Introduction to Rensselaer, New York

Rensselaer, New York, in Rensselaer County, is 1 mile SE of Albany, New York and 132 miles N of New York, New York. The city is conveniently located inside the Albany-Schenectady-Troy metropolitan area.

Rensselaer History

The area was initially a part of Rensselaerwyck manor. It was then known as Greenbush. In 1815, Greenbush was incorporated as a village, and it became a city in 1897. In the same year, it was renamed Rensselaer in honor of Kiliaen Van Rensselaer, the original landowner of New Netherland. The Port of Albany-Rensselaer was constructed in 1932, which led to significant industrial development in the area.

Rensselaer and nearby Attractions

  • Fort Crailo
  • Henry Hudson Planetarium
  • New York State Museum
  • Thompson's Lake State Park
  • Bennington Battlefield State Historic Site
  • Berkshire Botanical Garden

Things To Do In Rensselaer

Rensselaer is home to Fort Crailo, which is also known as the Crailo State Historic Site. The Bennington Battlefield State Historic Site, the New York State Capitol, Mount Lebanon Shaker Village, the Rensselaer County Historical Society, the New York State Museum and the Watervliet Arsenal Museum are some of the historic sites and museums in the area. Peebles Island State Park, located at the confluence of the Mohawk and Hudson rivers, offers fishing, hiking and picnicking opportunities, while swimming, hiking and biking can also be enjoyed at John Boyd Thacher State Park or at Thompson's Lake State Park.

Rensselaer Transportation

Albany International is the nearest major airport.

Rensselaer Higher Education

Siena College, SUNY at Albany, Hudson Valley Community College and Excelsior College are among the nearby colleges.


Total Population 9,502
Male Share of the Population 48.8%
Female Share of the Population 51.2%
Senior Citizens 12.8%
Employed Population 16+ 4,543
Age of the Population 37


% of people married 37%
Average household size 2

Education and Earnings

Population % with Bachelor Degree or Higher 23.2%
Median Earnings25+ $0
Median Earnings Without High School Qualification $0
Median Earnings With High School Degree $0


Median Family Income $62,941
% Above Poverty Level 80.4%
% Below Poverty Level 19.6%

Commute & Sprawl

Average Commute Time 19 minutes
% Working from Home 2.5%
% Walking and Biking to Work 1.7%
% Using Public Transportation 4.1%


People Living Alone 38.5%
Median Gross Rent $870
Median House Value $141,700


Other(often includes Hispanic and African American) 18.5%
US/American 0%
English 7.7%
Irish 30.7%

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

Rensselaer Almanac

Category Value
Nearest Medium City 1 miles SE of Albany, New York (center to center)
Nearest Large City 132 miles N of New York, New York
County Rensselaer
Metro Area Albany - Schenectady - Troy
Standard Zip Codes 12144
Phone Area Codes 518
Time Zone Eastern (-5 hours from GMT)
Daylight Savings The city observes Daylight Saving Time.
Latitude 42.642
Longitude -73.743

Rensselaer Climate

Nearest Weather Stations


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

Distance 8 miles
Jan Temp 13 to 31 F
Apr Temp 36 to 57 F
Jul Temp 60 to 82 F
Oct Temp 39 to 60 F
Annual Precip 38.6 inches
Station VALATIE 1 N
Distance 14.8 miles
Jan Temp 12 to 31 F
Apr Temp 35 to 56 F
Jul Temp 59 to 81 F
Oct Temp 37 to 59 F
Annual Precip 39.6 inches
Distance 17.1 miles
Jan Temp 13 to 29 F
Apr Temp 34 to 54 F
Jul Temp 58 to 78 F
Oct Temp 39 to 57 F
Annual Precip 46.4 inches

Neighborhood and Nearby Area Names

According to the US Postal Service, Rensselaer, its neighborhoods, and/or surrounding areas are also referred to as:

Defreestville (12144)

Note that not all alternate names are acceptable for use in US Post Office addresses.

Nearby Cities and Towns

Location Population Median Family Income
Albany 98,468 $58,260
East Greenbush 4,752 $102,295

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

Rensselaer Public Libraries

Rensselaer City Library
Rensselaer, New York
(518) 462-1193

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More Information for Librarians

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Rensselaer High Schools

Title I eligible, not participating.
Serves 293 students.

Study Online in Rensselaer

Career and College Resources

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Info for Rensselaer Government Officials

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