Buffalo is a city located in Erie County New York. Buffalo has a 2023 population of 274,618. It is also the county seat of Erie County.Buffalo is currently declining at a rate of -0.4% annually and its population has decreased by -1.18% since the most recent census, which recorded a population of 277,908 in 2020.
The average household income in Buffalo is $61,174 with a poverty rate of 27.56%. The median rental costs in recent years comes to - per month, and the median house value is -. The median age in Buffalo is 33.9 years, 33 years for males, and 34.8 years for females.
The city proper has a population density of 6,436 people per square mile (2,568 per square kilometer). The urban population is about 93,600, which 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.
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 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 wholly 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'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 had declined in every census since 1950 when its population was 580,000. In 2006, Buffalo's community 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 most substantial growth of young people among all counties in New York and exceeds national growth for the age group.
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 rose 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.
According to the most recent ACS, the racial composition of Buffalo was:
Black or African American
Two or more races
Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander
Average Family Size
Average Household Size
Rate of Home Ownership
Less Than 9th Grade
9th to 12th Grade
High School Graduate
High School Graduation Rate
The highest rate of high school graduation is among islander people with a rate of 79.31%.
The highest rate of bachelors degrees is among white people with a rate of 33.77%.
Other Indo-European Languages
Asian and Pacific Island Languages
81.15% of Buffalo residents speak only English, while 18.85% speak other languages. The non-English language spoken by the largest group is Spanish, which is spoken by 7.93% of the population.
Overall Poverty Rate
Male Poverty Rate
Female Poverty Rate
The race most likely to be in poverty in Buffalo is Other, with 48.57% below the poverty level.
The race least likely to be in poverty in Buffalo is White, with 18.02% below the poverty level.
The poverty rate among those that worked full-time for the past 12 months was 4.43%. Among those working part-time, it was 26.81%, and for those that did not work, the poverty rate was 41.69%.
Overall Marriage Rate
Male Marriage Rate
Female Marriage Rate
The age group where males are most likely to be married is Over 65, while the female age group most likely to be married is 35-44.
Second Gulf War
First Gulf War
World War II
Less Than 9th Grade
High School Graduate
Bachelors or Greater
Veteran Poverty Rate
Veteran Disability Rate
Labor Force Participation
Non citizens include legal permanent residents (green card holders), international students, temporary workers, humanitarian migrants, and illegal immigrants.
Born in Buffalo
92.3% of Buffalo residents were born in the United States, with 76.27% having been born in New York. 5.32% of residents are not US citizens. Of those not born in the United States, the largest percentage are from Asia.