Buffalo Metro Area

Buffalo is home to more than 1.1 million people, making it the second-largest metropolitan area in New York State. Historically, manufacturing was the driving force of Buffalo’s economy, with steel factories and auto parts suppliers having a particularly strong presence. However, as in much of upstate New York, Buffalo’s economy has undergone significant restructuring over the past few decades, with steep job losses in manufacturing offset by growth in the service sector. While manufacturing still accounts for a slightly above-average share of employment in the region, the education and health sector—which includes the area’s many colleges and universities—has become increasingly important. Trade with Canada also plays a key role in the local economy. After decades of decline, the area’s population has stabilized and the region has seen moderate job growth since the Great Recession.

Economic and Demographic Trends
Buffalo Rochester* Syracuse* New York State USA
Population1 1,137,000 1,078,000 655,000 19,849,000 325,719,000
Pop growth, 10-year change1 -0.1% 0.6% -0.2% 3.7% 8.1%
GDP, billions2 $58 $55 $33 $1,500 $18,510
Job growth, 5-year change1 3.6% 3.0% 2.0% 8.3% 9.3%
Median household income2 $54,000 $56,000 $55,000 $62,000 $57,000
Median home price2 $140,000 $130,000 $130,000 $300,000 $200,000
Pop share age 25+ with BA+2 31.5% 33.7% 31.2% 35.7% 31.3%


1 2017

2 2016

* Neighboring Metros

Sources: U.S. Census Bureau; U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics; U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis; IPUMS USA-University of Minnesota. Data retrieved through American FactFinder, Moody's Economy.com, or directly from source.

Reports & Analysis
Buffalo Economic Indicators (a new feature with detailed data and timely updates)
Labor Markets in the Region Are Exceptionally Tight (Dec 4, 2018)
New York State's Community Colleges are Successfully Partnering with Employers (Nov 14, 2018)
A Long Way to Buffalo: President Williams Visits Western New York (Nov 15, 2018)
Investing in America's Workforce—Buffalo (2017)
Upstate New York's Expansion Is Losing Steam (Oct 13, 2017)
Just Released: Economic Press Briefing Focuses on Regional Wage Inequality (Aug 10, 2017)
A Tale of Two States: The Recession's Impact on N.Y. and N.J. School Finances (Feb 2017)
Buffalo-Cheektowaga-Niagara Falls Metro Area Regional Household Debt & Credit Snapshot (released Q4 2016)