Rochester () is a city in the U.S. state of New York, the seat of Monroe County and the fourth-most populous after New York City, Buffalo, and Yonkers, New York with an estimated population of 199,843 in 2020. The city of Rochester forms the core of a much larger suburban, and rural area. Rochester has a greater metro population of around 1 million people, across six counties.
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 center 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) which saw the region become a global center for science, technology, 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. Rochester has also played a key part in US history as a hub for certain important social/political movements, especially Abolitionism and the Women's Rights Movement. 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 like Eastman Kodak and Xerox (as opposed to the rapid fall of heavy industry with steel companies in Buffalo and Pittsburgh) resulted in a much less severe contraction than in most Rust Belt metros.
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 fourth-largest regional economy in New York State, after the New York City metropolitan area Buffalo, and Albany.