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
White123,613
Black or African American96,374
Some Other Race14,971
Asian13,604
Two or More Races9,787
American Indian and Alaska Native1,139
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander86

Data via US Census (2017 ACS 5-Year Survey): Table B03002

Buffalo Population Pyramid 2018

2,0004,0006,0008,00010,00012,000 Male Population2,0004,0006,0008,00010,00012,000 Female Population80757065605550454035302520151050

Data via US Census (2017 ACS 5-Year Survey): Table S0101

Buffalo Median Age

32.8


Total

31.4


Male

34.2


Female

Buffalo Adults

There are 200,122 adults, (31,551 of whom are seniors) in Buffalo.

Buffalo Age Dependency

54

Age Dependency Ratio

18.7

Old Age Dependency Ratio

35.3

Child Dependency Ratio

Buffalo Sex Ratio

Female

135,721

52.29%

Male

123,853

47.71%

Buffalo Households and Families

Buffalo Renter vs Owner Occupied by Household Type

Data via US Census (2017 ACS 5-Year Survey): Table S1101

Buffalo Household Types

Type Owner Renter
Married67%33%
All41%59%
Male40.2%59.8%
Non Family33.7%66.3%
Female27.8%72.2%

41.0%

Rate of Home Ownership

Buffalo Households by Type

Type Count Average Size Owned
All110,6362.2641
Non Family54,3551.2733.7
Married27,0913.367
Female22,7813.2327.8
Male6,4092.9240.2

3.11

Average Family Size

2.26

Average Household Size

6.9%

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 Grade8,6945.19%
9th to 12th Grade18,25710.90%
High School Graduate45,94027.43%
Some College35,18721.01%
Associates Degree16,1669.65%
Bachelors Degree24,87314.85%
Graduate Degree18,34510.95%

Buffalo Educational Attainment by Race

Name Total High School Bachelors
White84,13475,47530,113
Black58,98448,4658,097
Hispanic14,5889,8372,008
Other Race7,8964,801729
Asian6,9974,3482,465
Multiple Races3,5312,959826
Native American856708106
Islander2020

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 35.79%.

Buffalo Earnings by Educational Attainment

Name Average Male Female
Overall$31,175$34,334$28,584
Less Than High School$18,543$22,048$14,426
High School Grad$25,720$29,204$21,858
Some College$29,105$31,155$27,276
Bachelors Degree$41,349$45,719$36,562
Graduate Degree$52,319$55,267$51,259

$31,175

Average Earnings

$34,334

Average Male

$28,584

Average Female

Buffalo Language

Buffalo Language by Age

Buffalo Language

82.40% of Buffalo residents speak only English, while 17.60% speak other languages. The largest non-English language is Spanish, which is spoken by 8.06% of the population.

Buffalo Poverty

Buffalo Poverty by Race

Name Total In Poverty Poverty Rate
Black93,89735,16037.45%
White110,29621,00519.04%
Hispanic28,31112,99045.88%
Other14,4617,94654.95%
Asian12,9035,89645.69%
Multiple9,4304,09243.39%
Native1,13241036.22%
Islander796177.22%

30.94%

Overall Poverty Rate

28.90%

Male Poverty Rate

32.79%

Female Poverty Rate

Poverty in Buffalo

The race most likely to be in poverty in Buffalo is Islander, with 77.22% 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 4.78%. Among those working part-time, it was 31.13%, and for those that did not work, the poverty rate was 43.60%.

Buffalo Poverty Rate by Education

Name Poverty
Less Than High School43.63%
High School27.04%
Some College22.15%
Bachelors or Greater10.24%

Buffalo Poverty Rate by Employment Status and Sex

Name Poverty
Female Unemployed53.03%
Male Unemployed38.55%
Female Employed15.64%
Male Employed11.81%

Buffalo Income

Buffalo Income by Household Type

Name Median Mean
Households$34,268$50,456
Families$41,837$59,294
Married Families$65,301$83,112
Non Families$25,259$38,773

Buffalo Marital Status

Buffalo Marital Status

Marriage Rates

28.7%

Overall Marriage Rate

30.7%

Male Marriage Rate

27.0%

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


Data via US Census (2017 ACS 5-Year Survey): Table S1201

Buffalo Veterans

Buffalo Veterans by War

11,964

Number of Veterans

10,965

Male Veterans

999

Female Veterans

Name Veterans
Vietnam3,894
First Gulf War1,965
Second Gulf War1,648
Korea1,315
World War II635

Buffalo Veterans by Age

Name Veterans
35 to 543,072
75+2,733
65 to 742,587
55 to 642,579
18 to 34993

Buffalo Veterans by Race

Name Veterans % of Total
White6,6616.38%
Black4,7176.69%
Hispanic4422.37%
2 or More2104.43%
Other1721.69%
Asian1251.36%
Indian788.64%
Hawaiian12.78%

Buffalo Veterans by Education

14.27%

Veteran Poverty Rate

31.80%

Veteran Disability Rate

Buffalo Employment Status

Buffalo Employment by Age

59.4%

Labor Force Participation

54.2%

Employment Rate

8.8%

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

74.02%

Born in New York

90.55%

Native Born

9.45%

Foreign Born

5.69%

Non Citizen

Place of Birth

90.55% of Buffalo residents were born in the United States, with 74.02% having been born in New York. 5.69% of residents are not US citizens. Of those not born in the United States, the largest percentage are from Asia.