Downtown Syracuse New York with view of historic buildings and fountain at Clinton Square.

Syracuse, New York

Syracuse is a pivotal city in the state of New York that witnessed many historical events shaping the future of the state. It is the birthplace of significant cultural landmarks and an essential colonial site.  

Geography Of Syracuse

Skyline of Syracuse
Skyline of Syracuse. Editorial credit: Paul Brady Photography /

The City of Syracuse is located in Onondaga County, a thriving metropolitan center and one of the major crossroads in the state of New York. The Greater Syracuse area contains beautiful landforms such as flat plains, rolling hills, lakes, and water streams. 

Syracuse is situated along the southern end of Lake Onondaga and continues to 30 miles north, bordered by Lake Ontario. The city's central area has an altitude ranging between 364 to 681 feet, whereas five miles to the South, hills are elevating 1,500 feet above sea level, and immediately to the west, there are hills with elevations ranging between 500 and 800 feet.  

Syracuse is known for its beautiful climate. Summers tend to be warm with partially clouded skies, whereas the winters are frigid with a lot of snow. The temperatures in the hot season can soar to 82°F and drop all the way to -1°F. However, the average high is about 63°F in the summer and 32°F in the winter.Rainfalls are frequent in Syracuse, with October being the rainiest. The period with the most snow precipitation is between November 5 to April 14.

Demographics Of Syracuse 

The aerial view of the waterfront residential area of Syracuse by Oneida Lake.

Syracuse is a medium-sized city with a population of 141,073 people according to the 2022 census ranking it the fifth most populated city in New York. It tends to be a young city with a median age of 31.2 years. Females representing 52.3% of the community have a median age of 31.7 years, whereas males constitute 47.7% with a median age of 30.6 years. Women in Syracuse are more than the males and older.  

The city is known for its diversity because of the different ethnicities that reside in it, representing the various religions as well. There were 26 neighborhoods upon its first arrival. The Polish, the Irish, and the Ukrainians settled on the west side. The east side was the settling ground of Jewish Americans. The South had the Italians, and the North had German Americans. Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Sikhism, and Judaism are religions represented in the city. 

Forbes recently ranked Syracuse as the 4th best place in the United States to raise a family because of its low crime rate, excellent education, and low cost of living. Whites are the largest ethnic group making up 50% of the population, followed by African Americans with 28.5%. Asians with 6.52%, and Hispanics with 4.78%.

Economy Of Syracuse

As of 2020, the economy in Syracuse has 58.5K employees. Health care, education and retail are the top employers. The average household income is $55,573, with jobs in the legal sector being the highest paying with more than $73,000, followed by the utility industry, which pays about $63,000 as an annual salary. 

On the other hand, the poverty rate is very high, at 31.04%. Renting a home in Syracuse is not cheap, where the median rental costs about $814 a month and house values average about $94,000.

Syracuse has a history of relying on manufacturing centers, just like other parts of upstate New York. Companies such as Carrier, General Electric, and Lockheed Martin are significant employers. Manufacturing is vital to the town alongside other booming sectors like education and health. Upstate Medical University and Syracuse University are the city's largest employers.

History Of Syracuse

A statue of Christoper Columbus stands before the Onanadaga County Courthouse in Syracuse NY
A statue of Christoper Columbus stands before the Onanadaga County Courthouse in Syracuse.

While exploring the nearby area in 1654, Father Simon Le Moyne discovered significant salt deposits. The first trading post was established by the first settler Ephraim Webster who arrived in 1786. Other settlers followed and began to develop and take advantage of the salt resources. Syracuse annexed a nearby village by the name of Salina in 1847. 

By 1825, salt production had started to boom when the Erie Canal was completed, especially during the Civil War. The low shipping rates contributed to peaking the salt production at eight million bushels yearly. However, after the war, salt manufacturing in Syracuse started to decline because of the highly competitive markets in Michigan and Canada. The city Began to develop other manufacturing alternatives. 

Syracuse University was founded by the Methodist Episcopal Church in 1870. It held its first classes the following year at a downtown rented space. Syracuse also hosted The first New York State Fair in 1841 and became permanent in the city by 1890. The Museum of Automobile History began in Syracuse and was known to be the largest of its kind.   

Attractions In Syracuse

Syracuse is an appealing city for people seeking to escape the hectic life of modern urban cities, especially New York. The town contains several natural sites that are beautiful all year round. Every season has its own flavor and charm. 

Rosamond Gifford Zoo is a top attraction in the city that is open all year. It is ranked in the top 10 percent of US zoos. The Carrier Dome is located on the campus of Syracuse University. It is home to almost 50,000 seats, making it the largest structure on campus. Destiny USA is an enormous shopping center filled with restaurants, outlet stores, nightlife, and entertainment.

Several museums are exciting to see and hold historical value to the city, such as Milton J. Rubenstein Museum of Science and Technology, Everson Museum of Art, Erie Canal Museum, and The Salt Museum.

Landmark Theater is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and holds a cultural value to the city. It was built in 1926 with an initial cost of $1.4 million. 

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