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LA vs. NYC Living

la vs nyc living

Are you trying to decide which mighty metropolis to relocate to?

 New York City and Los Angeles are two of the largest and most popular cities in the United States. Each of these cities is packed with interesting attractions, amenities, entertainment, and housing options.

But how do the LA and NYC lifestyles stack up?

Well, each city features distinctive characteristics and appeals to different types of people. They both come with pros and cons that need to be taken into account. So, let’s take a look at New York vs. Los Angeles living to help make deciding where to move to a little bit easier for you.

The Full Lowdown

Real estate prices

This is one of the main considerations when you are choosing a new place to live. You naturally need to make sure that there is suitable accommodation within your budget. Both cities are known for being expensive places to buy and rent a property.

If you want to purchase a house in New York City, you need to lay out around a million dollars. However, the average cost of purchasing a house in Los Angeles is $660,000. So, while the cost is still higher than the average in the United States, real estate prices are significantly lower in Los Angeles

Real estate prices

The cost of living

This is another important consideration, especially if you’re on a tight budget. In addition to paying off your mortgage or rent, you need to buy groceries and maybe eat out occasionally. Generally speaking, the cost of living is 24% lower in Los Angeles than in New York City

The weather

Both cities have very different types of climates, which is something to bear in mind when choosing between them. New York City features very cold winters with frequent snowstorms. The summer can be very hot and sticky, while fall and spring are both fairly mild.

And LA weather?

Los Angeles is famous for its Mediterranean climate, and the area tends to be hot and sunny all year round. A number of beautiful beaches can be found just a short drive from the city. However, this part of the country is plagued by fairly regular wildfires and earthquakes, which can be hazardous.

So, if you’re a beach bunny who loves hot weather, Los Angeles is likely to be a clear choice. However, you are more likely to feel at home in New York City if you enjoy the winter weather. There are pros and cons with both climates, and it basically comes down to personal preference.  

And LA weather


Using public transportation is the most popular way of getting around New York City. The city is connected by a fast and efficient public transportation network that is relatively affordable. In fact, riding the subway is a way of life for most New Yorkers, and stations can be found in most neighborhoods.

However, you need a car if you want to get around Los Angeles easily. And while the traffic can be very heavy, most people own a car. The long and straight roads make this area a dream for people who love to drive. However, sitting in rush hour traffic can be a nightmare at times. 

If that’s a big put-off for you…

When it comes to public transportation, New York City is the clear winner. This city is also the clear choice for people who enjoy walking and getting around by bicycle. However, you may want to choose Los Angeles if you genuinely prefer to drive yourself around. 

The job market

Unless you are about to retire or are independently wealthy, you will need to find a job when you move. Fortunately, both cities offer a large number of job opportunities, although they are focused on different industries. On the West Coast, most jobs tend to be in the entertainment industry. Conversely, the best jobs on the East Coast are focused on finance.

Your earnings in NY vs LA?

Although there are more high-paying jobs in New York City, the cost of living is much higher here. Plus, the industry you work in is likely to have an impact on which city you choose to move to. So weighing up your potential earnings in either place is going to be a very personal consideration. Moreover, it is best to try and secure a new job before seriously considering moving to a new city.  

Recreational activities

Both cities are blessed with vibrant and richly varied nightlife scenes. While New York City is perhaps best known for its world-famous tourist attractions, Los Angeles also has a lot to offer. Both cities include numerous excellent eateries, sports venues, and shopping opportunities.

Night owl?

New York City boasts some of the most famous eateries, bars, and clubs in the whole of the United States. This is largely due to the city’s eclectic communities. No matter what you are interested in, you are sure to find it in New York City.

Night owl

However, Los Angeles is perhaps a better choice for families who like to get fit and have fun. There are dozens of excellent theme parks within a short drive from the city. In addition to beautiful beaches, nature lovers will also find forests and other green zones right on their doorstep. 

Therefore, in terms of recreational activities, the city you choose will depend on your specific needs. If you are a health enthusiast and/or have children, Los Angeles is the clear winner. However, New York City is popular among young professionals who have a love for the theater and bar hopping. 

The crime rates

New York City has a reputation for having a high crime rate, which is significantly higher than the country’s average. However, statistics show that the crime rate has been dropping steadily since the 1990s. As a result, New York City is now one of the safer cities for its size in the United States.  

And crime in LA?

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for Los Angeles. The murder rate is much higher than in New York City. The rates of assault, vandalism, and robberies are also significantly higher. So if crime is one of your main concerns, moving to New York City is likely to be the safer option

Access to Airports 

If you regularly fly for work or pleasure, having easy access to local airports is sure to be a bonus. There are two large airports in New York City, while there is another just on the edge of the city. John F. Kennedy International Airport can be found just to the east of Brooklyn, and LaGuardia Airport is in northern Queens. Newark Liberty International Airport can also be found just across the river in New Jersey.

However, New York City’s airports tend to be very crowded. Getting to and from these airports can also be a challenge, especially during rush hour. This can add a lot of time and hassle to your trip.

Access to Airports

How many airports are in LA?

Los Angeles is blessed with five airports! Plus, getting to and from the airports is generally fairly easy. Air travelers can use Los Angeles International Airport, Hollywood Burbank Airport, John Wayne Airport, Ontario International Airport, and Long Beach Airport. Los Angeles International Airport is the second largest airport in the United States and boasts an excellent range of amenities. 


The tax rates in both of these cities are higher than in most other parts of the United States. So the amount of tax you would be expected to pay needs to be calculated before you can make a budget. And remember, when checking out the tax rates, it is important to consider income tax, sales tax, and property taxes. 

But in the end…

The amount of tax you have to pay will largely depend on the home you own and your job. In both cases, you are likely to get a rather unpleasant surprise when you calculate the rates. The only slight advantage of living in NYS is that the sales tax rates in neighboring states are lower. 

Medical care 

Both cities boast an abundance of medical facilities, which are generally rated fairly highly. The main difference is that the capacity is slightly higher in New York City. Residents also have access to a variety of treatments in the city’s research centers and medical universities.

For people who live in New York City, there are around 405 people per hospital bed or 2.23 beds per 1,000 people. In Los Angeles, the figure is 448 people per hospital bed. This means that it is likely to take a little longer to receive emergency medical treatment if you live in Los Angeles.

Decided You’re Moving to NYC?

If so, we have a ton of valuable info to share with you!

You might want to confirm, What are the Most Dangerous Neighborhoods in NYC to avoid? Or How to Get a Work Permit in New York, the Best Sites to Find A Job in New York City, or even Why Are There No Walmarts in New York City?

And when polishing your professional profile for the NY job scene, we recommend checking out How to Use LinkedIn to Find a Job, plus these Best LinkedIn Headline Examples For Job Seekers. You may also want to look into LinkedIn Cold Messages: How to Reach Out About a Job in another city in 2023?

Walmart or Amazon employee? Well then, you don’t want to miss our comprehensive guides to the Walmart Transfer Policy or, even more impressive, Amazon’s Transfer Policy.

Still a little on the fence because of crime rates?

Then why not browse the 10 Most Dangerous States in the US, these 10 Most Dangerous Cities in the US, and the 10 Most Dangerous Neighborhoods in Chicago to give yourself a more accurate perspective of New York?

Ok, back to today’s US city living comparison

Final Thoughts

There are a lot of things to think about when choosing where to live. It is important to consider your needs and interests carefully to find the place that fits the bill for you and your family. You can start by making a list of the amenities that you want to have right on your doorstep. 

Making a list of the pros and cons of the two cities can also help you work out which is right for you. If you want to spend your free time sunning yourself on the beach, Los Angeles is the clear choice. However, in terms of nightlife and culture, New York City is pretty hard to beat.

Whatever you decide, good luck with your move!

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