Not everyone is cut out for city life. Some people would prefer to live in the cities and towns that surround Buffalo.
So the question arises, do the suburbs maintain a semblance of the larger-than-life appeal of their more famous neighbor?
Today, we’ll use science and data to determine which Buffalo ‘burbs need a little tender loving care – the sore thumbs of the Buffalo area if you will. Realistically, you can’t expect all the suburbs to live up to Buffalo proper, although Orchard Park certainly tries.
Of course, not all suburbs of Buffalo are created equally, which is precisely why we set out to find the best ones. So without further ado…
We examined the 20 biggest suburbs of Buffalo to find out the worst places to live. And while you won’t necessarily find them on the worst places to live in New York lists, these ten places are a little too far downwind of Buffalo in terms of quality of life.
Here are the 10 worst suburbs around Buffalo for 2018:
- Blasdell (Photos)
- Silver Creek
- Lackawanna (Photos)
- Niagara Falls (Photos)
- Lockport (Photos)
Read on to see how we determined the places around Buffalo that need a pick-me-up. And remember, don’t blame the messenger.
And remember, there are some good places to live around Buffalo too.
Editor’s Note: If you see a slight difference between the worst in state rankings and this suburb ranking, it’s because of the methodology. We needed a way to include more places, so we eliminated crime and commute times as criteria for this analysis.
Determining The Worst Suburbs Around Buffalo for 2018
To figure out how bad a place is to live in, we only needed to know what kinds of things people like and then decide what cities have the least amount of those things.
We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using the most recent American Community Survey data, this is the criteria we used:
- High unemployment rate
- Low median household incomes
- Low population density (no things to do)
- Low home values
- A lot of high school drop outs
- High poverty
- High rate of uninsured families
FYI: We defined a suburb as being within 30 miles of Buffalo.
Additionally, we limited the analysis to places that have over 2,000 people. This left us with a grand total of 20 suburbs to evaluate around Buffalo.
We ranked each place with scores from 1 to 20 in each category, where 1 was the ‘worst’.
Next, we averaged the rankings for each place to create a quality of life index.
And finally, we crowned the city with the worst quality of life index the ‘Worst Suburb near Buffalo.’ We’re lookin’ at you, Youngstown.
Read on below to learn more about what it’s like to live in the worst of the worst. Or skip to the end to see the list of all the suburbs ranked from worst to best.
Population: 65,161 Unemployment Rate: 16.8%
Median Home Price: $43,300
Median Income: $24,448
We’ll get the ball rolling with Youngstown, the absolute worst place to live around Buffalo according to the data.
And in the world of worst rankings, Youngstown beat the competition pretty handily thanks to scoring in the bottom 15% in three major categories. Income is the 1st worst in the Buffalo area, and to make matters worse, the city ranks 1st worst when it comes to home values.
But hey, at least it’s cheap to live there. But there’s a reason for that… it’s Youngstown.
You won’t feel bad about not having a great income for the area, there aren’t a bunch of places to spend your money anyway.
Population: 2,616Unemployment Rate: 15.4%
Median Home Price: $92,200
Median Income: $41,204
Welcome to Blasdell. Home to KMart, Big Lots, and a lot of gas stations.
This city is 6.8 miles to Buffalo. Income levels here are the 4th lowest in the metro area, where families bring in about $41,204 a year, which doesn’t go a long ways even on a shoestring budget.
But on the bright side, there are a lot of fast food joints in the area.
3. Silver Creek
Population: 2,577 Unemployment Rate: 12.0%
Median Home Price: $80,500
Median Income: $47,361
Back up the highway we go for the third worst Buffalo suburb you can live in. You might have expected to see Silver Creek on here. While the cost of living is low, your entertainment and work options are limited. And that’s an understatement.
In terms of numbers, it’s in the worst 15% for insurance, and the adult high school drop out rate is poor compared to other Buffalo suburbs.
But at least there are nice parks to bring the kids during the day.
Population: 17,992Unemployment Rate: 9.7%
Median Home Price: $84,800
Median Income: $35,563
If you live in Lackawanna, most likely you struggle to make ends meet every month. It ranks as the 3rd lowest Buffalo suburb when it comes to residents making money.
Not only that, but this is the 5th worst unemployed suburb you can live in if you choose to live near Buffalo. Remember, we looked at 20 cities for this study.
Lackawanna is about 5.3 miles to downtown.
5. Niagara Falls
Population: 49,180Unemployment Rate: 10.2%
Median Home Price: $69,200
Median Income: $32,322
Niagara Falls has the distinction of being a Buffalo suburb. Which means that’s about all it has going for it.
All snarkiness aside, Niagara Falls has the 2nd lowest home values in the metro Buffalo area, where the median price is $69,200. To put that into perspective, in Orchard Park, the median income is $85,821, which is the best in the area.
Niagara Falls has an unemployment rate of 10.2% which ranks 4th worst.
Population: 20,722Unemployment Rate: 6.7%
Median Home Price: $86,200
Median Income: $41,607
Lockport has 20,722 residents that probably know it’s a pretty crummy place to live when you look at the data. (Or, if you’ve ever been there, you don’t need to look at the data.)
Incomes are towards the bottom and the poverty rate sits at 15.8%.
Population: 3,606Unemployment Rate: 6.4%
Median Home Price: $75,700
Median Income: $42,146
Ah, Sloan. You rank as the 7th worst place to live around Buffalo.
It’s the place with the 9th most out of work residents in the Buffalo metro area (6.4%).
Population: 2,546 Unemployment Rate: 4.8%
Median Home Price: $93,600
Median Income: $52,500
Attica is a city about 29.4 miles from Buffalo, but Buffalo probably wishes it was further away. It ranks as the 8th worst burb for 2018.
You’d be hard pressed to find a worse place to live. Attica has the 9th most uninsured people, 14th worst incomes, and has the 14th highest unemployment rate (4.8%) in the entire Buffalo metro area.
Homes only cost $93,600 for a reason. That’s cheap for Buffalo standards.
Population: 4,334 Unemployment Rate: 6.2%
Median Home Price: $115,300
Median Income: $49,980
If you absolutely have to live near Buffalo, then Springville might be a place for you to consider as it’s only the 9th worst Buffalo suburb.
About 6.2% of residents are out of work.
Population: 2,596 Unemployment Rate: 6.0%
Median Home Price: $136,900
Median Income: $51,438
Rounding out the ten worst Buffalo suburbs to call home is Alden.
Located 18.5 miles outside the city, Aldens is a real pit when you look at the data. Its residents have the 11th highest unemployment rate (6.0%), and poverty is far above the area average.
The areas around Buffalo where the dream is more of a nightmare for 2018
Well there you have it — the worst of the ‘burbs surrounding Buffalo with Youngstown casting itself ahead of the pack.
As we mentioned earlier, the suburbs around Buffalo aren’t all bad. Orchard Park takes the cake as the best place to live around Buffalo.
For more New York reading , check out:
- These Are The 10 Snobbiest Places In New York
- These Are The 10 Most Boring Places In New York
- These Are The 10 Worst Places To Live In New York State
Detailed List Of The Worst Buffalo Suburbs