Ithaca, NY
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Ithaca profile


Living in Ithaca


Ithaca is a medium-sized city located in the state of New York. With a population of 30,837 people and 16 constituent neighborhoods, Ithaca is the 42nd largest community in New York. Ithaca has a large stock of pre-World War II architecture, making it one of the older and more historic cities in the country.

Ithaca is a decidedly white-collar city, with fully 93.07% of the workforce employed in white-collar jobs, well above the national average. Overall, Ithaca is a city of professionals, sales and office workers, and service providers. There are especially a lot of people living in Ithaca who work in teaching (22.55%), office and administrative support (11.35%), and food service (10.82%).

And if you like science, one thing you'll find is that Ithaca has lots of scientists living in town - whether they be life scientists, physical scientists (like astronomers), or social scientists (like geographers!). So, if you're scientific-minded, you might like it here too.

Also of interest is that Ithaca has more people living here who work in computers and math than 95% of the places in the US.

Of important note, Ithaca is also a city of artists. Ithaca has more artists, designers and people working in media than 90% of the communities in America. This concentration of artists helps shape Ithaca’s character.

Telecommuters are a relatively large percentage of the workforce: 9.39% of people work from home. While this number may seem small overall, as a fraction of the total workforce it is high relative to the nation. These workers are often telecommuters who work in knowledge-based, white-collar professions. For example, Silicon Valley has large numbers of people who telecommute. Other at-home workers may be self-employed people who operate small businesses out of their homes.

In addition, Ithaca is a major college town that has a very high percentage of its residents over 18 years old who are college students. Naturally, collegiate life has a major influence on local Ithaca culture, lifestyle and entertainment options. Ithaca really pulses to the beat of the academic calendar. In Ithaca every fall, returning students reinvigorate the community, who you will notice are all over town, buying groceries, out with friends, and getting acquainted or re-acquainted with each other and Ithaca. One of the beneficial effects that colleges provide is that they tend to be lasting institutions that deliver direct economic benefits to the local economy in the form of such things as jobs for faculty and staff, and spending by students. Ithaca benefits directly from this.

Ithaca, while not large, also appears to be attractive to some younger, educated professionals, who help shape the character of the city.

Compared to the rest of the country, citizens of Ithaca spend much less time in their cars: on average, their commute to work is only 19.06 minutes. This also means that noise and pollution levels in the city are less than they would otherwise be.

A lot of people in Ithaca take the bus for their daily commute. For the size of the city, the number of people who use public transportation is quite high. For many people in Ithaca, this fills their need for low-cost transportation.

If knowledge is power, Ithaca is a pretty powerful place. 66.95% of the adults in Ithaca have earned a 4-year college degree, masters degree, MD, law degree, or even PhD. Compare that to the national average of 21.84% for all cities and towns.

The per capita income in Ithaca in 2018 was $22,600, which is low income relative to New York, and lower middle income relative to the rest of the US. This equates to an annual income of $90,400 for a family of four. However, Ithaca contains both very wealthy and poor people as well. Ithaca also has one of the higher rates of people living in poverty in the nation, with 39.19% of its population below the federal poverty line.

Ithaca is an extremely ethnically-diverse city. The people who call Ithaca home describe themselves as belonging to a variety of racial and ethnic groups. The greatest number of Ithaca residents report their race to be White, followed by Asian. Important ancestries of people in Ithaca include Irish, German, Italian, English, and Polish.

In addition, Ithaca has a lot of people living here who were born outside of the US (17.84%).

The most common language spoken in Ithaca is English. Other important languages spoken here include Chinese and Spanish.