Education Information and City Facts for Buffalo, NY
Buffalo, New York is a thriving city on the eastern shores of Lake Erie. Long known for being a center of manufacturing, shipping, and transportation, Buffalo has been able to adapt and redefine itself, becoming a center of health, education and finance. Buffalo has many attractions for visitors and residents alike, from the beautiful architecture in the downtown area to the new Buffalo Harbor State Park.
Buffalo is New York’s second-largest city, with the US Census Bureau estimating a 2014 population of 258,703 people. Approximately 50% of residents identify themselves as white, 39% identify as African-American, and 11% identify as Hispanic, with a variety of races comprising the balance. Buffalo is part of a metropolitan area of 1.1 million people and serves as the seat for Erie County.
Buffalo’s location on Lake Erie originally made it a perfect gateway to the west. It was the western terminus of the Erie Canal, and a vital link in transportation and shipping, which contributed to the city’s growth. In the late 20th century, though, a decline in manufacturing, transportation and shipping initiated Buffalo’s decline. The city lost around half of its population because of the decrease in the number of jobs, and because of general migration to the suburbs and to warmer climates.
Buffalo was able to recover from this decline, though, by refocusing on healthcare, finance and education. There are several colleges and universities in Buffalo, including two schools in the New York State University system: SUNY Buffalo State and University of Buffalo – SUNY. University of Buffalo – SUNY had over 30,000 students in 2014, and offered over 100 undergraduate programs, 205 master’s programs, and 94 doctoral or professional degrees. SUNY Buffalo State is a smaller school, with just over 10,000 students in 2014, and offering 176 undergrad degrees and 60 master’s degrees.
There are several other colleges in Buffalo, including a campus of the Erie Community College System, and Trocaire College, a health care school with around 1,500 undergraduates. Buffalo is also home to D’Youville College, Canisius College, and Medaille College, all of which are small, private 4-year schools.
Education is not the only area in which Buffalo excels. Expanding on its history as a busy shipping port, the city has taken advantage of its rich location to include shipping via air, rail, water and road. Buffalo takes advantage of its central location to The US and Canadian transit centers and continues to be a large shipping center.
Finance and health care are also important industries in Buffalo today; M&T Bank, HSBC, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, and Moog, Inc. are all major employers in the city. This diversification has allowed the City to bring new jobs and renew the economy and vitality of the city.
Buffalo also have many cultural attractions, including the Buffalo Zoo, Kleinhans Music Hall, and Albright-Knox Art Gallery. There are several beautiful examples of architecture, from the Art Deco style Buffalo City Hall to the Guaranty Building, which was designed by 19th century architect Louis Sullivan, and was one of the first skyscrapers in the world. The city is also fortunate to be home to a complex system of parks and parkways developed by the great landscape artist Frederick Law Olmstead, who also designed Prospect and Central Parks in New York City, as well as many parks around the country. A considerable portion of the Buffalo parks system is still intact. And, for those who prefer their entertainment to be more “exciting,” they can catch a Buffalo Bills game at the Ralph Wilson Stadium.
One of the most exciting aspects of Buffalo is its newly revitalized waterfront in the form of the Buffalo Harbor State Park, the first New York State Park in Buffalo. No longer is a working waterfront in this area, the intention of the park is to attract new business and to bring people to visit. New canals have been built, and visitors can enjoy biking, boating, family activities, restaurants, festivals, and concerts.
If you only think of Buffalo as the home of the Bills, cold winters, and blue-collar sensibilities, it is time to visit and see what Buffalo is really all about.