Buffalo is a city in Western New York and the seat of Erie County, located on the eastern shores of Lake Erie at the head of the Niagara River. As of 2014, Buffalo is the second most populous city in the state after New York City with 258,703 residents, and the metropolitan area is the 53rd largest in the United States.
Buffalo experienced significant growth in the 19th and 20th centuries as a direct 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. Since experiencing an economic downturn in the latter half of the 20th century, Buffalo's economy has transitioned to sectors that include financial services, technology, biomedical and education.
Residents of Buffalo are called "Buffalonians". Nicknames for the city of Buffalo include "The Queen City", "The Nickel City", "The City of Good Neighbors", and less commonly, the "City of Light".