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The greater Rochester region has the community vitality opportunities of a big city. The area is renowned for its theater, music, dance, an impressive range of museums and both large and intimate art galleries. The arts scene features many prominent institutions, as well as a flourishing array of mid- and small-sized theaters and clubs with just about every form of music. The community hosts festivals of world-wide importance, as well as ones that contribute to neighborhood vitality.
Attendance at arts and cultural attractions rose in 2016, increasing 25% since 2004. Museums and zoos drew the largest number of visitors at over 1.8 million in 2016, while festivals attracted over 1.3 million people.
Tourism revenue has increased 8.5% in our region since 2005, after adjusting for inflation, reaching over$1.6 billion in 2017. However, spending on recreation by tourists was down 3.5% since 2005, but increased from 2016 to over $92 million.
Residents in our region are registered to vote and turn out to vote at higher rates than the state. In 2016, 82% of regional residents were registered, compared to 80% of state residents. In the 2016 (a presidential election year), 58% of regional residents voted, compared to 50% of state residents.
Residents in the region spent 1.7% of their income on charitable giving in 2016, slightly lower from 2011, and less than the state and national rates (2.5% and 2.3% respectively).
In our region, 63% of residents were registered library borrowers in 2016, higher than the state level. Genesee and Monroe counties had the highest rates in 2016, with Monroe seeing the largest increase since 2000. Visits to libraries in the region per capita, at 6.0, were greater than the state, with Orleans County (8.0) having the highest rate followed by the City of Rochester (7.2) in 2016.
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