Rochester is a city in the U.S. state of New York, the seat of Monroe County, and the third-most populous in the state. The city of Rochester forms the core of a much larger metropolitan area.
Rochester was one of the United States' first boomtowns, initially due to the fertile Genesee River Valley, which gave rise to numerous flour mills, and then as a manufacturing centre, which spurred further rapid population growth. The city rose to prominence as the birthplace and home of some of America's most iconic companies, in particular Eastman Kodak, Xerox, and Bausch & Lomb (along with Wegmans, Gannett, Paychex, Western Union, French's, Constellation Brands, Ragú, and others), by which the region became a global centre for science, technology, and research and development. This status has been aided by the presence of several internationally renowned universities (notably the University of Rochester and Rochester Institute of Technology) and their research programs; these schools, along with many other smaller colleges, have played an increasingly large role in Greater Rochester's economy. While the city experienced some significant population loss as a result of deindustrialization, strong growth in the education and healthcare sectors boosted by elite universities and the slower decline of bedrock companies such as Eastman Kodak and Xerox (as opposed to the rapid fall of heavy industry with steel companies) resulted in a much less severe contraction than in most Rust Belt metro areas.
Today, Rochester's economy is defined by technology and education (aided by a highly educated workforce, research institutions, and other strengths born in its past). The Rochester metropolitan area is the third-largest regional economy in New York. Rochester's gross metropolitan product is US$50.6 billion. Rochester is also known for its culture, in particular its music culture; institutions such as the Eastman School of Music (considered to be one of the most prestigious conservatories in the world) and the Rochester International Jazz Festival anchor a vibrant music industry, ranked as one of the top-10 music scenes in the US in terms of the concentration of musicians and music-related business. It is the site of multiple major festivals every year (such as the Lilac Festival, the aforementioned Jazz Festival, the Rochester Fringe Festival, and others that draw hundreds of thousands of attendees each) and is home to several world-famous museums such as The Strong National Museum of Play and the George Eastman Museum, the oldest photography collection in the world and one of the largest. The Rochester metro is ranked highly in terms of liveability and quality of life and is often considered to be one of the best places in America for families due to low cost of living, highly ranked public schools and a low unemployment rate.
Rochester is rated Sufficiency by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network (GaWC) which evaluates and ranks the relationships between world cities in the context of globalisation. Sufficiency level cities are cities that have a sufficient degree of services so as not to be overly dependent on world cities.
Rochester has a population of over 205,695 people. Rochester also forms part of the wider Rochester metropolitan area which has a population of over 1,069,644 people. Rochester is the #16 hipster city in the world, with a hipster score of 6.3603 according to the Hipster Index which evaluates and ranks the major cities of the world according to the number of vegan eateries, coffee shops, tattoo studios, vintage boutiques, and record stores per 100,000 city residents.