Buffalo is a city in the U.S. state of New York and the seat of Erie County. It is located at the eastern end of Lake Erie, adjacent to the Canadian border with Southern Ontario, and at the head of the Niagara River. The city and nearby Niagara Falls share the two-county Buffalo–Niagara Falls Metropolitan Statistical Area. The city and the surrounding Western New York region is the largest population and economic centre in its region.
Before French exploration, the region was inhabited by nomadic Paleo-Indians, and later, the Neutral, Erie, and Iroquois nations. In the 18th century, Iroquois land surrounding Buffalo Creek was ceded through the Holland Land Purchase, and a small village was established at its headwaters. Buffalo was selected as the terminus of the Erie Canal in 1825 after improving its harbour, which led to its incorporation in 1832. The canal stimulated its growth as the primary inland port between the Great Lakes and the Atlantic Ocean. Trans-shipment made Buffalo the world's largest grain port. After railroads superseded the canal's importance, the city became the second largest railway hub. Buffalo transitioned to manufacturing during the mid 19th century, later dominated by steel production. Deindustrialization and the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway saw the city's economy diversify into service industries such as health care, retail, tourism, logistics, and education while retaining some manufacturing. The gross domestic product of the Buffalo–Niagara Falls MSA was $53 billion in 2019.
The city's cultural icons include the oldest urban parks system in the United States, the Albright–Knox Art Gallery, the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Shea's Performing Arts Center, the Buffalo Museum of Science, and several annual festivals. Its educational institutions include the University at Buffalo, Buffalo State College, Canisius College, D'Youville College and Medaille College. Buffalo is also known for its winter weather, Buffalo wings, and two major-league sports teams: the National Football League's Buffalo Bills and the National Hockey League's Buffalo Sabres.
Buffalo's economy is service-based. Its primary sectors include health care, business services (banking, accounting, and insurance), retail, tourism and logistics, especially with Canada. Despite the loss of large-scale manufacturing, some manufacturing of metals, chemicals, machinery, food products, and electronics remains in the region. Advanced manufacturing has increased, with an emphasis on research and development (R&D) and automation.
The civic sector is a major source of employment in the Buffalo area, and includes public, non-profit, healthcare and educational institutions. New York State, with over 19,000 employees, is the region's largest employer. In the private sector, top employers include the Kaleida Health and Catholic Health hospital networks and M&T Bank, the sole Fortune 500 company headquartered in the city. Most have been the top employers in the region for several decades. Buffalo is home to the headquarters of Rich Products, Delaware North and New Era Cap Company; the aerospace manufacturer Moog Inc. is based in nearby East Aurora.
With state aid, Tesla, Inc.'s Giga New York plant opened in South Buffalo in 2017.
Among the top private-sector Buffalo area employers, are: Kaleida Health; Catholic Health; M&T Bank; Tops Friendly Markets; Seneca Gaming Corp.; Roswell Park Cancer Institute; GEICO; Wegmans; HSBC Bank USA; General Motors.
Buffalo is rated Sufficiency by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network (GaWC) which evaluates and ranks the relationships between world cities in the context of globalisation. Sufficiency level cities are cities that have a sufficient degree of services so as not to be overly dependent on world cities.
Buffalo is ranked #187 by the Global Urban Competitiveness Report (GUCR) which evaluates and ranks world cities in the context of economic competitiveness. Buffalo was ranked #178 by the Nomad List which evaluates and ranks remote work hubs by cost, internet, fun and safety. Buffalo has a population of over 255,284 people. Buffalo also forms part of the wider Buffalo-Niagara Falls metropolitan area which has a population of over 1,135,509 people. Buffalo is the #94 hipster city in the world, with a hipster score of 4.5391 according to the Hipster Index which evaluates and ranks the major cities of the world according to the number of vegan eateries, coffee shops, tattoo studios, vintage boutiques, and record stores per 100,000 city residents.
Buffalo has the following sister cities: Aboadze, Ghana • Bursa, Turkey • Cape Coast, Ghana • Changzhou, China • Dortmund, Germany • Drohobych, Ukraine • Horlivka, Ukraine • Kanazawa, Japan • Kiryat Gat, Israel • Lille, France • Rzeszów, Poland • Saint Ann Parish, Jamaica • Siena, Italy • Torremaggiore, Italy • Tver, Russia.