Buffalo is the second largest city in the U.S. state of New York and the largest city in Upstate New York. As of 2018, the population was 256,304. The city is the county seat of Erie County and a major gateway for commerce and travel across the Canada–United States border, forming part of the bi-national Buffalo Niagara Region.
Buffalo is on Lake Erie’s eastern end, opposite Fort Erie, Ontario, Canada. It is at the origin of the Niagara River, which flows northward over Niagara Falls and into Lake Ontario. The city is 50 miles (80 km) south-southeast from Toronto. Relative to downtown, the city is generally flat with the exception of area surrounding North and High streets, where a hill of 90 feet gradually develops approaching from the south and north. The Southtowns include the Boston Hills, while the Appalachian Mountains sit in the Southern Tier below them. To the north and east, the region maintains a flatter profile descending to Lake Ontario. Various types of shale, limestone and lagerstätten are prevalent in the geographic makeup of Buffalo and surrounding areas, which line the waterbeds within and bordering the city.
Although there have not been any recent or significant earthquakes, Buffalo sits atop of the Southern Great Lakes Seismic Zone, which is part of the Great Lakes tectonic zone.
Buffalo has four channels that flow through its boundaries: the Niagara River, Buffalo River and Creek, Scajaquada Creek, and the Black Rock Canal, which is adjacent to the Niagara River.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has an area of 52.5 square miles (136 km), of which 40.6 square miles (105 km) is land and the rest water. The total area is 22.66% water.
Like most former industrial cities of the Great Lakes region in the United States, Buffalo is recovering from an economic depression from suburbanization and the loss of its industrial base. The city’s population peaked in 1950 when it was the 15th largest city in the United States, down from the 8th largest city in America in 1900, and its population has been spreading out to the suburbs every census since then.
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, while 10.5% of the population was Hispanic or Latino of any race. Since 2003, there has been an ever-growing number of Burmese refugees, mostly of the Karen ethnicity, with an estimated 4,665 now residing in Buffalo.
The city’s median household income is $24,536 and the median family income is $30,614. Males have a median income of $30,938 versus $23,982 for females. The city’s per capita income is $14,991. Of the population 26.6%, and 23% of families, are below the poverty line. Of the total population, 38.4% of those under the age of 18 and 14% of those 65 and older live below the poverty line.