Buffalo (West)

Buffalo (West of Main Street)

Neighborhoods west of Main Street in the city of Buffalo have made strides in recent years.  Poverty rates are down, crime is down, and high school graduation rates are up. Still, almost half of all residents live in or near poverty and vulnerable populations, like refugees and immigrants, young adults, seniors, and families with children are at high risk for poverty.

Click here to learn more about what living in or near poverty means for individuals and families.

Poverty is on the decline. But more than 54,000 people, or almost half the community, live in or near poverty.

Vulnerable populations, % living in poverty, 2017

More than 10,600 children in this community live in poverty.

Source: American Community Survey.

Almost half of all single parent families in the community are in poverty.

Source: American Community Survey.

Low high school graduation rates and limited educational attainment increase the risk of poverty for young adults.

Source: American Community Survey.

Two-parent families in the community are four times more likely to be in poverty than two-parent families regionwide.

Source: American Community Survey.

With 16,384 refugees and immigrants, the community is a melting pot. But nearly half live in poverty.

Source: American Community Survey.

At 17%, senior poverty rates are some of the highest among the 12 communities.

Source: American Community Survey.


Some of the region’s largest private employers, like M&T Bank, BlueCross BlueShield, Rich Products and New Era Cap, call the community home.

Top 10 Employers, 2019
Rank Employer
#1 M&T Bank
#2 Erie County
#3 City of Buffalo
#4 Buffalo City School District
#5 BlueCross BlueShield-Western New York
#6 SUNY Buffalo State
#7 Rich Products Corp.
#8 Buffalo Psychiatric Center
#9 Erie County Sheriffs Department
#10 New Era Cap Co Inc.

Source: Various. See Data Sources and Notes.

Areas west of Main Street in Buffalo are an employment hub for the region. Almost half of the 89,000 jobs in the community pay more than $40k yr.

Jobs by Income Level, 2015
Buffalo West Buffalo Niagara
Total Jobs 89,202 547,851
Earnings <$15k/yr 21,681 (24%) 150,324 (27%)
Earnings $15k-$40k/yr 26,641 (30%) 178,599 (33%)
Earnings >$40k/yr 40,880 (46%) 218,928 (40%)

Source: US Census Bureau, LEHD.


37% of residents haven’t completed education beyond high school. This limits their earning potential and increases the risk of poverty.

At 64%, the graduation rate in Buffalo City Schools is nearly 10 percentage points higher than in 2011, but still below the region overall.


75% of all lower-income households are cost burdened. Lower-income residents in this community are more likely to rent than own.

  • With the highest home values of all 12 communities, efforts to increase affordable housing options could help reduce poverty.

    Median Home Value, 2017


    Source: American Community Survey
  • With rents close to the regional median, almost 80% of low-income renters are cost burdened.

    Median Rent, 2017


    Source: American Community Survey


Seniors, who are more at risk of poverty in the community, are also more likely to not have a car.

Households Without Vehicles, 2017
  • 24%
    UNDER 65 yr
  • 32%
    OVER 65 yr
Source: American Community Survey.

With many employers and public transit stops nearby, many commuters walk or take transit. Still, nearly 80% of workers get to work by car.


The rate of violent crime in the city of Buffalo declined by 26% from 2010 to 2017.

The property crime rate in the city of Buffalo dropped by 32% from 2010 to 2017.

As high school graduation rates rose, juvenile arrests in Buffalo fell 42% from 2013 to 2017.

Explore other communities in urban areas in Buffalo Niagara:

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