Rochester (/ˈrɒtʃᵻstər/ or /ˈrɒˌtʃɛstər/) is a city on the southern shore of Lake Ontario in the western portion of the U.S. state of New York, and the seat of its Monroe County.
The population of the city itself (210,565) was the third largest in the state — after New York City and Buffalo — at the time of the 2010 census. Rochester is at the center of a larger metropolitan area that encompasses and extends beyond Monroe County, and comprises Genesee County, Livingston County, Ontario County, Orleans County and Wayne County. This area, which is part of the Western New York region, had a population of 1,079,671 at the time of the 2010 Census. A Census estimate of July 1, 2012, raised that number to 1,082,284.
Rochester was one of America's first "boomtowns." It rose to prominence initially as the site of many flour mills along the Genesee River, and then as a major hub of manufacturing. Rochester has become an international center of higher education, as well as medical and technological development. The region is known for many acclaimed universities, and several of them (notably the University of Rochester and Rochester Institute of Technology) are nationally renowned for their research programs. In addition, Rochester has been and continues to be the site of many important inventions and innovations in consumer products. The Rochester area has been the birthplace to such corporations as Kodak, Bausch & Lomb, and Xerox that conduct extensive research and manufacturing in the fields of industrial and consumer products. Until 2010, the Rochester metropolitan area was the second largest regional economy in New York State according to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, after the New York City metropolitan area. Rochester's GMP has since ranked just below that of Buffalo, New York, while still exceeding it in per-capita income.
The 25th edition of the Places Rated Almanac rated Rochester as the "most livable city" in 2007, among three hundred seventy nine U.S. metropolitan areas. In 2010 Forbes rated Rochester as the third best place to raise a family. In 2012 Kiplinger rated Rochester as the fifth best city for families, citing low cost of living, top public schools, and a low jobless rate.