Buffalo Attracting the Young Ones


I wrote a post in 2007 about how Buffalo’s brain drain wasn’t real.

From that post:

We all know that Buffalo and WNY’s population continues to decline…but a study due out tomorrow points to the real problem…it is not the people we lose or the so called “brain drain”…it is that our region fails to attract people to move in.

Fast forward to 2014 and Buffalo is seeing a dramatic rise in young people calling the B-lo home.

From New York’s The Village Voice:

Looking for the young, fabulous people ready to make their mark on the big city?

Forget Brooklyn. It’s all about Buffalo now.

That’s what this City Observatory report picked up by the New York Times suggests, at least. Since 2000, Buffalo has seen a 34 percent spike in the number of recent college grads moving to the Queen City. Buffalo’s growth rate of 25- to 34-year-olds came in 7th after cities like Houston, Nashville, and Portland. Sister cool cities, Baltimore and Pittsburgh, have seen 32 percent and 29 percent increases, respectively.

And New York? The capital of the hip, the creative, the hungry?

This city’s college-educated 25- to 34-year-old population has increased by just 25 percent over the same amount of time.

This is what Buffalo’s been waiting for.

Colin Dabkowski from the Buffalo News is spot on with this assessment from the article.

Why do the kids love Buffalo? “That’s the story we’ve we’ve been doing for a long time,” says Colin Dabkowski, an arts reporter with the Buffalo News. He’s seen the city’s influx of young people, which started in about 2006, get accelerated by the recession. He says people choose the upstate metropolis for one big reason: it’s cheap.

“Being able to eat is more important than saying you live in Williamsburg,” Dabkowski says. “Where you can afford to have studio space and one job instead of two you’re more likely to create something interesting…the conditions for creativity are much better here than in New York.”

What I find interesting about the rise of the young ones in this town is that they are bring a new energy to the city and believe in making a difference here. You can see it in everything from the local preservation movement to local art scene to everything in between. They are helping reshape and redefine Buffalo.

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