New York is a large, significant, prosperous, diverse state in the northeastern region of the country. With a population of over 19 million, it is the fourth most populous state and the seventh most densely populated in all the United States.

New York is dominated in the public imagination by the city that bears its name, but New York has varied geography that divides into 10 distinct regions, only three of which pertain to New York City. Other significant regions include Upstate New York and Western New York, which are among the most popular areas for people to settle.


The state of New York contains a number of well-known institutions of higher learning, including the Ivy League schools of Cornell University and Columbia University; Julliard, the prestigious performing arts school; the West Point U.S. Army Academy; as well as many other public and private colleges and universities.

When it comes to K-12 education, New York has a unique system. Overseeing public schools, as well as controlling standardized tests, is the responsibility of the New York Education Department, while the task of setting standards for education statewide at the primary, secondary, and middle-level tiers falls to the University of the State of New York, which also accredits schools.

Approximately 35 percent of adults in New York have at least a bachelor’s degree, higher than the U.S. average of 30.9 percent. The number of adults with at least a high school education is comparable to that of the entire country at 86.8 percent.


As a worldwide leader in finance, banking, and communication, New York City dominates the statewide economy. Other major industries in New York include tourism, entertainment, media, information technology, and biotechnology. Agriculture takes place in areas between cities, except where the areas are too mountainous, and New York is a top-five producer of apples, cabbages, maple syrup, cattle, and dairy, among many other products.

Desirable Areas To Live

A majority of the most highly ranked communities in New York are in the Western Region near the cities of Rochester and Buffalo, while others are located in the Downstate Region in or around the NYC metropolitan area. A few, notably the hamlet of Westmere, are upstate near the capital of Albany.

Popular communities in the Western Region include the following:

  • Hamburg (population 9,576)
  • East Aurora (population 6,209)
  • Fairport (population 5,372)
  • Williamsville (population 5,269)

In the Downstate Region, Pelham is a community just north of Midtown Manhattan in Westchester County; population estimates range from 6,000 to 13,000. North Hills is a village of approximately 5,000 people located on Long Island in Nassau County.