Upstate New York is the region of New York State north of the core of the New York metropolitan area. There is no clear or official boundary between Upstate New York and Downstate New York. Latitude is generally a consideration in whether or not a place is upstate, as well as elevation and being away from sea level (hence the prefix up, meaning both to the north and having a greater altitude). Distance from New York City is also a consideration. Complicating any definition is the usage of the word upstate (in lowercase) as a direction, rather than as the name of a region.