Buffalo is the second largest city in New York State, with a population of approximately 300,000. The Buffalo-Niagara metropolitan area has a population of 1.2 million people. Buffalo lies on the Niagara River, which connects Lake Erie and Lake Ontario. On the opposite side of the Niagara River is Fort Erie, Canada. Buffalo is home to two State Universities, Buffalo State College and the University of Buffalo. It is also home to over fifty private and public art galleries, and one of the largest privately owned food companies in the world, Delaware North.
In the early 1900’s Buffalo was declared one of the fastest-growing cities in the nation. A lot has changed over the past one hundred years. It is now the third poorest city in America as well as one of the most rapidly declining cities. Approximately 28.7% of the population of Buffalo lives in poverty. That is more than one in four people. The poverty rate amongst the children of Buffalo is higher than that of Harlem. The high school graduation rate in Buffalo is one of the lowest in the country at only 47%. Like most urban cities in America, Buffalo has a high crime rate, drug problems, and gang violence issues.
Buffalo is also a city with a huge ethnic diversity. The west side of Buffalo is considered the melting pot of the city. The first settlers on the west side were German Jewish immigrants. Then, many Italian immigrants moved in. Currently, the west side is home to people from all over the world including Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Somalia, Vietnam, Sudan, Rwanda, Kosovo, Burundi, Burma, Iran, Yemen, and Liberia. There are more than seventy different countries represented and forty languages spoken on the west side.
INTERESTING FACES ABOUT BUFFALO, NY
- Buffalo is home to five professional sports teams: Buffalo Bisons (baseball), Buffalo Bills (football), Buffalo Sabres (hockey), Buffalo Bandits (lacrosse), and Queen City FC (soccer).
- Two U.S. Presidents, Millard Fillmore, and Grover Cleveland were from Buffalo
- Buffalo is known as the City of Good Neighbors.
- Buffalo ranks in the top ten of all cities in the U.S. in international trade.
- The voting booth was invented in Buffalo.
- Buffalo has the highest per-capita number of private swimming pools in America.
- Robert Rich, of Rich Products, invented Cool-Whip in Buffalo in 1945.
- In 1996 and 2002 Buffalo won the All-American City Award.
- Buffalo was the first American city to have widespread electric lighting.
- In 2001 USA Today named Buffalo the winner of its “City with a Heart” contest, stating it was the nation’s friendliest city.