(Reuters) - The Statler Towers hotel in Buffalo, once the tallest building in New York, stands vacant and boarded up as a sore reminder of the city’s long, losing quest to attract business, investment and residents.
Here are some facts about Buffalo:
* Buffalo is located in Erie County in western New York state and faces Lake Erie at the border with Canada. Buffalo is approximately 100 miles from Toronto, Canada’s most populous city.
* Buffalo’s population in 2008 was 270,919, down from 292,648 in 2000 and 328,123 in 1990, according to Census figures.
* Mayor Byron Brown was elected in 2005, and he is Buffalo’s first African-American mayor.
* A Portfolio.com ranking of U.S. cities’ relative affluence put Buffalo in 409th place, near the bottom of a list of 420 cities, using data from 2008. With $19,254 average per capita income, $29,973 median household income and a median home value of $67,800, Buffalo ranked higher than other rust-belt cities such as Gary, Indiana, and Flint, Michigan, which were 416th and 418th respectively.
* State University at Buffalo, with almost 29,000 students, plans to add a downtown campus that is expected to attract 14,000 more students, faculty and staff.
* Some 4,570 properties were boarded up from 2006 to 2008.
* Roughly 30 percent of Buffalo residents fall below the federal poverty line, compared with 13.2 percent nationwide.
* Forty-two percent of children under 17 in Buffalo live in poverty, according to 2007 figures.
* The region’s unemployment rate was 8.5 percent in December 2009, compared with 8.0 percent in November and 7.1 percent in December 2008.
* Lender foreclosures in Erie County fell 33 percent from 2007 to 2009.
* From fourth quarter 2008 to fourth quarter 2009, area home prices rose by 1.8 percent, the sixth-highest increase among 299 U.S. metropolitan areas measured by the Federal Housing Finance Agency.
* New business creation in Erie County fell 8.9 percent from 2007 to 2009.
Reporting by Basil Katz; Editing by Ellen Wulfhorst and Philip Barbara
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