Capital Region Profile
Front and Center
The Capital Region is a 1.1-million-strong, eight-county region where the combination of affordability, livability, accessibility and R&D capability are making it one of the nation’s next major innovation growth centers. The region consists of Albany, Columbia, Greene, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Warren and Washington Counties and spans 5,336 square miles, or larger than Connecticut. In addition to being the home of New York’s capital city (Albany), the region is a major talent generator with 24 higher education institutions. Housing the intersection of two major interstate highways (I-87 and I-90) – and with New York City, Boston and Montreal a three-hour drive away – the region is a prime logistics and distribution hub that serves companies such as Amazon, Target, Golub Corp. and Hannaford. The region is brimming with opportunities for leisure and recreation, with the Catskills in its South, Adirondacks in its North, and many arts, cultural and food destinations in between them.
The region ranks 26th for inclusive economic growth, according to Brookings. (2019)
Realtor.com call’s region’s housing market a “hidden gem” and says it is one of “the 10 most under-the-radar markets where buyers can score a fantastic deal.” (2020)
The region’s monthly homeowner cost ($1,116) is 24 percent below the state average. (2017)
The region’s per capita income ($58,104) is the 11th highest among Northeast metro areas and is 3 percent higher than the U.S. metro area average. (2018)
The region’s Cost of Living Index (COLI) is 109.7, whereas 100 is the national average and the COLI for other tech hubs is far higher, such as 196.3 in San Francisco, 150 in Boston and 154.8 in Seattle. (2018)
U.S. News & World Report ranks the region as the nation’s 28th Best Place to Live. (2019)
The Capital Region is upstate’s only economic development region that is growing its ranks of young adults. (2014-2018)
With an educational attainment rate is 34.1 percent, the region is one of the America’s Smartest Mid-Sized Cities. (2019)
The region’s average commute to work (23.4 minutes) is 11 percent below the national average and 20 percent below the state average. (2017)
More than $4 billion in truck freight originating from the region is annually shipped throughout the United States.
Albany is the nexus of CSX, Norfolk Southern and Canadian Pacific rail lines.
The Port of Albany is North America’s northernmost, year-round inland port.
The Port of Coeymans is the Northeast’s premier bridge assembly, construction, resource and disaster recovery hub.
More than 1.5 million travelers annually board planes at Albany international Airport, which serves a dozen airlines and offers about two dozen non-stop destinations.
More than 800,000 travelers annually pass through the Albany-Rensselaer Station – Amtrak’s ninth busiest station.
The region is one of less than 50 U.S. metro areas where the private sector spends more than $1 billion on R&D.
The region has the nation’s seventh highest location quotient (3.37) for workers in the research and development in the physical, engineering, and life sciences industry. (2018)
The region’s colleges and universities annually spend more than a half billion dollars on R&D.
The pharmaceutical industry funded 342 clinical trials for drug interventions that started in the region between 2014 and 2018.
More than 3,800 STEM degrees and 1,900 STEM-related health profession degrees are annually awarded by the region’s traditional colleges and universities. (2018)