Every single person in the world is clear about one thing- life doesn’t get more interesting than New York. Steve Karmen did not just sing ‘I love New York’ because it was a good song.

Think Times Square, Central Park, Niagara Falls and the Grand Central Terminal and mix that with New York style cheesecake, clam chowder and New York style bagel, and you will know that this is not even the tip of the iceberg of what you can expect from the state.

New York is the 27th largest and the 4th most populous state in the country. The state of New York can easily be dubbed the cultural hub of the world and as many would argue, is the birthplace of many cultural movements as well.

It has earned the name of ‘Empire State’ as a nod to its wealth and resources and the significance of its culture at a global level.

If you are planning to move to New York, you should start by knowing more about the largest cities in New York.

Top 10 Largest Cities in New York

  1. New York
  2. Islip
  3. Rome
  4. Buffalo
  5. Rochester
  6. Poughkeepsie
  7. Cheektowaga
  8. Saratoga Springs
  9. Syracuse
  10. Albany

1. New York City

NYC Moving Companies

There are two kinds of people – those who live here and love the city and those who want to live here but already love the city. New York is a lot of things – the most photographed city in the world, a centre for international diplomacy, a major influencer of politics and culture and is very often called the capital of the world.

New York City is spread out on an area of 468.19 square miles (1212.60 km2) and has a population of 8,336,817 as estimated in 2019.

The cost-of-living index of New York city is 187.2 which means that it is bizarrely higher than the national average of 100.

The economy of New York barely lacks for anything as jobs are abundant in every possible field one could ask for, be it banking, finance, trade, retailing, medical, insurance, technology and many other sectors along with theatre, arts, filmmaking and fashion.

Both NYSE and NASDAQ are based here, not to mention that New York is the home of Wall Street. A lot of the world’s largest media conglomerates and countless Fortune 500 companies are headquartered here.

One of the most prominent things about life in New York is its pace. The city is constantly on the move which has led to the term ‘New York minute’. It’s also a place of constant innovation and a dynamic life no one can really resist.

People always know about New York, no matter how much they hear or don’t hear about it; such is the prevalence and influence of this city. You would be entering an unforgettable chapter of your life once you start living in New York.

Median Home Value: $649,490
Median Rent: $2000
Median Household Income: $63,99

Also Read: Relocation to NYC City : A Complete Guide | Largest U.S. Cities by Population

2. Islip

Despite being the second largest by size and fourth largest by population, Islip is considered to be a small town with everything being a short drive away.

It’s a town located on the south shore of Long Island in Suffolk County. The Town of Islip has an unincorporated hamlet with it also called Islip. The place covers an area of 162.98 square miles (422.10 km2) and has a population of 333,758, as last estimated in 2016.

The cost-of-living index of the place is 127.8, which is quite higher than the national average of 100.

Also Read: Best Moving Companies in Long Island

The economy of Islip is primarily based on healthcare, finance, education, retail trade, social assistance, utilities, public administration and insurance.

This is also the city of quite a few vacation homes, where people come to relax and enjoy the slow pace of life, as a change from the daily hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Some of the prominent companies in Islip are CA Technologies in Islandia and NBTY and Sigma Corporation in Ronkonkoma. Islip has always been a predominantly Republican city and its governance lies in the hands of a town supervisor; a position akin to a mayor.

Median Home Price: $250,000
Median Rent: $2,500
Median Household Income: $98,387

3. Rome

Rome is located in Oneida County in New York and is in a geographically central part of the state. Rome is desirable to live in for its lower crime rate, good quality education and general pace of life.

One of the main cities of the Utica-Rome metropolitan area, the residents of Rome have nicknamed it the ‘City of American History’.

The city is spread across an area of 75.66 square miles (195.95 km2) and has a population of 32,148 as of 2019. The cost-of-living index of Rome is 79, which means that it is significantly lower than the national average of 100.

When it comes to the economy of Rome, it is largely driven by the healthcare and social assistance sector, retail trade and public administration.

Utilities and professional, scientific and technical services are also major contributors.

When it comes to making weekend plans or just chilling out after a day of work, Rome has plenty of things one can do. Let’s acknowledge the fact that the beauty of the city is admirable and is a sight for sore eyes with its rivers, lakes and hills.

You can take a walk through the Rome Sports hall of Fame or go kayaking at the Bellamy Harbour Park. There is never a bad time to enjoy the scenery of the Delta Lake State park or catch a show at the Capitol Theatre.

If you are into ice hockey, you will want to visit the J.F. Kennedy Arena and while you are at it, do not miss to pay your respects at the gravesite of Francis Bellamy, the author of the Pledge of Allegiance.

Rome is a quiet place with great amenities and very easy on the pocket. It makes for a great place to live in with a family or if you are looking to save some money.

Median Home Price: $139,373
Median Rent: $1,000
Median Household Income: $48,120

4. Buffalo

Buffalo is a city in the Erie county of New York and has often been rated high in the list of Best Places to Live in New York.

The culture here is a cross between urban and suburban and is often considered to be a great place for people with entrepreneurial insight.

The city has an area of 52.48 square miles (135.92 km2) and a population of 255,244 as estimated in 2019.

The cost-of-living index is 79.5, which makes it significantly cheaper than the national average index of 100. The city derives its name from a nearby creek called Buffalo Creek. Its economy is run by the industrial sector, light manufacturing, technology and the service industry, though the largest employer in the city is the State of New York.

Some of the other institutions in Buffalo that are a major source of employment are the United States Government, Kaleida Health, M&T Bank, General Motors and the University of Buffalo among others. Tourism also plays an important role with Niagara Falls as the main attraction.

When it comes to recreation, Buffalo has its fair share of cafes, restaurants, bars and parks. It also has over 50 public art galleries and an orchestra that is a testament to the enduring history of the city’s music scene. But everybody’s favourite part of the city is its food.

Buffalo has been called one of the ‘Top 10 Food Cities in the World’ and with good cause. The food here derives from its Sicilian, Italian, German, Polish and many other influences and is an apt rival to the New York culinary culture. Eating out would never be as interesting as in Buffalo.

Median Home Value: $171,512
Median Rent: $1,500
Median Household Income: $37,352

5. Rochester

Rochester is a one-of-a-kind city and it owes this quality to the fact that it is the third largest city in New York in terms of population. But is a close-knit community of residents imparting it a very charming small-town feel. Rochester covers an area of 37.17 square miles (96.28 km2) and has a population of 205,695 as of 2019.

The cost-of-living index of the city is 78.4, a figure much lower than the national average of 100. And this affordability is what attracts many people to try to start a life in Rochester.

This combines surprisingly well with the fact that a lot of Fortune 1000 companies are based in Rochester along with several national and regional companies.

Some of them are Carestream health, Xerox and Paychex. Entrepreneurship is encouraged in Rochester with organizations providing them with mentorship, office space and other resources.

Residents of Rochester work hard in their day to day lives and then party just as hard when they get off work. The nightlife in Rochester is concentrated in the East End District and consists of nightclubs, bars, high-end restaurants and lounges.

The city also has a fair number of parks for weekend picnics with families and hosts a number of festivals throughout the year. Despite its ‘big city with a small town’ heart, you would never lack for entertainment or opportunity in Rochester.

Median Home Value: $179,082
Median Rent: $1,000
Median Household Income: $35,590

6. Poughkeepsie

The City of Poughkeepsie in the Hudson Valley is a two-hour drive from New York city and is a beautiful place with its scenery and hiking trails.

While the City of Poughkeepsie and the neighbouring town of Poughkeepsie are commonly referred to as one place, we will be discussing the city in this section.

The City of Poughkeepsie is spread over an area of 5.72 square miles (14.81 km2) and has a population of 30,515 as of 2019.

The cost-of-living index of Poughkeepsie is 105.7 which means that it is somewhat more expensive than the national average of 100.

The city’s economy is run by the healthcare, retail, education, finance, education and the science and technology sectors. Stop & Shop, Best Buy and Rite Aid are of the prominent employers in the city among a few others.

You have plenty of options to choose from when it comes to shopping and restaurants in Poughkeepsie.

The city is also a culturally rich place with institutions like the Bardavon Opera House and the Hudson PhilHarmonic being local favourites for recreation.

It also has two public libraries for those who prefer to spend their time in a quieter way. It is a pleasant place to live and the stunning landscape is an enviable feather in the cap of the city.

Median Home Value: $364,132
Median Rent: $1,800
Median Household Income: $43,794

7. Cheektowaga

Cheektowaga is a quiet and friendly neighbourhood in the north-central part of Erie County and is the second largest Buffalo suburb.

The city comprises the village of Sloan and half of the village of Depew. Cheektowaga covers an area of 29.49 square miles (76.39 km2) and has a population of 87,018 as of 2019.

The cost-of-living index of Cheektowaga is 83.8, so it is quite lower than the national average index of 100. The jobs in this city are mainly concentrated in administration, sale, management and production.

A lot of residents from Cheektowaga work in Buffalo, owing to the short distance of 7 miles. The city provides quality education to its people while also acting as a substantial source of employment for them. The colleges here are the Villa Maria College, Empire State College and Walden Galleria.

A day of leisure in Cheektowaga would look something like some shopping at Cabela’s, Target and JCPenney and then heading to the Stiglmeier Park for a walk or a hike. If you are with family, the Sky Zone Trampoline would be a lot more fun.

You can then end the day by going for dinner at one of the barbecue restaurants in town. The main attraction of this place is the extremely affordable cost of living and the tight-knit community that is especially accommodating of families.

It is the kind of place where it is rather easy to increase your savings, making it ideal for working professionals to stay here, at least for a few years.

Median Home Price: $198,388
Median Rent: $1,000
Median Household Income: $54,191

8. Saratoga Springs

It is one of the better ideas in life to want to move to Saratoga Springs. The city is an aesthetically pleasing mixture of the urban, suburban and the rural which come with the city’s share of parks, restaurants, bars and other nightlife venues.

It is one of the best places to live in New York and is especially family-friendly due to its highly rated schools and a strong feeling of community.

The city that derives its name from the mineral springs in the area is spread across 28.87 square miles (74.78 km2) with a population of 28,212 as estimated in 2019.

The cost-of-living index of Saratoga Springs is 115.8, making it fairly higher than the national average of 100. A major source of income for Saratoga Springs is tourism, especially during the summer when the Saratoga Race Course is in play.

The city is also home to many national and international brand retailers including local boutiques making it a very sought-after fashion destination.

The city is a small but friendly place that always keeps busy. Racing season is said to get crowded and there are a few festivals throughout the year including some concerts. There are also many restaurants to choose from as well as the occasional music venue.

Median Home Value: $404,181
Median Rent: $2,000
Median Household Income: $82,816

9. Syracuse

Syracuse, the fifth most populous city in the state of New York, is a place that shares its name with a city in Sicily. The city is known for its grit, the determination of its residents and its constantly evolving nature that has bought it a long way along since its inception.

Syracuse covers an area of 25.57 square miles (66.21 km2) and has a population of 150,987 as estimated in 2019.

The cost-of-living index of Syracuse is 79, so it is more affordable than the national average index of 100. The main sources of employment in Syracuse’s economy are education, healthcare, high-tech manufacturing and the service industry.

The city has grown further in the recent years, especially the area in and around University Hill due to the rapidly growing Syracuse University and the Upstate Medical University. There are also a good number of local and state government jobs available for the residents.

People of Syracuse love their jazz as is evident by the number of jazz festivals held in a year, some of which are the Syracuse Jazz Festival, the Polish Festival and the Jazz in the Square Festival.

You could also choose to go to the Syracuse Stage which is a room for experimental theatre or pay a visit to the Syracuse Symphoria for some good music.

Syracuse is a good family-friendly place and even single people will find a lot of perks of living here.

Median Home Value: $138,379
Median Rent: $900
Median Household Income: $38,276

10. Albany

Albany is a city in the largest city of Albany county and carries a mix of the urban and suburban living for its residents. The city is famous for its architecture, culture, commerce and education.

Albany is spread across an area of 21.94 square miles (56.81 km2) and houses a population of 96,460 as estimated in 2019. The city is considered to be the economic and cultural centre of the Capital District of the state.

The economy of the city is run by the healthcare, education, government and technology sectors. The companies based in Albany providing employment to the city are AMRI Global, Clough Harbour, Trans World Entertainment and others.

Considering Albany’s location and its proximity to New York and Buffalo, it acts as a very convenient stopover for tourists and the nightlife in this city is very eclectic and diverse.

There are forums for music and theatre as well as trade shows, sporting events and community activities.

Albany is quite the exciting city to live in, with a lot of opportunities for the working professional and a chance to move to this city should not be let go off easily.

Median Home Value: $228,103
Median Rent: $1,000
Median Household Income: $48,825

What Are The Largest Cities in New York?

The cities listed above are in the descending order of their area, with New York being the largest and Albany being the tenth-largest.

By population, the largest city is still New York, but it is followed by Buffalo, Rochester, Yonkers and Syracuse, in that order.

Read Also: Best Out of State Moving Companies in the US | Moving to New York State – Relocation Guide


The State of New York offers a dynamic life to any person and it is always an exciting prospect to be able to live here. Do assess objectively before making a decision about the opportunities you would be getting here, the cost of living and the kind of place you are seeking to live in.

While New York has something for everyone, it is up to you to choose and choose wisely. That being said, it makes us happy to have been able to help you out for such an exciting new phase of your life. We hope to continue being of such use.

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