertainment, museums, sports and shopping of a big city.

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