Rochester is a city in Monroe County, New York, south of Lake Ontario in the United States. Known as the World's Image Center, it was also once known as the Flour City, and more recently as The Flower City, annually hosting the Lilac Festival. It is the county seat for Monroe County.
Rochester's city population according to the 2010 census is approximately 210,565, making it New York's third most populous city after New York City and Buffalo. It is at the center of a larger metropolitan area which encompasses and extends beyond Monroe County and includes Genesee County, Livingston County, Ontario County, Orleans County and Wayne County. This area, which is part of the Western New York region, had a population of 1,079,671 people at the time of the 2010 Census. As of July 1, 2012 Estimates indicated that this population rose to 1,082,284. Rochester was one of America's first "boomtowns" and rose to prominence initially as the site of many flour mills located on the Genesee River, then as a major manufacturing hub. Rochester is now an international center of higher education, as well as medical and technological development. The region is known for many acclaimed universities, and several of them (notably the University of Rochester and Rochester Institute of Technology) are nationally renowned for their research programs.