Introduction to Poughkeepsie, New York

The county seat of Dutchess County, New York, is the Hudson River Valley city of Poughkeepsie. The city is nestled halfway between New York City (to the south) and Albany (to the north), roughly 82 miles from each. Major highways serving Poughkeepsie are U.S. Route 9, U.S. Route 44, and N.Y. State Highway 55.

Settled in the late 1600s by the Dutch, Poughkeepsie was first organized as a town in 1788. It was in this year that the U.S. Constitution was ratified there by the state of New York, as Poughkeepsie was serving at that time as the temporary state capital. In 1799, the city of Poughkeepsie was taken off the town of the same name and organized separately as a village, later to become incorporated (in 1854) as a city. The city's name is derived from the phonetic translation of an Algonquian Indian term variously interpreted as meaning "waterfall", "pleasant harbor", or "campsite by small water". The Town of Poughkeepsie is home to several colleges, including Vassar College, Marist College, and Dutchess Community College.

Arts and Culture in the Poughkeepsie Area

In the early to mid-20th century, famous families such as the Astors, Rogers, and Vanderbilts built seasonal retreats in the Poughkeepsie area, many of which today are open to the public as historic sites. Located in Poughkeepsie itself are the Locust Grove (former home of inventor Samuel F. B. Morse) and Clinton House (named for George Clinton, New York’s first governor). Nearby Hyde Park is home to the Franklin D. Roosevelt National Historic Site, the Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site, and the Vanderbilt Mansion.

Other cultural sites located in Poughkeepsie include the following:

  • Bardavon Opera House: Home of the Hudson Valley Philharmonic
  • Glebe House: A 1767 house restored to represent a late 18th-century home
  • Maple Grove: Built in 1850 by banker Charles Al Macy
  • Poughkeepsie Post Office: A National Historic Landmark
  • Frances Lehman Loeb Art Museum: Located at Vassar College
  • Springside National Historic Site
  • Mill Street Loft
  • Barrett Art Center

Nearby cultural sites include:

  • Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum (Hyde Park)
  • Bannerman Castle (Fishkill): A Scottish-style castle on the Hudson River features a two-hour cruise around Bannerman Island.
  • Clermont State Historic Site
  • Hyde Park Railroad Station
  • Mount Gulian Historic Site (Beacon)
  • Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome Museum
  • Sports Museum of Dutchess County (Wappingers Falls)
  • The Howland Cultural Center (Beacon)

Sports are abundant in the greater metropolitan New York City area, which can be reached in about 90 minutes by car. Some of the Major League New York area sports teams include: Major League Baseball's Mets (Queens) and Yankees (Bronx), the National Football League's Giants and Jets (both play at the Meadowlands Sports Complex, East Rutherford, New Jersey), the National Basketball Association's N.Y. Knicks (Manhattan) and New Jersey Nets (Meadowlands Sports Complex), the National Hockey League's N.Y. Islanders (Uniondale), N.Y. Rangers (Manhattan), and New Jersey Devils (Meadowlands Sports Complex), the Women's National Basketball Association's New York Liberty (Manhattan), Major League Lacrosse's Long Island Lizards (Uniondale), and Major League Soccer's Red Bull New York (formerly the Metrostars) who play at the Meadowlands Sports Complex.


Total Population 30,635
Male Share of the Population 48.4%
Female Share of the Population 51.6%
Senior Citizens 14%
Employed Population 16+ 12,740
Age of the Population 36


% of people married 32.8%
Average household size 2

Education and Earnings

Population % with Bachelor Degree or Higher 23.4%
Median Earnings25+ $29,714
Median Earnings Without High School Qualification $17,973
Median Earnings With High School Degree $23,360


Median Family Income $47,103
% Above Poverty Level 75.9%
% Below Poverty Level 24.1%

Commute & Sprawl

Average Commute Time 24 minutes
% Working from Home 2.2%
% Walking and Biking to Work 12.1%
% Using Public Transportation 9%


People Living Alone 36.7%
Median Gross Rent $1,027
Median House Value $196,800


Other(often includes Hispanic and African American) 50.1%
US/American 0%
English 4.1%
Irish 11.4%

Source: American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, 2015, www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/.

Poughkeepsie Almanac

Category Value
Nearest Medium City 32 miles NW of Danbury, Connecticut (center to center)
Nearest Large City 66 miles N of New York, New York
County Dutchess
Standard Zip Codes 12601, 12603
P.O. Box Zip Codes 12602
Company Zip Codes 12604
Phone Area Codes 845
Time Zone Eastern (-5 hours from GMT)
Daylight Savings The city observes Daylight Saving Time.
Latitude 41.7
Longitude -73.921

Poughkeepsie Climate

Nearest Weather Stations


  • Temp ranges are avg daily min and max for the month
  • Precipitation is rainfall (and rainfall equiv of snowfall)

Distance 4.6 miles
Jan Temp 15 to 34 F
Apr Temp 36 to 59 F
Jul Temp 60 to 84 F
Oct Temp 38 to 62 F
Annual Precip 44.1 inches
Distance 12.7 miles
Jan Temp 17 to 32 F
Apr Temp 38 to 58 F
Jul Temp 63 to 81 F
Oct Temp 44 to 60 F
Annual Precip 51 inches
Distance 15.1 miles
Jan Temp 16 to 33 F
Apr Temp 37 to 60 F
Jul Temp 62 to 82 F
Oct Temp 42 to 62 F
Annual Precip 49.9 inches

Nearby Cities and Towns

Location Population Median Family Income
Arlington 3,888 $55,298
Clintondale 1,391 $108,333
Highland 2,414 $54,813

Source: American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, 2015, www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/.

Poughkeepsie Public Libraries

Greater Poughkeepsie Library District
Poughkeepsie, New York
(845) 485-3445
Library Web Site
Lagrange Association Library
Poughkeepsie, New York
(845) 452-3141
Library Web Site

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More Information for Librarians

Poughkeepsie Hospitals

(Voluntary non-profit - Other)
(845) 454-8500
Emergency Service: Yes

(Voluntary non-profit - Other)
(845) 483-5000
Emergency Service: Yes

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Poughkeepsie High Schools

(Sorted by Number of Students)

Serves 1,182 students.

Serves 589 students.

Additional Details
Poughkeepsie Graduate Schools
Poughkeepsie Graduate and Business Schools
Study Online in Poughkeepsie
Historic Poughkeepsie


Nelson House c1906.

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Nelson House c1906.

Dormitories (Vassar College) between 1900 and 1910

President's residence (Vassar College) c1904.

Additional Resources
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