Albany, New York

Albany (/ˈɔːlbəni/ (listen) AWL-bə-nee) is the capital of the U.S. state of New York, and the seat and largest city of Albany County. Albany is on the west bank of the Hudson River, about 10 miles (16 km) south of its confluence with the Mohawk River, and about 135 miles (220 km) north of New York City.

State capital of New York
Clockwise from top: Downtown from Rensselaer; middle-class housing in the Helderberg neighborhood; Palace Theatre; Empire State Plaza from the Cultural Education Center; North Pearl Street at Columbia Street; and the State Quad at SUNY Albany.
Etymology: Named for the Scottish Duke of Albany, whose title comes from the Gaelic name for Scotland: Alba
Smallbany · The 518[lower-alpha 1]
Cradle of the Union[lower-alpha 2] · Cap City
Boundaries of and major thoroughfares through Albany
Location in Albany County and the state of New York
Location within New York (state)
Location within the United States
Location within North America
Coordinates: 42°39′09″N 073°45′26″W
Country United States
State New York
RegionCapital District
  TypeStrong mayor-council
  MayorKathy Sheehan (D)
  State capital of New York21.94 sq mi (56.81 km2)
  Land21.40 sq mi (55.43 km2)
  Water0.53 sq mi (1.38 km2)
6,570 sq mi (17,000 km2)
Elevation141 ft (43 m)
Highest elevation378 ft (115 m)
Lowest elevation2 ft (0.6 m)
  State capital of New York99,224
  Density4,506.84/sq mi (1,740.11/km2)
  Metro density180/sq mi (69/km2)
Time zoneUTC−5 (EST)
  Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)
ZIP Codes
12201–12212, 12214, 12220, 12222–12232
Area codes518, 838
Geocode977310, 978659
ISO 3166 code36-01000
FIPS code36-01000
GNIS feature ID978659

The city is known for its architecture, commerce, culture, institutions of higher education, and rich history. It is the economic and cultural core of the Capital District of New York State, which comprises the Albany–SchenectadyTroy, Metropolitan Statistical Area, including the nearby cities and suburbs of Troy, Schenectady, and Saratoga Springs. With an estimated population of 1.1 million in 2013, the Capital District is the third most populous metropolitan region in the state. On April 1, 2020, Albany's population was 99,224.

The Hudson River area was originally inhabited by Algonquian-speaking Mohican (Mahican), who called it Pempotowwuthut-Muhhcanneuw.[7] The area was settled by Dutch colonists who, in 1614, built Fort Nassau for fur trading and, in 1624, built Fort Orange. In 1664, the English took over the Dutch settlements, renaming the city Albany in honor of the Duke of Albany, the future James II of England and Ireland/James VII of Scotland. The city was officially chartered in 1686 under English rule. It became the capital of New York in 1797 after the formation of the United States. Albany is one of the oldest surviving settlements of the original British thirteen colonies; no other city in the United States has been continuously chartered as long.[8]

In the late 18th century and throughout most of the 19th, Albany was a center of trade and transportation. The city lies toward the north end of the navigable Hudson River; was the original eastern terminus of the Erie Canal, connecting to the Great Lakes; and was home to some of the earliest railroads in the world. In the 1920s, a powerful political machine controlled by the Democratic Party arose in Albany. In the latter part of the 20th century, Albany's population shrank because of urban sprawl and suburbanization; in the 1990s, the New York State Legislature approved for the city a $234 million building and renovation plan, which spurred renovation and building downtown.[9] In the early 21st century, Albany's high-technology industry grew, with great strides in nanotechnology.[10][11]