10 Pros and Cons of Living in New York

Updated On November 29, 2023
New York

Who has not at one point dreamed of living in the Big Apple?

The city of big dreams, breath-taking architecture, amazing cuisine from all over the world, and a place that many songs have been written about.

But, before you make the big move, there are a few things you may need to consider.

After all, all that glitters is not always gold!

It is important to weigh out both the good and the bad that this city has to offer.

Buffalo, New York
Buffalo, New York

Pros of Living in New York

There are numerous benefits to living in the state of New York, but for this article, we will focus on the top five benefits.

1. Excellent job opportunities

It is no secret that New York state, and especially New York City, is an economic hub known for industries such as fashion, telecommunications, finance, healthcare, and retail, to mention a few.

Whether you are here to make it as an entrepreneur, prefer the security of a multi-national, or simply want something stable and comfortable, New York may just be able to offer you what you want.

Be mindful though, that while there is a myriad of opportunities here, the market is very competitive.

Just like you, many others have their sights set on New York.

The reason this is an important factor is that New York is an “at-will” state.

An employer can terminate you without just cause.

And there is a replacement waiting just outside the door.

Expect to hustle in this state.

If you want to make it, you will need to work long, hard hours to prove yourself.

But if you do, the world will be your oyster in this state.

2. Great nightlife, arts, and culture

New York offers more than just great nightlife.

There are a host of art and cultural facilities and events to enjoy in the city and state.

There are a whopping 83 museums in New York City alone.

In addition, the city has the third largest library in the world and, quite possibly, the most beautiful.

It is known as the New York Public Library.

Some of the cultural venues to look out for include:

  • The birthplace of Theodore Roosevelt
  • Alexander Hamilton’s final resting place
  • The Metropolitan Museum Of Art
  • Nuyorican Poets Café Cafe
  • Metropolitan Opera

But most importantly, there is always something to do here.

Whether you are into sunset yoga, a new art exhibit, a festival, or a night out on the town, the city that never sleeps will accommodate you.

And the state also features quite a few attractions, such as the Niagara Waterfalls, several world-renowned flea markets, Lake Placid, and Lake George, to mention just a few.

3. Incredible food

Another key point that the state is known for is its amazing food.

You cannot live in this state and not savor at least some of the food that it is so well known for.

To start, there’s the New York-style pizza.

Everyone that grew up watching The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have wondered about what the pizza tastes like in New York.

And, for the record, it is every bit as delicious as you may have thought!

But pizza is not the only thing that New York is known for.

The legendary Manhattan clam chowder is something to write home about!

Not to be confused with the New England Clam Chowder, which is equally as good.

Then there’s the Italian, Chinese, and Mexican cuisine that you can find in the city.

New York is a melting pot of cultures and each adds its spice to the menu!

4. Great schooling options

According to a 2019 report by Education Week, New York state ranks 10th in terms of the best schooling system in the country.

The report focused on a specific grading scale to determine the results of all schools in all 50 US states.

The publication reviewed 39 categories which included socioeconomic factors, school finance, as well as academic achievement.

According to the report, New York ranked in the eighth position in terms of its overall education system and received a B- or 81.7 out of 100 points, placing it at the number ten position nationally.

5. Good public transportation system

Public transportation in the state of New York ranks sixth nationally.

Of course, this mostly applies to New York City and the surrounding areas.

Upstate New York does have some form of the public transit system, predominantly buses.

In New York City, the public transit system is quite advanced, including buses, taxis, subways, railways, ferries, and bicycles.

In addition, public transportation within New York City is relatively inexpensive.

It is more beneficial to make use of public transport than it is to own a vehicle, as parking in the city can be a nightmare.

But, getting around using public transport is a breeze.

In upstate New York, on the other hand, you may be better off driving your own vehicle.

As mentioned before, there is some form of public transport, but it is not as evolved or as integrated as the system to the south of the state.

Cons of living in New York

1. High cost of living

The single factor that drives the cost of living is housing.

Whether that is renting or buying.

And, New York is known for having astronomically high renting and buying options.

In fact, according to Business Insider, New York is the third most expensive city/state to live in in the world.

The median house price in New York is $654,300, compared to the national average of $291,700.

That’s more than double the national average.

A studio apartment in New York may cost up to $1,364 compared to the national average of $949.

A four-bedroom home/apartment may cost you $2,369 compared to the national average of $1,950.

Both the cost of utilities and transportation are double the national average.

Overall, New York state, and New York City, are both far above the national average when it comes to living expenses.

2. Bad traffic

What do you expect from a city with over 8 million residents and a state with 19.51 million residents?

There are going to be a lot of cars on the road.

And that only means one thing: congestion.

In fact, according to findings by a research company INRIX, New York City is the most congested city in the United States and the fifth most congested city in the world.

The report found that the average NY commuter lost a total of 102 hours of their life in traffic, which also amounted to a financial loss of approximately $1,600.

Furthermore, the report indicated that four of the 25 worst major roadways were located in New York and traffic was expected to hit around 4 p.m in the day.

For this reason, many commuters are better off using the public transportation system, which works like clockwork in this city.

3. Cold winters and humid summers

The weather in New York is cold in the winter and humid in the summer.

New York, and especially upstate New York, has some of the most brutal winters.

The winter lasts approximately three months in New York from January to March and is typically very cold, wet, and experiences a lot of snow.

January is the coldest month with temperatures ranging between 29°F on the low end of the scale and a high of 40°F.

February sees the most snowfall with approximately 6.1 inches of snow.

The warmer months are from June through September.

It can get pretty hot and humid in the state during summer with temperatures soaring well into the 80s.

It can get pretty unbearable in the middle of summer.

4. Rat infestation

According to Insider, New York is one of the oldest cities in the state.

And, as such, it is no surprise that the city may experience issues such as a rat infestation.

A whopping two million rats live and roam the city, from the sewers, parks, restaurants, and subways to both abandoned and un-abandoned buildings.

The New York Times highlights that rat sightings have increased by a staggering 40% during the first 11 months of 2021.

The bad news is that the problem just seems to be getting worse.

5. Fast-paced/big crowds

New York, both the city and the state, is accustomed to fast-paced living.

If you prefer a laid-back lifestyle, this city may not be for you.

Ever heard of the expression, ‘in a New York minute?

The phrase means that something happens in a very short amount of time or even a split second.

It is based on how fast life in New York is.

In addition to the fast-paced lifestyle is the crowding.

The city and many parts of the state are very crowded.

If that is not up to your alley, then you will quickly want to get out as fast as you arrive here.

New York, New York
New York, New York

Pros and Cons of Living in New York – Summary Table

Pros of Living in New YorkCons of living in New York
1. Excellent job opportunities1. High cost of living
2. Great night life, arts and culture2. Bad traffic
3. Incredible food3. Cold winters and humid summers
4. Great schooling options4. Rat infestation
5. Good public transportation system5. Fast-paced/big crowds

New York City Safety Overview

READ THE FULL REPORT: New York City Safety Review

Safety Index:

Frequently Asked Questions

How bad is crime in the state of New York?

Surprisingly enough, the state’s crime rate isn’t as high as one might expect.

While there is a crime, without a doubt, in many cases it is lower than the national average.

For example, the state of New York has the ninth-lowest crime rate and the 26th lowest overall violent crime rate in comparison to other states in the country.

The violent crime rate, which is 359 reported incidents per 100,000 residents, is only slightly lower than the national average, which is 379 reported incidents per 100,000 residents.

What is the most common type of crime in New York?

According to the FBI crime report, the most common crimes are property crimes, which include larceny, grand theft auto, and burglary, as well as violent crimes which include murder, rape, and aggravated assault.

Where is the most dangerous part of New York?

The Bronx is considered to be the most violent part of New York.

However, there are other parts in the state that are also considered to be dangerous, such as Buffalo, Niagara Falls, Binghamton, and Rochester, which frequently make it onto the most dangerous lists.

What is the main attraction in New York?

The main attraction in the state of New York would fall between two main attractions: Niagara Waterfall and The Statue of Liberty.

The Statue of Liberty is possibly the most iconic site in all of the United States.

What type of food is New York most known for?

Pizza, by far, reigns supreme in the state of New York.

It is followed by Manhattan clam chowder, New York-style cheesecake, New York-style bagel, and, of course, baked pretzels.

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