Thinking of Moving to New York?
Learn Everything You Need to Know About Living in The Big Apple Below.
Navigation Jump Links:
- New York City at-a-glance
- What it’s like to live in New York City
- Economy and job outlook in New York City
- Real estate, cost of living in New York City
- The top neighborhoods in New York City
- How to get around in New York City
- School and education snapshot
- Weather and climate in New York City
- 10 can’t-miss things to do in New York City
New York City At-A-Glance
Crowded streets, expensive rents, a competitive job market. No one ever said moving to New York was easy. After all, this is a dense city with nearly 9 million people packed into five boroughs (with more than 1.5 million living on the sliver of an island that is Manhattan). NYC is made up of immigrants coming from all over the world, with more than 76% of movers coming from another U.S. state–namely New Jersey, California, Illinois, and Pennsylvania.
New Yorkers will often say the “highs are higher and the lows even lower,” and there’s much to consider when deciding whether or not to move to the Big Apple. In fact, your experience will likely be nothing like what you expect it to be. New York may not be for everyone but for many, it’s the only city they can imagine living in.
There’s No Place Like New York City
People move to New York City to pursue their biggest aspirations. There’s a reason why it’s called the city of dreams, and those who dwell here would agree there’s just no other place like New York City.
From the food, to the views and the entertainment, you’ll constantly be in awe of the architecture, people, and the blending of cultures. Plus, with some of the most famous skylines in the world, it’s hard to not feel in awe of the beauty surrounding you in the city. There are so many things to do in a city like NYC, that you’ll simply never run out of restaurants to try, shows to marvel at or legendary spots to pop into.
And if you’re looking to move to New York City with your dog, you’re in luck! NYC has been rated the tenth most dog-friendly city in America. Not only are there plenty of parks to explore, but there are countless dog-friendly restaurants and events around the city to bring your dog to.
While you’re exploring all that NYC has to offer, make sure you’re doing it like the locals! There’s a certain way New Yorkers do things, including how they speak, so be sure to learn the language. New York has its own set of common sense values and tricks for survival, so be sure to get familiar with the ways of the locals.
The Big Apple Economy is Driven By Numerous Industries
Numbers alone can’t tell the story of New York City’s economy. From real estate to tourism and the financial industry to fine arts, the local economy is driven by numerous industries, many of them based in the Big Apple. While certain job sectors are extremely competitive, there are many employers that have contributed to the steady increase in employment and wages. Tourism is high and real estate development keeps growing. You’ll pay a pretty penny just to visit. Not surprisingly, New York regularly ranks as THE country’s most expensive cities to live in.
Oh, and hope you like crowds as the Big Apple crams 71,907 residents in every square mile, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
- Unemployment rate: 4.8% (as of August 2022)
- Average weekly wages for all industries: $1,727 (as of August 2022)
Rent is An Extremely Steep Price Tag in NYC
While those thinking of moving to New York City may have hoped rents in Manhattan had dropped, the average rent recently hit $5,000 for the first time on record. It represented a 29 percent increase over the previous year. That’s enough reason to think twice before moving to NYC. Regardless of the fluctuating price tag, be prepared for the sticker shock. Oftentimes, if a deal is too good to be true, then it really is just that. In your apartment hunt, have all your paperwork and financials together because the application process is competitive.
If you’re wondering just how to find somewhere to live when moving to New York City, we’ve got you covered with all the information you’ll need. Before you make it to NYC, be sure to familiarize yourself with the various types of apartments you will find.
It gets worse. The cost of living is 137 percent higher than the U.S. average, which means you’ll pay more here for just about anything, including a home. The average home price is $2.4 million. You’ll pay 44 percent more at the grocery store and 18 percent more for transportation.
One option to offset costs is to find temporary housing before you move to the city. That way, you can explore and discover which borough is right for you. Once you’ve discovered which neighborhood is for you, you want to make sure you get the most out of your money. There is a lot to consider when apartment hunting in New York City, so check out SpareFoot’s 20 Tips for Finding an Apartment in New York City.
The Five Boroughs in NYC Offer Unique Neighborhood Vibes
The five boroughs of New York City are all unique and come with something different to offer. There are countless neighborhoods to explore throughout Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and The Bronx.
Brooklyn: Though real estate is especially expensive, Brooklyn has become NYC’s hippest and fastest growing borough.
Queens: Queens, on the other hand, is the largest and most diverse borough in NYC with nearly 100 unique neighborhoods.
Manhattan: If you’re looking to be in the epicenter of the arts, business or culinary scene, you may want to consider living in Manhattan.
Staten Island: Meanwhile Staten Island, “The Borough of Parks,” is known for being the most laid back borough, fit for those who don’t want to give up their car or yard.
Not sure you found the right NYC borough for your lifestyle? You’re not alone. SpareFoot crunched the data and found that thousands of New Yorkers move from one borough to another.
NYC Subway: One of the Most Efficient People Transports in the World
New York’s sprawling system, while imperfect, transports more than 2.4 million around the city every day, making it one of the most efficient people transport systems in the entire world. Before the pandemic, over 1 billion people would go through the turnstiles each year! Certain trains are more reliable than others and it’s good to be aware of weekend and night schedules, which can change because of track work. Navigate the New York City subway system like a true local with this comprehensive guide.
Additionally, you have access to Citi Bike, a bike share program that has 25,000 bikes and over 1,500 stations across Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, Jersey City and Hoboken to take advantage of during the warmer months. Transportation apps like Uber, Lyft and others also offer alternatives to the ubiquitous yellow cabs.