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Buffalo, New York is the second most populous city in the state of New York, after New York City.[3] The city has a population of 261,310 (2010 Census) and the Buffalo–Niagara–Cattaraugus Combined Statistical Area is home to 1,215,826 residents.

BackgroundEdit

 
Map of racial distribution in Buffalo, 2010 U.S. Census. Each dot is 25 people: White, Black, Asian, Hispanic or Other (yellow)

Buffalo was first settled primarily by New Englanders. The first wave of European immigrants was a large influx of Germans. The city was further populated by Irish immigrants first, Erie Canal builders and then escaping famine, and infused by Polish, Italian, Jewish, and more recently Latino populations, all of which have made it a melting pot of ethnic cultures. The newest immigrants are from Somalia, Sudan, and Asia.

The Old First Ward retains a strong Irish identity, and Kaisertown reflects a German heritage. Buffalo's Polonia was centered at the Broadway Market on the East Side. The market serves as a microcosm of Polish/Slavic traditions and delicacies.[1] The East Side is now home to African Americans, many of whom came north during the Great Migration. The annual Juneteenth Festival is a large cultural celebration organized by African Americans[2] in Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Park.

The West Side is home to the city's Hispanic community, predominantly of Puerto Rican descent. The West Side was once Buffalo's "Little Italy," but in the 1980s much of Buffalo's Italian American community moved to North Buffalo. There is also a small Italian-American enclave in the East Side neighborhood of Lovejoy. Many Buffalo households, churches, and restaurants continue to observe the Sicilian custom of preparing St. Joseph's Day (March 19) tables, at which various meatless Lenten courses are laid out for the poor.

Buffalo is also home to a large Jewish community. German Jewish immigrants originally settled on Buffalo's Westside in the mid-19th century. Lower income Russian Jews and Polish Jews immigrating to the Niagara Frontier in the early 20th century initially settled on the Lower East Side, near William Street and Jefferson Avenue. The community migrated to the Masten Park neighborhood on the East Side, and then to North Buffalo between the 1940s and the 1960s. Although many still live in the city, particularly in North Buffalo and the Delaware District on the city's Westside, the majority of the Buffalo area's Jews now live in the northeastern suburbs. Buffalo's Jewish Community Centers are located in the Delaware District, North Buffalo and Amherst.

Distancing itself from its industrial past, Buffalo is redefining itself as a cultural, banking, educational, medical center and architectural tourism destination. In 2001, USA Today named Buffalo the winner of its "City with a Heart" contest.[3] proclaiming it the nation's "friendliest city." Buffalo is also a two-time winner of the All-America City Award.[4]

DemographicsEdit

Census Pop.
18101,508
18202,09538.9%
18308,668313.7%
184018,213110.1%
185042,261132.0%
186081,12992.0%
1870117,71445.1%
1880155,13431.8%
1890255,66464.8%
1900352,38737.8%
1910423,71520.2%
1920506,77519.6%
1930573,07613.1%
1940575,9010.5%
1950580,1320.7%
1960532,759−8.2%
1970462,768−13.1%
1980357,870−22.7%
1990328,123−8.3%
2000292,648−10.8%
2010261,310−10.7%
Est. 2016256,902−1.7%
Historical Population Figures[5]
U.S. Decennial Census[6]
2012 Estimate[7]
Racial composition 2010[8] 1990[9] 1970[9] 1940[9]
White 50.4% 64.7% 78.7% 96.8%
—Non-Hispanic 45.8% 63.1% 77.4%[10] 96.8%
Black or African American 38.6% 30.7% 20.4% 3.1%
Hispanic or Latino (of any race) 10.5% 4.9% 1.6%[10] (X)
Asian 3.2% 1.0% 0.2%

City properEdit

Like most formerly industrial cities of the Great Lakes region in the USA, Buffalo has experienced an economic depression brought about by the loss of its industrial base. The city's population peaked in 1950, when it was the 15th largest city in the United States and its population has declined every census since then. The demographic change and the impact of such change on the industrial cities of the region, including Buffalo, is significant; based on the 2006 US Census estimate, Buffalo's current population is equivalent to its population in the year 1890, reversing 120 years of demographic change.

At the 2010 Census, the city's population was 50.4% White (45.8% non-Hispanic White alone), 38.6% Black or African American, 0.8% American Indian and Alaska Native, 3.2% Asian, 3.9% from some other race and 3.1% from two or more races. 10.5% of the total population was Hispanic or Latino of any race.[11]

At the time of the 2000 census there were 292,648 people, 122,720 households, and 67,005 families residing in the city. The population density is 7,205.8 people per square mile (2,782.4/km²). There are 145,574 housing units at an average density of 3,584.4 per square mile (1,384.1/km²). The racial makeup of the city is 54.43% White, 37.23% African American, 0.77% Native American, 1.40% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 3.68% from other races, and 2.45% from two or more races. 7.54% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race. The top 5 largest ancestries include German (13.6%), Irish (12.2%), Italian (11.7%), Polish (11.7%), and English (4.0%).[12]

There were 122,720 households out of which 28.6% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 27.6% are married couples living together, 22.3% have a female householder with no husband present, and 45.4% are non-families. 37.7% of all households are made up of individuals and 12.1% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.29 and the average family size is 3.07.

In the city the population included 26.3% under the age of 18, 11.3% from 18 to 24, 29.3% from 25 to 44, 19.6% from 45 to 64, and 13.4% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 34 years. For every 100 females, there are 88.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 83.5 males.

The median income for a household in the city is $24,536, and the median income for a family is $30,614. Males have a median income of $30,938 versus $23,982 for females. The per capita income for the city is $14,991. 26.6% of the population and 23.0% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 38.4% of those under the age of 18 and 14.0% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.

 
Population of Buffalo, 1830–2006

Buffalo has very sizable populations of Bosnian, Irish, Italian, Polish, German, Hungarian, Jewish, Greek, Arab, African American, Indian, Macedonian, and Puerto Rican descent. Major ethnic neighborhoods still exist but they changed significantly in the second half of the 20th century. In 1940, non-Hispanic Whites were 96.8% of the city's population.[9] In the early 1900s, Polish-American immigrants were the predominant occupants of the East Side, while Italian-Americans composed a close-knit neighborhood in the west side. The East Side has long since become a predominantly African American area, while the West Side has become a melting pot of many ethnicities, with Latino culture being the strongest influence. Throughout the history of Buffalo, the neighborhoods collectively called the First Ward, as well as much of South Buffalo, have comprised almost entirely people of Irish descent. Recently, there has been an influx of inhabitants that are of Arab descent, mainly from Yemen, as the city's Muslim population has increased to approximately 3000 according to an estimate.[13] Since the 1950s and 1960s, the greater portion of the Jewish population has moved to the suburban areas outside of the city, or to the city's upper West Side.

On October 25, 2008 the United Nations released a report entitled "State of the World's Cities" in which the Buffalo-Niagara Falls area was specifically cited as having one of the worst rates of economic inequality in the world and that it was racially based. The report specifically stated "the report cited figures from western New York state, where 40 per cent of black, Hispanic and ethnically mixed households earned less than $15,000 in 1999, as compared to 15 per cent of white households."[14] In addition, the United States Census department also released information placing the Buffalo-Niagara metro area, as the 8th most segregated area in America.[15]

Metropolitan areaEdit

As of 2006, Erie and Niagara Counties had a combined estimated population of 1,154,378.[16] The racial makeup of the area is 82.2% White, 13% African American, 0.6% Native American, 1.32% Asian, 3.3% Hispanic, and 1.4% of all other races. In the metropolitan area, 39.68% of people are under the age of 18 or over the age of 64, and the median age is 38. Of the total population, 82.88% have a high school diploma and 23.2% have obtained a Bachelor's degree. The median income for a household is $48,400 and the per capita income for the area is just under $39,000. Approximately 8% of the population is below the poverty line.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "The History of the Broadway Market". The Broadway Market. 2009. Archived from the original on February 15, 2014. Retrieved April 4, 2010.
  2. ^ Juneteenth Festival of Buffalo, NY. Retrieved July 7, 2007. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on January 4, 2014. Retrieved September 15, 2014.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  3. ^ Grossman, Cathy Lynn (February 12, 2001). "Lots and lots of heart in Buffalo". USA Today. Archived from the original on September 2, 2004. Retrieved March 23, 2007.
  4. ^ "All-America City: Past Winners". National Civic League. Archived from the original on March 22, 2007. Retrieved March 23, 2007.
  5. ^ "Census" (PDF). United States Census. Archived from the original (PDF) on June 24, 2013. page 36
  6. ^ United States Census Bureau. "Census of Population and Housing". Archived from the original on April 22, 2013. Retrieved June 14, 2013.
  7. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2012". Archived from the original on October 19, 2013. Retrieved June 14, 2013.
  8. ^ "Buffalo (city), New York". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on May 4, 2014.
  9. ^ a b c d "Race and Hispanic Origin for Selected Cities and Other Places: Earliest Census to 1990". U.S. Census Bureau. Archived from the original on August 6, 2012.
  10. ^ a b From 15% sample
  11. ^ "Buffalo Demographics: 2010". quickfacts.census.go. Archived from the original on May 4, 2014. Retrieved November 8, 2011.
  12. ^ "Buffalo, New York (NY) Detailed Profile – relocation, real estate, travel, jobs, hospitals, schools, crime, news, sex offenders". City-data.com. Archived from the original on September 27, 2013.
  13. ^ http://wings.buffalo.edu/sa/muslim/LocalMosques.htm Archived February 12, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ "UN: Major inequality in US cities – Americas". Al Jazeera English.
  15. ^ "Segregation: Dissimilarity Indices". CensusScope.
  16. ^ "SUNY Buffalo Regional Knowledge Network". Archived from the original on March 22, 2012.