Niagara Falls, NY

Population: 49,180

Key findings

  • Niagara Falls has a Livability Score of 55/100, which is considered poor
  • Niagara Falls crime rates are 175% higher than the New York average
  • Cost of living in Niagara Falls is 30% lower than the New York average
  • Niagara Falls real estate prices are 76% lower than the New York average
  • Rental prices in Niagara Falls are 44% lower than the New York average

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      Niagara Falls Reviews

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      So much potential, but it's falling apart

      This is in regards to downtown Niagara Falls. This city has infinite potential, but over the years, it has fallen so far. It seems that half the community is basically owned by out of state landlords, or slum lords. Houses falling apart, at least one on every street it seems. The further downtown you go, the worse they get. Some streets have been neglected for such a long time, that I get a "life after people" vibe when going down them. Its too bad that the city can't set standards for houses like this, because so often they are not only an eyesore, but the overgrown lawns become a breeding ground for pests. It isn't fair to those of us who work very hard to keep our homes and neighborhoods nice.
      The crime is unreal. Seems that a business is getting robbed at gunpoint every other day. It never ends. The city's beloved bakery on Pine Ave actually needs to have a security guard on duty now, they were being robbed so often. It's to the point where even pizza delivery workers are being robbed constantly- and not just robbed, but often times they're beaten up as well. The murders in the city have also gone up this year.
      In the 8 years we have owned our home here, our house has fallen victim to property crime 7 times. Twice our garage was broken into, once our front door was shot out by teenagers who were roaming the streets in a large group at 1 in the morning (a police officer pulled over and spoke with them, but that's as far as that went). My husband's tail light on his new truck (that we had just bought a couple of weeks prior) was shot out. My car have been broken into numerous times (never had anything in it, nothing at all). This was all over the span of several years - as random targets.
      The streets downtown and many alleyways are completely littered with trash. I keep up on cleaning our block, as well as many others, but typically Im able to fill another garbage bag a week later.
      Plus there's a sex offender on pretty much every street.
      There are still people here who care, and I am grateful to them. We have amazing neighbors for the most part... though at one point, people from the slumhouse on my street actually shot at a neighbors home with a BB gun (one of the bullets actually rode their window and entered their house, the others were outside of the house). This was on camera and there was also a witness, proving who did it. Nothing happened. The shooters were not arrested. No idea why, I just know that the same people who shot at that house - I see them every day.
      In the summer, we have the pleasure of hearing teenagers fly up and down the streets, doing wheelies, and going the wrong way down one way streets. Often they are very reckless and I fear that they will kill a kid or somebody riding their bike or crossing the street. Plus the noise is a complete nuisance.
      I find no joy in writing this. The city has so much to offer. Hyde Park is beautiful and well kept. Many stores and dining places are within walking/biking distance. Niagara Falls State Park is a great place to go to enjoy all that nature has to offer, and the bike trail is one of the best in the country (my opinion). The gorge hiking trail is fun and unique. There are many amazing places to eat as well. There is also a lot for younger people to do. We have the mall, movie theaters, the park, basketball courts, playgrounds, baseball diamonds, ice cream/hot dog and burger shops. Dance and karate studios, plus free youth programs and events. Teenagers often play football in the park. We have the library and coffee shops. We even have a beautiful skate park for everyone to enjoy, and a free splash pad for younger kids. The city puts on Christmas events at the Falls. This place has so much to offer. I often wonder why things are so bad, in a place that has so much going for it. If Niagara Falls could just get a handle on these awful abandoned and slum houses, and get a handle on this crime, things would be a lot better here. I worry walking to my car in the morning. There are some areas that I dont even feel comfortable driving in. Ive actually had somebody try to get into my car while I was at a stop sign once. The other day, while driving back from a store downtown, I had 3 seperate people on different blocks try to flag me down (no idea why, I dont dare stop). The drug problem is pretty bad (as it is everywhere). It seems that for every nicer street downtown - you go down maybe a block or two, and you're in a bad neighborhood. Prominent drug houses, condemned/abandoned houses, litter - and it just isn't safe. I have to agree with some of the other comments that a lot of the youth here have zero respect for others, often destroying property or being bullies. Many seem to pretty much have no fear. The same goes for a lot of the adults as well. Why people are okay with trashing their own neighborhood, is beyond me. Some areas and streets are a complete dump.
      Oh, here's a good one. The yearly 4th of July fireworks and the summer carnival that they used to have at Hyde Park.... if I recall correctly, pretty much every year, there's been either a large fight or a shooting. Oftentimes we saw damage to homes from people walking back.
      Anyways, thats my honest opinion - as somebody who has lived here my entire life. I hope so much that things will change, and I've done what I could in my everyday life, in the time I have spent here. Its really sad to have seen the place continue to fall, and I will forever hope that Niagara Falls can get it together.
      Also, for those who say "oh, but crime is everywhere!". Yes, yes it is. The problem is that it occurs a heck of a lot more frequently here. Until we as citizens open our eyes and get our heads out of the sand, things will never change. Sadly, I would not recommend living here.
      • 1 0
      Niagara Falls, NY - One of the Worst in NY

      Contrary to what some outsiders believe, Niagara Falls is not an beautiful as it once was year ago. The city is mostly slums now, people are disrespectful and rude to strangers at times, the teens here have zero consideration for others and will openly bully your child for no reason. Hate culture is on the rise here which makes it a rather poor place if you wanted to raise kids here.

      Our law enforcement is also rather poor and as far as things to do go, there is nothing but bars and restaurants. The city streets fell into disrepair and there is trash on almost every street. Neighbors have no consideration for one another (Other than the older members of the community).

      I have lived here with my family for 16 years now and I can say it was once a nice place, but over the years the city has gone to the slums, main street is not even nice anymore and discrimination is also a serious problem here. Homeless populations are a serious concern and job options are limited and disappointing.

      If you are looking for a nice community to raise a child in or wanting a fresh start in life, this is NOT the place to go. Do your research and don't believe the tourist ads. Niagara falls I would rank as one of the worst places to live in New York State. If you don't mind a little noise and are okay with city life, I would recommend Buffalo's Elm Wood area or it's closer surrounding areas should you want to move to New York State. My family is currently working on moving further south to escape the long depressing winters than take place in New York. Safe Travels all and hopefully you find the place of your dreams in your search.
      • 7 -1
      Niagara Falls, NY - The Sights & Sounds

      When I lived in Niagara Falls NY city, the sights and sounds of the city is what made me love it so much while I lived there. Although, now I live somewhere else, if I had the opportunity, I would definitely go back. The greatest attraction, which is of course Niagara Falls, is one of the most amazing and wondrous sights to behold. Living close to this amazing phenomenon was always a great advantage for me because I loved visiting this beautiful place.

      Along with this wonderful aspect of Niagara Falls, the great people who reside in Niagara Falls is another. The beautiful clean neighborhoods in Niagara Falls is possible because of the great cooperation between all of the residents that live there. Neighborhood watches are also another excellent aspect the city of Niagara Falls takes pride of by making sure the crime rate stays at a low rate. The parks are another great feature the city of Niagara Falls offers to everyone. The parks there are green, beautiful and clean which can be enjoyed with the whole family.

      The other entertaining activities in Niagara Falls are also great to enjoy with friends or with family. Things such as concerts, festivals and nature programs in Hyde Park are a great pass time with unforgettable moments. You can also take advantage of the gorgeous golf course in Niagara Falls, if you are an avid golf player. I for one have always loved Niagara Falls as a city to live in or visit. Given the opportunity again, I would definitely move back to Niagara Falls NY.
      • 3 -7
      Reason for reporting
      Source: The Niagara Falls, NY data and statistics displayed above are derived from the 2016 United States Census Bureau American Community Survey (ACS).