Downstate New York

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Downstate New York is a term denoting the southeastern portion of New York State, United States, in contrast to Upstate New York. The term "Downstate New York" has less currency than its counterpart term "Upstate New York". The Downstate region, like Upstate New York, is divided into several subregions—New York City, Long Island, and the northern suburbs of New York City (usually consisting of Westchester County, Putnam County and Rockland County). The northern boundary is extended by some definitions to include all or some of Orange County, and Dutchess County.

The Downstate region contains the largest population concentration in the state, unlike Upstate, an area which forms the vast majority of the state's land area yet has a smaller population. The two regions differ culturally and socially in terms of demographics, economy, and social patterns.


The New York State Department of Transportation defines its "downstate region" as including Dutchess and Orange counties, and areas east and south.[1]

As usual with regions, there is no definitive or permanent boundary between Upstate and Downstate New York. Persons living further upstate generally consider the border with downstate to be further north than those who live downstate, and vice versa. As urban sprawl progressively converts previously rural communities into suburbs, many people increasingly consider neighboring Putnam County to be part of the Downstate region, as well as the southern portions of Orange County and Dutchess County. Furthermore, the Metro-North Railroad surpassed the Long Island Railroad in ridership by 2012 as the busiest commuter line in the United States, indicating a cultural shift in what would be considered the Downstate area. [2]

Official usage

One official usage of the term is by the SUNY system in the name of their southernmost medical school, SUNY Downstate Medical Center, located in East Flatbush, Brooklyn. The Department of Transportation also uses the term.[1]

See also