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|Cayuga County||– Auburn|
|Cortland County||– Cortland|
|Herkimer County||– Little Falls|
|Madison County||– Oneida|
|Oneida County||– Rome, Sherrill (smallest city in New York) and Utica|
|Onondaga County||– Syracuse (largest city in the region)|
|Oswego County||– Fulton and Oswego|
|Tompkins County||– Ithaca|
Under this definition, the region has a population of about 1,177,073, and includes the Syracuse metropolitan area. The total area of the above counties is 8,639 square miles (22,370 km2), which is slightly smaller than New Hampshire.
The major colleges and universities in the region include Wells College, Cornell University, Colgate University, SUNY Upstate Medical University, Hamilton College, Le Moyne College, SUNY Oswego, SUNY Cortland, Utica College, Ithaca College, Syracuse University the SUNY ESF, Cazenovia College, Morrisville State College, and SUNY Polytechnic Institute.
The region is served by several television stations based in Syracuse (including ABC affiliate WSYR-TV, NBC affiliate WSTM-TV, CBS affiliate WTVH, Fox affiliate WSYT and PBS member station WCNY-TV) and Utica (NBC/CBS affiliate WKTV, ABC affiliate WUTR and Fox TV affiliate WFXV).
Note: Cortland County and Tompkins County are often considered part of the New York State region called the Southern Tier; the ski country demarcation line runs through Cortland County. Tompkins County, which features Ithaca at the end of Cayuga Lake, is also considered part of the Finger Lakes. Oneida County and Herkimer County are often considered part of the New York State region called the Mohawk Valley, although the "Central New York" and "Mohawk Valley" definitions overlap, and neither definition is mutually exclusive. Therefore, Tompkins County, Cortland County, Oneida County, and Herkimer County are only Central New York in the broader sense of the phrase "Central New York".
Only Onondaga County, Cayuga County, Oswego County and Madison County are always considered "Central New York".
The New York State Department of Transportation's definition of the Central/Eastern region includes the counties of Albany, Broome, Chenango, Columbia, Cortland, Delaware, Fulton, Greene, Herkimer, Madison, Montgomery, Oneida, Onondaga, Oswego, Otsego, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, Sullivan, Ulster, and Washington, but does not commit itself to a definition of Central New York per se.
Central New York is near the eastern edge of the dialect region known as the Inland North, which stretches as far west as Wisconsin. The region is characterized by the shift in vowel pronunciations known as the Northern Cities Vowel Shift, although in recent decades the shift has begun to fade out among younger generations.
Many Central New Yorkers pronounce words like elementary, documentary and complimentary with secondary stress on the -ary, so elementary becomes //, instead of the more widespread pronunciations of // and //. This feature is shared with the rest of Upstate New York.
- "Central/Eastern Region"[permanent dead link], New York State Dept of Transportation. Retrieved 25 January 2009.
- Dinkin & Evanini (2009): "An Eleméntàry Linguistic Definition of Upstate New York".
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-07-23. Retrieved 2020-07-16.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)