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Amherst, New York

Country United States
State New York
County Erie County
Elevation 594 ft (181.1 m)
Area 53.5 sq mi (138.6 km2)
 - land 53.2 sq mi (138 km2)
 - water 0.3 sq mi (1 km2), 0.56%
Population 122,366 (2010)
Density 2,287 / sq mi (883 / km2)
Incorporated 1818
Town Supervisor Barry A. Weinstein (R)
Timezone EST (UTC-5)
 - summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code 14051, 14068, 14221, 14226, 14228
Area code 716
Location in Erie County and the state of New York.
Location of New York in the United States

Amherst ([1]) is a town in Erie County, New York, United States. As of the 2010 census, the town had a total population of 122,366.[2] This represents an increase of 5.0% from the 2000 census.[3]

The largest and most populous suburb of Buffalo, New York, the town of Amherst encompasses most of the village of Williamsville and the hamlets of Eggertsville, Getzville, Snyder, Swormville, and East Amherst. The town is in the northern part of the county and borders a small section of the Erie Canal.

Amherst is home to the north campus of the University at Buffalo, the graduate campus of Medaille College, a satellite campus of Bryant and Stratton College, and Daemen College.


  • History 1
  • Geography 2
    • Neighborhoods 2.1
    • Climate 2.2
  • Economy 3
  • Arts and culture 4
  • Sports 5
  • Demographics 6
  • Education 7
    • Higher education 7.1
    • Public schools 7.2
  • Government 8
    • Crime and public safety 8.1
  • Media 9
  • Infrastructure 10
  • Notable residents 11
  • References 12
  • External links 13


The town of Amherst was created by the State of New York on April 10, 1818. Amherst was formed from part of the town of Buffalo (later the city of Buffalo), which had previously been created from the town of Clarence. Timothy S. Hopkins was elected the first supervisor of the town of Amherst in 1819. Part of Amherst was later used to form the town of Cheektowaga in 1839.[4]

The Town of Amherst Archives Center is housed in the Former Reformed Mennonite Church.[5] The building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2003.[6]


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 53.5 square miles (139 km2), of which 53.2 square miles (138 km2) is land and 0.3 square miles (0.78 km2) (0.50%) is water.

Much of Amherst was originally floodplain and marshland, much of which has been drained in recent years to facilitate development of new homes and businesses. The central and southern parts of the town are heavily suburbanized; however, the southernmost hamlets of Eggertsville and Snyder and the village of Williamsville have managed to retain much of their original character. The northern part of the town is still relatively undeveloped with the prominent exception of the portions along Niagara Falls Boulevard (U.S. Route 62) bordering the town of Tonawanda and the town of Wheatfield. Some sections of northern and eastern Amherst have experienced problems with residential foundations as a result of unstable soil conditions. A few active farms may still be found in the northern part of the town.

Amherst is bordered on the north by Tonawanda Creek, and Niagara County. Ellicott Creek flows through the town.


Areas within Amherst are referred to by the former post office station names and are not legally incorporated. During the 1990s, many of these regional post offices were closed and consolidated into the central Amherst 14226 post office on Bailey Avenue, leaving only a Williamsville (14221) post office on Sheridan Drive, a Getzville (14068) post office on Millersport Highway, and an East Amherst (14051) post office on Transit Road. Mailing addresses to areas within the Town of Amherst are Amherst, East Amherst, Eggertsville, Getzville, Snyder, and Williamsville. These postal districts are still recognized by the post office and widely referred to by citizens.

Some of these mailing addresses overlap: some areas of Clarence directly east of Transit Road have Williamsville addresses, although for the purposes of taxes, schools and community resources, these people are residents of the Town of Clarence.


Amherst is among the top ten American cities (with a population greater than 50,000) in average yearly snowfall.[7] Average high temperatures from May through October range from 60 to 81 degrees. Average high temperatures from November through March range from 31 to 47 degrees.[8]


In July 2010, CNNMoney ranked Amherst 42nd in a list of the Top 100 Best Places to Live in America.[9] In 2012, ranked Amherst 50th.[10] In 2011 and 2012, Amherst was selected as one of America’s 100 Best Communities for Young People by America's Promise Alliance.[11]

Arts and culture

Many festivals are celebrated in Amherst throughout the year. The town is home to the Buffalo Niagara Heritage Village.


Amherst is home to the University at Buffalo Stadium, Alumni Arena (University at Buffalo), and Amherst Audubon Field, all utilized by the University at Buffalo Buffalo Bulls.


As of the census of 2010, there were 122,366 people, 48,894 households, and 29,840 families residing in the town. There were 51,179 housing units. The racial makeup of the town was 83.8% White, 5.7% African American, 0.2% Native American, 7.9% Asian, 0.0% Pacific Islander, 0.5% from other races, and 1.8% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.3% of the population.[15]

There were 48,894 households out of which 26.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.4% were married couples living together, 8.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 39.0% were non-families. 27.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 31.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.33 and the average family size was 2.98.[15]

The median income for a household in the town was $55,427, and the median income for a family was $68,951. Males had a median income of $51,667 versus $32,030 for females. The per capita income for the town was $27,647. About 4.2% of families and 6.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.6% of those under age 18 and 5.4% of those age 65 or over.[15]

51.7% of residents (aged 25 and over) have obtained a Bachelor's degree or higher, including 26.7% with a Graduate or professional degree.[15][16]


Higher education

There are four institutions of higher education located in Amherst. The North Campus of the University at Buffalo (housing all of the University programs apart from architecture, planning, nursing, dentistry, medicine, pharmacy, and public health), Daemen College, and one of the three campuses of Erie Community College are located there. Bryant and Stratton offers two-year programs. Canisius College also has a satellite campus in Amherst.

Public schools

There are four separate public school districts within the town. The Williamsville Central School District is the largest and comprises the eastern half of the town along with portions of the Town of Clarence. The Williamsville Central school district is ranked #1 out of 97 public school systems in Western New York.[17] Williamsville high schools were awarded Silver rankings according to 2013 U.S. News & World Report Best High Schools, and rank among the top 2-3% out of over 21,000 high schools nationally.[18] A small portion of Amherst residents in the southeastern corner of the town are in the Clarence Central School District. The Amherst Central School District is the southwestern portion of the town with its core in the Eggertsville and Snyder areas. The Sweet Home Central School District is the northwestern portion of the town along with portions of the Town of Tonawanda with its core in West Amherst and Getzville.[19]


Amherst Municipal Building
Town of Amherst police Ford Taurus

Crime and public safety

The town police department employs over 150 officers, including a chief, assistant chief, seven captains and at least 20 lieutenants.

Based on statistics reported to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Amherst has frequently been ranked as the Safest City in America (1996–1998, 2000–2003, 2010); many other years it ranks within the Top 5. The designation is based on crime statistics for the year in six categories: murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, and auto theft. In 2006, Amherst was ranked the second safest city in the United States, after Brick Township, New Jersey.[20] Most recently, it ranked 6th safest out of 400 cities in 2011.[21]


The Amherst Bee installed Amherst's first telephone line.[22]

Amherst is served by the Amherst Bee newspaper.


Millard Filmore Suburban Hospital is located in the center of town on Maple Road.[23]

Notable residents


  1. ^ "Amherst". Retrieved 9 November 2014. 
  2. ^ "US Census Bureau 2010" (PDF). Retrieved 17 December 2012. 
  3. ^ Patrick, Klinck. "Census Results: Amherst Shows Modest Growth Since 2000". Retrieved 17 December 2012. 
  4. ^  
  5. ^ Claire L. Ross (November 2002). "National Register of Historic Places Registration: Former Reformed Mennonite Church".  
  6. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places.  
  7. ^ Top 101 Snowiest Cities
  8. ^ "Weatherbase Weather Data". Retrieved 17 December 2012. 
  9. ^ "Best Places to Live 2010". CNNMoney. August 2010. Archived from the original on October 20, 2012. Retrieved 5 May 2015. 
  10. ^ "CNN Money Best Places to Live 2012". Retrieved 17 December 2012. 
  11. ^ "America's Promise Alliance 100 Best Communities for Young people". Retrieved 17 December 2012. 
  12. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  13. ^ " Fourteenth census of the United States, 1920, 1910, 1900" Department of Commerce and Labor. (1921), page 532. Retrieved 2013-02-16.
  14. ^ "Decade of change - population and housing trends" (PDF). Town of Amherst. 2003. p. 12. Retrieved February 17, 2013. 
  15. ^ a b c d "American FactFinder".  
  16. ^ "American FactFinder - 2007-2011 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". U.S. Census. Retrieved 23 May 2013. 
  17. ^ Thomas, Scott. "2012 school district rankings for Western New York". Retrieved 17 December 2012. 
  18. ^ "2013 US News and World Report Best High Schools". Retrieved 30 April 2013. 
  19. ^ "Town of Amherst Schools and Education". Retrieved 17 December 2012. 
  20. ^ City Crime Rankings by Population Group
  21. ^ "CQ Press City Crime Rankings: 2010-2011". Retrieved 17 December 2012. 
  22. ^ Grande, p. 39
  23. ^ "Town of Amherst website". Retrieved 17 December 2012. 

External links

  • Town of Amherst webpage
  • Town of Amherst charter
  • Amherst at DMOZ
  • New York Heritage - A History of the Town of Amherst, New York, 1818-1965
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