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Rochester is a city on the southern shore of Lake Ontario in western New York and the seat of Monroe County. With a population of 208,046, Rochester is the third most populous city in New York state, after New York City and Buffalo. The metropolitan area has a population of just over one million people. It is about 73 miles (117 km) east of Buffalo and 87 miles (140 km) west of Syracuse.
Rochester was one of the United States’ first boom towns, initially due to the fertile Genesee River Valley, which gave rise to numerous flour mills, and then as a manufacturing hub. Several of the region’s universities (notably the University of Rochester and Rochester Institute of Technology) have renowned research programs. The area is the birthplace of Kodak, Western Union, French’s, Bausch & Lomb, Gleason and Xerox, which conduct extensive research and manufacturing of industrial and consumer products. 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 GMP has since ranked just below Buffalo’s, while exceeding it in per-capita income.