Worst Buffalo Suburbs For 2020

We used science and data to determine which Buffalo suburbs are the real pits.

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Editor’s Note: This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. Don’t freak out we updated this article for 2020. This is our sixth time ranking the worst suburbs around Buffalo.

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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 21 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 2020:

  1. Youngstown
  2. Niagara Falls (Photos)
  3. Lackawanna (Photos)
  4. Lockport (Photos)
  5. Sloan (Photos)
  6. Blasdell (Photos)
  7. Silver Creek
  8. Angola
  9. Springville
  10. Attica

What's the worst suburb of Buffalo? Youngstown ranks as the worst suburb of Buffalo for 2020 based on the most recent Census and FBI data.

Read on to see how we determined the places around Buffalo that need a pick-me-up. And remember, don't blame the messenger.

Or, if you're thinking of moving to elsewhere in new york check out the best places in new york overall or the worst.

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.

For more New York reading, check out:

The 10 Worst Buffalo Suburbs To Live For 2020

1. Youngstown

Youngstown Location In Ohio

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 64,734
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Income: $26,951 (1st lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 14.5% (1st highest)
Median Home Value: $44,500 (1st lowest)
More on Youngstown:

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.

Niagara Falls, NY

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 48,661
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Median Income: $35,377 (2nd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 7.6% (4th highest)
Median Home Value: $74,600 (2nd lowest)
More on Niagara Falls:  Data | Photos

Welcome to Niagara Falls. Home to KMart, Big Lots, and a lot of gas stations.

This city is 15.9 miles to Buffalo. Income levels here are the 2nd lowest in the metro area, where families bring in about $35,377 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.

Lackawanna, NY

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 17,859
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 1)
Median Income: $37,258 (3rd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 6.5% (7th highest)
Median Home Value: $92,000 (6th lowest)
More on Lackawanna:  Data | Photos

Back up the highway we go for the third worst Buffalo suburb you can live in. You might have expected to see Lackawanna 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.

Lockport, NY

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 20,580
Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 1)
Median Income: $43,911 (4th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 6.6% (6th highest)
Median Home Value: $90,100 (5th lowest)
More on Lockport:  Data | Photos

If you live in Lockport, most likely you struggle to make ends meet every month. It ranks as the 4th lowest Buffalo suburb when it comes to residents making money.

Not only that, but this is the 6th worst unemployed suburb you can live in if you choose to live near Buffalo. Remember, we looked at 21 cities for this study.

Lockport is about 20.8 miles to downtown.

Sloan, NY

Source: Wikipedia
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 3,584
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 2)
Median Income: $44,833 (5th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 7.8% (3rd highest)
Median Home Value: $76,200 (3rd lowest)
More on Sloan:  Data | Photos

Sloan has the distinction of being a Buffalo suburb. Which means that's about all it has going for it.

All snarkiness aside, Sloan has the 3rd lowest home values in the metro Buffalo area, where the median price is $76,200. To put that into perspective, in Orchard Park, the median income is $89,762, which is the best in the area.

Sloan has an unemployment rate of 7.82% which ranks 3rd worst.

Blasdell, NY

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 2,629
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 1)
Median Income: $48,940 (7th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 6.7% (5th highest)
Median Home Value: $103,000 (8th lowest)
More on Blasdell:  Data | Photos

Blasdell has 2,629 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 14.977134146341465%.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 2,360
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 1)
Median Income: $60,217 (15th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 9.7% (2nd highest)
Median Home Value: $81,800 (4th lowest)
More on Silver Creek:  Data

Ah, Silver Creek. You rank as the 7th worst place to live around Buffalo.

It's the place with the 2nd most out of work residents in the Buffalo metro area (9.69%).

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 2,199
Rank Last Year: 8 (No Change)
Median Income: $58,000 (13th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 5.6% (9th highest)
Median Home Value: $116,800 (9th lowest)
More on Angola:  Data

Angola is a city about 19.6 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. Angola has the 1st most uninsured people, 13th worst incomes, and has the 9th highest unemployment rate (5.56%) in the entire Buffalo metro area.

Homes only cost $116,800 for a reason. That's cheap for Buffalo standards.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 4,306
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 1)
Median Income: $51,643 (9th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 3.7% (15th highest)
Median Home Value: $132,100 (15th lowest)
More on Springville:  Data

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 3.7% of residents are out of work.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 3,190
Rank Last Year: 9 (Down 1)
Median Income: $60,727 (16th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 5.3% (10th highest)
Median Home Value: $98,800 (7th lowest)
More on Attica:  Data

Rounding out the ten worst Buffalo suburbs to call home is Attica.

Located 29.4 miles outside the city, Atticas is a real pit when you look at the data. Its residents have the 10th highest unemployment rate (5.27%), and poverty is far above the area average.

Determining The Worst Suburbs Around Buffalo for 2020

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 from 2014-2018, 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 21 suburbs to evaluate around Buffalo.

We ranked each place with scores from 1 to 21 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. You can download the data here.

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.

The areas around Buffalo where the dream is more of a nightmare for 2020

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.

  • Orchard Park
  • Hamburg
  • Kenmore

For more New York reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Worst Buffalo Suburbs

Rank City Population Median Income Median Home Values
1 Youngstown 64,734 $26,951 $44,500
2 Niagara Falls 48,661 $35,377 $74,600
3 Lackawanna 17,859 $37,258 $92,000
4 Lockport 20,580 $43,911 $90,100
5 Sloan 3,584 $44,833 $76,200
6 Blasdell 2,629 $48,940 $103,000
7 Silver Creek 2,360 $60,217 $81,800
8 Angola 2,199 $58,000 $116,800
9 Springville 4,306 $51,643 $132,100
10 Attica 3,190 $60,727 $98,800
11 Akron 2,857 $52,429 $124,400
12 North Tonawanda 30,596 $56,737 $117,800
13 Depew 15,164 $57,895 $118,000
14 Lewiston 2,592 $47,891 $153,300
15 Lancaster 10,152 $51,545 $124,100
16 Alden 2,580 $60,063 $138,100
17 East Aurora 6,193 $69,509 $205,700
18 Williamsville 5,247 $62,168 $167,800
19 Kenmore 15,191 $65,197 $126,600
20 Hamburg 9,618 $78,838 $168,400
21 Orchard Park 3,154 $89,762 $232,000

How Is Your Town In ?

2 thoughts on “Worst Buffalo Suburbs, 2020

  1. As a suburban Buffalonian I do not agree with the ranking. Springville is not that bad and more of a rural area. Overall it is safe and affordable. The ones listed in bad share a common denominator-known drug area. Sloan is pretty bad-I am surprised it better (according to you) than Blasdell. The downfall of Blasdell is the Section 8 housing project they built-Cambridge Square-which causes 99% of the problems in Blasdell. Prior to that it was a working class nicely kept village. Lackawanna basically hit the skids when Bethlehem Steel closed. Center Street is a known high crime/drug area. “Back the bridge”-meaning heading west on Ridge Road always had a bad reputation of high crime, drugs, and projects. Angola is not that bad. Overall safe and affordable. Lot of welfare scammers there though-always had that reputation-but overall not a bad place to live. By the lake in Angola is nice. Same with Silver Creek. I am surprised to see Lancaster as 14. I definietly would not rank Depew over Lancaster. Many new developments with nice homes and working professionals. I definitely would not rank Kenmore that high. Personally I live in Hamburg, which is safe, nice, and convenient. Buffalo has the Northtowns and Southtowns–which are named from their geographical stance from the city. Southtown-East Aurora, Hamburg, Orchard Park are the more desirable suburbs–and heading further south any town is nice (mostly rural). I am not overly familiar with the Northtowns, but I definitely would not rank Kenmore so high on the desirable list. The city itself is crap in my opinion. There are always a handful of pro-Buffalo people around to tell you how great it is-but I work and the city and see what does on there-I prefer to stay far away on my non-work time. Too much poverty and crime there. It use to be just the East side that was bad-now the whole city sucks.

  2. First of all, most of these places I wouldn’t even consider suburbs of Buffalo. I mean Youngstown? Silvercreek? Angola? Attica?? Springville??? Those places are quite a distance from the city. They probably aren’t even part of the metro. I’ve lived in a variety of areas in WNY including Alden (which isn’t really a suburb IMHO either), most of my family is in Lancaster, then moved to Amherst (not on the list? I mean I guess you could lump it in with Kenmore/Williamsville but WTF), South Buffalo, West Seneca, and currently Hamburg. If you were going to do Alden then what about Clarence? Where’s Cheektowaga? This list needs some serious reworking. Take out those far off places and include closer communities.

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