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Definitions of the Region

While there is no clear definition of what region actually constitutes Upstate New York, the regional is generally referred to as all state regions outside of New York City and Long Island. However, many working definitions of "upstate" suggest that the more populous suburbs of New York City, most often delimited by counties. These suburb boundaries generally include Westchester, Rockland and Putnam counties. Often Orange, Dutchess, and Ulster counties are also included in the downstate designation, and not considered part of Upstate New York. Additionally, some definitions refer to Upstate as areas not served by the downstate metropolitan transport systems, which are often viewed as 'ending' at the final stations on the MTA Metro-North rail lines.


The "upstate" and "downstate" regions are notably interconnected as both depend on each other for natural, economic and capital resources. For example, the Delaware and Catskill aqueducts provide the majority of New York City’s potable water supply, and much of the power supply for the city is either generated or routed through Upstate New York.

Major Urban Centers in Upstate New York

  • Albany
  • Auburn
  • Binghamton
  • Buffalo
  • Cortland
  • Elmira
  • Glens Falls
  • Ithaca
  • Jamestown
  • Kingston
  • Middletown
  • Newburgh
  • Niagara Falls
  • Poughkeepsie
  • Rochester
  • Rome
  • Saratoga Springs
  • Schenectady
  • Syracuse
  • Troy
  • Utica
  • Watertown


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