Good Question: Do Buffalo and Syracuse have the same crime levels as Rochester?

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Since Buffalo is larger than Rochester, does Buffalo have more crime?

The 2020 Census showed Buffalo with a population of about 278,000, Rochester with 211,000, and Syracuse with 148,000. If you’re looking at population size, you might think Buffalo would have more crime since it’s the biggest of the three cities. However, the data doesn’t support that.

Becky wrote to us asking: “Do Buffalo and Syracuse have the crime Rochester has?”
For homicides in 2023, ten people have been killed in Rochester, five in Buffalo, and three in Syracuse. You may recall that 2021 was the deadliest year on record for the Flower City with 81 homicides. Buffalo had 67 and Syracuse had 29.

Car thefts have spiked across the country, including in Western New York. This year, 136 cars have been stolen in Syracuse and 558 in Buffalo. Rochester far surpasses both cities with 906 so far this year. That’s only 229 fewer than Rochester had in all of 2022.

To answer Becky’s question, no. Buffalo and Syracuse do not have the same levels of crime as Rochester. Overall in 2023, in the categories of homicides and motor vehicle thefts, Rochester is leading Buffalo and Syracuse significantly.

If you want to compare other categories, here are the open data portals for the police departments of Rochester, Buffalo, and Syracuse.

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