Buffalo gets mixed grades in survey of best cities for veterans to live

Nov 11, 2020

A newly-released survey of "best and worst" cities for veterans to live ranks Buffalo in the middle of the pack.

The personal finance website WalletHub has released its ranking of the nation's 100 largest cities, using 20 measurements including livability, affordability and veteran friendliness to list which are better places for veterans to live. Orlando topped the list, while Detroit ranked 100th. New York City came in at 91st overall.

And Buffalo?

Credit File Photo / WBFO News

"Buffalo came in at 54," said WalletHub analyst Jill Gonzalez. "It did better in terms of VA health facilities per veteran population. And the quality of its VA health facilities seems to be pretty good. Health is a huge factor here for veterans, and for veterans during a pandemic."

Buffalo ranked 16th in the study's "health" category and placed 23rd in its "economy" category. But where Buffalo needs to improve, Gonzalez said, was in veteran jobs.

"Where it could do better are things like its veteran unemployment rate, which right now is at 6.2 percent. That ranks 76th in the country, and its jobs are not growing for veterans," she said. "Hopefully this can be mitigated a little bit after the pandemic calms down a little bit, in terms of the industries there."

The survey also shows nearly three of every four Americans agree that military families have greater economic stress than non-military families. About the same number of people responding agree on the reason.

"Seventy-four percent of Americans don't think the military does enough to teach financial literacy," Gonzalez said. "There's obviously a disconnect there. And we're seeing it not only from military members, but also from their families. Something needs to be done about teaching financial literacy, your financial know-how, while you're still a military member. Before you become a veteran, because then it's really hard to navigate."