Rochester, NY

Population: 210,291 livability score shield

Key findings

  • Rochester has a Livability Score of 57/100, which is considered poor
  • Rochester crime rates are 135% higher than the New York average
  • Cost of living in Rochester is 27% lower than the New York average
  • Rochester real estate prices are 73% lower than the New York average
  • Rental prices in Rochester are 33% lower than the New York average

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      Rochester, NY

      Rochester is the third largest city in New York State, second only to New York City and Buffalo. Is known for its reputation as a global city and it is the birthplace of many world famous companies, including Kodak and Western Union Bank. This reputation has pushed the city into the 21st century as one of the most successful communities in the United States. The people are welcoming and the population continues to grow as more and more families call Rochester their home.

      Rochester is located on the Genesee River and it has consistently been considered one of the best places in the United States to raise a family. The growing job industry is one particularly appealing aspect, along with the beautiful skyline and popularity amongst people moving out of larger cities such as New York City. Some of the biggest employers are currently the University of Rochester and Paychex Inc, among many others.

      For those wishing to start or relocate a family here, Rochester has many excellent public schools to educate your children. In terms of higher education, Rochester is the home of the prestigious University of Rochester. In terms of attractions, the city has dozens of parks in nearly every neighborhood. There is also the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and the George Eastman Museum. These and other centers have driven the cultural vibrancy of Rochester. If shopping is more interesting to you, you can find almost everything you could ever need in Greece Ridge or Merchants Main Shopping Center. There is certainly something for everyone here.

      Public transportation is readily available in Rochester with the local bus transit service and Amtrak connects Rochester to other major cities on the East Coast. Owning a car is another option, for those who would prefer it and parking and traffic are not as big of an issue in Rochester as it is in larger cities.

      The cost of living in Rochester is about average, with the average rent being about $1,000 per month. Groceries and other necessities are in line with the rest of the United States and the minimum wage is currently $11.80, which helps offset the costs somewhat. Most people will not have too much trouble living comfortably here. Many local employers do pay much more than that and the work force is very well educated.

      Rochester has continued to grow in terms of population and job prospects and it shows no sign of slowing down soon. The culture and history of the city is very inviting and new residents will feel at home in no time at all. If you decide to make Rochester your new home as a student, family or retiree, you likely won't regret it.

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      Rochester Reviews

      Write a review about Rochester Tell people what you like or don't like about Rochester…
      Worst Place Ever
      I’ve lived in Rochester for 23 years. It’s not a good place to live. Nothing to do. Crime is thriving. It snows for what seems half of the year and so it always seems bleak and cold. Schools are absolutely horrible. Politicians are corrupt. Take my advice, don’t even visit this place. There are too many people wanting to move away and too many people too poor to move away or have just given up on life. If you do visit DO NOT walk outside at night. Be very careful of walking outside in the daytime. Many people get shot or mugged walking outside so please be cautious. I wouldn’t want to raise my kids here. The houses are cheap for a reason. The only things good about living here are a few good restaurants and amenities are also good. If you do visit here; God speed. I only lived here because I had no choice.
      4 -5
      Red flex traffic systems in Rochester
      In rochester my, the government practically broke has resorted to installing right on red traffic cams. These cans can sometimes be rigged as well as in accurate but the city of rochester continues to not take responsibility for these issues in hearings. They are unable to prove where your car is when you liscense plate is pictured, and the photos are too blurry to make out your liscense plate. Also they decide to define these tickets as parking tickets, but these violations don even show up on the city of Rochesters ticket lookup data base. These tickets are a money grab even though the city tries to cover it up be saying that the cameras are for safety. We need to stand and fight these tickets and put an end to this in Rochester ny. Thanks, and good luck if you have received one of these tickets.
      0 -2
      Rochester is so underrated
      Don't believe the bad rap people tell you, Rochester has a lot to boast. I have family in or lived in most of the major cities on the east coast and I can honestly say Rochester is one of the best.

      First off in terms of culture it has so much for its size. Jazz clubs and art galleries that would be worthy of a city ten times the size. So many of the people here are well educated and intellectual. The Jazz fest is one of the finest and the turn out is almost as big as the cities total population. It so much easier and enjoyable to go to these events than it is in a big city. In New York City it takes the day to go do something where here you can do it on a whim and in no time with little effort. The city hosts festivals almost every weekend from May to September.

      Another way in which Rochester excels is its food. Rochester is host to quite a number excellent ethnic restaurants and many local places that take great care and passion in their food. I am experienced as a chef and weary of others food but I can honestly say as cites go the food here is good. The diversity is pretty impressive for Rochester's size. The grocery stores here are also for the gourmand. The wine stores have good prices and selection. Beer snobs would be happy here too.

      Rochester is supper easy to get around. For one thing traffic is relatively light but also the highways are designed well. You can live relatively far out from the city from in almost any direction except north and time wise be very close. The city quickly goes from dense to rural. You could buy a farm house and have about half hour commute down town. You can really have the best of both worlds. You can live in a nice neighborhood with a big yard and still have quicker assess to amenities than a big city. The other thing that is nice about high ways is that they bypass the bad areas of town. If you don't wish to be in the high crime or grungy parts they are easily avoidable.

      I am big into the outdoors and Rochester is a really great place for it. With in 20 to 30 minutes there is beautiful countryside to bike paddle or hike. Letchworth state park is amazing. Also the finger lakes are near by with hundreds of wineries and breweries you can visit. There are numerous lakes and water falls. There is really good cross country skiing right near the city. Also the local down hill resorts have very reasonable offers. If you do stuff on the weekends then the Susquehanna forest, Adirondacks or Catskills are withing a few hours. Also its not bad to get to Vermont for a very affordable ski vacation. Also golf in WNY is cheap. The is a good amount of hockey and lacrosse which are the most awesome sports to watch or play.

      Alot people complain about the weather but it really isn't bad. Yes we have seasons here but its not that bad. Its' a give and take if you lived where it couldn't snow at all then you'd have a sweltering summer where you wouldn't want to go out side for 2 months. If it was 15 degrees warmer in the winter then it would be freezing rain and ice rather than snow and too hot in the summer. A few inches on the ground really isn't a big deal, it looks pretty and you can actually do winter sports. The snow is only disruptive a couple days each year,on average the roads are clear and winter commutes are just fine.

      Rochester is pretty affordable to live in rent wise and the are a lot of good neighborhood you can choose from. The crime and poverty is in easily identifiable and avoidable pockets. The schools and colleges are really good. There is good shopping and everything is convent.

      On the whole the thing that I find the best about Rochester s that it has a lot to do if your intellectual with out the stressfulness of being in a bigger city. Being able to enjoy the best of both city and country life.
      9 -3
      Rochester, Rock Solid!
      I lived in Rochester, NY, along with several other cities in Upstate New York throughout my entire childhood. Rochester is like a rock! Meaning, it's a solid community, filled with people that quite often band together and know how how to deal with that snow! The varying temperatures and seasons always stand out in my mind when I think of Rochester, but one thing I make note of now, is the freshness of the art scene.

      Having moved from Rochester, to a place in the country that is much further south, I can really see and feel the difference in the general attitude toward the arts by comparison. Not only does Rochester have its uniquely brisk air, it also has a distinct art culture of its own that really fits a lot of my tastes. I know I will be returning there soon, to visit, and number one on my list of things to do is to check out all the new music and other arts in the area.

      The people of Rochester are like those of most in Upstate New York- completely talkative and helpful. Shyness doesn't really exist in this city I don't think. This is a great plus for newcomers; imagine meeting your neighbors, making instant friends, learning where to get whatever you're shopping for, and finding out who is hiring all in one dog walk! This is not to say you won't have your own space in this city, while the locals are super outgoing, they also are very busy and not at all overbearing. Another thing I should mention is, as an older city, Rochester doesn't change too dramatically, too often. But that's a good thing!
      3 -2
      Not so sure about Rochester anymore
      I have lived here for my entire life and there is not much keeping me here anymore. The violence is at an all time high with: drivebys, stabbings, shootings in broad day light. I have two small children now and I know violence will be everywhere but this has gotten ridiculous. There was an 11 year old boy that just was shot at 10a in the morning. This has to stop and it starts with the community. The only good thing I like about Rochester right now is the Charter Schools. I love the way they care about the kids and go above and beyond. The city school district needs to incorporate some of these practices in there day to day schooling. The graduation rate here is a joke. It starts at home and it seems like there are less people who care then people who do. I am ready to leave here for my kids sake.
      1 -1
      Very Disappointed
      I have lived in this city for 2 years. I have no means of offending the residents here. But from my experience, I would not live here for a day if possible. This is the worst city I have ever lived.

      People here in general are friendly. Other than that, there is nothing I can say.

      This is a declined city, filled with running down houses, poor people relying on goverment. There is no night life. Every day shop in the same place. No excitment. The city population is aged. My single well educated girlfriends could not find boyfriends. So, as soon as they find jobs in other cities, they left with no hesitate. In the last two years, I made some wonderful friends. But they almost all left Rochester.

      The business people here are so desperate. The way they do business is like tomorrow will be the end of the world. All they want is your money, realtors, lawyers, contractors, handymen and inspectors... They don't care about future, no moral. The clerks city here are not nice. The judges could not see the truth even you provided evidences. Honest people will not win in this city.

      The only reson I stay here is becasue my wonderful husband. My husband is a firm beliver of this city. But after he saw my experience in this city, he agree with me to move to the another city once the opportnuty comes.
      2 -3
      Enjoy The Many Attractions of Rochester, NY
      I live in Rochester NY and really love just about everything about it. This city is one of the largest in New York, so you get to meet all sorts of different people. You can not get bored in this city, because there is always something going on twenty four hours a day. The nightlife is just as exciting as the daytime activities. This is one city that will keep you entertained no matter what age you are. You can really appreciate the shopping and restaurants here as well as the different museums, parks, and other fun places to visit.

      When touring this city you can not miss out on visiting the beautiful Highland Botanical Park or the Seabreeze Amusement Park. If you enjoy walking then explore the Genesee Riverway Trail. The Seneca Park Zoo is a small but exciting attraction that you should really take time to see. There are several different museums in this area too, but one of my favorites would have to the Rochester and Genesee Railroad Museum. It is fun for the whole family. No matter what you decide to do, be sure to try out the local cuisine. There are many delicious places to eat like the Highland Park Diner or Cobbs Hill Pizza. Rochester NY really has a lot to offer. It is a place that really has something for everyone. Once you have lived in this city, then you will always want to call it home.
      0 -1
      Life in Rockin Rochester, NY
      My family is from Rochester, NY. We have gone on several vacations there since moving to Florida in 1995. I would say greater Rochester is the more desirable area. It has a lot of things going for it if you enjoy living outside the city core in the suburbs.

      You can choose from a variety of great Rochester restaurants like Tapas 177 as well as other high quality Italian restaurants. One attraction I like is Casa Larga, which is an authentic Italian winery. Parks in Rochester are also really quite beautiful. There are also several great universities and medical centers in Rochester.

      A few things I don't really like about Rochester are the high taxes and weather. It is very cold, windy, and there is tons of snow in the winter. I would advise against investing in real estate here. Rochester houses are priced lower than average, but high taxes cancel out the savings.
      0 0
      Source: The Rochester, NY data and statistics displayed above are derived from the 2016 United States Census Bureau American Community Survey (ACS).