Syracuse (/ˈsɪrəkjuːz, ˈsɛr-, -kjuːs/) is a city in and the county seat of Onondaga County, New York, United States. It is the fifth-most populous city in the state of New York following New York City, Buffalo, Rochester, and Yonkers.
Syracuse is located at 43°2′49″N 76°8′40″W / 43.04694°N 76.14444°W / 43.04694; -76.14444 (43.046899, -76.144423). It is located about 87 miles (140 km) east of Rochester, 150 miles (240 km) east of Buffalo, and 145 miles (230 km) west of the state capital Albany. It is also the halfway point between New York City and Toronto, about 245 miles (390 km) from each, Toronto to the northwest and NYC to the southeast.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 66 square kilometres (25.6 square miles), of which 65 square kilometres (25.1 square miles) is land and 1.6 square kilometres (0.6 square miles) (2.15%) water.
The city developed at the northeast corner of the Finger Lakes region. The city has many neighborhoods that were originally independent villages, which joined the city over the years. Although the central part of Syracuse is flat, many of its neighborhoods are on small hills such as University Hill and Tipperary Hill. Land to the north of Syracuse is generally flat, while land to the south is hilly.
About 27 percent of Syracuse’s land area is covered by 890,000 trees — a higher percentage than in Albany, Rochester or Buffalo. The Labor Day Storm of 1998 was a derecho that destroyed approximately 30,000 trees. The sugar maple accounts for 14.2 percent of Syracuse’s trees, followed by the Northern white cedar (9.8 percent) and the European buckthorn (6.8 percent). The most common street tree is the Norway maple (24.3 percent), followed by the honey locust (9.3 percent).
The densest tree cover in Syracuse is in the two Valley neighborhoods, where 46.6 percent of the land is covered by trees. The lowest tree cover percentage is found in the densely developed downtown, which has only 4.6 percent trees.
Syracuse’s main water source is Skaneateles Lake, one of the country’s cleanest lakes, located 24 kilometres (15 miles) southwest of the city. Water from nearby Onondaga Lake is not drinkable due to the industrial dumping that spanned many decades, leaving the lake heavily polluted. Incoming water is left unfiltered, and chlorine is added to prevent bacterial growth. Most of the environmental work to achieve lake cleanup is scheduled to be completed by 2016; the county is scheduled to finish its work by 2018. For periods of drought, there is also a backup line which uses water from Lake Ontario.
Onondaga Creek, a waterway that runs through downtown, flows northward through the city. A creek walk borders it and the city has plans to connect it to the Lakefront and Inner Harbor, Syracuse, as well as to Franklin Square, Armory Square, The Valley, and ultimately the Onondaga Nation. The creek is navigable but it can be a challenge. Its channelized nature speeds up its flow, particularly in the spring, when it may be dangerous. After some youngsters drowned in the creek, some residential areas fenced off the creek in their neighborhoods.
As of the census of 2010, there were 145,170 people, 57,355 households, and 28,455 families residing in the city. The racial makeup of the city was 56.0% White, 29.5% African American, 1.1% Native American, 5.5% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 2.7% from other races, and 5.1% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 8.3% of the population.
The largest ancestries include African (29.5%), Irish (12.4%), Italian (12.3%), German (9.6%), English (4.5%), and Polish (3.6%). Non-Hispanic Whites were 52.8% of the population in 2010, down from 87.2% in 1970. Suburbanization attracted residents outside the city, even as new immigrant and migrant groups increased.
There were 57,355 households out of which 29% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 9.3% were married couples living together, 20.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 50.4% were non-families. 38.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.31 and the average family size was 3.14.
In the city, the population was spread out with 19% under the age of 15, 23% from 15 to 24, 25.6% from 25 to 44, 21.7% from 45 to 64, and 10.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 29.6 years. For every 100 females, there were 91 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.89 males.
According to the 2014 estimates from the American Community Survey, the median income for a household in the city was $31,566, and the median income for a family was $38,794. Males had a median income of $39,537 versus $33,983 for females. The per capita income for the city was $19,283. About 28.2% of families and 35.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 50% of those under age 18 and 16.7% of those age 65 and over.
As of 2017, the United States Census Bureau indicated an estimated population of 143,396.
According to the 2010 United States Census, the population ages 16 and older commuted to work as follows:
Syracuse ranks 50th in the United States for transit ridership and 12th for most pedestrian commuters. Each day, 38,332 people commute into Onondaga County from the four adjoining counties (2006).
Work Area Profile Report
Christianity: Most Christians in Syracuse are Catholic, reflecting the influence of 19th and early 20th-century immigration patterns, when numerous Irish, German, Italian and eastern European Catholics settled in the city. The city has the Roman Catholic Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. Syracuse is also home to the combined novitiate of the United States Northeast (UNE) and Maryland Provinces of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits). The historic Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus is located near downtown (Roman Catholic, with Mass, offered in English and Polish).
Another major historic church is the Episcopal St. Paul’s Cathedral. Both cathedrals are located at Columbus Circle. They represent their respective dioceses, the Diocese of Syracuse (Roman Catholic) and the Diocese of Central New York (Episcopal).
The Assembly of God, the Southern Baptist Convention, and the United Church of Christ are other Protestant denominations, and they have their state offices in the Greater Syracuse area. The dozens of churches in Syracuse include Eastern Orthodox, Jehovah’s Witness, Christian Science, Reformed Presbyterian, and Metaphysical Christian.
Buddhism: Buddhism is represented by the Zen Center of Syracuse on the Seneca Turnpike; as well as a center on Park Street, on the city’s Northside.
Hinduism: Hindu houses of worship include the Hindu Mandir of Central New York in Liverpool.
Islam: The Islamic Society of Central New York Mosque is located on Comstock Avenue and Muhammad’s Study Group on West Kennedy Street.
Judaism: Several synagogues are located in the Syracuse metropolitan area, including Beth Shalom-Chevra Chas, Temple Adath Yeshurun, Shaarei Torah Orthodox Congregation of Syracuse, and Temple Concord, considered the ninth-oldest Jewish house of worship in the United States.
Sikhism: The gurdwara is at the Sikh Foundation of Syracuse, in Liverpool.
Unitarian Universalism: Two Unitarian Universalist societies in Syracuse: May Memorial Unitarian Society and First Unitarian Universalist Society of Syracuse.