Buffalo is the second biggest city in New York State. Located in the western part of the state, it’s only a few miles away from Ontario, Canada. If you’re planning to move here or visit, you’ll want to know the safety status. So, how safe is Buffalo, New York?
Buffalo isn’t safe. The crime rate is 75% above the national average due to property and violent crime incidents. The chance of being a crime victim in the city is 1 in 25, and it’s New York’s most dangerous city. However, there are still some great neighborhoods, and the city might be good for you.
The risks of being a crime victim aren’t the only safety concern you’ll have in Buffalo. The city is also prone to natural disasters such as forest fires and earthquakes. This is most likely in the canyons, forests, and hills. Here, we discuss whether Buffalo, New York is a safe city.
Crime Rate in Buffalo
Buffalo has high crime rates. Violent crimes in the city are 162% above the national average, while property crimes are 57% higher. This makes the overall crime rate in the city to be 75% higher than the national average. If you are in Buffalo, the odds of being a crime victim is 1 in 25, and it’s only safer than 4% of cities in the country.
Its crime rates aren’t only above that of the US; they surpass the New York State average by far. It’s a violent city with 24 murders per every 100k people. That’s far above the New York average of 4.2 and the US average of 6.5. Assault and Robbery are also higher in the state compared to the state and national average.
Property crimes might be slightly better, but it’s not exactly an improvement either. The city reported 450.1 burglary incidents per 100k people. There were also 2,163.2 theft incidents and 467.4 vehicle theft incidents per 100k residents. So, the city isn’t safe for you or your property.
According to some statistics, Buffalo is the most dangerous city in New York. With a population of over 270,000, it has the highest rate of violent crimes in the state. Here, there’s a robbery or assault once every four hours. Both are responsible for most of the violent crimes in the city. However, violent crimes are reducing in the city, even though it doesn’t feel like that.
Since 2006, the violent crime rate has dropped by 36%. But it’s still one of the most violent cities of its kind in the US. According to an analysis of cities with a population ranging from 200,000 to 500,000, Buffalo is the 12th most dangerous.
Some people blame the crime rate on poverty, lack of education, limited economic development, and family breakdown all contribute to the crime rate. Most of the violent crimes in the city are from neighborhood gangs.
Is it Advisable to Live in Buffalo?
Safety is an important parameter for determining livability. Based on that alone, Buffalo might not be a great place to live. But the over 250,000 people who live here do so for a good reason. Its cost of living is quite low, for starters. So, Buffalo might be a good choice if you’re looking for an affordable place to live in New York.
The city economy has been growing recently, with companies like Tesla and Amazon having significant presence. There are several tertiary institutions, such as the State University of New York and several other private colleges. However, its poverty rate is high at 28.3%, and the median household income of $39,677 isn’t encouraging.
When it comes to whether you should move here, you’ll need to consider the pros and cons of the city and how it fits into your plan.
Where to stay in Buffalo?
If you’re planning to live in the city, finding a relatively safe area will be on your list. Fortunately, some areas can be considered safe. They include:
- South Abbot
- South Park
- North Park
- Abbot Mckinley
- University Avenue
- East Seneca
- Northwood Dr/ Ayer Road
- Lebrun Road/Daemen College
- North Forest Road/Forest Hill Dr
- Getzville/North Forest Acres
You need to research in advance before you decide where you want to live here. The last thing you want is to own a home in a violent neighborhood. Apart from these areas, Buffalo’s suburbs are still much safer compared to the major parts of the city.
Safety Tips for Residents and Tourists in Buffalo
Although the city has a high crime rate, that doesn’t mean it’s free for all where anything goes. You need to be extra cautious in the city. Here are tips for staying here:
- The risks of pickpockets are quite high. So, you should do well to keep all your properties safe when outdoors.
- Avoid isolated areas where you can be mugged.
- If you’re new, find the safest routes to get where you’re going.
- Don’t accept drinks from strangers in bars, and watch your drinks at all times. Criminals could spike your drinks to rob you.
- Avoid walking around at night because the city has a high crime rate and sex offenders.
- Women should avoid traveling alone in the city, especially at night and in isolated places.
- If you’re a tourist in the city, only visit areas meant for tourism and avoid remote areas.
- Ensure you lock the car doors and keep all valuables away from visible eyes, preferably in your trunk.
- Don’t go to the dangerous neighborhoods in the city
Places to visit in Buffalo
Buffalo has a lot of attractions for residents and tourists. So, this is the place you could visit even if you don’t live there. You can check out the following attractions:
- Delaware Park and the Buffalo Zoo
- Albright Knox Art Gallery
- Buffalo and Erie County Naval and Military Park
- Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site
- Burchfield Penney Art Center
- Shea’s Performing Arts Center
- Ski Resorts
- Pierce-Arrow Museum
- Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens.
Buffalo has the worst crime rates of any city its size in New York State. This makes it mostly unsafe for residents. But it’s not completely bad. The crime rate has reduced, and the city has some great qualities. There are a few great neighborhoods, and you can also check out the many attractions in the city.