Albany is the capital of the state of New York and the county seat of Albany County. Albany is roughly 136 miles north of New York City, and slightly south of the confluence of the Mohawk and Hudson Rivers. The city sits on the Hudson River and has a major port. As of July 2007, the city had an estimated population of 94,172.
Albany has close ties with the nearby cities of Troy, Schenectady, and Saratoga Springs, forming a region called the Capital District, a historic area of the United States. The bulk of this area is made up of the Albany-Schenectady-Troy Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), which has a population of 850,957; this MSA is the fourth largest urban area in New York and the 56th largest MSA in the United States.
The economy is heavily dependent on the state government, with much of Albany's population being employed by various state departments and legislators. Albany is increasingly seen as a leader in nanotechnology, with the University at Albany's nanotechnology program being respected as a national leader. The city is at the center of a 19-county region in eastern New York state branded as "Tech Valley" due to the growing number of companies, entrepreneurs and research facilities focusing on high-tech industries such as nanotechnology, biotechnology, homeland security, information technology and alternative energy. Chipmaker AMD's spinoff, GlobalFoundries, broke ground on a $4.6 billion chip manufacturing complex in nearby Malta and two local public educational consortiums opened Tech Valley High School in 2007 to facilitate project-based learning and emphasize math and science to the area's students.
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