Buffalo, New York Population 2020

255,244
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Buffalo is a city located in New York. With a 2020 population of 255,244, it is the 2nd largest city in New York (after New York City) and the 87th largest city in the United States. Buffalo is currently declining at a rate of -0.21% annually and its population has decreased by -2.32% since the most recent census, which recorded a population of 261,310 in 2010. Buffalo reached it's highest population of 580,132 in 1950. Spanning over 52 miles, Buffalo has a population density of 6,321 people per square mile.

The average household income in Buffalo is $52,943 with a poverty rate of 30.26%. The median rental costs in recent years comes to $757 per month, and the median house value is $82,900. The median age in Buffalo is 33 years, 31.5 years for males, and 34.4 years for females. For every 100 females there are 90.9 males.

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.

Population Size and Density in Buffalo, NY

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.

Buffalo Diversity

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 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 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 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 Bellissimo, 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 1840s was a prosperous time for Buffalo and is remembered as the Fabulous Forties. This ended with a cholera outbreak in 1849.

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.

Buffalo Demographics

According to the most recent ACS, the racial composition of Buffalo was:

  • White: 47.42%
  • Black or African American: 36.68%
  • Other race: 5.80%
  • Asian: 5.56%
  • Two or more races: 4.02%
  • Native American: 0.47%
  • Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander: 0.05%
The current population of Buffalo, New York is 255,244, based on our projections of the latest US Census estimates. The US Census estimates the 2018 population at 256,304.The last official US Census in 2010 recorded the population at 261,310.

Buffalo, New York Population 2020

Year Total Population Growth Annual Growth Rate
20201,131,1405000.04%
20191,130,6404900.04%
20181,130,1504900.04%
20171,129,660-350-0.03%
20161,130,010-2,900-0.26%
20151,132,910-2,210-0.20%
20141,135,1201300.01%
20131,134,9904000.04%
20121,134,590-870-0.08%
20111,135,460-160-0.01%
20101,135,6200.00%

Population by Race

Race Population Percentage
White122,11047.42%
Black or African American94,45536.68%
Some Other Race14,9255.80%
Asian14,3295.56%
Two or More Races10,3634.02%
American Indian and Alaska Native1,2150.47%
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander1210.05%
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Buffalo Population Pyramid 2020

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Buffalo Median Age

33


Total

31.5


Male

34.4


Female

Buffalo Adults

There are 198,949 adults, (32,048 of whom are seniors) in Buffalo.

Buffalo Age Dependency

54.3

Age Dependency Ratio

19.2

Old Age Dependency Ratio

35.1

Child Dependency Ratio

Buffalo Sex Ratio

Female

134,885

52.38%

Male

122,633

47.62%

Buffalo Households and Families

Buffalo Renter vs Owner Occupied by Household Type

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Buffalo Household Types

Type Owner Renter
Married67.2%32.8%
All40.8%59.2%
Male39.7%60.3%
Non Family32.9%67.1%
Female28.7%71.3%

40.8%

Rate of Home Ownership

Type Count Average Size Owned
All110,7012.2440.8
Non Family54,4821.2732.9
Married27,1673.2667.2
Female23,1553.228.7
Male5,8972.8539.7

3.07

Average Family Size

2.24

Average Household Size

7.1%

Unmarried (Opposite Sex)

0.4%

Unmarried (Same Sex)

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Buffalo Education

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Education Attained Count Percentage
Less Than 9th Grade8,9655.36%
9th to 12th Grade17,92810.71%
High School Graduate45,66227.29%
Some College33,57020.06%
Associates Degree16,6559.95%
Bachelors Degree25,47715.22%
Graduate Degree19,08811.41%
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Buffalo Educational Attainment by Race

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Name Total High School Bachelors
White83,84275,48130,911
Black58,23147,8588,497
Hispanic15,15110,1922,062
Other Race7,9754,773669
Asian7,3634,5202,493
Multiple Races3,6233,064903
Native American953771106
Islander2323

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 white people with a rate of 36.87%.

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Name Average Male Female
Overall$31,796$35,016$30,042
Less Than High School$18,238$21,612$15,297
High School Grad$25,617$28,830$21,855
Some College$30,216$31,596$28,597
Bachelors Degree$42,384$48,583$39,501
Graduate Degree$54,623$57,793$52,957

$31,796

Average Earnings

$35,016

Average Male

$30,042

Average Female

Buffalo Language

Buffalo Language by Age

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Buffalo Language

81.84% of Buffalo residents speak only English, while 18.16% speak other languages. The non-English language spoken by the largest group is Spanish, which is spoken by 8.11% of the population.

Buffalo Poverty

Buffalo Poverty by Race

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Name Total In Poverty Poverty Rate
Black91,68832,97435.96%
White108,97220,65018.95%
Hispanic28,88912,81444.36%
Other14,3357,87754.95%
Asian13,5926,35446.75%
Multiple10,0394,13541.19%
Native1,18236731.05%
Islander1089083.33%

30.26%

Overall Poverty Rate

28.27%

Male Poverty Rate

32.06%

Female Poverty Rate

Poverty in Buffalo

The race most likely to be in poverty in Buffalo is Islander, with 83.33% below the poverty level.

The race least likely to be in poverty in Buffalo is White, with 18.95% below the poverty level.

The poverty rate among those that worked full-time for the past 12 months was 5.08%. Among those working part-time, it was 30.83%, and for those that did not work, the poverty rate was 43.00%.

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Name Poverty
Less Than High School42.88%
High School27.58%
Some College21.10%
Bachelors or Greater9.98%
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Name Poverty
Female Unemployed55.52%
Male Unemployed39.23%
Female Employed15.32%
Male Employed12.03%

Buffalo Income

Buffalo Income by Household Type

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Name Median Mean
Households$35,893$52,943
Families$43,879$62,230
Married Families$69,047$86,415
Non Families$26,834$40,740
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Buffalo Marital Status

Buffalo Marital Status

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Marriage Rates

29.0%

Overall Marriage Rate

31.1%

Male Marriage Rate

27.0%

Female Marriage Rate

Buffalo Married by Age and Sex

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Buffalo Marriage

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.

Buffalo Marital Status by Race

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Buffalo Veterans

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11,369

Number of Veterans

10,558

Male Veterans

811

Female Veterans

War Veterans
Vietnam3,890
Second Gulf War1,685
First Gulf War1,684
Korea1,076
World War II369
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Age Group Veterans
65 to 742,831
35 to 542,773
75+2,385
55 to 642,383
18 to 34997
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Name Veterans % of Total
White6,5206.30%
Black4,2566.12%
Hispanic5342.79%
2 or More2444.99%
Other1461.42%
Asian1051.11%
Indian959.38%
Hawaiian35.88%

Buffalo Veterans by Education

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15.00%

Veteran Poverty Rate

33.51%

Veteran Disability Rate

Buffalo Employment Status

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59.7%

Labor Force Participation

55.1%

Employment Rate

7.6%

Unemployment Rate

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Origin of Non-Citizens

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

Origin of Naturalized Citizens

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73.68%

Born in New York

90.00%

Native Born

10.00%

Foreign Born

5.74%

Non Citizen

Place of Birth

90.00% of Buffalo residents were born in the United States, with 73.68% having been born in New York. 5.74% of residents are not US citizens. Of those not born in the United States, the largest percentage are from Asia.

Year Population Growth Annual Growth Rate
2020255,244-530-0.21%
2019255,774-530-0.21%
2018256,304-126-0.05%
2017256,430-530-0.21%
2016256,960-1,379-0.53%
2015258,339-1,245-0.48%
2014259,584-457-0.18%
2013260,041-135-0.05%
2012260,176-530-0.20%
2011260,706-595-0.23%
2010261,301-31,347-1.13%
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%