Skip to Content

LA vs NYC: Which City Offers Better Life Experience in 2024?

Deciding between LA vs NYC is not an easy thing. It is because both cities are popular destinations for tourists and people looking to relocate. In order to find out which one is a better choice, I invite you to check out this detailed city comparison guide. Let’s start exploring!

LA vs NYC

Read also: Philadelphia vs New York City: Which One is the Best City

Quick Comparison

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

  • Best accommodations;
  • The healthy job market;
  • Countless cultural events;
  • Great nightlife.

On the other hand, both have their differences as well. LA has a larger size and a relaxed city vibe while NYC is densely populated and has cultural diversity.

However, these two cities have considerably more to offer. Continue reading as I dive deeper into their living costs, famous attractions, crime rates, and much much more. Let’s get started!

LA vs NYC Comparison Table

Let me present you with a table that will provide a quick comparison between LA vs NYC:

PARAMETERS

LA

NYC

Cost Of Living

Lower

Higher

Vacation

Good for vacations

Good for vacations

Rent

$2700/month

$3000 - $4000/month

Nightlife

More casual

More high-end

Food

Healthier Options

More Diverse

Public Transportation

Average

Excellent

Safety

Higher crime rate

Lower crime rate

Healthcare

Normal public Healthcare

Great public healthcare

Lifestyle

More relaxed

More fast-paced

Weather

Warmer

Colder

Population

3.9 million

8.5 million

Attractions

Venice Beach, Hollywood

Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty

Traffic

Congested traffic

Congested traffic

Living in Los Angeles: The Positives and Negatives

Living in LA has both some perks and downsides. Let’s take a look at them:

The Pros

Let’s look at some of the pros of LA:

Pros of LA
  • Bigger accommodations: Los Angeles has bigger houses and apartments than New York City. It is the better choice for you if you have always wanted a dream garden or lawn at home.
  • Education: LA offers a wide variety of educational options from primary schools to universities and research centers. A lot of international students move there because LA is a hub of research and technology.LAUSD, USC, and UCLA, unarguably are the best educational institute there.
  • High Wages: LA offers pretty much higher wages than the most of US. The average hourly wage is $33.43 which is 12% more than the US average.

The Cons

Here are some of the downsides you should know:

Cons of LA

Read also: Miami vs Los Angeles: Which City is the Best to Live in 2024

  • High taxes: LA, being in the state of California, is in the highest tax bracket in the US. The income tax is a high 13.3%. Now this could be a concern for some folks as they would prefer paying lower taxes.
  • Crime rate: The budget allocated for the police force is a lot smaller in LA compared to New York. A consequence of this is fewer police officers, a lack of equipment(such as guns and armor), and of course a smaller area coverage. This is one of the reasons why the number of crimes in LA has gone up.

Living in New York City: The Positives and Negatives

Let’s take a look at some perks and downsides of living in NYC.

The Pros

The following are the plus points of NYC:

Plus points of NYC
  • Medical Care: New york city is the hub of medical and research centers that provides almost all kinds of treatments. The bed capacity in NYC medical facilities is more than as of LA which means you don’t have to wait for long to receive care.
  • Subway System: NYC has an extensive public transportation system with 424 stations. The total length of its track is 399 Km making it the fifth longest in the world. The majority of people there utilize public transportation as daily ridership of this transit system is around 2.4 million
  • Employment opportunities: Affectionately known as the Big Apple, there are plenty of job options in NY. Some of them include healthcare, finance, and tech, which make the city a thriving hub for various careers.

The Cons

Here are the downsides of this location you should know:

Cons of NYC

Read also: Bahamas vs Jamaica: Which One Is Best for Exciting Vacation

  • Traffic: The traffic in New York is one of the worst aspects of the city. The streets and roads of New York are jam-packed with vehicles since the city has a huge population too.
  • High living costs: New York has one of the highest living costs in all of the United States. The average living has increased a lot in the past couple of years. Mainly due to the cost of electricity jumping up recently. This makes New York all the more expensive to live in.

Comparing the Area and Population Density

Both of these locations are the most densely populated cities in the US.

Population in NYC vs LA
  • New York City: It is more diverse than Los Angeles. As of 2023, the population is estimated to be 8.4 million. The land is 304 sq. miles so it is bigger than most east coast cities. The population density is approximately 26,400 people per square mile.
  • Los Angeles: It is the largest city on the West Coast in size with 472 sq. miles of land. The number of people residing here is 3.9 million. The population density is around 8500 people per sq. mile. It is less congested than New York City.

Comparing Real Estate Prices

Speaking generally, buying a property in Los Angeles costs more than in NYC. However, rent prices are higher in NYC.

  • Purchasing a home: On average, you will have to pay from $750,000 to $1 million or higher if you want a decent residence in NYC. Meanwhile, similar quality houses in Los Angeles sell for around $990,000-$1.5 million.
Purchasing a home in LA vs NYC
  • Rental accommodation: Be prepared to spend between $3000-$4,000 monthly for a One-bedroom apartment in the Big Apple. Single-bedroom NYC apartments cost more as in LA they usually start at $2,700 per month.

LA vs NYC Cost of Living

Living expenses can be influenced by several factors, such as:

  • Healthcare expenses;
  • Housing costs;
  • Grocery prices;
  • Transportation costs.

Even though both NYC and LA are expensive places to live, the cost of living in NYC is usually higher than in LA. Data says that there is a 27.9% difference between the two cities. The living cost in New York is $9,000 and in Los Angeles, it is $6,200.

LA vs NYC Cost of Living

Read also: Boston vs New York: What’s the Better Choice in 2024

Let’s look at some other examples:

  • A normal meal in New york city cost about $25 while in Los Angeles it only costs about $17.5.
  • One liter of milk costs $1.23 in New York City and $1.13 in Los Angeles.
  • Basic household costs such as electricity, gas, and water will cost you about $160 in New York City and $136 in Los Angeles.

Analyzing Employment Opportunities

Both cities have thriving businesses. However, NYC is the place to be if you are in finance, while Los Angeles will be better for you if you are in the entertainment industry.

You won’t be short of job options in either city. However, companies in New York City will pay a higher wage than in LA.

Analyzing Employment Opportunities in NYC vs LA
Note: The average wage in New York City is $6,523 per month or around $75,000 yearly. In Los Angeles, it’s $5,200 per month or $62,000 yearly.

How Educational Institutes Differ

The education system is better developed in New York compared to LA. The reason is that the state government has allotted a bigger budget for education. This has led to:

  • There are more teachers per student;
  • More than double the pre-schools and schools in NY compared to LA.

Now let’s look at some of the best schools and pre-schools both cities have to offer.

Comparing Schools

New York has an extensive public school system, with 295 schools compared to LA’s 111. This creates a student-to-teacher ratio of 12 for New York and 21 for LA. This goes in favor of the Big Apple as a lower ratio means a teacher can provide help to students more equally.

Best schools in NYC and LA

Townsend Harris, New York

Townsend Harris is an excellent school, ranked number 1 by most publications in New York. It has an unbelievable 100% graduation rate and an equally brilliant 98/100 college readiness rating.

Harbor Teacher Preparation Academy

Harbor Teacher is one of LA’s premium public schools. It matches Townsend Harris with a perfect 100% graduation rate but has a lower college readiness rating of 88/100.

Comparing Preschools

NY comes out on top yet again with 951 preschools while LA has a still impressive but relatively fewer 495 preschools.

Best preschools in NYC and LA

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.

Next Generation Montessori, Los Angeles

Preschoolers at the Next Generation Montessori School are exposed to a well-rounded education that includes reading, writing, and literary comprehension in a classroom with a small student-teacher ratio. Unlike other Los Angeles preschools, Next Generation tailors its curriculum to each student’s individual strengths and interests.

Overview Of Taxes In Both Cities

Taxes in both areas are higher than in most of the U.S:

  • Los Angeles has an income tax of 13.3%. Not only this, it also has a sales tax of 10.25%.
  • NYC isn’t as harsh as LA. It has a lower income tax of 10.9% and a sales tax of 8.5%.

An Insight Into the Crime Rate

With a crime score of 52.5%, Los Angeles is slightly more dangerous than New York, which has a crime rate of 49.4%. So NYC wins when it comes to safety.

Let’s take a look at the most dangerous and safest places for both cities:

CITY

LOS ANGELES

NEW YORK

Security places

Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, Westwood

Manhattan's Upper East Side, West Village

Places with high crime rates

South Central and East LA

South Bronx and East New York

How Does LA vs NY Weather Compare?

The two cities are situated on opposite ends of the country, so their weather is contrasting compared to one another.

LA vs NY Weather Compare

Read also: Huntington Beach vs Newport Beach: Which One is the Best

Los Angeles

The warm, humid climate that Los Angeles experiences brings wet winters and dry summers. You can find the sun shining brightly even on cold, cloudy days. Earthquakes and wildfires are regular occurrences in LA.

New York

While snow might be a very rare occurrence in LA, it certainly isn’t in NYC. Get ready to experience all 4 seasons in full in NYC. New Yorkers get to live in harsh winters, colorful autumn, and rainy, mild spring.

Rating the Public Transportation System of Los Angeles vs New York City

Both cities have a good public transport system. However, let’s look at which one is better:

Los Angeles

Buses, rail, and trains are all good ways to get around LA. But remember that owning a car may be necessary as LA is much larger in size than New York City.

New York

It is known for having some of the best public transportation in the world. NYC is home to one of the largest and busiest subway systems on the globe. It also has good bus, ferry, and yellow car services. Not owning a car will not stop you from exploring all this city has to offer because NYC has an affordable transport system.

New York's Subway

Read also: Street Art in New York City: A Guide to the Best Hotspots

How Does Their Healthcare System Differs

The healthcare system has certain distinctions in both cities. Take a quick look at the table first:

ASPECTS

NEW YORK CITY

LOS ANGELES

Health Care Index

62.49

62.18

Health insurance plan per month

$775

$480

New York

The healthcare system in New York City is mostly based on its big hospitals, like Mount Sinai, which hire a lot of employees. These hospitals give a variety of medical treatments, from basic care to expert surgeries. Medical costs are also slightly less expensive in New York City compared to Los Angeles.

Los Angeles

The healthcare system in Los Angeles is more broken up, and medical groups play a bigger part. These groups of doctors may be experts in a certain area of medicine, like physiology or heart. They also usually have their own offices or practices. This can make it harder to find your way around the LA healthcare system.

The healthcare system in Los Angeles

Comparing the Cuisine Of Both Cities

The following cuisine section is a must for food lovers. If you are a foodie, you are in luck, because both places have excellent food.

Los Angeles

Many eateries in Los Angeles place an emphasis on locally grown products. This is because there are a lot of vegans and vegetarians in the city. Here you can find different kinds of food, like Korean, Mexican, and Thai.

Note: La Casita Mexicana is the place to go to enjoy excellent Mexican cuisine.

New York

Tourists from all over the world come to New York City to sample its delicious food. That should say enough! Exploring its various restaurants offering delicious food like cheesecakes, bagels, and pizza will be a feast for your eyes(and stomach).

Note: One more piece of advice, don’t forget to go to JG Melon for one of the best burgers in NYC.

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

Exploring The Night Life Of Both Cities

Los Angeles and New York have quite a few similarities when comparing their nightlife.

New York

It has the greatest nightlife if you’re seeking high-class enjoyment. Street performers light up the sidewalks, and food vendors offer tasty treats at every corner.

Nightlife in NYC
Note: Clubs like Avant Gardner and Lambda Lounge set New York City, also known as the City that Never Sleeps, apart.

Los Angeles

There is a wide range of local and high-end clubs to choose from when exploring LA’s nightlife. This is the place to be if you enjoy going out to hip nightclubs and listening to live music. Rooftop bars in the city are well-known for their spectacular views and as a place to meet new people while enjoying a drink.

Note: The Elevate Lounge is one of the city’s most well-known nightclubs. Don’t miss it.

Which City is The Best For Sightseeing?

Both Los Angeles and New York City will fascinate you with the sheer amount of things to see and do that draw people in. NYC is known for its famous buildings, museums, and theaters whereas LA is known for its beaches, amusement parks, and outdoor activities.

Los Angeles

Griffith Park and the Griffith Observatory, Universal Studios, Disneyland, the glamor of Hollywood, and Venice Beach are just some of the interesting places in Los Angeles. If your taste is more exploring some beautiful nature, sunbathing on pristine beaches, and going to theme parks and film sites, LA will be the perfect match for you.

Griffith Observatory, LA

New York

NYC also has a lot of top attractions, like the Statue of Liberty and Long Island, Broadway, the beautiful New York Skyline, Central Park, and many more. So, if you like going to museums, seeing Broadway shows, and visiting historical places, NYC might be a better choice.

Statue of Liberty, NYC

Have a look at this video, and this one as well, so you can learn how to make the most of some of your trips to these renowned locations.

Which Location Has The Better Nature?

If you live in Los Angeles, you are surrounded on all sides by beautiful beaches, stunning mountains, and huge fields. Also, the weather is nice all year, so you’ll have plenty of chances to enjoy the great outdoor activities in the area.

If you want to live in New York City, you can go to Central Park. Otherwise, Upstate NY is the place to go if you want to see real nature. The lakes and scenery you will see there will truly be a sight to behold.

The Lifestyle Distinction

Let’s compare the vibe and lifestyle of LA and NYC:

Lifestyle of LA and NYC

New York

NYC is known as “the city that never sleeps” for a reason, so you can easily place an order at 2 a.m. from any store you want. New Yorkers are very different because they speak many different languages in the city. This makes for a great mix of cultures. Plus, the city has a very fast-paced lifestyle, so if that sounds like you, you’ll fit right in.

Los Angeles

LA has a very different vibe compared to New York. People are more self-centered and care a lot about how they look. Life in general is much slower-paced. Los Angeles has some arts, museums, and cultural shows, but they are not as varied as those in New York City.

The Quality of Life in Los Angeles and New York City

Los Angeles is more laid-back and has jobs in technology and entertainment. New York, on the other hand, is busy and has a strong financial sector. The heavy traffic and long trips in Los Angeles hurt the quality of life of its residents. While the high cost of living in New York City can make it hard for some people to enjoy what the city has to offer.

The Quality of Life in Los Angeles and New York City

According to data collected by the great Numbeo.com, both cities have a very comparable Quality of Life index rating. Measured out of a total of 240, LA comes in at 138.3 while NY scores 136.4. So overall, both cities pretty much have a similar quality of life. Here is a quick comparison table for a better understanding.

PARAMETERS

LOS ANGELES

NEW YORK

Purchasing Power Index

Very High 115.70

High 100.00

Safety Index

Moderate 47.35

Moderate 50.35

Health Care Index

High 62.18

High 62.49

Climate Index

Very High 95.50

High 79.66

Cost of Living Index

High 85.69

Very High 100.00

Property Price to Income Ratio

Low 6.65

Moderate 9.94

Traffic Commute Time Index

Very High 57.48

High 43.52

Pollution Index

High 66.52

Moderate 57.94

Quality of Life Index

Moderate 138.36

Moderate 136.40

FAQ

Why do people like LA more than NYC?

People like LA more than NYC because it has warmer weather, a lower cost of living, and a more wealthy lifestyle, especially with the presence of Hollywood.

Is LA or NYC more stressful?

NYC is considered more stressful than LA because of its bad traffic and high population density.

What’s more expensive LA or NYC?

NYC is more expensive than LA as its living costs are around 27.9% higher.

Do more celebrities live in New York or Los Angeles?

More celebrities live in LA because of the presence of Hollywood.

Is it better to live in NYC or LA?

It can be good to live in either city. LA has a lower cost of living and warmer weather while New York has a higher average salary and a safer crime rate.

Conclusion

Both cities are great places to live but in very different ways. New York’s food, like the world-famous pizza and cheesecake, and culture, like its variety and busy way of life, is very appealing. This makes it a plus for both tourists and people who want to move there. The high-paying jobs and the beautiful sights of New York such as the empire state building and the Statue of Liberty will keep you amazed.

LA is another great place to live. It has a relaxed atmosphere and a warmer climate. Also, don’t forget it’s a great entertainment scene. You can go explore Hollywood and its many film sets. Maybe you can even meet a famous celebrity. Plus it is cheaper to live in too.

Both cities are great in their own way. Just pick whichever suits your vibe. If you found this article informative please do share it with your friends.

LA vs NYC