Buffalo (/bflo/) is a city in western New York state and the county seat of Erie County, on the eastern shores of Lake Erie at the head of the Niagara River. As of 2014[update], Buffalo is New York state's 2nd-most populous city after New York City, with 258,703 residents. The metropolitan area has a population of 1.13 million.
Buffalo grew significantly in the 19th and 20th centuries as a result of the Erie Canal, railroads and Lake Erie, providing an abundance of fresh water and an ample trade route to the midwestern United States, while grooming its economy for the grain, steel and automobile industries during the 20th century. After an economic downturn in the latter half of the 20th century, Buffalo's economy has transitioned to sectors that include financial services, technology, biomedical engineering and education.
Known as "The Queen City", "The Nickel City" and "The City of Good Neighbors," residents of Buffalo are called Buffalonians.
The city of Buffalo received its name from a nearby creek called Buffalo Creek. British military engineer Captain John Montresor made reference to 'Buffalo Creek' in his journal of 1764, which may be the earliest recorded appearance of the name. There are several theories regarding how Buffalo Creek received its name. While it is possible that Buffalo Creek's name originated from French fur traders and Native Americans calling the creek Beau Fleuve (French for "Beautiful River"), it is also possible Buffalo Creek was named for the American buffalo, whose historical range may have extended into western New York.
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