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 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%
2010261,385-31,263-10.68%
2000292,648-35,475-10.81%
1990328,123-29,747-8.31%
1980357,870-104,898-22.67%
1970462,768-69,991-13.14%
1960532,759-47,373-8.17%
1950580,1324,2310.73%
1940575,9012,8250.49%
1930573,07666,30113.08%
1920506,77583,06019.60%
1910423,71571,32820.24%
1900352,38796,72337.83%
1890255,664100,53064.80%
1880155,13437,42031.79%
1870117,71436,58545.09%
186081,12938,86891.97%
185042,26124,048132.04%
184018,2139,545110.12%
18308,6686,568312.76%
18202,10060040.00%
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

0k0k0k0k0k0k Male Population0k0k0k0k0k0k Female Population757065605550454035302520151050

Buffalo Median Age

32.9


Total

31.3


Male

34.3


Female

Lancaster Adults

There are 199,390 adults in Buffalo.

Buffalo Age Dependency

53.6

Age Dependency Ratio

18.5

Old Age Dependency Ratio

35.1

Child Dependency Ratio

Buffalo Housing Indicators

Indicator Value
Median Number of Rooms (per House)
5.6
Houses Without Mortgage
19,178
Houses With Mortgage
26,216
Vacancy Rate
16.3
Median Rent
710
Median Home Value
72,600
Renter-Occupied Units
64,274
Owner-Occupied Units
45,394
Total Housing Units
130,977

This chart shows the employment and labor force participation rates in Buffalo for residents over 16 years of age. The 2015 unemployment rate is 5.8% and the labor force participation rate is 58.7%.

Buffalo Family/Household Indicators

Indicator Value
Average Household Size
2.28
Average Family Size
3.12
Total Households
109668
Married Couple Households
26287
Male Householder (no wife) Families
6285
Female Householder (no husband) Families
23597
Non Family Households
53499
Total Families
56169
Households With Own Children
27446
Unmarried Partner Households (Opposite Sex)
7
Unmarried Partner Households (Same Sex)
0.4

Buffalo Income Distribution

Indicator Value
Under $10,000
17,916
$10,000 to $14,999
10,563
$15,000 to $24,999
15,830
$25,000 to $34,999
12,505
$35,000 to $49,999
15,003
$50,000 to $74,999
16,235
$75,000 to $99,999
9,496
$100,000 to $149,999
7,898
$150,000 to $199,999
2,285
Over $200,000
1,937

Buffalo Household Income

Income

Median

Mean

Buffalo

New York

$33,119

$60,741

$48,960

$89,397

Under 10k10k - 15k15k - 25k25k - 35k35k - 50k50k - 75k75k - 100k100k - 150k150k - 200kOver 200k00.040.080.120.16

Buffalo Education Data

Buffalo Educational Attainment (over 25)

Indicator Value Percentage
Less Than 9th Grade
9,2065.56%
9th to 12th Grade
18,53511.19%
High School Graduate
45,30727.36%
Some College
34,86221.05%
Associates Degree
15,8709.58%
Bachelors Degree
23,81114.38%
Graduate Degree
18,03010.89%