A Gazetteer for the United States and Canada

Buffalo, West Virginia
(Putnam County)

Nearby Census Genealogy
Cemeteries Tidbits &
Other WV

Learn About
The Commemorative
Quarter for
West Virginia
The Commemorative Quarter for West Virginia

Census Data for Buffalo ...

Population ...

The most recent Census Estimate<1> was for 2017 and it gives Buffalo a population of 1,262 people.

The last Decennial Census<2> was in 2010, giving Buffalo a population of 1,236 people.

The town of Buffalo is located in Putnam County. The 2010 Census gave Putnam County a population of 55,486 people. This means that Buffalo had 2.23% of the county's total population, making it Putnam's 4th most populous community.

At the same time, West Virginia had a population of 1,852,994 people, meaning that Buffalo had 0.07% of the total population of West Virginia - making it the state's 97th most populous community.

Area ...

When the Census Bureau conducts a census for a town like Buffalo, they draw a boundary around the area in which they are going to conduct their count - this is called a sampling area (or a polygon). The shape of the sampling area can be quite complex and it's important to keep in mind that the boundaries of the sampling area may or may not match the recognized boundaries of the town.

Things like the population, area and housing for Buffalo reflect the sampling area. Since the shape of the sampling area and the actual boundaries of Buffalo might be slightly different, it's best to check with the U.S. Census Bureau if you need precision.

The 2010 Census shows that the sample polygon for Buffalo has a total area of 1.65 square miles [4.3 km²]. Of this total, 1.4 square miles [3.6 km²] is land, with the balance (14.96%) being water (0.25 square miles [0.6 km²]).

Putnam County has a land area of 345.7 square miles [895.3 km²]. At 1.4 square miles [3.6 km²], Buffalo has 0.41% of the county's total land area.

Not only does the sampling area define boundaries, it also has a GPS location (latitude & longitude) that indicates a point within the sampling area (usually at the center of the polygon). At the time of the 2010 Census, the sampling area was located at:

Lat:   38° 36' 42"   (or 38.61°)             [Map]

Lon:   -81° 58' 53"   (or -81.98°)

More information on this topic and the changes between the 2000 Census and the 2010 Census can be found in the section for our Census-to-Census Observations ... (see below).

Population Density ...

Using the population (1,236 people) and land area (1.4 square miles [3.6 km²]) values from the 2010 Census, Buffalo had a population density of 748 people per square mile [289.1 people/km²].

In comparison, the 2000 Census shows Buffalo had a population of 1,171 people and a land area of 1.41 square miles [3.7 km²]. This gives a population density of 709 people per square mile [273.8 people/km²]

NOTE: Be aware that when comparing population density between the 2000 and the 2010 Census, there were changes in the sampling area for Buffalo. You need to be careful when making such a comparison, the differences are likely to lead to a questionable comparison. More information about these differences can be found in the section Census-to-Census Observations ... (see below).

Housing Units ...

At the time of the 2010 Census, Buffalo had 568 Housing Units<3> and with its population of 1,236 people, this averages 2.18 people per Housing Unit.

The 2010 Census shows Buffalo had a land area of 1.4 square miles [3.6 km²]. This translates to 344 Housing Units per square mile [132.8 housing units/km²].

From the Census of 2000: Buffalo had 559 Housing Units, a population of 1,171 people and a land area of 1.41 square miles [3.7 km²]. This gives a density of 2.09 people per Housing Unit and 338.5 Housing Units per square mile [130.7 housing units/km²].

NOTE: Repeating the caution above (under Population Density), be aware that when comparing Housing Units between the 2000 and the 2010 Census, there were changes in the sampling area for Buffalo and you need to be careful when comparing numbers between the censuses. More information about the nature of these the changes can be found in the section called Census-to-Census Observations ... (see below).

Putnam County ...

The community of Buffalo is located in Putnam County.

The county had a population of 55,486 people at the 2010 Census. With it's population of 1,236 people, Buffalo represented 2.23% of the county's total.

In addition, where the town of Buffalo has a population density of 748 people per square mile [289.1 people/km²], Putnam County averages 160.5 people per square mile [62 people/km²].

For more information, please visit our Census Page for Putnam County.

Population Rings for Buffalo ...

To help identify the number of people who live in Buffalo and the surrounding area, we have drawn concentric rings centered on Buffalo. We counted the number of communities within each ring and summed their populations.<4>

  Radius   No of
  Since 2010    
5 mi   [8 km]11,262+2.1%
10 mi   [16 km]55,969+2.91%
15 mi   [24 km]816,110+4.06%
20 mi   [32 km]1634,617-1.28%
25 mi   [40 km]2563,304-2.97%
30 mi   [48 km]36170,547-4.41%

Census-to-Census Observations ...

Introduction ...

When the Census Bureau takes a census count (or enumeration) for Buffalo, they start by specifying the boundaries of the area to be counted. This area (or sampling area) is a polygon and its shape can be quite complex - it may or may not match the geographical boundaries of Buffalo. It's important to note that from one Census to the next, the shape and location of the polygon can change. If you need precision or details about the methodology of the Census, you should visit the U.S. Census Bureau for a definitive answer.

Area ...

There is only a very minor difference in the sampling area given between the 2010 Census and the 2000 Census.

The 2010 Census shows that the total area for Buffalo was 1.65 square miles [4.3 km²]. Of this total, 1.4 square miles [3.6 km²] is land, with the balance (14.96%) being water (0.25 square miles [0.6 km²]).

The 2000 Census shows a total area of 1.65 square miles [4.3 km²]. Of this total, 1.41 square miles [3.7 km²] is land, with the balance (14.41%) being water (0.24 square miles [0.6 km²]).

Location ...

While generally coinciding with the GPS location (latitude/longitude) of Buffalo, the latitude and longitude given by the Census Bureau actually indicates the GPS location of the polygon for Buffalo.

For the 2010 Census, the location was given as:

Lat:   38.611799°   (or 38°36'42" N)             [Map]

Lon:   -81.981558°   (or -81°58'53" W)

For the 2000 Census, the location given was:

Lat:   38.616994°   (or 38°37'1" N)             [Map]

Lon:   -81.979938°   (or -81°58'47" W)

The difference indicates that the U.S. Census Bureau moved the location of the polygon for the 2010 Census 1,949 feet to the south<5> of the location that was used in the 2000 Census.

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the U.S. Board on Geographic Names (BGN) have assigned a unique GNIS identifier (#2390760) to Buffalo. This identifier also marks a GSP point on the map, and that point lies within the boundaries of Buffalo. The GNIS point has been mapped to the latitude/longitude:

Lat:   38.611647°   (or 38°36'41" N)             [Map]

Lon:   -81.981947°   (or -81°58'55" W)

The GSP location given for the 2010 Census lies 123.9 feet to the northeast<6> of the point given by the GNIS for Buffalo. For more information about this and the relationship of the various Federal Codes, please visit our Misc Page for Buffalo.

Miscellaneous Information for Buffalo ...

The Federal government has assigned various identifying codes to each community, county and state. At one time or another, the US Census Bureau has referenced one (or more) of the following identifiers when referring to either Putnam County or the town of Buffalo:

The GNIS Codes ...

The current system of identification is called the Geographic Names Information System (GNIS). The following GNIS codes relate to Buffalo:

GNIS ID for Buffalo: 2390760

GNIS ID for Putnam County: 1550046

GNIS ID for West Virginia: 1779805

The FIPS Codes ...

An earlier (and largely obsolete) identification method was called the Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS):

State Code: 54 (West Virginia)

County Code: 079 (Putnam County)

Place Code: 11284 (Buffalo)

State & County Code: 54/079 (West Virginia / Putnam County)

State & Place Code: 54/11284 (West Virginia / Buffalo)

Misc. Census Codes ...

Buffalo is located in Census Region #3 (the South Region) and Division #5 (the South Atlantic Division).

The US Postal Service ZIP Code ...

While some people have used a ZIP code to identify a community, the purpose of the ZIP code was to make mail delivery more efficient by grouping addresses together. Although the ZIP Code doesn't specifically identify a town like Buffalo, it does identify addresses that are in (or near) Buffalo. It's important to remember that the boundaries of a ZIP Code can be changed, re-assigned or overlapped with other ZIP Codes.

The ZIP code for Buffalo: 25033<7>

Census ZCTA Codes ...

The US Census Bureau created statistical entities that they call ZIP Code Tabulation Areas (ZCTAs) and these ZCTAs are frequently confused with the ZIP codes that come from the US Postal Service (USPS).

ZCTAs were first created for the 2000 Census and at that time, they were based upon the USPS ZIP codes. While largely covering the same areas, the boundaries of a ZCTA do not necessarily match the boundaries of a postal ZIP code with the same number. For example, while a postal ZIP code can cross a county or state line, a Census ZCTA can not. They should be treated as separate entities with no correlation between them.

For more information about the various Federal identification codes, please visit our Misc Page for Buffalo.

Other Roadside Stops ...

Visit our Community Index for West Virginia

About Putnam County

About West Virginia

Off-the-Road Links ...

The official website of the U.S. Census Bureau

Unfortunately, we don't know of a website for Buffalo. If you can help, please contact us through our Feedback Page.

The official website for State of West Virginia:

The official website of the U.S. Board on Geographic Names (BGN)

The official website of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)

Footnotes ...

<1>Every year, the US Census Bureau creates a population estimate for the preceeding year. Keep in mind that this value is an estimate and not an actual count. The most recent Census estimate is for the year 2017.

- Return to Citation

<2>Every 10 years (eg- 1990, 2000, 2010), the US Census Bureau conducts a Constitutionally-mandated count (or enumeration) of people living within the United States. This count is called a Decennial Census. The last Decennial Census was the 2010 Census, with the next one planned for 2020.

- Return to Citation

<3>A Housing Unit is a broad term for those places where people live (whether occupied or temporarily vacant), such as a house, an apartment, a mobile home, or an area that is considered as a separate living quarter. Separate living quarters (consisting of one or more rooms) are considered to be those places where people live, sleep and eat separately from others and that have access to the outside (either directly or by a shared hallway).

- Return to Citation

<4>The communities in our count are those provided by the 2010 Census, so keep in mind that our population rings will only include the people living in those communities. Smaller communities usually don't participate directly in the Census and therefore they won't be included. While our count is a close approximation, it shouldn't be considered as a complete or accurate count.

- Return to Citation

<5>The calculated bearing (or angle) to the 2010 Census location is 166 degrees and a distance of 1,949 feet.

- Return to Citation

<6>The calculated bearing (or angle) to the GNIS point is 296 degrees and a distance of 123.9 feet.

- Return to Citation

<7>When looking for a ZIP Code, whether Buffalo or elsewhere, it's always best to check the website of the United States Postal Service (USPS).

- Return to Citation


Tidbits &
Other   WV

Sitemap Privacy
of Use


Please keep in mind that we can not guarantee the accuracy or timeliness of the information on this website, so use with care. We encourage you to double-check the information that is critical to you.

If you've found an error or have additional information that you would like to share, please don't hesitate to write. Click here to contact us.

Copyright 2016
All Rights Reserved
This page was last modified: 13 Nov 2018
By John Hall