16 Pros and Cons of Living in New York City

Updated On October 9, 2023
New York City

Thinking about moving to the Big Apple?

It is a big — or rather, huge — choice.

This city is home to some of the richest cultures and history in the United States, along with 8.4 million people from all walks of life.

But while it is widely considered a city of opportunity, it is also fiercely competitive, noisy, and sometimes scary.

In this article, we will share the top pros and cons of living in New York City.

New York City
New York City

Pros of Living in New York City 

1. You’ll Never be Bored. 

New York City has something for everyone, and it is impossible to be bored there.

You will find something for every niche interest and hobby, large and small.

Every single day you can find events going on at the city’s abundant theaters, museums, art galleries, parks, and other facilities.

There is history, culture, fashion, music, theater, architecture, outdoor sports, and anything else you can imagine.

2. It is Surprisingly Safe. 

You would not think that one of the most densely populated cities in the world was safe, and New York City is not safer than small towns or rural areas.

But it is surprisingly safe for a city of its size and density.

This is probably due at least in part to the fact that someone is always awake, so you are unlikely to be totally isolated anywhere in the city.

Nevertheless, you should always practice caution.

3. It is the Ultimate Melting Pot. 

Since its founding, New York has been a place where people from every culture and creed live together.

NYC continues to be the most diverse city in the United States, with more than 200 languages spoken here every day.

As you walk the streets, you will see people wearing different cultural clothing.

It just goes to show that there is a community for absolutely everyone in the Big Apple.

4. There is a Ton of Culture. 

NYC is widely known for the theater, but that’s just a fraction of the fine arts and culture you can experience in the city.

There are a total of 145 museums between the five boroughs, as well as countless art galleries and other exhibits.

One of these, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, is one of the best museums in the entire world.

If you have elevated taste, you will not be at a loss for things to do in NYC. 

5. The Food is Unparalleled. 

It’s not exactly surprising that a city with so many different cultures is the national Mecca of food.

You will find every kind of food imaginable here, from hole-in-the-wall eateries to internationally-renowned gourmet restaurants.

It is so much more than pizza and bagels (though those are out of this world!) and you can track it all down at any time of the day or night.

6. There is Excellent Public Transportation. 

The public transportation system in NYC is famous.

Few people own a car, while 10 million New Yorkers hop on the subway every single day.

It is an amazingly efficient system and almost always runs on time.

On the subway, you can get anywhere in the city, including the airports.

Though you have to pay a small monthly fare, it is far less than you would pay for car insurance, gas, and parking. 

7. The Night Life Can’t be Beaten. 

In a city that never sleeps, there is something to do at every hour of the day or night.

If you have a craving for a slice of pizza at three in the morning or want to stay out with friends until the crack of dawn, you’ll find everything available.

From jazz clubs to bars, clubs, and restaurants, there are endless things to do throughout the city. 

8. The Parks are Amazing.

Central Park is by far the most famous park in New York City, but it is not the only one.

In fact, the city is home to an astonishing 1,700 parks and green spaces.

Just because you are living in a city does not mean you will never see trees or grass!

Washington Square Park is a favorite among locals, known for its beauty.

Cons of Living in New York City 

1. The Cost of Living is Extremely High. 

It should come as no surprise that the cost of living in New York City is extraordinary — in fact, it is the highest in the United States.

Between the high-income taxes and the exorbitant housing prices, most New Yorkers shell out the bulk of their paycheck.

NYC is 30 percent more expensive than Los Angeles 

2. The Summer and Winter are Brutal.

Both summer and winter can bring extremes to New York City.

The winter can be bitter and icy, with gloomy days that have almost no sunlight.

But summer is also a struggle.

Not only can the city get extremely hot, but it also experiences high humidity levels.

To make matters worse, hot weather also brings out the smellier side of the city, prompting many people to leave for vacation spots.

3. The Job Market can be Competitive.

With millions of people and dozens of Fortune 500 companies, there is not exactly a shortage of jobs in NYC.

But that doesn’t mean that the job market is easy to get into.

In fact, it can be extremely competitive.

For every job you apply for, there will be dozens or even hundreds of other applicants, making it a struggle to land a gig in the first place.

4. Housing Prices are Atrocious.

Housing prices in NYC are famously exorbitant, and you can expect your paycheck to be eaten up by your rent.

Even the smallest apartment in New York City can run upwards of $3,200 a month.

And that is on the cheapest end of things — many people pay much, much more than that every month.

Housing in New York City is more expensive than in some of the other biggest cities in the country, including Los Angeles and Washington DC

5. The City is Filthy.

We’ve all heard stories about rats on the subway, but let’s get real: New York City is absolutely filthy.

In 2018 it was officially named the #1 dirtiest city in the United States.

In the summer, rising temperatures mean all that dirt starts to smell, sometimes unbearably.

There is a lot of garbage in the streets — and do not even get us started on the Hudson River.

It is one of the three filthiest cities in the world alongside Rome and Bangkok.

6. There’s Noise.

New York City is known as the city that never sleeps, so it should come as no surprise that it is noisy.

There are 8.4 million people here, and that means that you are dealing with the sounds of traffic and other people at every time of the day and night.

Depending on where you live, this can be irritating.

Do not expect much peace and quiet in New York, no matter where you are or what time it is.

7. Crowds are a Part of Life.

As we mentioned above, New York City is home to 8.4 million people.

That is not even to mention the tourists — there were 33 million people who visited NYC in 2021.

In other words, you can expect crowds and long lines everywhere you go, as well as plenty of traffic.

his can be pretty irritating when you live in the city, ensuring that every task takes three times as long as it would elsewhere.

8. Homelessness is High.

Homelessness in New York City is shockingly high, with experts saying that it is now higher than it has been since the Great Depression.

More than 48,524 people were unhoused and staying on the New York City streets or in shelters.

You are likely to encounter these people no matter where you go, and it is distressing to see how many people need help.

It might be an indicator of just how difficult it is to stay housed here.

New York City
New York City

Pros and Cons of Living in New York City – Summary Table

Pros of Living in New York City Cons of Living in New York City 
1. You’ll Never be Bored. 1. The Cost of Living is Extremely High. 
2. It is Surprisingly Safe. 2. The Summer and Winter are Brutal.
3. It is the Ultimate Melting Pot. 3. The Job Market can be Competitive.
4. There is a Ton of Culture. 4. Housing Prices are Atrocious.
5. The Food is Unparalleled. 5. The City is Filthy.
6. There is Excellent Public Transportation. 6. There’s Noise.
7. The Night Life Can’t be Beaten. 7. Crowds are a Part of Life.
8. The Parks are Amazing.8. Homelessness is High.

Choosing to Live in New York City

Weighing the pros and cons of living in New York City can be daunting.

This city is one of the most famous in the world, and it takes some guts to make the move there.

However, people love it for a reason, and there are many who say they would not want to live anywhere else.

New York City Safety Overview

READ THE FULL REPORT: New York City Safety Review

Safety Index:

Frequently Asked Questions

Are New Yorkers Rude? 

New Yorkers have a famously brusque manner, which largely comes down to them valuing efficiency.

In such a large city, some of the social niceties need to be put aside.

Nevertheless, like anywhere else, you will find both friendly and unfriendly people in New York City.

What is the Best Time of Year in New York City?

Summer and winter are famously extreme in New York City.

However, spring and autumn are mild and pleasant.

Spring brings flowers to the city parks, while the fall colors are so beautiful they’re a tourist attraction in their own right.

If you want a great trip to NYC, aim for these milder seasons.

Are New York Parks Safe? 

New York Parks, especially Central Park, once had the reputation of being particularly dangerous spots in the city.

Luckily, the rate of reported crimes in the parks has gone down dramatically.

Nevertheless, you should always be cautious and prudent when you are visiting one of the city parks.

What Should You Not Miss in New York City? 

There are tourist attractions galore in New York, and it is hard to get to them all.

You will not want to miss paying a visit to Central Park, the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, or Little Italy and Chinatown.

Broadway and the Met are also popular tourist attractions.

How Much Money do you Need to Move to New York City? 

Most recent reports show that the average salary in New York City is $69,197 per year.

However, that does not mean that it is enough money to live comfortably.

Other estimates say that people can live well in NYC if they make at least $82,600 a year.

1 Comment on 16 Pros and Cons of Living in New York City

  1. Living in New York City can be an exciting and enriching experience, but it also comes with its own set of challenges.

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