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Albany, New York Information
Albany is the state capital of New York and the seat of Albany County. Roughly 135 miles (220 km) north of the City of New York, Albany sits on the west bank of the Hudson River, about 10 miles (16 km) south of its confluence with the Mohawk River. The population of the City of Albany was 97,856 according to the 2010 census. Albany has close ties with the nearby cities of Troy, Schenectady, and Saratoga Springs, forming a region called the Capital District. The bulk of this area is made up of the Albany-Schenectady-Troy Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA). The area’s 2010 population was 870,716, the 4th largest MSA in New York and the 58th largest in the country.
Albany saw its first European settlement in 1614 and was officially chartered as a city in 1686. It became the capital of New York in 1797. It is one of the oldest surviving settlements from the original thirteen colonies, and the longest continuously chartered city in the United States. Modern Albany was founded as the Dutch trading posts of Fort Nassau in 1614 and Fort Orange in 1624. The fur trade brought in a population that settled around Fort Orange and founded a village called Beverwijck. The English took over and renamed the city Albany in 1664, in honor of the then Duke of Albany, the future James II of England and James VII of Scotland. The city was officially chartered in 1686 with the issuance of the Dongan Charter, the oldest effective city charter in the United States and possibly the longest-running instrument of municipal government in the Western Hemisphere.
During the late 18th century and throughout most of the 19th, Albany was a center of transportation. It is located on the north end of the navigable Hudson River, was the original eastern terminus of the Erie Canal, and was home to some of the earliest railroad systems in the world. Albany’s main exports at the time were beer, lumber, published works, and ironworks. Beginning in 1810, Albany was one of the ten most populous cities in the United States, a distinction that it held until the 1860 census.
Albany is one of the first cities in the world to have installed public water mains, sewer lines, natural gas lines and electricity, bringing substantial new industry to the city and surrounding area during the 19th century.
In the 20th century, the city opened one of the first commercial airports in the world, the precursor of today’s Albany International Airport. The 1920s saw the rise of a powerful political machine controlled by the Democratic Party.
The city’s skyline changed in the 1960s with the construction of the Empire State Plaza and the uptown campus of SUNY Albany, mainly under the direction of Governor Nelson Rockefeller. While Albany experienced a decline in its population due to urban sprawl, many of its historic neighborhoods were saved from destruction through the policies of Mayor Erastus Corning 2nd, the longest-serving mayor of any city in the United States. More recently, the city has experienced growth in the high-technology industry, with great strides in the nanotechnology sector.
Albany has been a center of higher education for over a century, with much of the remainder of its economy dependent on state government and health care services. The city has experienced a rebound from the urban decline of the 1970s and 1980s, with noticeable development happening in the city’s downtown and midtown neighborhoods. Albany is known for its extensive history, culture, architecture, and institutions of higher education. The city is home to the mother churches of two Christian dioceses as well as the oldest Christian congregation in Upstate New York. Albany has won the All-America City Award in both 1991 and 2009.
As of the 2010 census, there were 97,856 people residing in the city. The population of the metro area in 2009 was estimated to be 857,592. The population density in 2010 was 4,572.7 per square mile (1,779.2/km²). There were 46,362 housing units at an average density of 2,166.4 per square mile (842.9/km²); 5,205 of these units (11.2%) were vacant. The racial makeup of the city residents was 57.0% white; 30.8% black or African American; 0.3% Native American or Native Alaskan; 5.0% Asian; 0.1% Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander; 3.2% from other races; and 3.7% from two or more races. A total of 10.6% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. Non-Hispanic Whites were 52.0% of the population in 2010, compared to 87.0% in 1970.
As of the 2000 census, the top five ancestry groups in the city were Irish (18.1%), Italian (12.4%), German (10.4%), English (5.2%), and Polish (4.3%); (33.1%) of the population reported “other ancestries”. Albany is home to a Trique language-speaking community of Mexican-Americans.
The population had 20.0% under the age of 18, 19.3% from 18 to 24, 29.2% from 25 to 44, 18.1% from 45 to 64, and 13.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 31.4 years. For every 100 females there were 90.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.5 males. Some 81.3% of the population had completed high school or earned an equivalency diploma.
There were 40,709 households in 2000, out of which 22.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 25.3% were married couples living together, 16.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 54.8% were non-families. 41.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.11 and the average family size was 2.95.
The median income for a household in the city in 2000 was $42,529, and the median income for a family was $45,210 (male, year-round worker) and $38,382 (female, year-round worker). The per capita income for the city was $25,880.[o] About 16.0% of families and 21.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 28.8% of those under age 18 and 12.5% of those age 65 or over. The rate of reported violent crimes for 2008 (1,095 incidents per 100,000 residents) is more than double the rate for similarly sized US cities. Reported property crimes (4,669 incidents per 100,000 residents) are somewhat lower.
Demographically speaking, the population of Albany and the Capital District mirrors the characteristics of the United States consumer population as a whole better than any other major municipality in the country. According to a 2004 study conducted by the Acxiom Corporation, Albany and its environs are the top-ranked standard test market for new business and retail products. Albany, Rochester, and Syracuse all scored within the top five.