Cities of Tonawanda and North Tonawanda

In the Twin Cities of Tonawanda and North Tonawanda, more than 12,600 residents live in or near poverty. Poverty is most concentrated near the Cities’ downtown. A number of services, such as housing, healthcare, and transportation, can address the needs of vulnerable groups like single parents and seniors. Workforce training programs for youth and adults can also remove barriers to help reduce poverty.

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

Since 2011, the total population and the number in or near poverty declined slightly.

Vulnerable populations, % living in poverty, 2017

More than 1,100 children, the vast majority of them in single-parent households, are living in poverty.

Source: American Community Survey.

Nearly a third of single parents live in poverty. That rate is higher in the City of Tonawanda where 42% of single parents are in poverty.

Source: American Community Survey.

More than one in ten young adults in the Twin Cities live in poverty, a lower rate than the region overall.

Source: American Community Survey.

Two-parent families are extremely unlikely to be in poverty in the Twin Cities.

Source: American Community Survey.

Refugees and immigrants make up a small proportion of the population in the Twin Cities, but one in ten live in poverty.

Source: American Community Survey.

At 9%, poverty rates for older adults in the Twin Cities are about on par with the region (10%).

Source: American Community Survey.


The top 10 employers make up 25% of all jobs in the Twin Cities. They provide job opportunities in healthcare, retail, manufacturing, and logistics.

Top 10 Employers, 2019
Rank Employer
#1 DeGraff Memorial Hospital
#2 North Tonawanda City School District
#3 Walmart Supercenter
#4 Live Hose Co.
#5 Tonawanda City School District
#6 Conagra Brands Inc.
#7 NOCO Energy
#8 Kenmore Record-Advertiser
#9 Tops Friendly Market
#10 Livingston International Inc.

Source: Various. See Data Sources and Notes.

Of the 14,200 jobs in this community, about 5,000 are higher-paying.

Jobs by Income Level, 2015
Twin Cities Buffalo Niagara
Total Jobs 14,234 547,851
<$15k/yr 4,062
$15k-$40k/yr 5,139
>$40k/yr 5,033

Source: US Census Bureau, LEHD.


42% of adults have a high school diploma or less which limits their earnings.

Graduation rates rose six percentage points since 2011, outpacing the regional average.


Most low-income households are burdened by housing costs. The majority are renters.

  • Homes in the Twin Cities are more affordable—median values are $29,000 less than the region.

    Median Home Value, 2017


    Source: American Community Survey
  • Renters pay about $100 less on average per month compared to the region.

    Median Rent, 2017


    Source: American Community Survey


Residents age 65 or older are twice as likely as younger adults to be without a vehicle.

Households Without Vehicles, 2017
  • 7%
    UNDER 65 yr
  • 14%
    OVER 65 yr
Source: American Community Survey.

93% of Twin Cities workers either drive alone or carpool to work.


Violent crime rates in the Twin Cities increased12% from 2010 to 2017.

Property crime rates declined since 2010.

Juvenile crime is on the rise— arrests increased by 43% between 2013 and 2017.

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