Whether you’re a newcomer to New York’s Capital District or looking for a fresh place for yourself or your family, the city of Albany has a lot to offer. While it’s a relatively small city with just under 100,000 residents, the greater area offers many options for whatever stage of life you’re experiencing.
So let’s look at the best Albany suburbs for black families and singles. Young professionals, we’ve got you covered too. 😉
Best Albany Suburbs for Black Families
Where you choose to raise your African American family is one of the most critical decisions you’ll make when it comes to your children’s well-being. It determines their immediate environment, where they learn, who their friends will be, and where they play. These three Albany suburbs are some of the best in the Capital District.
A village in Albany County, Menands borders the city of Albany’s north side and is part of the larger town of Colonie. As of the 2020 census, it’s home to just under 4,000 people, 19% of whom identify as Black and 45% non-white. The current average home price is around $285,000.
The school district in Menands is unique and is one of the residents’ favorite features. Their primary school (grades Kindergarten through 8th) educates about 300 children each year. It is a focal point of the community, and its small size means that you’ll get to know your neighbors and your kid’s teachers well.
Menands pays for those children to attend one of six area high schools, allowing families to select based on what’s best for their child. Menands tends to be politically moderate.
Other than schools, Menands is home to several parks and outdoor green spaces, recreation areas, and youth sports leagues. There are several beloved shops and restaurants, especially The Cuckoo’s Nest and Iron Gate, and Menands is home to the Capital District Farmers Market, one of the oldest (since 1933) and most prominent in the region.
With just over 2,700 residents, Voorheesville is a village located in the town of New Scotland in Albany County. It’s about 11 miles from the center of Albany. While it’s a predominantly white village, it has become more diverse in recent years. In addition, the school district draws from a larger area, including most of New Scotland, which brings in more diversity from neighboring municipalities.
Speaking of the schools, Voorheesville’s are some of the top-ranked in the region. Besides academic excellence, they also have a robust farm-to-school program and outdoor learning center. Teachers and administrators strive to create an open and inclusive environment that educates the whole person–mind, body, and spirit–to create a lifelong love of learning. They do so with actionable objectives.
Voorheesville is also home to Thatcher State Park, which has numerous hiking trails and outdoor education programs and an aerial adventure park. The average home price is around $300,000.
Saratoga Springs is located about 35 miles from Albany but is still considered part of the Capital District. Not only is it one of the best cities in the region, but it’s also one of the most sought-after places to live in the entire state, which is why we include it here. It’s located directly off I-87, and the commute to Albany is relatively easy.
Saratoga Springs has about 28,500 residents, but that number swells with college students during the school year and tourists in the summer. It also has a thriving arts and culture scene, with galleries, theaters, and much more. Its booming, bustling, beautiful downtown is home to hundreds of small businesses, with unique shops, restaurants, and recreation. There is a number of churches and religious institutions of various denominations.
Saratoga is very green, with dozens of parks and playgrounds in the city and the Saratoga Spa State Park. Saratoga residents are known for their openness and welcoming, as well as their pride in their community.
Saratoga schools are consistently highly rated. They have several neighborhood elementary schools in addition to large middle and high schools and a BOCES vocational program, which gives kids of all interests many opportunities. Homes in Saratoga can be pricey, averaging around $400,000, but there are options at a variety of price points.
Best Albany Neighborhoods for Black Singles & Young Professionals
The city of Albany itself is highly rated on a number of platforms as a great place to live for singles and young professionals in general, in addition to being specifically suited for young Black people.
It’s affordable, with average home prices under $250,000. It also has a vibrant cultural scene, many small businesses, and a politically active population. It’s also a young city; the average age of all residents is about 31 years.
Located in the Lark Street District, Center Square is also close to the historic Washington Square Park. Officially, its boundaries are Spring Street on the north, Jay Street on the south, Lark Street to the west, and South Swan Street on the east.
It’s home to an array of cultural events and festivals throughout the year (including a local home and garden tour in June and a national night out in August) as well as local businesses. It has an authentic city feel, with streets lined with both homes and businesses.
You won’t need to venture far from your front door to get everything you need and want. It’s even walking distance from Empire State Plaza, the heart of the capital of the state of New York.
What’s more, Center Square has a distinct historic feel. Many of the buildings and homes are historical, including rowhouses and brownstones built in Albany’s 19th-century industrial heyday.
The Center Square Association was founded in 1958 and has worked diligently to protect the charm and uniqueness of this neighborhood while still adjusting to the times. Today, it is beautifully diverse and home to niche hang-outs, nightlife spots, cafes, and much more.
Hudson Park is located pretty near Center Square, and it has some of the same features that make it just as appealing. It’s located very close to Washington Square Park, and many residents enjoy views of the beautiful green space.
Hudson Park’s streets are almost all lined with sidewalks and are well-lit, making it easily walkable. Many of the businesses that share space with homes are dog-friendly, and lots of residents have four-legged family members.
Some local favorites include Dove and Hudson, a truly one-of-a-kind bookstore with knowledgeable staff, and Stacks Espresso Bar, a locally-owned and vegan-friendly alternative to Starbucks.
Home prices in this neighborhood vary but tend to be slightly higher than the rest of the city. That being said, if you’re not afraid of a fixer-upper, you can quickly build equity in your investment by making improvements on a less expensive property. Rent typically starts around $900 monthly.
Is Albany Safe?
Albany has a population of about 100,000 people. As with any city, it sees some crime, and some areas are more dangerous than others. That being said, both the rates of violent crimes and property crimes are lower than the national average, according to US News and World Report. That means that it’s a relatively safe city. It also has lower crime rates than other cities of the same size nationwide.
In particular, since the neighborhoods that we’ve discussed are highly desirable, the crime rates tend to be lower. Residents in these neighborhoods take a great deal of pride in their homes and their communities. All of the cities we’ve listed here could be just the right place for you to confidently and comfortably settle down for the long run.
What is Albany’s Demographic?
Albany is a very diverse city. The city is almost 30% Black or African American, and the population has an additional 15% people of color. Here is a breakdown of Albany demographics according to the 2020 census:
- Total population: 99,224
- White alone: 55%, 4.7% Hispanic or Latino/a
- Black or African American: 28.9%
- Hispanic or Latino/a: 10.1%
- Asian: 6.9%
- Two or more races: 6.1%
In addition, 14.2% of the population of Albany is foreign-born. That’s higher than the rate in San Antonio, TX, Philadelphia, PA, or Washington, DC. Many people speak a language other than English at home, at 17.1% of the population listing a language other than English as their first.
Albany is a fairly well-educated city, with 87.8% of residents over the age of 25 having graduated high school, and 39.6% of them holding at least a bachelor’s degree. Albany is also home to the Statue University of New York at Albany, Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, The College of Saint Rose, Maria College, and several other nationally-ranked educational institutions in nearby towns and cities.
The Top Albany Neighborhoods For Black Families, Conclusion
Whether you’re looking for the best Albany neighborhoods for black families or top Albany suburbs for black singles & young professionals, there are many choices in the greater Albany area. Find your new home for whatever your needs are now in Menands, Voorheesville, Saratoga Springs, or the city of Albany itself.