New York, known as the ‘Empire State’, is embellished with extravagant infrastructure, history, a diverse culture, and home to a variety of sports franchises. If you are a sports fanatic, you will quite likely be drawn towards New Yorks’ two Major League Baseball teams, the New York Yankees and the New York Mets. Or the National Basketball Association teams, the New York Knicks and the Brooklyn Nets if that’s your sport of choice.

Then of course, the irresistible appeal of Central Park and the Statue of Liberty cannot be ignored when talking about the state of New York. But if you ever decide to relocate here, you will require more than just superficial facts. There are many practical aspects of living here that you should be familiar with. Luckily for you, our detailed article will provide all the necessary details to help you to plan if you’re considering moving to New York state.

What Should I Know Before Moving To New York State

The consensus states that New York is the 27th largest state housing more than 20 million people, making it the fourth most populous state in the country situated in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions.

The New York metropolitan area holds about two-thirds of the state’s population. This populous area includes New York City, Long Island, and mid and lower Hudson Valley in New York State.

New York City is regarded as one of America’s densely populous cities and recognized as America’s predominant immigration portal. That explains New York’s diverse and vibrant culture.

If you ever need a break by taking a short tour, New York will not disappoint. Times Square, Niagara Falls, Central Park and The Statue of Liberty showcase New York’s uniqueness. The experience of being in Times Square is different altogether. To be in one of the major hubs of the world’s entertainment industry is overwhelming. Also, if you happen to be at 90 Bedford Street at the corner of Grove Street, visit the famous Friends apartment building to please your Friends fandom.

You should know that New York’s geographical terrain is a feast for one’s eyes. The Adirondacks in the northeast, the Catskills in the southern part, and the Appalachian Mountains constitute the three major mountain ranges of the state which are an attraction to many hikers who love a challenging trail.

Rivers further promote the beauty of New York. The famously known Hudson River commences from the Adirondack mountain range of Upstate New York and narrows down between Jersey City and New York City. The East River separates Manhattan Island on the Eastend from Brooklyn and Queens.

Fun fact: New York State was formerly glacial, the melting of the glacier resulted in Niagara Falls – New York’s famous tourist attraction.

Crime Rate In New York State

No matter how prestigious a place might be, there is always going to be some amount of crime in it. And crime is undoubtedly a necessary factor to consider when you are researching a new neighbourhood. According to NeighborhoodScout, New York has a violent crime rate of 5.31 per 1000 residents. Simply put, your chances of being a victim of a violent crime is 1 in 188 people. For property crimes, the crime rate is 16 per 1000 residents. That means the probability of you being the victim of such crimes is 1 in 62 people.

New York State Weather

If warm humid summers and cold, wet winters are your thing, then you will certainly enjoy New York’s weather. You will find warm summers and long consistent cold wet winters with heavy snowfall in upstate New York. Downstate usually experience warm, humid summers and wet, cold winters that are comparatively milder than upstate due to its geographical terrain.

The state will have temperatures between 70 °F(21.1°C) to 85 °F (29.4°C) on a bright summer day. Winters are the coldest and freezing temperature is generally below zero for almost 3 consecutive months in upstate New York. These temperatures vary between 18-23 °F(−7 to −5°C) and the nights are coldest with temperatures between −2 and 4 °F (−18 to −15°C).

However, Hudson Valley, Central New York, and the Catskills have moderate temperatures 30–35 °F (−1 to 1 °C) compared to upstate. They are not significantly different but are bearable to withstand. On the contrary, nights are chilly but lenient. So get your favourite blanket and a hot mug of coffee ready. The average yearly precipitation is around 46″ (1140 mm) and the winter snowfall is around 25″ (635mm).

Although, you should know that New York is susceptible to many tornadoes, thunderstorms, snowstorms and hurricanes during the summer. At least ten tornadoes on average hit the state with a severe one once in five years, which hampers lifestyle.

How Expensive Is It To Live In New York State

Before planning further, it is necessary to analyse the cost of living of the city of your dreams. Check your budget first and then plan your move by making a thorough study of the rent and cost of utilities.

Cost Of Living In New York State

According to BestPlaces, the cost-of-living index of New York state is 120, which is costlier than the US average. If that suits you, then be willing to pay $3,850 as state tax with $2,492 as a local tax. Your income tax will be around $21,794 whereas your sales and property tax would be $1,669 and $2,192. With an addition of a $21 fuel tax, the estimated tax burden will be around $25,676, according to SmartAsset.

Essentials like a loaf of bread will cost you $4.27 and a gallon of milk will be $2.49. If you are looking to add some protein and potassium to your breakfast, a carton of eggs will cost $2.32 and a bunch of bananas will be around $4.30. A hamburger would be $5.43 if you fancy one at any particular time.

Buying A House

According to the New York State Association of Realtors, the median home value was $370,000 in April 2021. This marks a 42.3% rise since April 2020 ($260,000). So we would recommend that you always make a note of the state’s price changes as they tend to vary month after month.

Renting A House

Numbeo has displayed a wide range of apartments for rent with their present-day pricing. For a one-bedroom apartment within city limits, you will have to pay $3,071 per month whereas outside the centre, the price is around $1,995. If you are looking for something bigger, a three-bedroom apartment will cost $6,278 within the centre. However, outside the city, you will get a three-bedroom for $3,400 every month.

Utility Bills

Your basic utilities like electricity, water, and cooling will cost you around $150 per month. You will need to connect to the internet for various reasons and for a decent plan (more than 60 Mbps, unlimited data ), you will need to shell out $66 every month, according to Numbeo’s statistics.

Local transportation for a one-way ticket will be $2.75 whereas the monthly pass is $130. The starting fare for a taxi is $3 and per kilometre, it is $1.86. Keeping the taxi waiting will cost you $30 per hour because gasoline is around 298.3 cents per gallon as stated by the New York state government website.

See Also: The Most Expensive States to Live in

New York State Economy And Employment Opportunities

The state of New York has one of the nation’s biggest economies. In 2019, its gross domestic product (GDP) of $US1.7 trillion made New York the third most highest-ranking state behind California and Texas. New York City and the New York metropolitan area keeps the economy running. If you head towards Manhattan, you will find finance, banking and communication as the dominant sectors. You will also recognize the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on Wall Street. Manhattan is considered to be America’s largest office market with 500 million square feet of office area.

The business sector does not only run the economy, the state also runs its wheels on the manufacturing sector that includes, printing publishing, costume production and railroad rolling stock. Other industries that deal in the production of ceramics and glass, nanotechnology, microchips and photographic gear are prominent as well. The agricultural domain comprises dairy products, cattle, vegetables and apples as their main output.


All decisions on primary, middle and secondary level education are supervised by the University of the State of New York (USNY), the Board of Regents and its administrative domain, the New York State Education Department. If education is what you want, the state has a selection of over 240 universities and colleges to choose from.

Getting Around New York State

Air Travel

Air travel is important and the state of New York has a plethora of airports. One of New York’s primary airports is the John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) based in Queens. It is ranked as the 20th busiest airport in the world and the 6th busiest in the nation and known as the main gateway for international commutes. The state’s other airports that cater to domestic international flights are LaGuardia Airport (LGA) and Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR).

Rail Travel

It is without doubt, the state of New York has one of America’s well-built, strategically networked railroad systems commuting passengers from numerous other states to their destination. Metro-North Railroad’s train service makes use of Grand Central Terminal, which is the world’s largest terminal. Similarly, Penn Station is the primary terminal for Amtrak and Long Island Railroad services.

Road Travel

The New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) oversees 31 Interstate Highways, some of which are partially or entirely in the state of New York. These Interstate Highways (roughly 2692 km of road) network 19 percent of New York’s vehicle travel.

New York State Route 17 ( NY 17) is the state’s main route that covers 397 miles through the Southern and Downstate tiers of New York. To date, this makes it the state’s longest route.


Travelling by bus is a great way to save fuel and reduce your carbon footprint. What better way to enjoy New York’s glory than a bus ride. The state of New York has a variety of buses traversing through many major cities. And major commercial bus lines like Greyhound and Megabus provide quality comfort in your ride, all for a cheap fare. Greyhound charges $16 for a one way trip whereas Megabus fares start as low as $1.


If you prefer taking a ferry than driving, then the state of New York has an ample amount of vehicles travelling across the major cities. It is cheap for an average commuter and it is a luxury for an average tourist. You can get a thorough look of The Statue Of Liberty in a ferry rather than a car drive.

If you are an average commuter who wants to get to work on time, try the NYC ferry. This ferry travels along the East River between Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx. Tickets start at $2.75 for a one way ticket and $121 for a 30-day pass. Children under 3 feet ride free.

The NY Waterway is a better option to travel between Manhattan and New Jersey. It will save you time and energy more than the NJ transit bus. Also known as the Hudson River Ferry, tickets start at 9$ for adults, $6 for kids and $8 for seniors or the disabled. A 30-day pass will cost $279 and a student pass will be $226.

Also Read: New York DMV Change of Address

Best Cities To Live In New York State

1. Ithaca

With a population of 30,569, this city is situated on the hillside surrounded by Cayuga Lake, one of New York’s Finger Lakes. Ithaca is regarded as an education hub. So, if you are going to New York solely for education then move to Ithaca. Most of the city’s residents have a bachelor’s degree or higher. Cornell University, an Ivy league school, is home to over 20,000 students all from or outside the city.

Ithaca College is a private liberal arts institution that has 7,000 students. Also, Tompkins Cortland Community College is within the area of these colleges, thus contributing to the college town ambience. To live in Ithaca, you will need approximately $34,424 per month, but that is not a problem as all kinds of jobs are easily available, especially work from home. However, the crime rate is 14% above the national average, but is comparatively safer than other New York cities.

  • Median Home Value: $239,100
  • Median Rent: $1,203
  • Unemployment Rate: 4.8%

2. Utica

Utica is a quaint city known for its vibrant community and said to make the best croissants outside of Paris. Located in Mohawk Valley, it is New York’s tenth most populous city with a population of 60,320. Utica is rich in history and art as well. The famous Erie Canal Village, Gelston Castle Estate and Fort Stanwix National Monument are some of the few sites you should visit. If you are all about aesthetics and a lover of the arts, Kirkland Art Center, Tarat Studio, and Rome Art and Community Center will be your space. People earn a median income of $37,760 and the crime rate is lower compared to other New York cities.

  • Median Home Value: $95,900
  • Median Rent: $725
  • Unemployment Rate: 8.2%

3. Albany

We now come to New York’s capital, Albany. You can find the capital 150 miles north of New York City on the western tier of the Hudson river. Unlike other cities, Albany has less crowd and the standard of living is not expensive compared to other metropolitan cities, according to US News. Downtown is filled with small startups, churches and galleries. It sort of emotes a warm, fuzzy environment in the midst of bustling activity. If you want to rekindle your love for ice skating, the Empire Skate Plaza will make sure you have a surreal experience. The people love hockey as well. So you are in luck if ice skating and ice hockey are your niches.

  • Median Home Value: $204,250
  • Median Rent: $983
  • Unemployment Rate: 3.7%

4. New York City

Home to the Times Square, Rockefeller Center and the Empire State Building among many other globally recognized sites and structures. For those in the financial sector looking to take their career to the next level, it doesn’t get any better than NYC. Both NASDAQ and the New York Stock Exchange are based out of the city, only further reinforcing why NYC is often dubbed as the global financial capital. Opportunities are aplenty even for those in the tech industry

Arts enthusiasts will feel right at home in this fast paced city with New York City Ballet, New York Philharmonic and the Lincoln Center being just a few of the many places that lead the way.

Don’t forget to treat yourself to some scrumptious New York style pizza and cheesecakes. If you don’t mind the constant hustle and bustle then moving to NYC would be right for you. Especially if you can manage the marvellous yet crammed up city’s exorbitant expenses.

  • Median Home Value: $364,328
  • Median Rent: $2,595
  • Unemployment Rate: 8.2%

Also See: Moving To New York City | 10 Largest Cities In New York

Is The State Of New York A Good Place To Live?

Overall, the state is a decent place to settle provided you have the budget to deal with the rising inflation. The metropolitan area is always crowded, so do not be surprised even when you see large crowds at odd timings. The people are generally friendly considering that they always have work in their mind, but you can always delight in the beauty of the upstate scenery if life wears you down. New York’s transportation system is excellent, disciplined and will get you from place to place in no time. If you can cope with all of this, then yes, the state of New York is a good place to live and you can get started on your planning.

Recommended Useful Resources