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 1,130,000 1,071,000 651,000 19,542,000 327,167,000
Pop growth, 10-year change1 -0.5% -0.4% -1.3% 1.7% 7.6%
GDP, billions2 $60 $57 $34 $1,598 $19,485
Job growth, 5-year change1 3.3% 3.5% 2.4% 8.0% 9.3%
Median household income2 $55,000 $56,000 $56,000 $64,000 $60,000
Median home price2 $145,000 $140,000 $130,000 $300,000 $200,000
Pop share age 25+ with BA+2 32.5% 34.1% 31.8% 36.0% 32.0%

1 2018

2 2017

* 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 (detailed data and timely updates)
Early Benchmarked Employment Data (Sep 3, 2020)
Jason Abel’s Briefing on the New York State Economy During the Pandemic (September 30, 2020)
Tracking the Spread of COVID-19 in the Region (August 27, 2020)
Jason Bram's Briefing on Regional Economic Conditions During the Pandemic (July 14, 2020)
Finally, Some Signs of Improvement in the Regional Economy (Jun 16, 2020)
New York Fed Surveys: Business Activity in the Region Sees Historic Plunge in April (Apr 16, 2020)
Businesses in the Tri-State Region Struggling to Weather the Coronavirus Outbreak (Mar 30, 2020)
Buffalo Metro Area Household Debt & Credit Snapshot (Q4 2018)
New York Household Debt & Credit Snapshot (Q4 2018)
Jaison Abel’s January 2020 Briefing on the Regional Economy with a Focus on Central New York
Press Briefing on Economic Conditions in the Region (Dec 17, 2019 Webcast)
Growth Has Slowed across the Region (Dec 17, 2019)
Listening Session: Strategies for Equitable Growth in Western New York (Sep 2019)
Jaison Abel’s Briefing on the Buffalo Economy (Sep 2019)
New York State's Community Colleges are Successfully Partnering with Employers (Nov 14, 2018)