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Boston vs New York: Which City is The Best to Live In?

Choosing between Boston vs New York is a difficult decision because the two are known as the greatest cities in the world. Both are located on the east coast and are great places to live, with a wide variety of employment opportunities, educational institutions, and cultural attractions to explore.

Let’s check how Boston compares to New York and which is the better city!

Boston vs New York

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Quick Comparison

Boston and NYC both are amazing cities to live in. They share some great features which are the following:

  • Good public transportation;
  • Best accommodations;
  • A varied economy;
  • Countless cultural events.

While both have their differences as well. Boston has a compact layout and a relaxed city vibe while NY is densely populated and has cultural diversity. However, these 2 cities have considerably more to offer.

Continue reading as we discuss their living costs, employment, education, crime rates, and much much more.

Comparing Boston vs New York: Comparison Chart

Let’s have a quick look at how NY and Boston compare:





0.62 million

8.4 million

Average summer temp:

23 C

25 C

Natural disasters:






Population density:

5396 people/

11232 people/

Average rent for a one-bed apartment:



Average salary:



Average temperature:

11.3 C

14.2 C

Crime rates:



Public transportation:




Lots of lakes






Quality Universities

Quality Pre-schools

Pros and Cons of Living: NY Vs Boston

Considering the pros and cons of both Boston and New York will help you make up your mind about where to settle down. They’re both good and bad in different ways. See below how Boston and New York compare.

Pros of Boston

Firstly, let’s explore the positives:

Pros of Boston
  • Rich history: Boston has more history than any other city in the United States. Everything from the oldest public school and subway system to the cobbled sidewalks and ancient landmarks along the Freedom Trail contributes to the city’s historic beauty and character.
  • Downtown: It’s easy to get about on foot in Boston. Beacon Hill, the South End, and even Cambridge are all within easy walking distance from here. Due to its history and compact core, Boston is one of the most bikeable and walkable cities in the US.
  • Activities: Boston is an exciting city full of attractions and enjoyable events, whether you enjoy attending shows, taking in history, seeing the sights, sporting events, or exploring the outdoors. Some of the reasons why Boston is considered an arts mecca are the Huntington Theatre and the Boston Museum of Fine Arts.

Cons of Boston

Now, let’s have a look at the downsides:

Cons of Boston
  • Cost of living: The high cost of living is unquestionably a negative aspect of life in Boston. Moreover, excellent educational institutes are not cheap as well.
  • Renting an apartment: Boston’s rental markets are both crowded and tough to manage. If you’re looking for a rental in Boston, you might have to spend more to work with a real estate agent. The vast majority of rental properties are single-family homes with many units.

Pros of New York

What’s great about NY is highlighted below:

Pros of New York
  • Lifestyle: When comparing New York to Boston, the city’s 24-hour party scene and general ease of living put it in the lead. There are bars open until 4 a.m., restaurants that serve until dawn, nightclubs, and excitement at every turn in New York City, making it a city that never sleeps.
  • Diversity: Having access to cuisines and traditions from all over the world is just one perk of calling New York City home. New York is additionally the most diverse city in the world, with people of countless races living there. Another amazing fact is that more than 600 different languages are spoken in New York.

Cons of New York

The following things give a minus one to NY:

Cons of New York

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  • Hectic Atmosphere: New York City, known as the “city that never sleeps,” may be a stressful place to live if you prefer a quieter routine. The incessant activity, noise, traffic, and city culture might tire you out.
  • Cramped Environment: New York is the most densely populated city in the US. Living in New York City style involves adjusting to a small apartment. Due to its high cost and strong demand, New York City has among of the smallest studio apartments in the United States, with an average size of 550 square feet.

Population and Area of Boston vs. New York City

The three cities with the highest population densities are New York, San Francisco, and Boston, in that order.

  • Boston has a population of 687,3 thousand while New York has 8,4 million, making it the most populous city in the US.
Population of Boston vs. New York City
  • New York City is 778.2 sq. km in size with a population density of 11,232 people/
  • There are 5396 people/ living in Boston’s 232.1 sq. km area.
  • Caucasians, African-Americans, Asians, Native Americans, Polynesians, and Hispanics all coexist peacefully in both Boston and New York City.

Housing Expenses in New York and Boston

The average New York City apartment rent is 30% more than the average Boston one.

Housing Expenses in New York and Boston

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  • Average rent: New York City’s median rent of $3,515 is much more than Boston’s median rent of $2,716 and the national median of $1,681.
  • Average rent for studio: The average monthly rent for a studio in the United States is $1,652, compared to $2,402 in New York and $2,300 in Boston.
  • The average cost of a house: Houses in New York cost higher than in Boston, both having higher costs than the national average. The national average for the price of a home is $291,700; in Boston, it’s $667,000 while for NY it’s $1,144,100.
  • Newer houses: The average New York City home is nearly 13 years newer than a comparable Boston one. Among other things, it could explain why New York City has a higher average home price than other cities.

Living Expenses in NYC and Boston

The cost of living is affected by a variety of factors, including healthcare, housing, transportation, groceries, and transportation.

  • Cost of living: When comparing the two cities, Boston wins hands down due to its significantly lower cost of living by around 37%. New York has a cost of living of 129% more than the US average, whereas Boston’s is just around 48% higher.
The cost of living in NYC and Boston
  • Rent: New York City’s rent is 35% more than that of Boston and its restaurants are also 20% more expensive than its counterpart.
  • Consumer cost: New York has 17% higher consumer costs than Boston. The cost of groceries in New York is also 17% more than in Boston.

The housing markets in New York City and Boston are very different. When compared to other American cities, Boston ranks #4 in terms of cost of living. First is New York, then San Francisco, and finally Honolulu. The rest of the operating expenses and utility bills are comparable.

Employment in Boston vs New York

In terms of employment possibilities, here’s what you need to know:

  • Job: NYC offers opportunities in Financial services, healthcare, retail, technology, and education all contribute to its robust job economy. Boston’s economy is concentrated in the medical, financial, and academic sectors. Moreover, Boston’s average salary is greater than its counterpart.
  • Salary: The average yearly salary in New York is around $60,000-$65,000, while the average in Boston is around $70,000. While the average salary in Boston is higher, the variety and number of paying opportunities are greater in New York.
Employment in Boston vs New York

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The job market may be fierce, but those with the right mix of skills may succeed in practically any field.

Comparing New York and Boston Taxes

Here is a comparison of the income, property, and sales tax in both Boston and NYC:

  • Income tax: The income tax in Boston is a flat 5% for all brackets, while NYC has nine tax brackets that range from 4%-10.9%.
  • Property tax: The property tax in Boston is 1.14% of the property’s value while in NYC it is 1.4%.
  • Sales tax: Boston has a sales tax of 6.25% while in NYC it is 8.52%.

The Lifestyle of Boston vs New York

Let’s take a look at what is a lifestyle for these two cities:

The Lifestyle of Boston vs New York
  • Many people choose to settle in Boston because of the more relaxed, family-friendly atmosphere it provides.
  • New York, on the other hand, is focused on business and has 24-hour entertainment options including nightclubs and karaoke bars.

So, New York City does have more exciting things going on, but it’s not for everyone.

How Educational Institutes Differ

Massachusetts whose capital is Boston has the best educational system in the country, with only 2% of high school students dropping out while New York City ranked 13th.

Let’s take a look at the best institutes for college students as well as the best preschools for your toddlers.

Colleges: Boston vs New York

Higher education options are an essential part of any Boston vs. New York comparison.

  • Cambridge, a suburb of Boston, is where two of the most prominent universities in the United States are located: Harvard and MIT.
Colleges in Boston
  • Boston also has one-third of the state’s college enrolment while having only 10% of the population.
  • The city is home to 35 institutions, community colleges, and universities.

Compared to Boston, New York doesn’t offer as much:

  • If you’re looking for prestige, you won’t find much in New York. That is why Boston is the better choice to attend college.

Preschools in Boston and NYC

Both NYC and Boston have a variety of excellent preschools for your child to attend. Some of the best will be listed as follows:

Best Preschools in Boston and NYC
  • The 92nd Street Y, New York: The 92nd Street Y, New York Pre-School has been open since 1938, and throughout that time it has given a nurturing environment that encourages young children’s curiosity, creativity, and intelligence. Through a curriculum tailored to kids’ individual stages of growth, the program helps kids succeed in all areas of development.
  • Adelphi Academy, New York: The Adelphi Academy in Brooklyn welcomes students for live, in-person classes. Since its founding in 1863, this venerable Bay Ridge school has been at the forefront of private education, setting the standard for educating the “total child” from preschool through high school. Adelphi provides one-on-one care in a warm, friendly, and supportive community.
  • Bright Horizons, Boston: Families all across the US rely on Bright Horizons to take care of and educate their children. They have one of the best daycare and provide quality education to the little ones.
  • Pine Village: Pine Village Preschool is a well-respected Spanish immersion school with 10 campuses serving the Greater Boston area’s toddlers and preschoolers. The school prepares students for global citizenship and attracts progressive, internationally-minded families that want to help their children get a head start on learning a foreign language.

Learn About the Crime Rate of Both Cities

While both cities have low crime rates relative to their size, Boston is marginally dangerous.

Crime Rate Boston VS NYC
  • Boston has a violent crime score of 37.3 and a property crime score of 35.8 on the Best Places index.
  • In comparison, New York has a violent crime rate of 28.2 and a property crime rate of 24.9.
  • The New York Police Department, however, is one of the best-funded in the country, which gives it a lead from Boston.
Note: The national averages for property crime (35.4) and violent crime (22.7) are rather low. Both are significant urban centers despite being safe for pedestrians.

Boston vs New York: Weather

Both cities experience similar weather patterns due to their proximity along the northeastern coast of the United States. They have a humid continental climate characterized by hot summers and cold winters.

Boston vs New York: Weather

However, there are some differences:

  • Boston has a slightly colder winter (-2 to 5 degrees Celsius) compared to NY’s (1 to 5 degrees Celsius).
  • Boston experiences an average of about 49 inches of snow per year, while New York receives around 25 inches of snow annually.
  • During the summer, both cities experience hot and humid weather. Average temperatures in Boston range from (24 to 29 degrees Celsius), while New York City sees slightly higher temperatures, ranging from (25 to 32 degrees Celsius).

Public Transportation in Boston and NYC

New York City’s subway system is highly regarded as one of the best in the country. The most notable thing is that you may use public transportation at any time of day or night. Travelers can move anywhere inside the city at their convenience for a set charge.

On the other hand, Boston is a little time-restricted. The Boston Subway runs reliably between the hours of 5 a.m. and 1 a.m.

  • Visitors to either Boston or New York City can use the extensive public transportation networks to reach where they need to go.
  • When it comes to public transit, Boston wins hands down due to its lower fares and shorter commuting times.
Public Transportation in Boston and NYC

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It’s possible that New York City’s higher population causes the longer commuting times there compared to Boston. But, the plus point is that in NY, you can get anything at any time.

Cleanliness in Boston and NYC

According to the data, NYC is cleaner than Boston. New York City ranks 5.86 and Boston 5.53 on a scale from 1 to 10, with 1 being the dirtiest and 10 being the cleanest.

  • NY has worked so much on waste and recycling management.
  • On the other hand, Boston has also greatly improved its cleanliness during the previous decades.

After years of effort, Boston Harbor, which was severely polluted in the 1960s, is now a pristine body of water. The air quality in both cities is high, with very low levels of pollution.

Boston’s vs NYC’s Entertainment Scene

When it comes to fun things to do after dark, Boston and NYC couldn’t be more different. The one place they are similar in is sports. The 2 cities have a fantastic rivalry in baseball. Both the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox always compete for the title in each MLB season.

  • NYC is always open for business, with brightly lit streets and a reliable public transportation system that operates 24/7. Its nightlife is unparalleled due to the city’s abundance of lively clubs, music and comedy venues, and pubs.
  • The best nightlife venues are situated in Chelsea, midtown areas of the meatpacking district, and Greenwich villages.
Entertainment Scene in NYC
  • The greater expense of NYC’s vibrant nightlife is a little price to pay for the happiness it provides.

On the other hand, Boston’s nightlife and entertainment options are great for residents and visitors looking to unwind. When compared to its counterpart, the entertainment and nightlife hotspots here are smaller and more family-friendly.

  • North End, South End, and Faneuil Hall are all great places to eat and drink.
  • The downtown club scene is located in what is known as “The Theatre District.”
Entertainment Scene in Boston

Comparing the Cuisine of NYC and Boston

If you’re looking for the best food, go no further than New York. It is renowned for its culinary scene, offering a vast array of international cuisines.

  • From iconic New York-style pizza and bagels to high-end dining experiences and Michelin-starred restaurants, the city provides a wide range of options to satisfy all tastes.
  • New York is especially famous for its world-renowned New York Cheesecake.
Food scene in New York

On the other hand, Boston is also no less.

  • It is known for its seafood and traditional New England fare.
  • Boston’s cuisine often emphasizes locally sourced ingredients and seasonal flavors.
  • The city is famous for dishes like Boston cream pie, clam chowder, lobster rolls, and fresh oysters.
Food scene in Boston

Boston vs NYC in Terms of Style and Shopping

It’s tough to single out one city as the best because each has strengths and weaknesses.

  • Many of the East Coast’s finest designer boutiques may be found in New York.
  • Among the most convenient cities for a shopping trip, New York is home to several fashion districts and retail marketplaces.
  • Madison Avenue, Union Square, Chinatown, and Fifth Avenue are just a few examples of such places.

Boston is another great city for shopping and trendsetting.

  • It boasts markedly lower average prices than New York City.
  • Items such as designer clothes and electronics in New York cost higher than in Boston due to the latter’s reduced sales tax.
  • Boston’s sales tax begins at around $180, whereas New York’s begins at roughly $110.

Life Satisfaction Rating

Numbeo claims that Boston is the place with the best quality of life. Factors like crime rates, access to quality medical care, weather, the cost of living, housing costs as a percentage of income, and traffic and pollution levels are included on this scale.

  • Boston received a high score (175.95) on this scale.
  • New York, on the other hand, had a modest score of 138.9.

For more insights, I would recommend you check out this amazing video:


Is NYC or Boston better?

Both NYC and Boston have different city cultures. NYC has an unparalleled nightlife and entertainment scene and has the hustle and bustle of a grand city. On the other hand, Boston has a more relaxed lifestyle and better educational institutes. Both are good in their own ways.

How expensive is Boston compared to NYC?

The living costs are around 15.6% higher in NYC compared to Boston.

Why are Boston and New York rivals?

Boston and NYC are rivals due to their history, in which people from these 2 cities fought multiple times. In modern times it has evolved into a sports rivalry, mainly between the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox baseball teams.

Is living in Boston worth it?

Living in Boston is worth it because of its relaxed atmosphere, its many elite educational institutes, and its rich history.


Both cities offer a very different but equally amazing living experience. The food, such as the NYC pizza and Cheesecake, and the culture of New York, such as its diversity and bustling lifestyle, are very attractive points that may persuade many to go and live there. Its entertainment scene like sporting events and the famous NYC Broadway plays is world-renowned.

However, Boston is not a bad choice either. It boasts a fascinating history, with much of it on display at the Boston Museum. Its lifestyle differs greatly from New York, with a more laid-back approach to life. On top of that, it has some of the best universities in the whole world including the super-famous Harvard and MIT.

In short, both cities have their appeal. You can’t go wrong choosing either one.

Boston VS New York