Potsdam, NY
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Living in Potsdam


Potsdam is a somewhat small village located in the state of New York. With a population of 9,688 people and five constituent neighborhoods, Potsdam is the 193rd largest community in New York. Potsdam has an unusually large stock of pre-World War II architecture, making it one of the older and more historic villages.

Potsdam is a decidedly white-collar village, with fully 91.01% of the workforce employed in white-collar jobs, well above the national average. Overall, Potsdam is a village of professionals, sales and office workers, and service providers. There are especially a lot of people living in Potsdam who work in teaching (22.27%), office and administrative support (17.39%), and sales jobs (9.10%).

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

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

Telecommuters are a relatively large percentage of the workforce: 11.37% 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.

Potsdam is a place where college students are a big part of the character and culture of the town. Small towns have often struggled with declining populations over the past few decades, but the presence of such a large college student population has helped Potsdam to fight this trend. Not only does the college population add spending and jobs to local economy, but it also contributes a very tangible, youthful energy to the town.

Residents of the village have the good fortune of having one of the shortest daily commutes compared to the rest of the country. On average, they spend only 14.15 minutes getting to work every day.

If knowledge is power, Potsdam is a pretty powerful place. 53.12% of the adults in Potsdam 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 Potsdam in 2010 was $18,139, 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 $72,556 for a family of four. However, Potsdam contains both very wealthy and poor people as well. Potsdam also has one of the higher rates of people living in poverty in the nation, with 31.67% of its population below the federal poverty line.

The people who call Potsdam home describe themselves as belonging to a variety of racial and ethnic groups. The greatest number of Potsdam residents report their race to be White, followed by Black or African-American. Important ancestries of people in Potsdam include German, Italian, English, and French .

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