Amherst (/ˈæmhərst/ (listen)) is a town in Erie County, New York, United States. Amherst is the most populated town in upstate New York, and an inner ring suburb of Buffalo. As of the 2010 census, the town had a total population of 122,366. This represents an increase of 5.0% from the 2000 census.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 53.6 square miles (138.8 km), of which 53.2 square miles (137.8 km) is land and 0.39 square miles (1.0 km), or 0.73%, is water.
Much of Amherst was originally floodplain and marshland, much of which has been drained in recent years to facilitate development of new homes and businesses. The central and southern parts of the town are heavily suburbanized; however, the southernmost hamlets of Eggertsville and Snyder and the village of Williamsville have managed to retain much of their original character. The northern part of the town is still relatively undeveloped, with the prominent exception of the portions along Niagara Falls Boulevard (U.S. Route 62) bordering the towns of Tonawanda and Wheatfield. Some sections of northern and eastern Amherst have experienced problems with residential foundations as a result of unstable soil conditions. A few active farms may still be found in the northern part of the town.
Amherst is bordered on the north by Tonawanda Creek and Niagara County. Ellicott Creek flows through the town.
As of the census of 2010, there were 122,366 people, 48,894 households, and 29,840 families residing in the town. There were 51,179 housing units. The racial makeup of the town was 83.8% White, 5.7% African American, 0.2% Native American, 7.9% Asian, 0.0% Pacific Islander, 0.5% from other races, and 1.8% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.3% of the population.
There were 48,894 households out of which 26.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.4% were married couples living together, 8.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 39.0% were non-families. 27.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 31.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.33 and the average family size was 2.98.
The median income for a household in the town was $55,427, and the median income for a family was $68,951. Males had a median income of $51,667 versus $32,030 for females. The per capita income for the town was $27,647. About 4.2% of families and 6.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.6% of those under age 18 and 5.4% of those age 65 or over.
51.7% of residents (aged 25 and over) have obtained a Bachelor’s degree or higher, including 26.7% with a Graduate or professional degree.