Buffalo, New York Population 2018

Buffalo is the second-most populous city of New York behind New York City. Buffalo is located in Western New York on Lake Erie at the head of the Niagara River across from Fort Erie, Ontario, Canada.

Buffalo has an estimated population of 261,000, which ranks 73rd in the United States. The city proper has a population density of 6,436 people per square mile (2,568 per square kilometer). The urban population is about 936,000, whih ranks 46th in the country. The Buffalo-Niagara Falls metropolitan area has a combined population of about 1.3 million and the 49th largest in the U.S., while the Combined Statistical Area has a population of 1.2 million.

Buffalo Demographics

At the 2010 census, the racial composition of Buffalo was:

  • White: 50.4% (non-Hispanic: 45.8%)
  • Black or African American: 38.6% (up from 20.4% in 1970)
  • Asian: 3.2% (up from 0.2% in 1970)
  • American Indian or Alaska Native: 0.8%
  • Other race: 3.9%
  • Two or more races: 3.1%
  • Hispanic or Latino of any race: 10.5% (up from 1.6% in 1970)

The most common ancestry groups in Buffalo are: German (13.6%), Irish (12.2%), Italian (11.7%), Polish (11.7%) and English (4.0%). There are large populations of of people from Irish, Italian, Polish, German, Jewish, Arab, Greek, Indian, Macedonian, Indian and Puerto Rican descent.

Many ethnic neighborhoods have changed over the last fifty years as well. The East Side was traditionally a Polish-American community with Italian-Americans in the West Side. Today, the East Side is mostly African American while the West Side has many ethnicities. Through much of Buffalo's history, the First Ward (a collection of neighborhoods) has been almost completely people of Irish descent, but it is now home to many people of Arab descent, particularly those from Yemen. The Jewish population, meanwhile, has moved to the suburbs or the upper West Side since the 1950s.

In 2008, the United Nations rated the Buffalo-Niagara Falls area as being one of the worst cities in the world in terms of economic inequality and racial bias, stating that 40% of Hispanic, black and ethnically mixed households earned less than $15,000, versus 15% of white households. The United States Census department also called the area the 8th most segregated in the country.

Buffalo Population Growth

Buffalo's population peaked in 1950, like many former industrial cities, at which time it was the 15th largest city in the country. Buffalo's population has declined in every census since 1950, when its population was 580,000. In 2006, Buffalo's population was equivalent to its population in 1890, essentially reversing it 120 years.

After a decades-long loss of young people, the Buffalo-Niagara area has finally turned things around and is once more seeing a growth in the number of Millennials moving to the region. Since 2006, the number of Millennials (aged 20 through 34) has grown by over 10% while the region's total population shrank 1%. This has been the strongest growth of young people among all counties in New York and exceeds national growth for the age group.

Buffalo History

Buffalo began as a small trading community in 1789 and quickly grew when the Erie Canal was constructed in 1825. At the time, it had a population of about 2,400, which grew to 10,000 by 1832. By 1900, it was the 8th largest city in the country and became a major railroad hub.

Buffalo has long been home to a sizable African American community, and at one point a regular meeting place for abolitionist leaders and a terminus point of the Underground Railroad. During the Civil War, Buffalo grew in population from 81,000 to more than 94,000 by 1865. At the start of the 20th century, Buffalo was known as the City of Light for its widespread electric lighting, becoming the first city in the country to use electric street lights in 1881. Buffalo saw great prosperity later during World War II as a manufacturing center, although it reached its peak population by the 1950s and declined for more than 60 years.

Buffalo Facts

  • Buffalo is home to the original Buffalo chicken wing. Before its invention, chicken wings were used in stock or thrown away. The invention is credited to Anchor Bar owners Frank and Teressa Bellisimo, who created the first Buffalo wings in 1964.
  • Buffalo is also famous for beef on weck, a culinary dish derived from earlier German immigrants to the area. It's believed a German baker in Buffalo came up with the sandwich, which has roast beef and horseradish on a kummelweck roll.
  • Buffalo's most infamous event was the 1971 Attica prison riot.
  • "Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo" is a grammatically correct sentence that uses all three meanings of the word: the city of Buffalo, a verb meaning to buffalo (or bully) and the animal buffalo.
  • The 1840's was a prosperous time for Buffalo and is remembered as the Fabulous Forties. This was ended with a cholera outbreak in 1849.
Year Population Growth Annual Growth Rate
2017258,6121490.06%
2016258,463-1,059-0.41%
2015259,522-941-0.36%
2014260,463-167-0.06%
2013260,630960.04%
2012260,534-396-0.15%
2011260,930-455-0.17%
2010261,385-31,263-1.12%
2000292,648-35,475-1.14%
1990328,123-29,747-0.86%
1980357,870-104,898-2.54%
1970462,768-69,991-1.40%
1960532,759-47,373-0.85%
1950580,1324,2310.07%
1940575,9012,8250.05%
1930573,07666,3011.24%
1920506,77583,0601.81%
1910423,71571,3281.86%
1900352,38796,7233.26%
1890255,664100,5305.12%
1880155,13437,4202.80%
1870117,71436,5853.79%
186081,12938,8686.74%
185042,26124,0488.78%
184018,2139,5457.71%
18308,6686,56815.23%
18202,1006003.42%
18101,5000.00%

Buffalo Population in 2018Source: By Nick Amoscato [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Population by Race

Race Population
White124,581
Black or African American96,576
Some Other Race14,633
Asian12,611
Two or More Races9,380
American Indian and Alaska Native1,094
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander114

Race Data via US Census (2016 ACS 5-Year Survey)

Buffalo Population Pyramid 2018

0%2%4%6%8%10% Male Population0%2%4%6%8%10% Female Population80757065605550454035302520151050

Data via US Census (2016 ACS 5-Year Survey): Table S0101

Buffalo Median Age

32.9


Total

31.3


Male

34.3


Female

Buffalo Adults

There are 199,681 adults, (31,079 of which are seniors) in Buffalo.

Buffalo Age Dependency

53.6

Age Dependency Ratio

18.5

Old Age Dependency Ratio

35.1

Child Dependency Ratio

Buffalo Sex Ratio

Female

135,593

52.35%

Male

123,396

47.65%

Buffalo Households and Families

Buffalo Renter vs Owner Occupied by Household Type

Buffalo Household Types

Type Owner Renter
Married68.3%31.7%
Male44.3%55.7%
All41.4%58.6%
Non Family33.6%66.4%
Female28.2%71.8%

41.4%

Rate of Home Ownership

Buffalo Households by Type

Type Count Average Size Owned
All109,6682.2841.4
Non Family53,4991.2833.6
Married26,2873.2968.3
Female23,5973.2528.2
Male6,2852.9444.3

3.12

Average Family Size

2.28

Average Household Size

7%

Unmarried (Opposite Sex)

0.4%

Unmarried (Same Sex)

Buffalo Households

Buffalo Education

Buffalo Educational Attainment by Sex (over 25)

Education Attained Count Percentage
Less Than 9th Grade9,2065.56%
9th to 12th Grade18,53511.19%
High School Graduate45,30727.36%
Some College34,86221.05%
Associates Degree15,8709.58%
Bachelors Degree23,81114.38%
Graduate Degree18,03010.89%

Buffalo Educational Attainment by Race

Name Total High School Bachelors
White84,30674,88329,655
Black58,31047,6837,813
Hispanic13,7729,1461,680
Other Race7,6734,469570
Asian6,2823,7452,052
Multiple Races3,5652,979853
Native American783606152
Islander4141

The highest rate of high school graduation is among islander people with a rate of 100.00%.

The highest rate of bachelors degrees is among islander people with a rate of 35.18%.

Buffalo Earnings by Educational Attainment

Name Average Male Female
Overall$30,862$33,571$28,107
Less Than High School$16,991$21,239$13,072
High School Grad$25,738$29,022$21,378
Some College$28,932$31,338$27,044
Bachelors Degree$40,429$43,648$35,561
Graduate Degree$51,668$57,242$49,368

$30,862

Average Earnings

$33,571

Average Male

$28,107

Average Female

Buffalo Language

Buffalo Language by Age

Buffalo Language

83.19% of Buffalo residents speak only English, while 16.81% speak other languages. The largest non-English language is Spanish, which is spoken by 7.76% of the population.

Buffalo Poverty

Buffalo Poverty by Race

Name Total In Poverty Poverty Rate
Black94,15636,03338.27%
White111,48021,22319.04%
Hispanic27,32012,97747.50%
Other14,2527,80654.77%
Asian11,7465,46546.53%
Multiple9,1293,96243.40%
Native1,08241838.63%
Islander1086862.96%

31.22%

Overall Poverty Rate

29.06%

Male Poverty Rate

33.18%

Female Poverty Rate

Poverty in Buffalo

The race most likely to be in poverty in Buffalo is Islander, with 62.96% below the poverty level.

The race least likely to be in poverty in Buffalo is White, with 19.04% below the poverty level.

The poverty rate among those that worked full-time for the past 12 months was 4.68%. Among those working part-time, it was 31.79%, and for those that did not work, the poverty rate was 42.52%.

Buffalo Poverty Rate by Education

Name Poverty
Less Than High School43.87%
High School25.60%
Some College22.52%
Bachelors or Greater10.05%

Buffalo Poverty Rate by Employment Status and Sex

Name Poverty
Female Unemployed51.52%
Male Unemployed36.36%
Female Employed15.66%
Male Employed11.78%

Buffalo Income

Buffalo Income by Household Type

Name Median Mean
Households$33,119$48,960
Families$40,713$57,962
Married Families$63,551$83,313
Non Families$24,129$37,262

Buffalo Marital Status

Buffalo Marital Status

Marriage Rates

28.0%

Overall Marriage Rate

30.2%

Male Marriage Rate

25.9%

Female Marriage Rate

Buffalo Married by Age and Sex

Buffalo Marriage

The age group where males are most likely to be married is Over65, while the female age group most likely to be married is 35To44.

Buffalo Marital Status by Race

Buffalo Veterans

Buffalo Veterans by War

12,827

Number of Veterans

11,724

Male Veterans

1,103

Female Veterans

Name Veterans
Vietnam3,938
First Gulf War2,011
Second Gulf War1,663
Korea1,519
World War II727

Buffalo Veterans by Age

Name Veterans
35 to 543,349
75+3,057
55 to 642,741
65 to 742,554
18 to 341,126

Buffalo Veterans by Race

Name Veterans % of Total
White7,1866.82%
Black5,0297.14%
Hispanic4512.55%
2 or More2194.70%
Other2092.13%
Asian1101.28%
Indian748.76%

Buffalo Veterans by Education

15.16%

Veteran Poverty Rate

32.61%

Veteran Disability Rate

Buffalo Employment Status

Buffalo Employment by Age

58.7%

Labor Force Participation

52.8%

Employment Rate

9.9%

Unemployment Rate

Buffalo Employment by Race

Buffalo Employment by Education

Buffalo Place of Birth

Origin of Non Citizens

Non citizens include legal permanent residents (green card holders), international students, temporary workers, humanitarian migrants, and illegal immigrants.

Origin of Naturalized Citizens

74.33%

Born in New York

91.06%

Native Born

8.94%

Foreign Born

5.41%

Non Citizen

Place of Birth

91.06% of Buffalo residents were born in the United States, with 74.33% having been born in New York. 5.41% of residents are not US citizens. Of those not born in the United States, the largest percentage are from Asia.