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Geography Explained

New York State consists of 62 counties. Counties are the building blocks used to build progressively larger geographic areas for which labor market statistics are reported. These larger areas include Core Based Statistical Areas (CBSAs) and labor market regions (LMRs).

Each CBSA consists of a county or associated counties containing at least one urban area of 10,000 or more population, plus adjacent, outlying counties that have a high degree of social and economic integration with the core. An outlying county is included in the CBSA if at least 25 percent of its employed residents work in the central county (or counties) or if not less than 25 percent of the jobs in the outlying county are held by residents of the central county (or counties).

There are two types of CBSAs: Metropolitan Statistical Areas and Micropolitan Statistical Areas. Each Metropolitan Statistical Area must have at least one urban area of 50,000 or more inhabitants. Each Micropolitan Statistical Area must have at least one urban area of at least 10,000 but less than 50,000 inhabitants. New York State has fifteen Metropolitan Statistical Areas (including two labor market areas) and fourteen Micropolitan Statistical Areas.

If specified criteria are met, a Metropolitan Statistical Area containing a single core with a population of 2.5 million or more may be subdivided to form smaller groupings of counties referred to as "Metropolitan Divisions." New York State's portion of the New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, NY-NJ-PA Metropolitan Statistical Area includes the Nassau-Suffolk Metropolitan Division as well as the New York City labor market area and the Putnam-Rockland-Westchester labor market area.

If two adjacent Metropolitan or Micropolitan Statistical Areas have a certain degree of employment interchange, for reporting purposes they may be combined into a single geographic entity know as a Combined Statistical Area (CSA). New York State has five CSAs entirely within its borders and a sixth - the New York-Newark-Bridgeport CSA - which includes portions of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Connecticut.

Labor Market Regions (LMR) correspond to ten geographic areas of the state, which are defined by the New York State Department of Labor, each of which is served by a Department of Labor regional analyst. For a list of New York State LMRs and their component counties, see below.  In addition, see the Census Bureau's Guide to State and Local Census Geography.

Image of the State of New York broken down by County

Metropolitan Statistical Areas

  • Albany-Schenectady-Troy: Albany, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady and Schoharie counties
  • Binghamton: Broome and Tioga counties
  • Buffalo-Niagara Falls: Erie and Niagara counties
  • Dutchess-Putnam Metropolitan Division: Dutchess and Putnam counties
  • Elmira: Chemung County
  • Glens Falls: Warren and Washington counties
  • Ithaca: Tompkins County
  • Kingston: Ulster County
  • Nassau-Suffolk Metropolitan Division: Nassau and Suffolk counties
  • New York City labor market area: Bronx, Kings, New York, Queens and Richmond counties
  • Orange-Rockland-Westchester labor market area: Orange, Rockland and Westchester counties
  • Rochester: Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Orleans, Wayne and Yates counties
  • Syracuse: Madison, Onondaga and Oswego counties
  • Utica-Rome: Herkimer and Oneida counties
  • Watertown-Fort Drum: Jefferson County

Minor Counties (outside of Metropolitan Statistical Areas)

  • Allegany County
  • Cattaraugus County (also Olean Micropolitan Area)
  • Cayuga County (also Auburn Micropolitan Area)
  • Chautauqua County (also Jamestown-Dunkirk-Fredonia Micropolitan Area)
  • Chenango County
  • Clinton County (also Plattsburgh Micropolitan Area)
  • Columbia County (also Hudson Micropolitan Area)
  • Cortland County (also Cortland Micropolitan Area)
  • Delaware County
  • Essex County
  • Franklin County (also Malone Micropolitan Area)
  • Fulton County (also Gloversville Micropolitan Area)
  • Genesee County (also Batavia Micropolitan Area)
  • Greene County
  • Hamilton County
  • Lewis County
  • Montgomery County (also Amsterdam Micropolitan Area)
  • Otsego County (also Oneonta Micropolitan Area)
  • St. Lawrence County (also Ogdensburg-Massena Micropolitan Area)
  • Schuyler County
  • Seneca County (also Seneca Falls Micropolitan Area)
  • Steuben County (also Corning Micropolitan Area)
  • Sullivan County
  • Wyoming County

Combined statistical areas

  • Albany-Schenectady: Albany-Schenectady-Troy and Glens Falls Metropolitan Statistical Areas and Amsterdam, Gloversville and Hudson Micropolitan Statistical Areas
  • Buffalo-Cheektowaga: Buffalo-Niagara Falls Metropolitan Statistical Area and Olean Micropolitan Statistical Area
  • Elmira-Corning: Elmira Metropolitan Statistical Area and Corning Micropolitan Statistical Area
  • Ithaca-Cortland: Ithaca Metropolitan Statistical Area and Cortland Micropolitan Statistical Area
  • Rochester-Batavia-Seneca Falls: Rochester Metropolitan Statistical Area and Batavia and Seneca Falls Micropolitan Statistical Areas
  • Syracuse-Auburn: Syracuse Metropolitan Statistical Area and Auburn Micropolitan Statistical Area

Important Notice
Several labor market regions were redefined in March 2008.  The table below summarizes those changes.

Change in Labor Market Regions
Region Counties Change/Comment
Capital Albany, Columbia, Greene, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Warren, and Washington Unchanged
Central NY Cayuga, Cortland, Madison, Onondaga, and Oswego Gained Madison County.
Finger Lakes Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Orleans, Seneca, Wayne, Wyoming, and Yates Unchanged
Hudson Valley Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Sullivan, Ulster, and Westchester Unchanged
Long Island Nassau and Suffolk Unchanged
Mohawk Valley Fulton, Herkimer, Montgomery, Oneida, Otsego, and Schoharie Gained Otsego County and lost Madison County
New York City Bronx, Kings, New York, Queens, and Richmond Unchanged
North Country Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Hamilton, Jefferson, Lewis, and St. Lawrence Unchanged
Southern Tier Broome, Chemung, Chenango, Delaware, Schuyler, Steuben, Tioga, and Tompkins Lost Otsego County
Western NY Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, and Niagara Unchanged

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