district profile
Elmira Metro Area

Chemung County

Chemung County, which constitutes the Elmira metropolitan area, has a population of almost 89,000, which is down 2.5 percent from 2000. This metro area lags the state and the nation in income and educational attainment. Based on 2009 data, median household income is $43,000 in metropolitan Elmira, versus $50,000 for the US. Just over 20 percent of Elmira-area adults hold college degrees—well below the nationwide rate of 27.5 percent.

The region has a sizable presence of manufacturing, though less so than in the past. The most highly concentrated manufacturing industry is transportation equipment (largely aircraft). During the past recession, the Elmira metropolitan area registered a job loss of over 6 percent—steeper than that seen for New York State as a whole but roughly on par with the nation. Home prices in metropolitan Elmira did not appreciate nearly as rapidly as in the nation during the 2000-2006 housing boom, but fell far less than the nation when home prices declined thereafter. Prices fell by about 13 percent between 2008 and 2010, but have been slowly recovering.1

Recent Trends
Up until the summer of 2011, the Elmira metro economy had been recovering the jobs that were lost during the recession, but thereafter employment began to decline significantly. By the spring of 2012, a new employment trough was reached, and since then the economy has been adding jobs again at a moderate pace. During the first half of 2012, employment has grown in state and local government and professional and business services. The weakest sectors have been educational and health services and construction. Unemployment, which had been improving in 2010, has climbed back up to approximately 9 percent. Housing prices have been rising, but remain below their 2008 peak.

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1Trends in home prices referred to here are all based on repeat-sales indexes from CoreLogic.

  Elmira MSA*: selected characteristics
    Population in 2010 % of 2010 Population that is1  
  Total Population1 % Change from 20001 per Sq. Mile2 Black Hispanic Asian  
  Elmira Metro Area 88,830   -2.5   218  6.6  2.5  1.2 
    Chemung 88,830   -2.5   218  6.6  2.5  1.2 
  New York State 19,378,102   2.1   410  15.9  17.6  7.3 
  USA 308,745,538   9.7   87  12.6  16.3  4.8 

  Elmira MSA*: selected characteristics
    Median % of Homes % of Adults with5  
  Household Income3 Home Value4 Owner Occupied4 College Degrees HS Degrees  
  Elmira Metro Area $43,008   $87,700   68.4   21.0   86.7 
    Chemung $43,008   $87,700   68.4   21.0   56.7 
  New York State $54,659   $310,000   55.4   31.8   84.2 
  USA $50,221   $191,900   66.4   27.5   84.6 
* Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) are metro areas defined by the Office of Management and Budget for use by federal statistical agencies.
1 Source: US Bureau of the Census, decennial Census of Population.
2 Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Census of Population; land area data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s geographic database (TIGER® database) for Census 2000.
3 Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census, American Community Survey, 2009 (1-year estimates)
4

Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census, American Community Survey, 2007-09 (3-year estimates)

5

Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census, American Community Survey, 2006-08 (3-year estimates)

October 2012