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Socio-Economic Profile of White Plains

Regional Hub

Located just 25 miles north of Manhattan at the center of Westchester County where the Cross-Westchester Expressway/Interstate 287 (I-287) intersects with several north-south limited access highways (Bronx River Parkway, Hutchinson River Parkway, and I-684), White Plains is a regional economic center and destination for business, government, transportation, healthcare, and shopping.  In addition to the numerous retail outlets, corporate offices, and medical facilities, White Plains is the County seat, and is home to the Westchester County Civic Center. 

The White Plains TransCenter is a major hub for both the Metro-North Railroad and the Westchester County Bee-Line bus system. With 20,000 passenger (in and out) trips daily[1], White Plains, an express stop on the Harlem Line, is a short 35-minute commute via express train, and the second busiest station as a destination stop in the Metro-North Railroad system. In addition, 25,000 bus passenger trips are made through the TransCenter each weekday[2]. The Bee-Line bus system provides service to commuters, as well as for travelers to and from the Westchester County Airport. Other regional transit operators—including Adirondack Trailways and Coach USA—provide express bus service to and from White Plains for intercity passengers with service to Stamford, Boston, Long Island, Ithaca, and Albany.

Demographic Profile

The City of White Plains had a population of 56,853 in 2010, up 7 percent from 2000, [3] a higher rate of growth than in Westchester County (3 percent) and New York State (2 percent). A compact city, White Plains comprises about 6 percent of the County’s total population, while its land area (9.77 square miles) is only 2 percent of the County total. The City’s overall population density (5,820 persons per square mile) is more than double that of the County (2,240 persons per square mile).

The median income for a household in the city is approximately $80,701[4], 28 percent higher than the State median ($58,003), but one and a half percent lower than that of the County ($81,946). The per capita income for the city was $45,122. About 9.1 percent of persons have incomes below the poverty line in 2013, much lower than the State rate (15.3 percent). The City’s population is highly educated, with 46 percent college graduates, well above the statewide average (33 percent). Finally, the median value for owner-occupied homes in the City of White Plains is $495,200, 59 percent higher than that of the State ($288,000). The city is racially and ethnically diverse, with about 46 percent of the population White(non-Hispanic or Latino), 12.4 percent Black or African American, 6.5 percent Asian, and 4.6 from persons reporting other or two or more races. Hispanic or Latino persons of any race comprise about 33 percent of the population. The median age is approximately 38 years, with an age distribution similar to the County and State.

US Census Bureau Community Fact Finder

American Community Survey 2009-2013, White Plains

Economic Profile

Industry Sectors

Approximately 2,705 businesses and other employer organizations are located in White Plains. According to the 2007 Economic Census, the total employment in the City of White Plains was 42,567 workers, with the largest industry sectors being health care and social services (23 percent of total employment); retail trade (20 percent); administrative and support services (14 percent); and professional, scientific, and technical services (11 percent). While the City is home to many prominent large corporations and institutions, the average number of employees per establishment is approximately 17 workers, an indicator of the importance of small business in the City as well, and of a healthy and diversified economic base.

Among the industry sectors, the wholesale trade sector had the highest sales ($3.3 billion); followed by retail trade ($2.0 billion); professional, scientific, and technical services ($1.2 billion); and health care ($1.0 billion).

Commercial Office Space

Since 1960, White Plains has evolved into a prominent regional office center which now boasts over 10.8 million square feet of commercial office space[5]. Based on its central location, transportation accessibility, and high quality of life, White Plains is home to many major corporations and government offices and is a center for not-for-profit organizations. Approximately 60 percent of this space is located in the Central Business District, which has an inventory of over 6.3 million square feet of commercial office space.

Retail Establishments

White Plains is ranked fifth in the state in annual retail sales volume – retail trade earns more than $2 billion in sales annually[6]. The City boasts an astounding retail sales per capita figure of $35,120 (more than double that of the County and three times that of the State). The City is a leading retail center for Westchester, Putnam, and Rockland Counties, in addition to Fairfield County, Connecticut. The City’s approximately 1,000 retail establishments occupy over 4 million square feet of retail space.

Among the leading retailers located in the City are Bloomingdales, Macy’s, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Nordstrom Rack, Target, Sears Roebuck & Company, Burlington Coat Factory and Walmart. The Westchester, a major up-scale mall, contains many high-end retailers with Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus Stores serving as its anchors. The City’s retail market has remained strong, as occupancy rates are high both in the malls and on Mamaroneck Avenue, the main downtown shopping area.

Health Care Facilities

There are three major not-for-profit health care institutions in the City – Burke Rehabilitation Hospital, New York Presbyterian Hospital, and White Plains Hospital Center (WPHC). Established in 1952 and located on 65 acres near downtown White Plains, the Burke Rehabilitation Hospital is a 150-bed, multi-service rehabilitation center that serves the region. The New York Presbyterian Hospital’s Westchester Division, located on a 233-acre tract southwest of the central business district, is a 325-bed, voluntary psychiatric institution which also conducts teaching and research programs. WPHC, a 301-bed general hospital, is located on Post Road on the southern side of the central business district.

[1] Metro-North Railroad, 2007 data.

[2] Westchester County Department of Public Works.

[3] 2010 Census of Population and Housing, U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census.

[4] 2009-2013 Estimates, U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census.

[5] Cushman and Wakefield Market Office Snapshot, Westchester County, 3rd Quarter, 2013.

[6] 2007 Census of Retail Trade, U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census.