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Where are all the Young People?

By Gregory Conley:
One of the common things you hear from people is the phrase, “The young people are moving away.” If our metro is so much like a repelling magnet, where are the young people seeking refuge locally?

Buffalo, of course.

To find the accompanying data, I used the Census Bureau’s Profile of General Demographic Characteristics: 2000 and the Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010. The first chart shows the median age of each county subdivision as listed by the Census. This means that there are not any villages listed below, but purely towns and cities.

As you can see, Buffalo (highlighted in purple in the righthand chart) is the only subdivision to become younger. A fair argument would be that -0.4 years is not very much. You could argue that Buffalo might not look like it is getting that much younger at all. Many of the places bordering Buffalo are under three percent, such as Amherst, Tonawanda (Town), Cheektowaga, and Lackawanna.

But wait a second, what’s the median age in Buffalo again, compared to the rest of the county?

Oh yea, 33.2 years old. Who’s close? – No one.


Organized 2010 Median Age.jpg

Organized Change in Median Age for Erie County Subdivisons.jpg

To the left is an organized chart of median age from youngest to oldest, featuring Buffalo on top.






The City is far and away the youngest by almost 7 years to Lackawanna, a statistically distant 2nd. 

I think there is also some evidence as to what is happening out in more rural areas of the county as well, in terms of median age. However, I won’t go into that here.


Even after all of this data, there is a question still lingering…




How is Buffalo getting younger?

Using the same source for the median age, the Census also provides age splits of number and percentage within the population. Combining the two data sets together, you can see the change in number over the past decennial Census. Please note that these are actual numbers, so the overall totals show a population decrease between the decades.

stats-2-youth-Buffalo-NY.jpg

Here, we see that the largest gain is in the 55 to 59 years old age bracket! (Who thought that? I sure didn’t.) Second are the 20 to 24 year olds. Many of these youngsters could be called Millennials, which is the largest age demographic nationally since the Baby Boomers.

I should also point out that we see Buffalo has less children, 25 to 44 year olds, and 65 and over. This could be for a variety of reasons, but ones that you might not think. The trend of the decrease in those same age groups is actually county-wide.

If we take data from a previous article, we see that in nearly the same time span Buffalo has become wealthier and smarter. Along with the 45 to 64 year old age group, the college aged and young professional Millenials are helping to contribute to a wealthier and smarter City. Some may argue the entirety of the data is not significant, but I do think it is positive and consistent.

To answer the original question of this article, I guess the “young people” are alive and well in Buffalo. They’re a smart bunch. And, they might get their coffee from Caffe Aroma, secretly fulfill their guilty pleasure of carrot cake from Romeo and Julliet’s, or check for the latest additions to the craft beer menus at a variety of bars and restaurants.

Granted, while not everyone wants to stick around for the fun, there’s still a good time to be had!

Wait, What about other cities?

Great question! I did check other major cities in New York State, as well as the Rust Belt. Buffalo fell right in the pack with other cities. New York as a whole is getting younger quite rapidly except for New York City, which is already young as a City and Metro (~35 years old for both). In the end for most cities, there was a strong correlation between metro age (older) to city proper age (younger).  The reason why I did not display this data was due to the lack of 2000 metropolitan data. I could not find consistent geographies for 2000 and 2010. There was only 2005 to 2010 data. I would like to see if there are correlations of population loss within age splits for metro areas.

Gregory Conley is a graduate of the University at Buffalo’s Graduate School of Education in English as a Second Language Education, M.Ed. His interests include expanding equality to access in education, learning about the ethnic histories of Buffalo, and urban planning.


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Written by Buffalo Rising

Buffalo Rising

Sometimes the authors at Buffalo Rising work on collaborative efforts in order to cover various events and stories. These posts can not be attributed to one single author, as it is a combined effort. Often times a formation of a post gets started by one writer and passed along to one or more writers before completion. At times there are author attributions at the end of one of these posts. Other times, “Buffalo Rising” is simply offered up as the creator of the article. In either case, the writing is original to Buffalo Rising.

5757 posts
  • Up and coming

    I’d bet my left pinky nail that the 35-44 demographic loss is a direct relation to the city schools being so terrible.

  • Black Rock Lifer

    The article states “Buffalo has less children, 25-44 year olds, and 65 and older. The trend of the decrease in those same age groups is actually COUNTY WIDE”. Your 35-44 demographic clearly fits into this trend. Must be a problem with all the schools in the county by your logic.
    City schools are simply a product of the concentrated poverty, they reflect the great burden of educating the regions poorest and most disadvantaged. That said the city offers many options for our children, an involved parent can ensure their child receives a quality education. Buffalo has many top tier schools, City Honors continues to be the best in WNY and even ranks in the top in the entire nation. Huch Tech, DaVinci, Olmsted, and many others are also options. Finally there are many private schools in the city, the tuition can be paid with the savings from suburban property taxes.

  • flyguy

    If the median age of the vast majority of Erie County is sitting in the low to mid 40s I see an issue there. The fact that Buffalo (city) is youthful with overall declining populations in city and metro while the rest of the county’s towns median population on the verge of grey hair is a problem.

  • 5to81ALLDAY

    The younger people are going to school out of state, coming home for holidays and realizing how old it gets going to Chippewa/Elmwood, and deciding to “take their talents” to bigger brighter cities with much more to do. Kids from the suburbs dont want to take a $70 cab home from the bars DT and they dont want to go out in the suburbs because its just that, the suburbs.
    A lot of their friends who stayed in Buffalo and didnt go to college are jsut scraping by, and they would rather be around more motivated people. It’s emotionally draining to be around people who every 4-5 months talk about the plans they THINK they are going to do and then they never pull the trigger.
    I can think of at least 30-40 kids in their early 20s who wil back up that statement.

  • NorthBuf

    all the young people are here but let’s look at the average income/education level of the young ones staying. I have a hunch it’s not the young people Buffalo is trying to entice to live here.

  • buffalofalling

    More poor descriptive statistics that show no actual relationships other than a univariate data. The reality is, young people like the city, that’s not anything news. But the counter to that is, when they he old they leave. And if you want to make any argument or analysis meaningful, you have to put forth something more meaningful than age. Income would be good, which I bet shows lagging incomes in the city compared to the suburbs. Or employment by industry, which would have a correlation to income.
    This continual use of one data variable to attempt to indicate the vibrancy and health of the city falls way short of meaningful. The truth is, aside from a scant few census tracts in the city, all social, economic, demographic and housing indicators are trending the wrong way. You can no more analyze on variable than you can loo only at Elmwood Village and agree the city is improved based one it’s performance.

  • gtscout716

    Exactly. Playing numbers games like these to paint the picture you want to see does nothing for the city. Are there some neighborhoods seeing positive trends? Yes. Are the many many more seeing negative trends? Definitely. And we need to be willing to see what we can do to get middle and working class people to move back to places like the Riverside and South Buffalo.
    There’s a lot of work to do in the neighborhoods outside Elmwood, and we can’t pretend they’re all heading towards trendy yuppie havens instead of facing serious blight and decay.

  • buff_roach

    The better catholic private schools are about $10,000 a year; the secular schools are more than $15,000. We have two kids so believe me the difference on property tax hardly makes up for the difference we pay to send our kids to a good private school. Having said this, I wouldn’t send my kids to public suburban schools either.

  • Black Rock Lifer

    So it is never good news for Buffalo, correct? Any data that might be the least bit positive is picked apart to prove Buffalo is “falling”. I have observed this city for the past 40 years or so and contrary to your negative view I have seen steady progress in the last 10-20 years. We will never be the richest or most hip city but we continue to have an excellent quality of life with a very low cost of living. Buffalo is as good as any city, better than most, if you can’t see that you are just blinded by your own pessimism.

  • Black Rock Lifer

    Every neighborhood can’t be the Elmwood Village nor should they aspire to be. We need solid working class neighborhoods, immigrant neighborhoods, and even ethnic enclaves to stabilize the city. There are a much greater number of low income to middle income earners than upper middle class households. We need to attract and encourage this majority of citizens to see the city as their best option.

  • South Buffalo Drifter

    Where’s Whodini, because all I see is smoke and mirrors. This article is a fine example of Pro-Buffalo Propaganda that doesn’t give the whole truth at all. Modern day yellow journalism I’d say.
    The reason more people are moving to the city isn’t because there is so much to do and because it is so thriving. The real reason is that it is CHEAP. The are not a lot of good paying jobs so people want to have that American Dream of owning a home and there is no better place to do it than the City of Buffalo. You can buy a house you can live in for $5000, you certainly can’t do that anywhere else. While this is an upside to people with lower paying jobs, it is a downfall to the Buffalo economy because while it is gaining population, the median income is falling at the same time. Businesses are not booming in Buffalo and in fact if the true numbers were revealed it would more than likely show a much higher percentage of younger people leaving because of this reason. While a few may be able to find decent jobs in Buffalo let’s face the facts, the majority of people graduating from college won’t be able to find work in Buffalo and they are forced to leave. Not to mention those in their 30’s and 40’s who get laid off from a company closing, they can’t find jobs here either and are leaving. It’s interesting to read non-biased publications to see the whole truth and I suggest everyone do it. The reality is the Buffalo and NY in general is shrinking in population rapidly and there is no end in sight.

  • https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/id?id=AItOawnyYHZUFOpLKb1fUh8rVm7HyVQB4_ia9Qg

    I know the UB campuses have Buffalo addresses, are they included in Buffalo’s numbers in these charts?

  • gtscout716

    I didn’t say they should be, but I do think that Buffalo Rising is being disingenuous with this article and the wealth and education one. Both cherry-pick specific bits of data and spin it out of context to make what they want to hear, in spite of the larger trends in both the city and the region at large. This kind of manipulation is self-serving at best and harmful at worst to white wash over serious problems happening everywhere except a few select neighborhoods.
    I also disagree with jabs at suburbs in not just these two articles but throughout the website. If we try to pit everything as a city vs. suburb debate, how are we ever going to move forward as a region? Both are interdependent, and ranting about them constantly or cheering when something negative happens out there is parochial as it gets.

  • RobH

    So the percentage of people in Buffalo that are 45+ is up 3.3 percentage points (from 33.1 to 36.4), and you’re claiming Buffalo is “getting younger”? Huh?

  • Billo

    Oh and you comment isn’t the same old anti-Buffalo rhetoric? I’m sorry but most of your assertions have little basis in fact. First of all, what are you comparing the city to? The suburbs? If you look at the parts of the city where people actually live, you can’t get more for you money that in the suburbs. If all you care about is owning a house and not what’s around it, you are much better served by moving out of the city – you’ll easily be able to find a cheaper, more modern house that is easier to maintain. When I moved back to Buffalo and bought a place in the city in 2007 it certainly wasn’t to save money. I could have gotten an affordable and modern house in Lockport that would also have been closer to where I worked at the time.
    You say the majority of people graduating college won’t be able to find work in Buffalo, well why is Buffalo’s unemployment rate lower than NYC? Seems as though NYC would be more “thriving” than Buffalo. Sure you could rattle off a few places that are better and jobs are plentiful, but who wants to live in North Dakota? Maybe in the late 90s you were right with that argument but I can personally assure you it’s not any easier to get a job in most places.

  • Dan

    One weird thing I encountered when I lived in Austin was that I very seldom saw any _old_ people. People in their 20s and early 30s made up a very visible plurality, and I didn’t see nearly as many people in their 50s or early 60s as in Buffalo. Those over 65, outside of Georgetown or the line at Furr’s Cafeteria … it’s as if they were all sent to Carousel, Logan’s Run style.
    Buffalo has two free newspapers catering to seniors, Austin has none. Didn’t see stores that sold walkers, portable toilets, or the like. Their version of YNN has a completely different mix of ads; none targeted to seniors. Few Buicks or Cadillacs on the road. The age distribution was just another element of culture shock.
    I’m looking over all the city photos I took during the time I lived in Austin, and only a couple show people with gray hair. It’s just weird.

  • Billo

    Name a few places where the economic and social indicators you mention are not going in the wrong direction over the past few years. Chicago? I’m afraid not. Didn’t they have like 15 murders last weekend? Las Vegas real estate is in the toilet, California is bankrupt, the list goes on. You just assume things are so much better other places because the facts would get in the way of the point you’re trying to make. It’s not anything new that there are more vibrant places then Buffalo with populations growing more rapidly, but you’d think if Buffalo was amoung the worst places in the country as you imply that we would have really hit rock bottom the past 3 years.
    I’m sorry I just don’t see it happening. There are plenty of problem area in the city, east side, west side, etc., but that’s nothing new. When something’s already been broken for 2 or 3 decades at some point there’s not much room for futher decline.

  • TranspoGuy

    I went to Buffalo public schools throughout my entire education (until high school graduation obviously) and am now a doctoral candidate. I have many friends that went to private (catholic mostly) and suburban schools that aren’t doing as well. Education is what the child and parents make of it. If you value education and instill this value into your children (first step, making them go to school), your child will succeed no matter what their setting is.
    Many of the Buffalo public school statistics are appalling, but a lot of it is a parenting issue. Absenteeism is extremely high in many Buffalo public schools, greatly impacting graduation rates and academic achievement scores.

  • South Buffalo Drifter

    I speak from experience my friend. The people are moving south, it is a FACT. Had you done some research you would see that in the last census Buffalo has lost more than 10% of it’s populateion and more there was more than a 10% drop of people with a Bachelors Degree – see http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/36/3611000.html
    Now let’s take a southern city, say Houston, TX. In the same time Houston, TX gained 7.5% in population and there are a higher amount of the population with higher education.
    see – http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/48/4835000.html
    Coincidence? I think not. So tell me how anti-buffalo I am all you want but you can’t argue with facts! Just because someone says that Buffalo and WNY in general is booming and thriving doesn’t make it so and articles like this one don’t tell the whole truth. Look at the facts not just flowery Pro-Buffalo banter.

  • paulsobo

    Youd think everyone is moving to the suburbs and the exurbs but if I had a company then Id want to be in or near the city and tap into that younger demographic.
    But then you have to pair that age range to education.
    Unskilled workers, dropouts, high school education probably arent going to cut it for certain businesses and industries.
    Minorities and affirmation and feminist activists tend to be problems companies avoid. Companies want good workers that work well together not people who are always running statistics to ask for special advantages and treatment. Not saying all are like that but certainly some spoil the pot.

  • Prodigal Son

    The key stat that matters, that no one commenting has yet mentioned, is the 0-18 bracket. It is down, big time. In growing places in the south and west, cities are getting younger because there are more children, not because comparatively young baby boomers are moving back. The under 18 crowd is your demographic destiny, and ours is bad.

  • LouisTully

    Which Buffalo schools did you attend?
    All the things you mentioned are huge factors in achieving success, but so is the school. Even with the same parents, wouldn’t child A going to City Honors do better than child B going to >insert underachieving city school here

  • BuffaloEmigrant

    Theoretically. But it’s not like the underperforming schools have nothing but bad teachers. A child not going to City Honors/Hutch Tech/Olmsted/Da Vinci but still works at their education, comes to school every day, and stays out of trouble will be very successful.

  • TranspoGuy

    LouisTully – I attended Frank A Sedita on the west side for some time, then PS70 in South Buffalo through 8th grade(now closed, very under-performing school) and then Hutch Tech for high school.
    You are probably correct in your assumption of Child A going to City Honors is going to do better than if that same child went to say South Park or Riverside (or an under-performing suburban school for that matter). That really wasn’t my point, though. I was more pointing to the fact that many parents think that sending their kid to a better school district automatically influences their intelligence, knowledge or college prospects.
    There are many factors that influence how we view certain schools. Generally, we use graduation rates and test scores. Does that mean that an attentive student can’t learn a lot, get good SAT scores and succeed if they go to Bennett or East? No. The reason the graduation rates at these schools are low isn’t because there are bad teachers per se, but because a lot of the students don’t care. Simply sending your child to Williamsville East doesn’t necessarily mean they are going to get a better education. Educational attainment rates are a function of socio-economic factors as well.

  • Travelrrr

    Anecdotally, I am encouraged by a) how many young people I meet around Buffalo currently b) how many of them are newpats and have no previous connection to Buffalo–it’s become a “hot city” to be in (and is affordable) and c) want to stay here. The change is palpable and definitely a new phenomenon for the area.
    Are more, better jobs needed? Absolutely.

  • Sheldon S. Kornpett, D.D.S.

    A house you can live in for $5,000?!? What sort of house is this? My roof just cost me $18,000! Remember that guy that lived in a hole in North Buffalo? He paid more than $5,000 for his digs.

  • No_Illusions

    What about all the college kids who come to Buffalo to study though.
    Half of UB’s student comes from outside the region.
    Buff State and Canisius also attracts a fair amount.

  • sabres77

    I live in Chicago. 240 killed so far this year, up 38% from last year. Beautiful city but basically a warzone for gangs it’s unreal. The fact that when I’m walking I need to continously look behind me is a big problem.
    Where are all the Young People, how about Where are all the Jobs?

  • 5to81ALLDAY

    I didn’t mention the kids who went to school in Buffalo for several reasons. Where you go to college is where you want to be because your friends are there and you go to your favorite places. Ever go back to college 3-5 years later and its just not the same? Thats because your great times spent there were a reflection with the people you are hanging out with.

  • No_Illusions

    Yeah, but most of those jobs are low paying. Why would anyone with a degree want to stick around and work retail?
    The problem with Buffalo’s job market isn’t quantity, its diversity. There are only a handful of large sectors where jobs are plentiful, all the other ones can only be found sparingly.
    But you are correct. Unemployment amongst young adults is indeed high all across the country. So might as well work at the Gap and live cheaply.

  • tjhorner1

    I’m 37. My fiance is 31. I grew up in the Southtowns, and my fiance, in Northeastern Ohio. In April, we moved NORTH, to Buffalo, from North Carolina, and are buying a house in the City of Buffalo. We both have advanced degrees, and professional careers. We’re not alone, as we have met many of our neighbors who are in the same boat, demographically, and new to the City of Buffalo, from all over the country. Some, are repats, while others, newcomers, altogether.
    After living in Charlotte, and Chicago, we chose to live in Buffalo, because, it is a great city, and both of us were genuinely attracted to it. This city has so much to offer already, along with even more potential – much of which is now beginning to be realized.
    It always seems that people who have never left Western New York, are the most negative and critical, while the people who have left, only to return, are the most appreciative of all we have here.
    This article is a positive…amazing to see people rip out the silver lining. Take a drive through town, there are young professionals, living and enjoying the city everywhere, whether it be Elmwood, Hertel, or the waterfront. 2 hour wait at Liberty Hound this week, on a weekday, and it wasn’t a geriatric crowd at all!
    I guess you never know the grass isn’t greener on the other side, until you’ve actually seen the other side.

  • South Buffalo Drifter

    Dallas or Houston Texas. Plenty of jobs and no state income tax.

  • thiggi

    I think that your unit of analysis obscures the comparison. Here, I’ve grouped your data into larger age ranges:
    Range 2000 2010 delta
    00-19_____28%___27%___-16%
    20-24______8%___10%____+8%
    25-44_____28%___26%___-20%
    45-64_____19%___25%___+13%
    65+_______16%___11%___-40%
    Total_____303k___261k___-14%
    This reveals four trends to my eye:
    1) Adults(25-44) with children (0-19) have fled the city faster than most other groups. Presumably, this is due to schools (for those who move to the suburbs) and jobs (for those who move to other cities).
    2) Young adults (20-24) have been increasing in population, presumably because of college attendance and the hipness of revitalized areas like Elmwood.
    3) Middle aged adults (45-64) may be moving to the city after the kids leave home. Perhaps they are looking to “downsize,” or can just finally enjoy the city now that they aren’t worried about schools. Or, this may just the baby boomers aging in place.
    4) Senior citizens’ retirement homes must be relocating to the suburbs.
    To really perform this analysis, we would need to look at who has moved in and out of the city, and whether they were going to/from the suburbs or to/from other metro areas.

  • LBbflo

    I was hoping a young professional was finally going to chime in and defend the population that is being discussed in the article! We all know that 89% of statistics are crap, right? For all of you Debbie Downers out there, try actually talking to the population you’re referring to.
    I grew up in Orchard Park and am now living in Allentown and have a very well paying job at a local architecture firm. 8/10 of my close friends from the UB Engineering school stayed in the area and were able to find jobs in their field. 5 of them moved to the city from the suburbs. The remaining 2 that left the area to pursue dreams that Buffalo cannot and will never offer are returning to Buffalo within the year by choice, not because they have to.
    Does Buffalo have problems, of course, you’d be blind not to see them. But you’d also be blind not to see the excitement surrounding the little bits of hope that trigger a resurgence. Maybe I’m just blindly devoted to my city. But for too long Buffalo’s own citizens have whined about population decline and bad schools and corrupt politicians. I think it’s time to be an advocate for our underrated city and do something about it.

  • TranspoGuy

    Yeah, but if you move to Houston….well then you have to live in Houston.

  • Wolffman

    It’s about finding a job, not about how much there is to do. There are plenty of things to do in Buffalo. I don’t live there because I wouldn’t be able to find as good of a job to establish my career.

  • South Buffalo Drifter

    I live just outside Houston and it’s great!

  • Tom

    great points

  • LouisTully

    Fair enough. Just trying to provoke discussion, no eye-pokes intended. I agree with your assessments. Just trying to see alternate perspectives.

  • Jefferson Humboldt

    A house you can live in for $5,000?!?
    What sort of house is this?
    My partner and I paid $2,000 for our house, and we live in it. What sort of house? It’s a 3 bed 2 bath single, about 1,450 sqft with a huge yard, 10-year-old roof and newer furnace.

  • BPS_Rising

    I know I am not the only 30-something parent who intentionally lives in Buffalo so that my child can enter a public school this fall. The schools are what you make of them, and I think they have a lot to offer if you take the risk and see the potential. We have beautiful, newly renovated school facilities, unique magnet programs, dedicated teachers, a core of community members working to improve the district, history, high funding levels, and an organization coming to town that will offer college scholarships to all of our graduates. When Steve Sample became President at UB, he went around campus when he started, talking to people, getting their impressions of the school. He was shocked to learn that nearly everyone, from students to faculty to staff held UB in low of esteem, thought poorly of the school, had bad morale, and saw it as a of last resort. He saw a strong university with numerous positive indicators and couldn’t understand the disconnect there that he was experiencing. I think the same is true around the public schools in Buffalo – we’ve created this idea that we as a community are perpetuating that the schools are terrible and failing, and that sending a child to any school but City Honors or the like will result in poor future prospects for children. I challenge us as a community to break with that story, and create a new one, realizing all the positive things happening in our schools, taking the risk to send out kids to them, and working to improve them.

  • Rand503

    Although I understand your plight, I don’t get why you wouldn’t want to send your kids to a public school. Clarence, Amherst, Williamsville and Orchard Park always rank tops in the state and fare very well nationally.
    They, in fact, place better than most private schools.

  • Rand503

    People tend to forget that you don’t need a teaching certificate to teach at a private school, but you do at a public school.
    Private does not automatically mean better. I know it’s drummed into kids at private school that B there equals an A at a public school, but that simply isn’t the case.
    One of my best friends teaches piano in the suburbs, and about one-third of his studio are students at private schools and the rest go to public. He says it’s pretty clear that the best students are the public school kids because nothing is handed to them, they know how to work, and they actually practice.

  • ladyinwhite

    LOL. A hot city? Says who?

  • ladyinwhite

    LOL. A hot city? Says who?

  • Travelrrr

    If you have to ask, then you don’t deserve to know.

  • LouisTully

    “Kids from the suburbs dont want to take a $70 cab home from the bars DT ”
    So you’re equating what with where an individual’s parents choose to live?

  • LouisTully

    I joked about it last time, but this happening again deserves derision. Click submit once. Your comments are hardly worth seeing once; a second time is vomit-worthy.

  • Sheldon S. Kornpett, D.D.S.

    Hmmmmm….Interesting. I suspect that you’re not living on my street (or in my neighborhood). Care to give me the name of your street? $2,000?!? Xanadu—-Home of Charles Foster Kane!

  • Jefferson Humboldt

    Without being too specific, we live between Jefferson Ave and Humboldt Pkwy. We have several friends throughout the West Side who bought the houses they live in for under $5,000 (one was for $100), and one friend bought a place in the Lower East Side for $600.

  • Sheldon S. Kornpett, D.D.S.

    I see. Well, carry on with that then.

  • ladyinwhite

    No, really. Where does it say it’s a hot city once again other than on BRO? If it is “Hot” people would be moving here faster than those exiting.

  • Up and coming

    Honestly, id take luke warm.

  • YesSir

    Dr.
    Does D.D.S. mean you work for the Department of Driver Services?

  • Up and coming

    ……….ghetto.

  • JamesDeen

    Agreed. Outside of people moving back here for different reasons it is very rare to see anyone from outside the area come here. When you do get someone from another state they are amazed at how every native continues to always ask them, “what the hell are you doing in Buffalo?”. Hardly the makings of a hot city.

  • Sheldon S. Kornpett, D.D.S.

    As a matter of fact, it does. So what? I’ve just learned that I can buy a home for $100. Dig it.

  • Billo

    You made a point about why people would choose to live in the city of Buffalo (it’s cheap) and I refuted it. I’m not trying to compare Buffalo to Houston. Houston is a huge city with millions of people, if you want to say Houston is a better place to live then Buffalo, good for you.
    You cite a couple references about population growth in Houston and decline in Buffalo, well no one is talking about overall population trends. Everyone already knows that people are moving south – nothing new there. Furthermore, nowhere in the article does it say that the city of Buffalo is “Booming,” all you are doing is making red herring arguments unrelated to the article, most of which are fairly boring and outdated.

  • whatever

    Prodigal, maybe in the 0-18 bracket, Buffalo is aiming for quality not quantity. Perhaps the next article in this series will identify a stat which sort of proves it’s succeeding as long as we interpret it in just the perfect way – as some tables will show us.

  • whatever

    Greg, just wondering – if a lower median age proves Buffalo is getting younger, how is it your previous article concluded it’s getting “wealthier” despite its inflation-adjusted median household income dropping, even relative to that same stat for NY state and the U.S. nationally (2000-2010)?
    Very selective use of medians?
    To be clear, I’m not saying Buffalo is a dump at all. But is what you’ve been doing you starting with an end of what you want to conclude in a positive way (wealthier, smarter, now younger – next maybe sexier?)… and then hunting for a stat to prove it.
    If you looked at some stat and found a negative result for Buffalo, would you write an article about it or just move on to the next stat idea?
    Not that there’s necessarily anything wrong with promoting a city that way, of course… just curious if that’s your intended approach?

  • YesSir

    Don’t take offense, big boy. I was just looking for a discount on motorcycle safety training. i know the courses run $350.
    I was wondering if you had any pull down there and I could just give you my house and $150 and you could get me in one of the courses?

  • Greg

    I really don’t liketo cherry-pick stats because I think it weakens any sort of narration to data.
    Being asked previously about inflation, it should be noted that although Buffalo might be dropping with adjusted inflation, it out performed the nation big time in that same span. So to ask about cherry picking data is kind of ironic because you mention Buffalo alone and not try to compare it to other cities relative cities, or nationally.
    I would write and acknowledge negative data, but I have been purposely looking at traditionally bad data and rumors, and disproving the severity. And I think my points hold water.
    As for sexy.. I think we’ve got some work to do haha

  • Tim

    I don’t know why people are down voting you. If you look at a map of of what states are losing and gaining jobs and people, it’s amazing. Almost every blue state is losing, and almost every red state is gaining. Down vote me all you want, but that’s a fact.

  • Sheldon S. Kornpett, D.D.S.

    Deal.

  • urbanboarder

    Here is an interesting statistic from a Washington Post placing Buffalo at #36 in the nation ranked by the estimated annual net migration of people age 25-34. The 2008-10 numbers were recently released..
    Buffalo had +1,732 net migrants from 2005-2007, which slipped slightly by -438 from 2008-2010..however we are still ahead of other seemingly “booming” metro’s..
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/special/nation/migration-to-metros/

  • Buffalo All Star

    I wouldn’t call it a hot city…you’ve got to have a great reputation to be a hot city..if theres one thing Buffalo DOES not have is a great reputation. As stated above..theres a long way to go with some of the core issues and an even longer way to go in the marketing sector.
    2 things…the environment. If offers whats not possible/available in the suburbs and those critical elements of “successful” cities. Walkability, mixed use districts, entertainment, quality public spaces etc. What attracts the young to other cities..(belive it or not) is available here.
    2ndly its cheap…you can afford to buy. If youre lucky enough to find a decent job you pretty much have your pick of the litter. Theres a pretty solid sense of community..I rent and I know neighbors from other buildings. Growing up in the suburbs was a different story..its definately a much more welcoming environment.

  • whatever

    But Greg, isn’t this from you again false about median income 2000-’10 inflation-adjusted?
    greg>”it out performed the nation big time in that same span”
    Didn’t my previous comment show the opposite – Buffalo under performing the nation in that same time span? Dropping 3.3% here while nationally it dropped 2.4%?
    It’s in your previous article, linked in my comment above.
    I’ll paste it here for convenience –
    http://rising.wpengine.com/2012/06/buffalo-a-smarter-wealthier-city.html#comment-123703
    whatever>”Greg, ok even if we ignore before 1999/2000 and also compare to state & national, what I’m still wondering is about the claim of Buffalo being “wealthier” when median household income dropped here more than in NY state and U.S. through 2010.
    Wealthier than what, when, compared to who?
    (if you said that already somewhere, I’m overlooking it)
    Didn’t Buffalo/city median income drop by 3.3% from 2000-2010 (27,827 to 26,907 using consistent 2005 $), while nationally it dropped less (2.4%) and statewide rose slightly (1.2%)?
    Buffalo median household income (inflation-adjust to 2005 $)
    2000: $27,827 (convert from $24,536)
    2010: $26,907 (conv from $30,043), down 3.3%
    and for NY state & national (also from census & converted to 2005 $)
    NYS 2000: $49,214 (conv from $43,393)
    NYS 2010: $49,800 (conv from $55,603), up 1.2%
    U.S. 2000: $47,627 (conv from $41,994)
    U.S. 2010: $46,496 (conv from $51,914), down 2.4%
    I used 2005 as a $ reference since that first site I linked before did, but percents should be same no matter which year used in http://www.bls.gov/data/inflation_calculator.htm
    sources for 2000/1999
    income NYS & U.S., pg 3 of http://www.nyssbdc.org/resources/NYS_stats.pdf
    income Buffalo http://www.city-data.com/city/Buffalo-New-York.html
    If that site you used lets a different time frame be used which shows Buffalo’s income rising and doing better than NYS and the U.S. over some set of years in consistent $, I’m just wondering which years those are? Not saying it’s impossible, just don’t see which years you’re saying it happened for – if that’s what you’re saying.”
    ? So, are you talking about different years when you claim Buffalo “out performed the nation big time”?
    Which years?

  • Billo

    That’s because people are moving to the south and southwest, from the midwest and to some extent the northeast. I’m not sure it’s fair to use the red vs. blue state comparison though. Sure Texas is still a red state, but is North Carolina? What about Virgina, New Mexico, Nevada or Florida? Those states are all gaining at a relatively faster rate and I don’t consider them to be either red or blue. A true blue state is like New York or California, a true red state is Oklahoma, West Virginia, or Mississippi – I don’t think any of those states are gaining population in an abnormal way.

  • moonqueen

    Most of the statistics I have seen lately, from various sources, indicate the population decline has slowed significantly the last few years and some even state it has started to plateau out. We are a big college town, a big party town, and that draws young folks for sure, but we are also a place with thriving art, music, and culinary scenes where it isn’t unreasonably expensive to get your first place, or start a family (or a business). That brings in, and keeps, a lot of post-college folks. Generally speaking, if you are at all intelligent or hardworking and flexible in what you are willing to do you can find a job (or jobs, as I have done in the past) and make more than enough to be comfortable – I’ve rented comfortably in the heart of Elmwood Village, partied and had a car on an $11 an hour job because I’m wise with my spending and frugal when need be. I get people see having to save or buy used or go without every little thing they want as a hardship, but where I’m from that is just the norm – you keep your tv ‘til it stops working before you upgrade to a flat screen, you fix your car when it breaks instead of getting a new one, etc.
    I moved here from a significantly more economically depressed locale in the southern tier for college and had no intention of going back – for the most part I have not been disappointed. There is ZERO to do in that area and most women’s “careers” are getting pregnant at like 18 and either getting married or living off social services. People who complain about poverty and welfare here should spend a few weeks in Addison, Cameron, Bath, etc and see what it is really like for a young person to have no future, to live in squalor out in the middle of nowhere. Even the poorest of kids in Buffalo at least has an opportunity to find SOME employment, access to stuff to do, close proximity to many colleges (with public transport or walking/biking) if they get scholarships or can work their way through, etc. I may not have “The Job” but I have a good one, its full time, pays well enough for me to own what I need (and even some I want) and actually has benefits and paid time off. On top of that it is just as cheap to live here as where I come from, with limited exceptions. Where I’m from I would be working at a gas station part time, living with relatives, eeking my way by with zero to do on the weekends but drink beer at someone’s house.
    Also…
    “You can buy a house you can live in for $5000”
    WHERE in Buffalo? Where can you buy a LIVABLE house for $5000? I live in Black Rock, not exactly known for high real estate values, and the cheapest house I’ve ever seen was over $20k, and it needed significant work. My house was over $50k as were several of my neighbors. Now, I know this is below the national average, but when you consider some very desirable neighborhoods in B-lo still have houses that are only double that it isn’t nearly the discrepancy in values you are insinuating. I agree we shouldn’t white wash the positives but you shouldn’t exaggerate the negatives either.

  • Black Rock Lifer

    Good points on living frugal, Buffalo and especially Black Rock allow a person of average means to live quite well. The rat race that so many find themselves caught up in is due to discontent and the chase of materialistic pursuits. Being a little more humble and recognizing the limits of consumerism is a great advantage, not just to enjoy life but also having the time and energy to appreciate it.