If you’re planning a move to New York, start getting excited to live amongst the masses! An estimated 19,889,657 people live in the state of New York, with about 8 million people residing in New York City (NYC) alone.
NYC is the most populated city in the country, as well as the most densely populated major city. It is ranked fourth in population size, right behind Florida.
New York City is made up of five boroughs: Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, The Bronx and Staten Island. Each borough has its own identity, culture and way of live. In 1898, these five boroughs were combined to form what is now New York City, New York.
There are over 800 languages spoken in New York. In fact, it has been named the most linguistically diverse city in the world.
Even if you move outside of the city, you will likely visit NYC from time to time. This impressive city is the headquarters for the United Nations, and has been described as the cultural, financial and media capital of the world.
Things to Know Before Moving to New York
Now that you know you will have a ton of neighbors (in very close proximity), you should also know that it is very expensive to live in most areas of New York. The city of Manhattan has been labeled one of most expensive cities in the world.
You will also want to make sure you have a place lined up to live before you move. Finding available apartments or homes in New York can be very competitive and costly.
As far as transportation, most people in larger cities, such as NYC, get around on foot. Not many New York City residents drive, and those who do are known to be a little aggressive. You’ll want to know about the public transit system before you go.
The great part of New York is that it is such a diverse state. You can go to the beach one day, head into the bustling city another, and tour a winery in the suburbs the next day. This state truly has something to offer for everyone.
Largest Cities in New York
Since New York is such a vast state, even the “smaller” cities can feel big to most people.
The largest city in the state is also the most famous: New York City. Often referred to as the “Big Apple”, NYC the most populated city in the entire country. There are so many things to do and see in this city, there really is no way to list it all. You can be a lifelong resident and still not grow tired of all that NYC has to offer.
Next up is Buffalo, New York as the second largest city in the state. It is located near the Canadian border, right next to Niagara Falls. With a population of around 259,000, Buffalo was recently named third “Best Food City In The World” by National Geographic. The city is famous for their chicken wings and pizza.
The third biggest city is Rochester, New York, which has a population of about 208,000. Rochester is considered one of the snowiest cities in the country. On average, the city receives 89.3 inches a year of snow.
Climate & Weather
The winters in New York tend to be very cold and windy. However, because the Atlantic Ocean partly shields the state from the wind, it doesn’t get as cold as other inland states in the North.
The coldest month in New York is usually January. The average temperature during this month is 32.6 degrees, but can drop to around 10 degrees during the winter. The high for winter is usually somewhere around 60 degrees. You will definitely want to pack warm!
Spring and autumn months can be a bit unpredictable in New York and they often vary from chilly to warm. Depending on the season, there’s always a chance for a random snowstorm or super hot day. The summers tend to be hot, but without the humidity. The average temperature is around 76 degrees in July.
On February 9, 1934, the lowest temperature ever in the state was recorded at ‒15 degrees. The all-time high temperature of 106 degrees was recorded on July 9, 1936.
Traffic and Parking
If you are moving to a larger city in New York, you may not want to bring a car. Not only is there a ton of traffic, construction and crazy drivers, but you will also have to pay an arm and a leg just to park your car.
The average rate for parking in Manhattan is $533 a month. That is more than double the rate of other major cities, such as Los Angeles or Honolulu. If you want to save money on parking, head over to Brooklyn or Queens where parking costs around $200 a month.
The price of gasoline in New York can also be high. Gas usually costs 5-10 percent more than most states, and insurance rates are also higher on average. According to CarInsurance.com, car insurance in Manhattan can total about $4,000 a year.
If you can part with you car, you will be able to get around very easily on foot. The public transportation system in New York is one of the best in the country, but also, pretty expensive. A transit pass for a month will cost about $116, which is about 75% higher than the national average.
The New York City subway system runs 24/7 and has 472 stations. The bus system in New York is the largest in North America. There are 7,000 busses and 200,000 riders daily. The Port Authority Bus Terminal is the busiest terminal in the world.
In addition to the Subway and bus system, you can also take a ferry to different areas. The Staten Island Ferry is the busiest in the world, carrying about 23 million passengers just from July 2015 through June 2016.
A famous staple of New York is the yellow taxicabs. There are about 12,000 of them available 24/7. However, ride-sharing services such as Uber and Lyft have become a serious competition for the cab drivers in NYC.
Housing Market in NY
Like most places in the country, upstate New York was largely impacted by the financial crisis 10 years ago. However, it does seem like the housing market is turning in a positive direction.
It is a great time to be a seller in New York, but may not the best time to be a buyer. Between 2007 and 2016, total annual home sales in cities outside of NYC fell about 12%, to around 89,000 homes. During that same time, the average sales price dropped 9% down to $215,000.
It can be pretty difficult to find affordable, conveniently located homes in New York. Some people may think that the suburbs will be cheaper, but that isn’t always the case.
Westchester County is actually considered less affordable than New York City. If you want to increase your chances of finding affordable and quality housing, you’ll want to head over to Suffolk County.
The median home value in New York is around $685,000. Home values have gone up 16.4% over the past year. Zillow predicts the value of New York homes will increase by 6.1% within the next year.
New York may be one of the few places where it is more expensive to rent an apartment than buy a house. The average price for a two-bedroom rental in Manhattan is $4,042. In a modest apartment in New York, it will cost renters an average of $48,000 a year for their apartments.
The apartments in New York City are notorious for being small and expensive. Living on your own can get costly, so most have roommates to split the rent. You can find a moderately priced apartment in the outer boroughs, such as Staten Island, for around $800. However, in the city itself, a 750-square-foot apartment will go for about $2,700 a month.
Safety and Crime
Safety concerns in New York are improving, and crime rates are significantly decreasing. The New York City Police Department (NYPD) makes up the largest police force in the country. Often referred to as “New York’s Finest”, the NYPD has over 35,000 officers in the department.
Crime has continued to decrease in New York since the 1990s. In 2014, New York City had the lowest murder rate out of all the largest cities in the country. Violent crimes also decreased by 75 percent between 1993 and 2005. The homicide rate in 2005 was the lowest the city had seen since 1966.
Financial Living in New York
Half of the household incomes in New York City are $55,000 a year or less. This means that 50 percent of families in the city can only afford about 9% of the homes for sale.
Unfortunately, even households that make around $114,000 a year can only afford less than half of the homes there. In fact, only about 22% of the people in the city make above $114,000 annually.
Cost of Living in New York
A single person in New York will spend about $1,100 a month on living expenses, not including rent. In addition, a family of four will spend about $4,073 a month for basic living expenses (rent excluded).
The cost of living in New York is 21.5% higher than the cost of living in Los Angeles. New York ranked 18th out of 518 cities in the world based on cost of living.
Jobs in New York can be competitive, but the job market varies based on the city. In June of 2017, the unemployment rate in New York was 4.4%. This was a 0.1% percent increase from May. However, this was down almost a full percent from the year before.
The sales tax in New York ranges between 7% and 8.87%, and property tax is 1.5%. The state income tax in New York is between 4% and 8.82%. The income tax in New York City is 2.9 to 3.86%. This is in addition to state sales tax.
Luckily for anyone in New York, there are some pretty fantastic hospitals here.
The number one hospital in the state is the New York-Presbyterian University Hospital of Columbia and Cornell. Located in NYC, this hospital is nationally ranked in 15 adult specialties and 10 children’s specialities.
The second rated hospital in New York is NYS Langone Medical Center located in New York City. It is nationally ranked in 12 specialties, and high performing in 9 procedures and conditions.
Mount Sinai Hospital located New York City is the number three ranked hospital. It is nationally ranked in 11 adult specialities and 6 children’s specialities. It is rated high performing in 8 procedures and conditions.
Popular Industries in New York
Tourism is a very important industry in New York City. There was a record-breaking 61 million tourists that visited the city in 2016. In 2014, tourism generated $61.3 billion for New York. Approximately 12 million people visit NYC from outside the United States each year.
In addition, New York has been labeled the most economically powerful city in the world. Wall Street and the Financial District in Lower Manhattan are largely to thank for this. New York is also home to the two largest stock exchanges in the world: New York Stock Exchange and NASFAQ.
Food & Culture
New York City is renowned as the cultural capital of the world. There are over 2,000 arts and culture organizations and more than 500 art galleries.
The cuisine in New York is greatly influenced by the city’s long history of immigration. Some popular meals and snacks include bagels, cheesecake and New York style pizza. There are also plenty of Chinese restaurants, sandwich shops, cafes, diners and coffeehouses. Based upon the city’s inspection results, there are over 24,000 restaurants and food trucks in city. You’ll never run out of places to eat!
New York Attractions
The amount of attractions in New York is mind boggling. There is always something to do, and even living there, you may not be able to see it all.
Statue of Liberty
You can’t go to New York City without seeing the Statue of Liberty. It is one of the most recognizable landmarks in the country. You can view the Statue from afar at the well-known Battery Park. In order to truly appreciate its beauty, you can hop on a ferry and make your way over to Liberty Island.
Niagara Falls is another must-see attraction in New York. It is known as one of the natural wonders in North America, and brings in millions of visitors each year. You can see the Falls from walkways above the water, but the best way to truly see this wonder is by boat.
Empire State Building
Another famous place you have to see is the Empire State Building. It is New York’s most famous landmark and opened in 1931. The building is 102 stories and 381 meters tall. There is an observatory on the 86th floor that promises some pretty amazing views. On a clear day, you can see almost 80 miles in the distance right into New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
There really are too many attractions in New York for just one list. Here are a few you should cross off first:
- Central Park
- St. Patrick’s Cathedral
- Times Square
- The Chrysler Building
- The 9/11 Memorial
- The New York Public Library
- Coney Island
New Yorkers are constantly on the move, so being active is something that most residents enjoy. On a beautiful day, you will usually see New Yorkers out and about around the multiple gorgeous parks, enjoying the outside. There are plenty places to hike, bike, run and relax in New York.
There are plenty of universities and colleges in New York. In fact, there are 120 just located in New York City!
Columbia University, established in 1754, is a private Ivy League university in Manhattan. With over 30,000 students, it is often referred to as one of the most prestigious universities in the world.
New York University, or NYU, was founded in 1831 in Greenwich Village. Today, NYC has campuses located all around New York City. In 2017, there were 67,232 students who applied there, and only 18,520 were admitted. In addition, U.S. News and Business ranked NYU as the 6th best graduate school for law.
Ithaca College is located in Ithaca, New York. This private school is home to about 6,949 students, and was founded in 1892. It has been ranked one of the top 10 universities in the “Regional Universities North” by U.S. News and World Report. Ithaca College is also regularly named one of the best colleges according to the Princeton Review.
Sports in New York
If you love sports and live in New York, you aren’t alone.
There are two Major League Baseball teams: the Yankees and the Mets. There are also three National Hockey League teams including the Rangers, the Islanders and the Buffalo Sabres.
NBA teams include the New York Knicks and the Brooklyn Nets. There are two Major League Soccer teams, New York City FC and the New York Red Bulls. NFL teams include the Buffalo Bills and the Jets and Giants, who play in MetLife stadium in New Jersey. The professional lacrosse team is the New York Lizards.
Politics & Religion
New York is considered a Democratic state, as Republicans are definitely in the minority here. New Yorkers are notorious for being open-minded and progressive in their beliefs and politics.
There are frequent political protests in the city streets for those fighting for what they believe in. Typically, New Yorkers vote for Republicans for local offices, but mostly Democratic in the presidential elections.
Like most states, New York is made up of diverse religious communities. Christianity makes up 59% of the religious population in the state, followed by Judaism. There are approximately 1.1 million Jewish people in New York City, with over half located in Brooklyn alone.
Islam is ranked third for religion with 600,000 to 1 million observers. 24% of New Yorkers identify as having no religious affiliation.
History of New York
The first settlers in New York can be traced back to 10,000 B.C. with the arrival of Native Americans. The European discovery of New York was led by the French in 1524, and the state was first claimed by the Dutch in 1609. The land was renamed the colony of New York in 1664 to honor the Duke of York from England.
From 1785 to 1790, New York was the capital of the United States. As immigrants arrived by ship, their first sight was the Statue of Liberty. The Statue represents the search for freedom, diversity and entrepreneurship.
In 2001, New York was home to the worst terror attack to ever take place on American soil. On September 11, 2001, hijacked airplanes were flown into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center. Over 3,000 people lost their lives that day. 9/11 is remembered as a time when they entire country came together to rebuild.
So, How Are You Getting To New York?
Once you land an apartment or home in New York, make sure you have a moving company lined up to help.
Hiring a reputable and professional moving company will calm your fears by knowing that your personal belongings are in good hands and will make it to your new home as safely as you will.
Having professionals along for the journey will make a world of difference.