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Rochester is the seat of Monroe County and the third largest city in New York State. It is situated on the southern shore of Lake Ontario. Approximately 209,000 people live in Rochester. Eighty-one percent of residents over the age of 25 have completed high school, and 24% have earned a bachelor’s degree. The ethnic composition of the city is 39% black, 37% white, 17% Hispanic, and 4% Asian.
The University of Rochester is the largest employer in the city. Residents in Rochester earn an average annual wage of $19,800 and have a median household income of $31,700. Approximately 33% of residents live below the poverty line.
Rochester is ranked as the 5th poorest city among America’s 75 largest metropolitan areas. Among cities of similar size, it is ranked as the second poorest. Forty-eight percent of children in Rochester are considered poor.
Substance addiction is a rising concern in Monroe County. Drug-related deaths in the county increased by 64% between 2010 and 2015. According to the Monroe County Medical Examiner’s office, 169 opioid overdose deaths occurred in Monroe in 2016. The county is working with the Rochester Drug Treatment Court to acquire a $1.8 million grant to help with addiction treatment services.
In 2015, Monroe County gave teens a Youth Risk Behavior Survey. Around 32% of teenagers in Rochester reported feeling sad every day for at least two weeks. Twelve percent of Rochester teenagers reported attempting suicide. This number was noticeably higher than the overall county rate of 8%.