Buffalo, New York Population 2021

254,290
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Buffalo is a city located in Erie County New York. With a 2020 population of 254,290, it is the 2nd largest city in New York (after New York City) and the 89th largest city in the United States . Buffalo is currently declining at a rate of -0.20% annually and its population has decreased by -2.69% 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 6,298 people per square mile.

The average household income in Buffalo is $55,305 with a poverty rate of 30.06%. The median rental costs in recent years comes to $776 per month, and the median house value is $89,800. The median age in Buffalo is 33.1 years, 31.6 years for males, and 34.5 years for females.

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: 47.11%
  • Black or African American: 36.53%
  • Other race: 5.95%
  • Asian: 5.86%
  • Two or more races: 4.04%
  • Native American: 0.48%
  • Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander: 0.05%
The current population of Buffalo, New York is 254,290 based on our projections of the latest US Census estimates. The US Census estimates the 2018 population at 255,781.The last official US Census in 2010 recorded the population at 261,310.

Buffalo, New York Population 2021

2019 and 2020 population is estimated by projecting the raw 2018 numbers.

Year Population Growth Growth Rate
20211,124,400-1,790-0.16%
20201,126,190-1,790-0.16%
20191,127,980-1,800-0.16%
20181,129,780-100-0.01%
20171,129,880-350-0.03%
20161,130,230-2,770-0.25%
20151,133,000-2,060-0.18%
20141,135,060900.01%
20131,134,9703500.03%
20121,134,620-940-0.08%
20111,135,560-70-0.01%
20101,135,6300.00%

Buffalo Metro Area Population by Year

Population by Race

Race Population Percentage
White120,83147.11%
Black or African American93,68536.53%
Some Other Race15,2525.95%
Asian15,0175.86%
Two or More Races10,3544.04%
American Indian and Alaska Native1,2250.48%
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander1160.05%
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Buffalo Population by Race

Buffalo Population Pyramid $2021

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Buffalo Median Age

33.1


Total

31.6


Male

34.5


Female

Buffalo Adults

There are 198,515 adults, (31,818 of whom are seniors) in Buffalo.

Buffalo Age Dependency

53.9

Age Dependency Ratio

19.1

Old Age Dependency Ratio

34.8

Child Dependency Ratio

Buffalo Sex Ratio

Female

134,013

52.25%

Male

122,467

47.75%

Buffalo Population by Age

Buffalo Renter vs Owner Occupied by Household Type

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Buffalo Household Types

Type Owner Renter
Married67.8%32.2%
All40.7%59.3%
Male39%61%
Non Family32.5%67.5%
Female28.7%71.3%

40.7%

Rate of Home Ownership

Buffalo Households and Families

Type Count Average Size Owned
All110,4272.2440.7
Non Family54,5151.2732.5
Married27,1223.2967.8
Female23,0293.1728.7
Male5,7612.839

3.07

Average Family Size

2.24

Average Household Size

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Buffalo Households by Type

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Education Attained Count Percentage
Less Than 9th Grade8,8085.26%
9th to 12th Grade17,05410.19%
High School Graduate46,57727.82%
Some College32,28619.28%
Associates Degree16,4169.80%
Bachelors Degree26,79616.00%
Graduate Degree19,49011.64%
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Buffalo Educational Attainment by Sex (over 25)

Buffalo Educational Attainment by Race

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Race Total High School Bachelors
White82,62374,91531,488
Black58,14947,9539,114
Hispanic16,34611,3272,564
Other Race8,2645,129993
Asian7,6405,0292,600
2+ Races3,7873,173959
Native American1,01379873
Islander1717

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 38.11%.

Buffalo Educational Attainment by Race

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Name Average Male Female
Overall$32,453$35,940$30,905
Less Than 9th Grade$18,185$21,628$15,357
High School Graduate$26,799$30,535$22,474
Some College$30,847$32,309$29,310
Bachelors Degree$43,274$47,456$40,164
Graduate Degree$56,509$62,646$54,920

$32,453

Average Earnings

$35,940

Average Male

$30,905

Average Female

Buffalo Earnings by Educational Attainment

Buffalo Language by Age

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Buffalo Language

80.92% of Buffalo residents speak only English, while 19.08% speak other languages. The non-English language spoken by the largest group is Spanish, which is spoken by 8.62% of the population.

Buffalo Language

Buffalo Poverty by Race

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Name Total In Poverty Poverty Rate
Black90,91232,17135.39%
White106,67820,16918.91%
Hispanic30,39912,78842.07%
Other14,5617,32850.33%
Asian14,2986,99548.92%
Multiple10,0914,18241.44%
Native1,19133528.13%
Islander1039390.29%

30.06%

Overall Poverty Rate

28.49%

Male Poverty Rate

31.48%

Female Poverty Rate

Poverty in Buffalo

The race most likely to be in poverty in Buffalo is Islander, with 90.29% below the poverty level.

The race least likely to be in poverty in Buffalo is White, with 18.91% below the poverty level.

The poverty rate among those that worked full-time for the past 12 months was 5.20%. Among those working part-time, it was 30.37%, and for those that did not work, the poverty rate was 43.38%.

Buffalo Poverty

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Name Poverty
Less Than 9th Grade44.27%
High School27.22%
Some College20.75%
Bachelors or Greater10.10%

Buffalo Poverty Rate by Education

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Rate Poverty
Female Unemployed58.53%
Male Unemployed39.64%
Female Employed14.59%
Male Employed11.68%

Buffalo Poverty Rate by Employment Status and Sex

Buffalo Income by Household Type

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Name Median Mean
Households$37,354$55,305
Families$46,770$65,241
Married Families$71,364$90,294
Non Families$28,112$42,322
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Income by Household Type

Buffalo Marital Status

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Marriage Rates

29.1%

Overall Marriage Rate

31.1%

Male Marriage Rate

27.3%

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 Marital Status

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10,769

Number of Veterans

10,044

Male Veterans

725

Female Veterans

War Veterans
Vietnam3,771
First Gulf War1,889
Second Gulf War1,870
Korea789
World War II368

Buffalo Veterans by War

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Age Group Veterans
65 to 742,811
35 to 542,612
55 to 642,207
75+2,149
18 to 34990

Buffalo Veterans by Age

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Name Veterans % of Total
White6,2386.07%
Black3,8935.63%
Hispanic6433.16%
Other Race2512.38%
2+ Races1923.86%
Asian1071.09%
Native American868.08%
Islander24.17%

Buffalo Veterans by Race

Buffalo Veterans by Education

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15.52%

Veteran Poverty Rate

33.10%

Veteran Disability Rate

Buffalo Veterans by Education

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59.9%

Labor Force Participation

55.6%

Employment Rate

7.1%

Unemployment Rate

Buffalo Employment by Age

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Buffalo Employment by Race

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Buffalo Employment by Education

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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73.35%

Born in Buffalo

89.56%

Native Born

10.44%

Foreign Born

5.66%

Non Citizen

4.78%

Naturalized

Place of Birth

89.56% of Buffalo residents were born in the United States, with 73.35% having been born in New York. 5.66% of residents are not US citizens. Of those not born in the United States, the largest percentage are from Asia.

Buffalo Place of Birth

Year Population Growth Annual Growth Rate
2021254,290-497-0.20%
2020254,787-497-0.19%
2019255,284-497-0.19%
2018255,781-520-0.20%
2017256,301-515-0.20%
2016256,816-1,349-0.52%
2015258,165-1,383-0.53%
2014259,548-465-0.18%
2013260,013-142-0.05%
2012260,155-546-0.21%
2011260,701-574-0.22%
2010261,275-31,373-1.13%
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%

Buffalo Population by Year