17 Pros and Cons of Living in New York City

An aerial photo of NYC showing a ton of buildings

New York City is one of the fastest-growing cities in America, thanks to its unique prospects. According to recent census numbers, the current population of New York City is well over eight million.

While the fast growth may signal that living in NYC is an attractive prospect, moving to the city comes with its pros and cons. If you’re considering a move to NYC, you’re reading the perfect guide.

This piece will give an unbiased description of the advantages and disadvantages of living in NYC. Let’s go!

9 Pros of Living in NYC 

There are plenty of advantages to living in New York. While you might already have an idea of what NYC can offer, there are other pros to living in this city that might surprise you.

1. Job Opportunities

For people searching for a job in America, one of the best cities to do that is NYC. New York is home to diverse job opportunities that cut across different industries. The best part is there are opportunities for you regardless of whether you have a degree.

Recent official numbers show more than a million businesses operating in The Big Apple. Of these businesses, more than sixty are Fortune 500 companies.

Each one of these companies has its respective area of expertise and services on offer to its clients. New York City offers the highest chances of landing a well-paying job if you already have a formal education.

Even without a formal education, New York’s burgeoning population means there’s plenty of work for drivers, construction workers, technicians, and many more. If you’ve got a skill, there’s a job for you in NYC.

2. Different Food Options

There’s no way to discuss the pros and cons of living in NYC without mentioning the food. In NYC, regardless of your diet, you’re going to enjoy good food.

NYC boasts hundreds, if not thousands, of food spots for residents to enjoy. These food locations start as small spots, but with time, they grow into full-scale restaurants.

One of the pros of the food situation in NYC is you don’t need to travel far distances to get meals. It’s either the restaurant is close to your home, or they have an active delivery service.

In terms of food quality, restaurants in NYC maintain excellent quality and deliver delicious dishes. In NYC alone, there are about 69 restaurants with a star rating from Michelin.

Another great feature of food in NYC is the diversity. Each of these restaurants tries as much as possible to satisfy customers’ needs with different taste palettes. It means food enthusiasts can try out a variety of meals from other cultures.

3. Social Lifestyle

The phrase “NYC never sleeps” describes the social life to expect in the city. There’s always a party or a social event happening in New York. If you love parties with loud music and clubhouses, there are many fine establishments for you to try.

NYC gives you loads of opportunities if you want a different type of social life — say networking with people. NYC is home to many celebrities and successful business people. If you fancy running into any of your favorite celebs, New York is the place to live.

Home to Wall Street, New York is a financial hub. This reputation means it plays host to several networking events, seminars, and trade shows.

4. Safe Environment

When considering the pros and cons of living in NYC, safety is a key talking point. Due to the size and vibrancy of the city, it’s easy to assume New York isn’t safe.

But surprisingly, NYC is one of the largest cities in America that ensures the safety of its citizens. Like any other metropolis, New York City is home to its share of criminal elements. However, the state police do a fine job of keeping a handle on the situation.

Because the city hardly sleeps, you can move around safely at any time, including the early hours of the morning. And in dire situations, emergency services in NYC respond quickly.

5. Historical and Art Exposure

NYC is a city that wears many colors. While it can be noisy with too much crowd, New York can also be a city to learn a lot about deep history.

The arrangement and shapes of the buildings in the town already depict history and culture. That’s why many people refer to NYC as the world’s cultural capital.

If you’re a big fan of history and art, moving to NYC is a wise decision. There are more than 80 museums to check out in the city. Each one of these museums has different historical pieces, info, and displays.

Some people prefer to experience the rich cultural history of the world through the pages of a book. If you’re on this bandwagon, NYC can satisfy this need.

New York is home to many beautiful and well-equipped libraries. You can get all the art and cultural exposure you want the old-fashioned way — through these libraries by thumbing through a book.

6. Great Transportation Network

A photo of the NYC subway, blurred because its moving fast. On the left side is a busy street with cars, the sunset is seen in the distance

To move around in New York, you don’t necessarily need a car. Depending on your orientation, the transportation system can be one of the pros or cons of living in NYC.

If you like driving yourself to destinations, NYC’s transportation network is a con. Thanks to the extensive road networks, driving in New York can be confusing at first. Plus, you’ll have to get up to speed with driving in the city while dealing with traffic jams.

On the other hand, NYC offers varied transportation options, including taxis, ferries, biking, and trains. Depending on the distance to your destination, you can choose any one of the available options.

Using the public transport network in NYC helps people manage money better. There’s no need for car repairs, insurance, and other costs of car maintenance.

In New York, you don’t always have to resort to public transportation. Ride-hailing services like Uber can come to the rescue at any point in time.

7. High Salaries

Earlier, we mentioned the abundance of job opportunities. In the grand scheme, the availability of jobs is one thing, the salary on offer is another thing.

There are cities where employees are not properly valued and don’t get the right remuneration at their jobs. New York is not one such city. You may even earn higher than your counterparts in similar job positions elsewhere within the country.

For instance, let’s assume you work as a marketing manager in New York City. As a marketing manager in NYC, the salary you’ll earn is about 9% percent more than the national average.

8. Diversity

NYC is a place with collaboration opportunities for companies and businesses alike. It’s a hotspot for artistic expressions and fashion experts.

The buzzing lifestyle and character of NYC attract inhabitants from different cultures and walks of life. It’s a situation that guarantees diversity.

One of the advantages of diversity is not feeling left out. Irrespective of what you wear and do, you’ll see someone who dresses the same way.

Also, since NYC is the most diverse town in America, you can easily meet someone of similar cultural persuasions. It’s easy to feel at home in New York City. You’ll blend right in!

9. Convenient Lifestyle

While you’re researching the pros and cons of living in NYC, one thing you should look out for is convenience. You don’t want to relocate to a place that will consistently be a source of stress.

While there is a level of hustle to New York City, convenience is easily achievable. You don’t need to travel far distances to buy groceries, food, and other vital necessities. Furthermore, there’s rarely a product or service that’s not readily available within easy reach.

8 Cons of Living in NYC

While New York City may seem perfect from what we’ve listed so far, it does have its downsides to consider.

10. Highly Competitive

While there are many job opportunities in NYC, the supply of human resources in New York City is considerable. The level of competition is one of the cons of living in New York.

NYC is home to plenty of young, vibrant, highly-skilled, employable persons. As much as millions of companies are looking to hire people, they are spoiled for choice.

Consequently, businesses have the liberty to devise different selection strategies to find the best candidate for an opening. To get ahead of the competition, you’ll need experience, a verifiable portfolio, and extra certifications in your chosen niche.

11. The Hustle and Bustle

A picture of a very busy NYC street filled with people and taxis. It is blurry to imply movement.

New York City is the city that never sleeps. It’s a reputation that means things in New York operate at a fast pace. If you’re the type that prefers an easy-going lifestyle, New York City may not be the city for you.

Often, working in New York City will mean you have to wake up early and get to sleep late. A considerable percentage of the workforce in New York put in more than 40 hours every week.

While this is one of the downsides to living in NYC, the remuneration is well worth it. Compared to the rest of the country, the salary range in NYC is on the higher end of the spectrum.

12. Overcrowded

Imagine a room designed for two people but now has to serve as a home for ten persons. In this scenario, the room is filled beyond its capacity.

You can liken the situation above to living in NYC. There are way too many people visiting, working, and living in New York City.

While the sheer number of people and businesses in the city is why living in NYC has many pros, it also comes with cons. Thanks to the huge population numbers, you can expect a lot of noise during the day and even at night.

Likewise, whether you’re going to work in the morning or returning at night, there’ll be loads of people on the road. More often than not, the massive number of road users often leads to traffic.

13. Explosive Rent Prices

If you’re looking up the pros and cons of living in NYC, we can guess you have questions about the rent. You don’t want to relocate to NYC and not have a place to lay your head.

Before you start house hunting, let’s break it to you that renting costs in NYC are not too affordable. You may need to cough out thousands of dollars to get yourself a befitting space.

14. High Living Costs

According to a report from the BBC, NYC occupies the seventh spot on the list of most expensive cities globally. The way you live and spend money in another city will change significantly when you move to NYC.

Apart from rent, the cost of buying food items, groceries, and entertainment is on the high side.

If you need the expertise of repair technicians to fix appliances in your home, you’ll have to pay more. From health expenses to education and fun, the higher cost of living in NYC spreads across all facets of life.

15. Requires Patience

While people may be the major pros of living in NYC, they can also be cons. Because residents in New York City are always on the go, they may not show as much empathy and togetherness as people in other cities.

At first glance, it may appear the city has an uncaring exterior. But, underneath all of the hustle and bustle, New Yorkers can be super helpful.

The hasty reaction of New Yorkers can seem super weird at first. However, with patience and emotional intelligence, you may even start to enjoy the tough love on offer.

16. Dirtiness

A picture of a degrading building, covered in colorful graffiti

While it’s one of the biggest commercial cities in America, NYC is also one of the dirtiest. According to a news report, NYC was the dirtiest city in America in 2018. The reason for the dirt situation is the presence of a large population with different lifestyles.

17. The Weather Can Be Horrible

Our list of pros and cons of living in New York City is not complete without discussing the state of the weather. The weather in NYC is unpredictable at best and downright horrible at worst.

For instance, it’s not uncommon to open your windows at 9 am and be greeted by a gloomy sky. It may look like the sun is about to set. Within a few minutes, that gloomy sky can turn into a rainy sky.

Much like a teenager dealing with hormones, the weather in The Big Apple can be challenging to predict. You may have clear, calm skies in the morning, a gloomy afternoon, and a frigid night — all in the same day.

Analyzing New York City’s weather by season offers the same conclusions. The fall and spring seasons in New York are short and fleeting.

During the summer months, New York can be unbearably hot and humid. For people new to the city, the summer months can be pretty uncomfortable.

Finally, winters in NYC are brutal and always seem to last forever. The snow and frost can add a Christmas feeling to the atmosphere if you enjoy the holiday season. But for people moving to NYC from hotter climates, it can be a rude awakening. It’s advisable to bundle up in anticipation of a cold, long winter.

Final Thoughts

NYC is by far one of the best cities for people looking to relocate across America. In terms of money, networking opportunities, diversity, and jobs, New York stands out. It’s not all good.

Just as there are pros, the cons of living in NYC are evident. You’ll have to deal with traffic, explosive rent prices, and a higher cost of living. There’s also overcrowding and noise levels to consider.


Related: 17 Pros and Cons of Living in Manhattan