Rochester () is a city in the U.S. state of New York, the seat of Monroe County and the third-most populous after New York City and Buffalo with an estimated population of 205,695 in 2019. The city of Rochester forms the core of a much larger urban area, with a metro population of around 1.1 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 like 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). Until 2010, the Rochester metropolitan area was the second-largest regional economy in New York State, after the New York City metropolitan area. Rochester's gross metropolitan product has since ranked just below Buffalo's, while exceeding it in per capita income in 2015. Rochester is also known for its culture, in particular its music culture; institutions like the Eastman School of Music (considered to be one of the most prestigious conservatories in the world) and the Rochester International Jazz Festival anchor a vibrant music industry, ranked as one of the top ten music scenes in the US in terms of the concentration of musicians and music-related business .