December 6 2017

Success Story: Capital Region 2017 Rankings Roundup

In 2017, Capital Region towns, cities and counties were listed in two dozen statewide and nationwide rankings, which recognized their outstanding economic performance and quality of life. Some notable rankings included the appearance of Albany on ZipRecruiter’s Fastest-Growing Tech Towns (4th), the Hudson micropolitan statistical area (µSA) on the National Center for Arts Research’s Most Vibrant Arts Communities, Small Cities (5th), Saratoga Springs on WalletHub’s Best Small Cities in America (98th percentile), Glens Falls on 24/7 Wall Street’s Best Cities for Families (24th), and the Albany-Schenectady-Troy metropolitan statistical area (MSA) on Forbes’ U.S. Cities Where Manufacturing Is Thriving (4th).


Below is a full listing of the eight-county region’s listings (ordered by the ranking source).

1.) Ranking (Source): Best Cities for Families (24/7 Wall Street)

City, Rank: Glens Falls, 24

Highlight: At 57.6%, Glens Falls has one of the highest preschool enrollment rates of any U.S. metro area. The area is also relatively safe. There were only 171 violent crimes in 2015 for every 100,000 residents, less than half the U.S. violent crime rate.

2.) Ranking (Source): Wealthiest Small Towns in America (Bloomberg)

City, Rank: Hudson, 15

Highlight: While Hudson’s estimated median household income was $59,105, 4.9 percent of households had an income over $200,000 and 2.5 percent of homes were valued at over $1 million.

3.) Ranking (Source): Metro Areas with the Most Inclusive Economic Growth (Brookings Institution)

City, Rank: Albany, 1 (4-way-tie)

Highlight: In contrast to high fliers like Denver and Austin, Albany performed below the metropolitan average in most indicators of growth, prosperity, and inclusion. Yet it still managed to make consistent progress from its baseline, suggesting that a metro area’s economic starting point does not preclude it from achieving near-term inclusive economic growth.

4.) Ranking (Source): Metro Areas with the Most Cleantech Patents (Brookings Institution)

City, Rank: Albany-Schenectady-Troy MSA, 2 (wind patents) and 14 (solar patents)

Highlight: This metro area also has 2,673 cleantech inventors – the 17th greatest amount in the nation.

5.) Ranking (Source): Coolest Small Town in America (Budget Travel)

City, Rank: Glens Falls, 9

Highlight: A magazine in 1944 christened it “Hometown, USA,” and the name has stuck ever since. Some of the area’s largest firms have their headquarters here, yet it’s just a quick trip to nearby caves and waterfalls, which novelist James Fennimore Cooper extoled in “The Last of the Mohicans.” Today you can visit the cave, named for the writer, where Hawkeye and his cohorts tried to escape. Glens Falls, it seems, proves nature and commerce can coexist.

6.) Ranking (Source): Best Cities for Young Professionals (Forbes)

City, Rank: Albany, 21 (tie)

Highlight: Albany’s median salary for recent grads was $50,000 and its median rent as a share of median salary was 12.7 percent.

7.) Ranking (Source): U.S. Cities Where Manufacturing Is Thriving (Forbes)

City, Rank: Albany-Troy-Schenectady MSA, 7

Highlight: Manufacturing accounted for 5.3 percent of jobs in the local economy, and between 2011 and 2016 the sector’s employment grew by 17.6 percent.

8.) Ranking (Source): Best Places For Business And Careers (Forbes)

City, Rank: Albany-Schenectady-Troy MSA, 80

Highlight: This was the highest-ranking metro in New York State. In the subcategories of education and cost of doing business, it ranked 39th and 79th.

9.) Ranking (Source): Top-Ranked Cities for Millennials (Growella)

City, Rank: Albany, 11

Highlight: The city has an estimated 132,100 people aged 20 to 34 years and ranked third in the Northeast.

10.) Ranking (Source): Revitalizing America’s Smaller Legacy Cities (Lincoln Institute of Land Policy

City, Rank: Albany, “High-Performing”

Highlight: As part of New York State’s Tech Valley, Albany has collaborated with Troy and Schenectady to promote the region’s strong technology companies, vibrant neighborhoods, and low cost of living.

11.) Ranking (Source): Best Cities to Retire Early, Northeast (

City, Rank: Albany, 7

Highlight: The city scored highest for its cost-of-living.

12.) Ranking (Source): Most Vibrant Arts Communities, Small Cities (National Center for Arts Research)

City, Rank: Hudson µSA, 5

Highlight: The Hudson, NY, MSA, known as “Upstate’s Downtown,” encompasses Columbia County in the Hudson Valley. Arts organizations and artists abound, as reflected in the high rankings on these measures and on overall Arts Providers…. The Hudson area is home to 19 art galleries and the Millay Colony for the Arts, LABSpace, the Pleshakov Piano Museum, and FASNY’s Fire Museum of Firefighting. The Hudson Opera House is undergoing an $8.5 million restoration, with support from Empire State Development, New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, the New York State Council on the Arts, and private funds. These investments by New York State are reflected in Hudson’s high rankings on both state arts dollars and state arts grants.

13.) Ranking (Source): Places with the Most Incoming Investments in NYS (

City, Rank: Saratoga County, 1

Highlight: The county experienced 3.1 percent business growth, $223 million in GDP growth, 12.7 new building permits per 1,000 homes and $373 in federal funding per capita.

14.) Ranking (Source): Top Small Metros for Craft Spirits Tourism, Small Metro Areas (Travelocity)

City, Rank: Glens Falls MSA, 9

Highlight: The metro area had the fifth highest “tourability score,” which takes into account the number of distilleries, award-winning sprits and distillery concentration.

15.) Ranking (Source): Best Places to Live (U.S. News & World Reports)

City, Rank: Albany, 30

Highlight: The city moved up on this list from No. 36 the previous year.

16.) Ranking (Source): Top Markets for Single Women Homebuyers (

City, Rank: Albany-Schenectady, 4

Highlight: At 18.1 percent, Albany had the greatest share of single-women homeowners among the top 20 markets. Among those markets, Albany also had the lowest crime rate (380 per 100,000) and the third highest transit/walkability score (79).

17.) Ranking (Source): Best Cities for Music Fans (ValuePenguin)

City, Rank: Albany, 6

Highlight: Albany had one of the best “crowds” for live music, as measured by its top venues and per capita number of radio stations, musical instrument supply stores, bars and tape/CD/record stores.

18.) Ranking (Source): Best Metros for STEM Professionals (WalletHub)

City, Rank: Albany-Schenectady-Troy MSA, 15

Highlight: Albany had the 19th most professional opportunities and 22nd best STEM-friendly environment.

19.) Ranking (Source): Best Cities to Start a Business (WalletHub)

City, Rank: Troy, 78

Highlight: The city performed best with is cost of business rank (69th).

20.) Ranking (Source): Most Educated Cities (WalletHub)

City, Rank: Albany-Schenectady-Troy MSA, 19

Highlight: The metro area ranked 19th for educational attainment and 59th for quality of education and attainment gap.

21.) Ranking (Source): Best Cities for Hockey Fans (WalletHub)

City, Rank: Troy, 53

Highlight: The city ranked 23rd for both its NHL and NCAA rankings

22.) Ranking (Source): Best Cities for Hockey Fans (WalletHub)

City, Rank: Schenectady, 54

Highlight: The city had the 23rd highest NHL ranking and 36th highest NCAA ranking.

23.) Ranking (Source): Best Small Cities in America (WalletHub)

City, Rank: Saratoga Springs, 98th percentile

Highlight: The city performed best with its economic health rank (116th) and quality of life rank (46th).

24.) Ranking (Source): Best Small Cities in America (WalletHub)

City, Rank: Albany, 62nd percentile

Highlight: The city performed best with its quality of life rank (15th).

25.) Ranking (Source): Happiest Places in the Empire State (

City, Rank: Niskayuna, 1

Highlight: Pushing the town to the top of this list was its high homeownership rate (92.9 percent) and marriage rate (64.4 percent).

26.) Ranking (Source): Fastest-Growing Tech Towns (ZipRecruiter)

City, Rank: Albany, 4

Highlight: The city experienced a 161 percent year-over-year increase in tech jobs.


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