Albany is the capital city of the U.S. state of New York, the seat of Albany County, and the central city of New York's Capital District. Roughly 150 miles (240 km) north of New York City, Albany sits on the west bank of the Hudson River, about 10 miles (16 km) south of its confluence with the Mohawk River. The population of the city was 97,856 at the time of the 2010 census. Albany has close ties with the nearby cities of Troy, Schenectady, and Saratoga Springs, forming a region called the Capital District. The bulk of this area is made up of the Albany-Schenectady-Troy Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA). Its 2010 population was 870,716, the fourth-largest urban area in New York State and the 58th-largest MSA in the country.
Albany saw its first European settlement in 1614 and was officially chartered as a city in 1686. It became the capital of New York in 1797. It is one of the oldest surviving settlements from the original thirteen colonies, and the longest continuously chartered city in the United States. Modern Albany was founded as the Dutch trading posts of Fort Nassau in 1614 and Fort Orange in 1624; the fur trade brought in a population that settled around Fort Orange and founded a village called Beverwijck. The English took over and renamed the city Albany in 1664, in honor of the then Duke of Albany, the future James II of England and James VII of Scotland. The city was officially chartered in 1686 with the issuance of the Dongan Charter, the oldest effective city charter in the United States and possibly the longest-running instrument of municipal government in the Western Hemisphere. Albany is one of the first cities in the world to install public water mains and sewer lines. It is also one of the first cities in the world to install natural gas lines and electricity. This technology in Albany brought substantial new industry into the city and surrounding areas during the 19th century. During the late 18th century and throughout most of the