Buffalo Narrows is experiencing economic growth and good times, for the most part, at the present time. In the past, the community has experienced the boom of the 1950's, as well as the bust of the late 1960's and early 1970's. Employment, demographics, housing, the number and type of institutions and the number and type of businesses located in Buffalo Narrows, give a good reflection of the economic well-being of the community.
Buffalo Narrows from the air, (1950) showing the nursing station
At the present time, about seventy percent of the work force of Buffalo Narrows is employed. Fifty-one percent of the towns work force is employed by the various levels of government. Twenty-one percent of the work force is employed at fishing (fourteen percent) and trapping (seven percent), while the private sector accounts for twenty-eight percent of the work force. These statistics may not seem all that good, but by Northern Saskatchewan standards, Buffalo Narrows is quite well off.
Buffalo Narrows has a population of one thousand one hundred and thirty-six people at the present time. In recent years the birth rate has been declining. The town has a very small percentage of elderly people (three percent) as compared to the province as a whole, (eleven percent) and a high percentage of people under twenty years of age (fifty-five percent) as compared to the provincial average (forty-one percent). It does, however appear as though Buffalo Narrows is moving closer to the provincial profile as time goes on. (i.e. The percentage of elderly people is increasing, while the birth rate is decreasing.) In 1977, forty-eight percent of the residents of Buffalo Narrows had lived there all of their lives, while twenty-eight percent had moved there in recent years (teachers and government workers). This illustrates that the population of Buffalo Narrows has been relatively stable over the years, despite a fairly heavy out-migration of young people seeking employment.
In 1978, Buffalo Narrows had two hundred and twenty-nine single family dwellings. Of these, fifty percent were single family homes in good condition, while thirty percent were single family houses in poor condition and twenty percent was made up of mobile homes. Since 1978, the total number of homes in good condition has increased. The Department of Northern Saskatchewan has built an eight unit apartment complex and is constructing an even larger complex at the north end of town. In other words, Buffalo Narrows is getting an ever increasing number of good houses as time marches on.
The Twin Lakes School has a population of about three hundred students from Kindergarten to Grade Twelve. There are seventeen teachers and four NORTEP (Northern Teacher Education Program) students employed in the school.
Buffalo Narrows has the potential to become a regional center. The Department of Northern Saskatchewan seems to have recognized this fact by placing several district and regional offices here. Perhaps the Uranium mining companies will follow suit.