Delightful views, miles of coastline, and unending open positions, California would be the rare few states for which you could leave New York behind. If you’re more of a summer person who loves the sun, moving away from the cold and frigid winters of New York, would be like a blessing in disguise. At the point when you move from The Empire State to the Golden State, be ready for a few lifestyle and social contrasts. So here are a few pointers to give you a 101 on everything to know about moving from New York to California.

Things To Know Before Moving to California from New York


While California’s climate changes from city to city, the vast majority of the state has a Mediterranean-like environment. The weather can be particularly engaging for New Yorkers who are acclimated with tempestuous winters and sweltering and damp summers. The summers are dry and warm, while the winters are mellow, with little snowfall besides in sloping areas of the state. Highs are regularly lower than in New York, which is normally in the 70°F range rather than the 80°F range.

Then, winters in California are hotter, and frigid temperatures are uncommon, while New York has normal lows in the high 20s. New York commonly has more downpour than California and is significantly less bright. On, New York City scores just a 60 on the Comfort Index, while Los Angeles scores a 87 and San Diego a 85. You may have the option to jettison a portion of your colder time of year gear before your turn. While California is an enormous state mirroring many environments, it will undoubtedly be quite hotter than life in New York, so you can give or sell a decent bit of your winter closet.

With regards to catastrophic events, New York State at times experiences winter storms, dry spells, typhoons, cyclones, and serious summer storms. Similarly, California is more defenseless against seismic tremors, out of control fires, flooding, and waves.

Population Profile

New York has the largest Puerto Rican and Dominican population in the US. Being the third most populous state in the nation, with a population of 19,453,561, The inhabitants of New York are mostly white (55.9%), followed by 14.3% black, 8.2% Asian and 7.4% of population belonging to other races. Hispanics and Latinos of all races make up around 18.9% of the entire population. On the other hand, no single ethnic group forms the absolute majority of California’s population, making it a minority-majority state. With the highest population of 39,512,223 in the US, California has 37.5% whites, 5.5% blacks or African – American and 14.1% Asians as its main inhabitants. As compared to New York, Hispanics and Latinos of all races here make up 38.9% of the population.

Speaking of language, while English remains the predominant language in both states, Spanish is the second most spoken language in California. Research has shown that nearly 43% of California residents prefer to speak a language other than English at home, a proportion far higher than any other state in the nation.

While New York is considered to be a melting pot of cultures with its diversified persona, California is more traditional in its approach as is reflected in its architecture and cuisine. If New York boasts about its pizza, In-N-Out burger has California’s back too.


Both the states in the nation, be it New York or California, have a well-developed infrastructure when it comes to education. New York’s statewide public university system is the State University of New York (SUNY), which includes some of the top-ranked schools such as University at Buffalo, Binghamton University, and Stony Brook University. New York is also home to Columbia University, the fifth oldest university in the country and the oldest in New York State. From medical science to architecture, diverse career options are available for all.

While New York’s public education system ranks among the top ten in the nation, a variety of institutions are also found in California. The educational system in California consists of public, NPS, and private schools as well as some well-established Universities including the public University of California, California State University, CalArts institute and California Community Colleges systems. The Golden state is also home to many religious and special-purpose institutions. This opens up many unique educational and entertainment opportunities for the inhabitants. From music, art to film schools, you have a wide range of options to choose from.

Cost of Living

Along with Los Angeles and Silicon Valley, higher cost of living is something you may tend to associate with California. Obviously, there are a few places that only take into account the rich and well-off in California; but in general, the average cost for basic items in the Golden State is in no way as high that in New York.

Lodging in California isn’t the solitary thing that is more reasonable than New York, but garments, goods, utilities, and public transportation are altogether more affordable than the ones in The Empire State. The average monthly electricity bill for California is around $101.49, as compared to New York’s $103.22. While the average monthly water and internet bills for the two states is similar at $70 and $60 respectively, a significant difference can be seen in the natural gas rates. In New York, where the average monthly gas bill is around $76.60, the same in California is around $62.51, giving you access to a better standard of living.

See also: 10 Cheap States To Move To: The Lowest Cost Of Living States

Purchasing A House

By and large, buying power is about 12% lower in New York City than in Los Angeles and about 25% lower in New York City than in San Diego, as per A ton of this distinction is because of contrasts in the expense of land. In New York, you will discover an assortment of kinds of lodging accessible, yet in New York City, less individuals live in single unit lodging than in metro regions like Los Angeles. The average median home value in New York is around $461,030, while the same in California is around $557,388.

Leasing A House

While the average lease for a house in New York is around $2,053/month according to neighborhoodscout, the same in California is around $2,220. But let’s not forget this rate differs from area to area in the entire state. For example, San Gabriel situated on the east of Los Angeles has a general middle rental cost of $1,798. This implies that in the event that you were living in a tiny room in New York, you can without much of a stretch locate a two-room place in California at a similar cost. Getting a little space to yourself comes as a bonus when shifting to California.

Tax Rates

In New York, the base sales tax is usually 4%, barring some commodities which have an additional tax of their own. However, after county level taxes are added in, New York City’s overall sales tax comes up to 8.875%. In California, joint state and neighborhood level tax charges range from a low of 7.75% to a high of 9.75% in Long Beach, Los Angeles, and Oakland, so you may wind up paying pretty much more than you do in New York.

New York’s top peripheral annual assessment rate is 8.82%, making it the eighth most elevated in the country, as per California, notwithstanding, has the most noteworthy negligible rate in the country, at 13.3%. Obviously, your real annual assessment rate will be lower in the two spots – these are just the top minimal rates. Overall, an individual living in Los Angeles making $100,000 will pay about $650 more every year in state taxes than their New York City partner.

See also: 7 States With Lowest Taxes

Crime Rates

Similar to the population trends with New York being at a lower stance as compared to California, the crime rates seem to follow. A division between violent crimes and property crimes shows the breakdown of California’s crime rate to be 4.41% and 23.31% respectively, taking the total crime rate per 1,000 residents to around 27.72 %. This is significantly higher when compared to New York whose total crime rate stands at 17.32%, with 3.59% accounting for violent crimes and 13.73% accounting to property crimes, according to

Economy And Employment Opportunities

With the third highest GDP trends in the nation, New York is considered as a booming hub for industries. From manufacturing, agriculture, healthcare and retail to real estate, a vast array of industries provide employment in The Empire State. On similar grounds, California’s economy incorporates an assortment of businesses including horticulture, the travel industry, films, and government, yet the genuine lift in the state’s economy has been in the tech business.

Silicon Valley, which is situated in the southern segment of the Bay Area, is home to the greatest tech organizations on the planet including Apple, Google, ebay, Facebook, Tesla, and a lot more. To add to that, it has also given a huge number of work freedoms to inhabitants As of December 2020, the unemployment rate in New York (8.2%) was still lower than that of California overall (9.0%). While the average monthly net salary in New York is $6,110.27, it is around $4,500 in California, as per

Getting Around in California

Easy commuting across places is a bonus most people look for while deciding a place to move to. While the public transportation system of New York has been ideal for many in terms of its connectivity, the leisure roads that California offers is something to look out for. Similar to that of New York, California too has a well organised network of transportation across different modes.

  • By road: Roadways is the most popular mode of transportation in California. The vast terrain is extensively connected by a system of highways, freeways and expressways. While you may be more used to depending on public transit in New York, you’ll see that more individuals own and drive vehicles in California over taking public travel. As per Politico, New Yorkers experience the longest drive times in the country, with a normal of 6 hours and 18 minutes spent getting to and from work every week.

    Regardless of the huge traffic, drive times in the significant metro zones of California are superior to those on the East Coast. If you are someone who is all about fitness, California has something in store for you in the form of bike routes. Few cities in the California like LA and San Francisco, have designated bike routes for commuters. Apart from that, local transit bus services are available in every city from LA to Alpine County.
  • Railways: The public transit system in New York serves as an ideal for many across the country. If you were based in New York City, then you most probably were dependent on the local rail and bus system run by the Metropolitan Transportation authority, or MTA. Its tram is the longest and has the most lines, with 24 lines to Los Angeles Metro’s six. New York’s public vehicle is more smoothed out and incorporated than you will discover in quite a bit of California, and it runs day in and day out.

    But when compared to California, one will find the expenses to be marginally lower. The Los Angeles Metro, for example, rings in at about $1.50 a ride to MTA’s $2.50. Although more predominantly known for its car culture, a number of local and regional passenger rail systems can still be found in California. These are accessible in different cities including San Francisco, San Diego and Sacramento.
  • Airways: The busiest airport system in the United States is in the New York metropolitan area. Along with that, it is also the most frequently used port of entry and departure for international flights. John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), the Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) and LaGuardia Airport (LGA), are the main airports in the state. In California, Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and San Francisco International Airport (SFO) are major hubs managing both international and transcontinental traffic.
  • Ferries: The different cities of California are accessible even through waterways. Especially in the Bay area, a number of ferry services take commuters across San Francisco Bay to other networks in the Bay Area. You can also access the ferry service for commuting from San Diego to Coronado. In New York, ferries are mainly accessible in NYC. Hornblower is the company that operates the NYC Ferry. It connects the commuters through Brooklyn, Manhattan, Bronx and Queens along the East River.

    All in all, the average commute for California residents is around 6.3 minutes shorter than it is for residents of New York, according to, which gives you a little bonus time to use elsewhere.

See also: Moving to California – Relocation Guide

Top Cities To Move To

Let’s face it, not many states have more to bring to the table than California. Miss the Big Apple? The significant urban areas of California will give you the metropolitan vibe you’re searching for. Need woodlands and a cool climate? Northern California has that for you. Need bright days and different culture? You’ll see that in Southern California. These are only probably few of the best offers of the state.

1. Los Angeles

On the off chance that you can manage the cost of the greater expense of lodging, Los Angeles is an area of interest in California. If you are someone who is too used to the city life in New York and would not want to leave behind its hustle and bustle, then LA would be a good choice for you in California. The vigorous occupation market and nearness to the Pacific make this a fantasy objective for some. LA is likewise the point of convergence for an assortment of explorable territories. The thruway framework interfaces you to seashores like Santa Monica, timberlands and mountains for climbing trails, and deserts like the Coachella valley whenever you need an escape from downtown LA. All in all, though a little expensive, life in LA would make you miss NYC a little less maybe.

  • Median home value: $694,583
  • Average market rent: $2,011/month

See also: Moving to Los Angeles

2. Irvine

If you can bear the cost of it, Irvine is quite possibly the most encouraging spot in California to call home. Settled decisively in Orange County, it’s perhaps the most secure city in the United States, and the remarkable instruction framework makes it an incredible spot for families with school-aged kids. Irvine likewise has sufficient open positions. Over 33% of the world’s Fortune 500 organizations have their headquarters in Irvine, and the work market is consistent, particularly with regards to specific positions in the tech area. Notwithstanding this, Irvine is perceived as perhaps the greenest city in America because of its upright way to deal with metropolitan arranging.

  • Median home value: $892,542
  • Average market rent: $3,475/month

3. San Diego

San Diego, California holds its position as the fifth most attractive spot to live in California. The delightful sea shores, reliably calm environment and resourceful occupation market make San Diego a fascination for the individuals who can manage the cost of it. A significant expense of living contends with work openings. The individuals who can find some kind of harmony in the expense of lodging and pay will discover San Diego an almost ideal spot to live. Like LA, San Diego also offers a similar experience of the bustling city life in New York.

  • Median home value: $649,617
  • Average market rent: $2,624/month

See also: Moving to San Diego

FAQs about Moving from New York to California

How Much Does It Cost To Move From New York To California?

There are a lot of factors that determine the total cost of moving from New York to California. Distance, route, timing of the move are just some of them.

Keeping all of this in mind, the average cost of moving from New York to California would be somewhere between $2,800 to $6,500. Of course, this rate would also differ from company to company or from the fact that you chose a professional moving company for the entire process or just hire a truck. Either ways, it is always better to get a few estimates before deciding on one.

Related: Best Cross Country Movers for your NY to CA Relocation

How Can I Move From New York To California?

Catching a flight to the city you’re moving to in California would definitely be the quickest way of moving to The Golden State. It might not necessarily be cost effective, but it saves you a lot of time and effort. At the same time, you can hit the road and drive down if you have your own vehicle, rent a car, or even catch a bus.

While you’re at it, we would definitely suggest you hire a full-service mover to safely get your belongings from New York to California. Allowing an expert to accomplish the work saves you bunches of time, energy, mishaps and unwanted migraines all along. Make sure you finalize a long distance mover at least a month in advance.

See also: Top-Rated Movers in NYC

How Long Does It Take To Roadtrip From New York To California?

The distance between the two states is around 3,000 miles. Depending on how you decide to plan your trip, it may take around 42 to 45 hours for you to reach the Golden State from New York. Although, that duration could be longer depending on which part of New York you’re leaving from, which part of California you’re driving to and how many breaks you take on your road trip.

Is It Better To Live In California or New York?

Even though New York is popularly considered to be the busiest hub in the country with its loud, fast paced routine life, it is not quite an impossible task to find tranquil spots. The best peaceful corners are indeed hidden inside the busiest pieces of the city. From mystery green spaces like Greenacre Park to the serene chamber of Ford Foundation, it has something to offer to everyone.
Moving ceaselessly from New York City doesn’t mean you need to forfeit on culture, food or diversion. California has a wide assortment of exercises to keep you occupied – from open air adventuring to metropolitan encounters to top notch feasting.

California’s sea shores are consistently well known for swimming, surfing, beachcombing, and tanning, while wine country in the northern part of the state draws scores of guests every year. Attractions like Disneyland and Legoland are famous hubs for families and the youth. Yosemite National Park, the Sierra Nevada Mountains, and many state parks give bountiful space to the nature sweetheart to investigate. In the event that remaining inside is more your thing, California metro territories brag exhibition halls, aquariums, zoos, and that’s just the beginning.

What is it like to move from New York to California?

Moving from New York to California will give you a new perspective on life. Endlessly sunny days, beaches all year round, palm trees, you’ll also get to meet people who are much more laid back and relaxed than New Yorkers. Plus, the wealth of experiences that come along with living in San Diego County render any other region in the world moot because you can explore mountains or deserts or oceans without ever having to set foot outside of your locality.

Is it cheaper to live in California than New York?

In New York, the cost of living is 27.9% more than in Los Angeles. To have the same standard of living, you would need to earn close to $75k.

What states are New Yorkers moving to?

During the pandemic, more New Yorkers moved to New Jersey, LA, and Chicago compared to Florida.

Can you drive from New York to California?

Driving from New York to California includes crossing ten states, 45 hours of drive that spans 2900 miles. It is indeed one hell of a road trip.

Which city is better, LA or NYC?

There are more high-paying jobs in New York City than in Los Angeles, but the cost of living is also higher in NYC than in LA. It all depends on what you are looking for. If you’re techy, Los Angeles may be a better option. Investment banking professionals have better prospects in NYC because there are ample amount of jobs available for them.

How much does it cost to move a pod from New York to California?

Below are the average costs of moving a 3 bedroom household from New York to California using different types of moving services:

  • Truck Rental: $2,700
  • Moving Container/Pods: $3,600
  • Full-Service Movers: $5,000

How long is a train ride from New York to California?

One of the fastest Amtrak trains takes around 67 hours and 20 minutes to reach NYC to California.

How much does it cost to ship a car from NYC to California?

According to our study, the average cost of shipping a vehicle from New York to California is between $850 and $1,600.


Let’s face it, we are talking about the country’s 2 powerhouses, each with their own sets of pros. So at the end of the day, it boils down to which of these states ticks all the (or most) boxes for you personally.

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