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Philadelphia vs New York City: Which City Choose for Living?

Philadelphia vs New York City is two vibrant and iconic cities on the East Coast of the United States. Known for their rich history, diverse cultures, and bustling urban landscapes, Philadelphia and New York City have captivated residents and tourists alike.

Let’s dive into these two cities’ unique characteristics and highlights to discover what sets them apart and makes each an extraordinary destination!

Philadelphia vs New York City

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Philadelphia vs New York City: Quick Comparison

Philadelphia and New York City are big cities on the East Coast of the United States.

  • Philadelphia, known as the “City of Brotherly Love,” has a rich history and is home to iconic landmarks like Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell.
  • On the other hand, New York City, also known as (big Apple) is a bustling metropolis renowned for its diverse culture, towering skyscrapers, and world-class attractions such as Times Square and the Statue of Liberty.
  • Both NYC and Philly offer unique experiences and countless opportunities for exploration and discovery.

However, there’s much more to uncover about these vibrant cities that go beyond this quick comparison. Keep reading to delve into their fascinating details, hidden gems, and captivating stories.

Comparison Chart

Let’s look at the comparison chart between Philadelphia vs. New York City below:




City Size

Smaller land area, higher population

Larger land area, smaller population

Housing Costs


More affordable

Cost of Living



Job Market

More options, higher earning potential

Thriving, but NYC has an edge

Tax Burdens




More schools, prestigious institutions

Notable schools

Early Education

More options due to larger population

More intimate and community-oriented

Crime Rates

Higher crime rate

Lower crime rate

Public Transportation




Statue of Liberty, Central Park, Empire State Building, Metropolitan Museum of Art

Independence National Historical Park, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia Zoo, Franklin Institute, Boathouse Row

Culinary Scene

Diverse international cuisine, fine dining, iconic delis, food trends, culinary events

Cheesesteaks, hoagies, Italian Market, BYOB restaurants, farm-to-table movement, Reading Terminal Market

Benefits and Drawbacks of Residing in the City

Living in Philadelphia comes with a unique blend of advantages and disadvantages. Let’s look at them below:

Pros of Living in Philadelphia

Below are the pros of living in Philadelphia:

Pros of Living in Philadelphia
  • Cultural hub: Philadelphia boasts a vibrant arts and cultural scene. The city is renowned for its museums, such as the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Barnes Foundation, as well as its theaters, music venues, and art galleries—numerous festivals and events yearly to celebrate diverse art forms and cultures.
  • Educational opportunities: Philadelphia has several prestigious universities and colleges, including the University of Pennsylvania, Drexel, and Temple University. The presence of these institutions provides ample opportunities for academic pursuits, research collaborations, and access to educational resources.
  • Job opportunities: Philadelphia is a significant economic city center, offering a range of job opportunities across various industries. It has a strong healthcare sector and a significant presence in sectors like education, finance, technology, and manufacturing. This big city also has a thriving startup scene, fostering entrepreneurship and innovation.
  • Food scene: Philadelphia is famous for its diverse and delicious food scene. The city is renowned for its cheesesteaks, soft pretzels, and hoagies, but it also offers a wide range of international cuisines, gourmet restaurants, food trucks, and farmers’ markets. Food enthusiasts will find plenty to explore and enjoy in Philadelphia.

Cons of Living in Philadelphia

Let’s look at the cons of living in Philadelphia below:

Cons of Living in Philadelphia
  • High crime rates: Philadelphia has had higher crime rates than the national average, particularly in specific neighborhoods. Property and violent crime can be a concern in some areas, so it’s essential to research and choose safer communities when considering living in the city.
  • Traffic congestion: Like many major cities, Philadelphia experiences traffic congestion, especially during peak hours. Commuting within the city and traveling to the suburbs can take time, and parking can be challenging and expensive. The city does have a comprehensive public transportation system, including buses, trains, and trolleys, which can be an alternative for some residents.
  • Cost of living: While the overall cost of living in Philadelphia is lower than in other major East Coast cities like New York or Washington, D.C., it is still relatively high. Housing costs, especially in desirable neighborhoods, can be expensive, and utility and taxes can add up. It’s essential to budget and plan accordingly.
  • Public school system challenges: The public school system in Philadelphia faces various challenges, including funding issues and disparities in educational outcomes. While there are excellent private and charter school options, the quality of public schools can be inconsistent across different neighborhoods. Families with children may need to research and carefully consider their educational opportunities.

Weighing the Benefits and Drawbacks of Living in New York

Living in New York, particularly New York City, offers a unique and vibrant experience. However, like any other place, it has its pros and cons. Here are some of them:

Pros of Living in New York

Below are the pros of living in New York:

Pros of Living in New York
  • Cultural diversity: New York is known as a melting pot of cultures worldwide. You can experience a rich blend of languages, traditions, and cuisines, making it an exciting and multicultural city.
  • Career Opportunities: New York City is a global economic hub, offering various job opportunities across multiple industries. It attracts professionals from diverse fields, making it a great place to network and advance your career.
  • Entertainment and cultural activities: The city is renowned for its world-class entertainment options. You can enjoy Broadway shows, live music, art galleries, museums, festivals, and sporting events. There is always something happening, catering to a wide range of interests.
  • Public transport: New York has an extensive and efficient public transport system, including subways, buses, and commuter trains. This makes it relatively easy to navigate the city without relying on a car, reducing the need for vehicle expenses.

Cons of Living in New York

Below are the Cons of living in New York:

Cons of Living in New York
  • Cost of living: New York City is notoriously expensive. Housing costs, groceries, transportation, and entertainment expenses can be significantly higher than in other cities. The high cost of living can be a deterrent for some people, especially those on a tight budget.
  • Crowded and fast-paced: New York is a densely populated city that can feel crowded, especially in popular areas. The fast-paced lifestyle may only suit some, as it can be stressful and overwhelming for some individuals.
  • Limited space: Apartments in New York City are known for being relatively small, pricey, and need more space. Finding affordable and spacious housing can be challenging, particularly in desirable neighborhoods.
  • Noise and pollution: The city is always bustling, and noise pollution is common, especially in densely populated areas. Additionally, air pollution from traffic and other sources can be a concern for some residents.
  • Lack of green spaces: While New York City has some beautiful parks, the abundance of concrete and limited green spaces can be a downside for nature enthusiasts and those seeking a quieter, more serene environment.

Comparing City Sizes: NYC vs Philly

Philly has a larger land area than NYC, providing more green space. The population of NYC exceeds that of Philadelphia, resulting in a higher congestion level due to a higher population.

Comparing City Sizes: NYC vs. Philly

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NYC has an estimated population of approximately 8.4 million residents, while Philadelphia has a population of around 1.6 million.

Comparing Housing Costs: NYC vs Philly

Regarding housing costs, New York City (NYC) tends to be significantly more expensive than Philadelphia (Philly).

  • The average price of buying a house in NYC is considerably higher, with prices often exceeding $1 million for a single-family home.
  • Similarly, renting in NYC can be steep, with the average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment hovering around $3,000.
  • In contrast, Philly offers relatively more affordable housing options, with average home prices below $300,000 and monthly rents for a small apartment averaging around $1,500.

Analyzing Cost of Living: NYC vs Philly

There are notable differences when comparing the overall cost of living between New York City (NYC) and Philadelphia.

  • NYC tends to have a higher cost of living, with steep housing prices.
  • On the other hand, Philadelphia offers a more affordable living situation, with lower housing costs and a generally lower cost of goods and services.
Analyzing Cost of Living: NYC vs. Philly

If you want to relocate to a new city for financial reasons, Philadelphia (Philly) is a highly recommended choice.

Job Market Showdown: NYC vs Philly

When contrasting employment prospects between New York City (NYC) and Philadelphia (Philly), NYC wins as it offers a broader range of industries and job outlook, given its status as a global economic hub.

Job Market Showdown: NYC vs. Philly
  • With numerous Fortune Moving companies, startups, and a bustling financial sector, NYC presents a dynamic job market with diverse career options.
  • While Philadelphia also has a thriving business scene and a robust healthcare industry, NYC’s sheer scale and international reach. This often translates into more excellent employment prospects and higher earning potential.

Decoding Tax Burdens: NYC vs Philly

Taxes in New York City tend to be higher than those in Philadelphia.

  • NYC has additional local taxes, such as the city income tax and sales tax, which contribute to the higher tax burden.
  • On the other hand, Philadelphia has a lower local income tax rate and a lower sales tax rate than NYC.

Education Landscape: NYC vs Philly Schools

Schools in NYC and Philly have some similarities, such as offering a range of public and private educational options. However, NYC boasts a more significant number of schools, including prestigious institutions like:

  • Stuyvesant High School;
  • Bronx Science.
Prestigious schools in NYC

Philly is home to notable schools like:

  • Central High School;
  • Masterman School.
Prestigious schools in Philadelphia

Additionally, NYC’s school system is organized by boroughs, while Philly’s schools are organized by neighborhoods, reflecting the unique characteristics of each city.

Exploring Early Education: Preschools in NYC vs Philly

Preschools in NYC and Philly offer diverse educational programs catering to the needs of young children. Both cities have many options, including:

  • Public;
  • Private;
  • Specialized preschools.

However, NYC tends to have a more significant number of preschools due to its larger population and resources, while Philly provides a more intimate and community-oriented preschool experience.

Comparing Crime Rates in NYC and Philly

When comparing the crime rates of New York City (NYC) and Philadelphia (Philly), it is evident that NYC has a higher crime rate. According to recent data, NYC consistently reports a higher number of crimes per capita, including incidents of:

  • Theft;
  • Assault;
  • Homicide.
Comparing Crime Rates in NYC and Philly

While both cities face unique challenges in maintaining public safety, NYC’s larger population and bustling urban environment contribute to its higher crime rate than Philly.

Public Transportation in NYC vs Philly

Regarding public transportation, Philly is a more budget-friendly option than NYC, offering low-cost and affordable one-day passes.

Residents and visitors can enjoy the convenience and efficiency of Philly’s transit system while spending less money on their daily commute.

Exploring Attractions in NYC vs Philly

New York City and Philadelphia offer a multitude of attractions that showcase their distinct histories, cultures, and vibrant atmospheres. Let’s look at them below:

Must-Visit Attractions in NYC

Below are the captivating attractions that make New York City a world-renowned destination.

Must-Visit Attractions in NYC
  • Statue of Liberty: The iconic Statue of Liberty on Liberty Island is a symbol of freedom and one of the most famous landmarks in the world.
  • Central Park: This expansive urban park offers a serene escape from the hustle and bustle, featuring lakes, walking paths, and iconic landmarks like Bethesda Terrace and Strawberry Fields. Consider visiting Central Park in New York if you want a new city.
  • Empire State Building: A must-visit for breathtaking city views, the Empire State Building stands tall as a historical and architectural marvel.

Anvailing Philadelphia’s Captivating Must-See Destinations

Let’s look at the diverse array of attractions in Philadelphia below:

Attractions in Philadelphia

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  • Independence National Historical Park: Home to the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall, this park commemorates the birthplace of the United States and offers insight into American history.
  • Philadelphia Museum of Art: Known for its famous “Rocky Steps,” this museum houses an impressive collection of artwork, ranging from Renaissance masterpieces to contemporary pieces.
  • Philadelphia Zoo: America’s first zoo is home to a wide variety of animals and offers educational experiences for visitors of all ages.
  • Franklin Institute: A science museum featuring interactive exhibits, planetarium shows, and the famous Giant Heart, offering hands-on learning experiences.
  • Boathouse Row: A picturesque row of historic boathouses along the Schuylkill River, known for its beautiful evening illuminations and rowing events.

Gourmet Showdown: NYC vs Philly – A Culinary Clash of Titans

Let’s look at the culinary scene in two vibrant cities, New York City and Philadelphia, and explore the diverse flavors and culinary experiences they have to offer below:

Culinary Scene in NYC

Below are some key insights into the culinary scene in New York City:

  • International Cuisine: NYC is known for its diverse culinary scene, offering a wide range of international cuisines worldwide, including Italian, Chinese, Indian, Middle Eastern, and more.
  • Fine Dining: The city is home to numerous Michelin-starred restaurants and renowned chefs, making it a destination for food enthusiasts seeking high-end dining experiences.
  • Bagels and Pizza: NYC is famous for its authentic bagels and iconic pizza slices, with countless shops and pizzerias serving these beloved local specialties.
New York's Bagels and Pizza
  • Trendy Food items: The city often sets food trends, with innovative concepts like cronuts, ramen burgers, and matcha cafes gaining popularity and drawing in foodies from all over.
  • Iconic Delis: NYC’s delis are legendary, serving up classic pastrami and corned beef sandwiches, matzo ball soup, and other Jewish deli favorites.
  • Culinary Events: The city hosts various culinary events throughout the year, including food festivals, restaurant weeks, and specialty tastings, celebrating the vibrant food culture of NYC.

Culinary Scene in Philadelphia

Below are the key highlights of the culinary scene in Philadelphia:

  • Cheesesteaks and Hoagies: Philly is renowned for its iconic cheesesteaks, made with thinly sliced beef, melted cheese, and toppings, as well as its classic hoagie.
Philadelphia's Cheesesteaks and Hoagies
  • Italian Market: Philadelphia’s Italian Market is the oldest and one of the largest outdoor markets in the country, offering a wide array of fresh produce, meats, cheeses, and Italian specialties.
  • BYOB Restaurants: Philadelphia has a vibrant BYOB (Bring Your Bottle) dining scene, allowing diners to bring their favorite wine or beer to enjoy with their meal at many restaurants.
  • Farm-to-Table Movement: Philadelphia embraces the farm-to-table concept, with many restaurants emphasizing locally sourced ingredients and supporting local farmers.
  • Reading Terminal Market: This historic food market is a culinary paradise, offering a vast selection of fresh produce, meats, seafood, baked goods, and international cuisines under one roof.
Reading Terminal Market


Is Philadelphia or New York City bigger?

New York City is bigger than Philadelphia in terms of both population and land area. With a population of over 8.4 million people and an area of approximately 302 square miles, New York City is significantly larger than Philadelphia, with a population of around 1.6 million people and an area of about 141 square miles.

Why are New Yorkers moving to Philadelphia?

New Yorkers are moving to Philadelphia for its lower cost of living and expanding job opportunities, providing them with a more affordable and promising alternative to New York City’s bustling and expensive lifestyle.

How is the housing market in Philadelphia and New York City?

The housing market in Philadelphia has experienced steady growth, with a diverse range of neighborhoods offering affordable options for homebuyers. In contrast, the housing market in New York City remains highly competitive and expensive, with limited inventory and high demand driving prices up.

Is Philadelphia cheaper than New York?

Yes, Philadelphia is generally cheaper than New York regarding housing, cost of living, and overall expenses. However, it’s important to note that specific prices can vary depending on individual circumstances and preferences.

Is Philly worth living in?

Philly is worth living in, with its vibrant culture, rich history, and diverse neighborhoods. It offers an outstanding balance of urban amenities and a strong sense of community.


When comparing Philadelphia vs. New York City, it’s clear that both cities are pretty good. Each of them offers distinct advantages, attractions, and appeal.

Philadelphia showcases its historical significance, vibrant culture, and strong sense of community, while New York City boasts its global influence, diverse opportunities, and iconic landmarks.

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Philadelphia vs New York City