If you take New York City out of the mix, Upstate New York actually has more residents than Downstate.
Roughly 6.1 million people live in the 48 Upstate counties, according to the U.S. Census Bureau's latest estimates, compared to 5.2 million in the nine suburban and rural Downstate counties. (New York City is home to the state's remaining 8.4 million residents.)
But Upstate's advantage does not extend to pay levels for employees of public school systems, according to a new analysis by Business First.
A total of 43,405 administrators and teachers were paid at least $100,000 by school districts outside of New York City during the 2012-2013 academic year. (Click here to see a complete district-by-district database of these salaries.)
Ninety-three percent of the workers with six-figure salaries -- 40,379 -- were employees of public schools within the nine Downstate counties. Only 3,026 worked in Upstate schools.
The imbalance was even greater at the top of the scale. A total of 332 educators received at least $200,000 in gross pay in 2012-2013, with more than 94 percent (313) working in Downstate districts.
Here's the count of six-figure salaries at public schools in nine markets across the state:
Downstate (outside New York City): 40,379
Albany Area: 817
Western New York: 746
Rochester Area: 740
Syracuse Area: 353
Binghamton-Elmira Area: 144
Utica-Rome Area: 128
Watertown Area: 58
Plattsburgh Area: 40
Salary information was provided by the New York State Teachers' Retirement System in response to a freedom-of-information request filed by Business First. The resulting database encompassed all school districts except New York City, which is covered by a separate retirement system.
The list obtained by Business First is confined to cash compensation. It does not account for the cost of pensions, health insurance or other benefits, but it may include lump-sum payments for unused sick leave or vacation.