Pros & cons of living in New York City in 2023

New York City is often called the “City of Dreams,” and for a good reason. Whether you’re thinking of relocating for work or just for a change of scenery, it has something for everyone. But what’s it really like living in New York City in 2023? In this blog post, we’ll review the pros and cons to help you decide if this metropolis is the correct choice for you. And if you choose to make the move, Best Movers NYC is here to help you connect with moving professionals.

The allure of New York City’s job market

The Big Apple is not just a lively city; it’s an economic powerhouse. Home to Wall Street, the heart of global finance, it boasts a thriving fashion industry, innovative tech startups, and major healthcare providers. According to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, New York City’s Gross Metropolitan Product (GMP) was over $1.7 trillion in 2021. This enormous economic activity translates to job opportunities. As per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of August 2022, the unemployment rate was 5.3%, higher than the national average, but steadily improving. Then, the Census Bureau reported the median household income in NYC was around $70,000 in 2023. Moving companies Manhattan residents have relied on have noted that relocating for work ranks as a top reason for moving here. So, if you’re job hunting, you could certainly benefit from the city’s job market, which offers a range of opportunities that can match various skill sets.

Picture of high rise buildings that you can see while living in New York City in 2023
The job market in this city is very prosperous.

The City That Never Sleeps: Arts, culture, and nightlife

NYC is known for its world-class museums, theaters, and nightclubs. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, for example, is a must-see, and it’s situated in Brooklyn. This means that if you’re considering moving to the Brooklyn area, our partners, movers Brooklyn locals happily recommend, can help you settle near this iconic cultural gem. Beyond that, you can catch a Broadway show or visit smaller venues featuring local artists. A night out in NYC is like no other, offering endless entertainment options.

You can find everything from street food to fine dining living in New York City in 2023

Then there’s the food. Ah, the glorious food! New York City is a food lover’s paradise. From the must-try New York-style pizza and bagels to street food from trucks and vendors, there’s no way you won’t find something you like. If you’re into fine dining, the city also has you covered. As of 2023, there are around 70 Michelin-starred restaurants, proving that NYC’s culinary scene is like no other.

Here’s a quick list of some top Michelin-starred restaurants to check out:

  • Eleven Madison Park
  • Le Bernardin
  • Per Se
  • Masa
  • Daniel

The public transportation is excellent

Now, how will you get to all these fantastic places? Well, New York City offers excellent public transportation options. Subways run 24/7, and there’s always a bus or taxi available. You won’t have to worry about the hassles of owning a car, which is a significant relief for most city dwellers. The subway system alone had 1.66 billion annual riders in 2019, so you know it’s a tried-and-true method for getting around.

Picture of the subway in NYC
Living in New York City in 2023 will have you enjoying one of the best public transportation systems in the country.

The city has a rich history

Located between the Upper East Side and the Upper West Side, Central Park is a recreational haven and a historical landmark. Designed in 1858, the park is a sanctuary that provides a break from the city’s constant motion. A short distance away is the birthplace of Theodore Roosevelt, America’s 26th President, a site that adds to the area’s historical richness. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg regarding New York’s historical sites.

The city is also home to the Empire State Building, an Art Deco marvel that was the world’s tallest building when completed in 1931. Ellis Island is another must-visit, as it served as the gateway for over 12 million immigrants to the United States from 1892 to 1954. The One World Trade Center stands as a testament to resilience, built near the original World Trade Center site. There’s also the historic neighborhood of Harlem, known for its role in the Harlem Renaissance, a cultural, social, and artistic explosion centered in the area during the 1920s. So, if history excites you, New York offers an endless list of landmarks and neighborhoods to explore.

The diversity in the NYC neighborhoods cannot be beaten

The city is a patchwork of communities. Take the Upper West Side, for instance. It is known for its large Hispanic and Asian population, and as of the 2021 Census, about 25% of the residents identified as one of the two ethnic minorities. It’s a small world within a big city, giving you the feeling of a tight-knit community. Similarly, moving companies Upper East Side locals have turned to often cite the area’s family-friendly atmosphere as a reason people choose to relocate there.

Iconic landmarks abound in this city

The city is chock-full of landmarks you can’t miss. There’s the Statue of Liberty, a symbol of freedom and democracy. Then, there’s Times Square, the commercial and entertainment hub. As per insights of Midtown movers, Times Square sees an estimated 50 million visitors each year. So, if you decide to live in Midtown, expect a lively atmosphere.

Picture of the Statue of Liberty
This city has numerous globally renowned landmarks.

Nothing is perfect

While the allure of New York City is undeniable, it’s important to remember that no place is without its drawbacks. The City That Never Sleeps also has its share of issues that can keep you up at night. As much as we celebrate the advantages, giving a balanced view to anyone contemplating a move to this bustling metropolis is crucial. Before you make that significant life decision, let’s shed light on some of the challenges you might face. Knowing both sides of the coin can help you decide if living in this iconic city aligns with your lifestyle and aspirations.

High living costs for those living in New York City in 2023

One major drawback is the high cost of living. The average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Manhattan is around $3,600 as of 2023. That’s nearly twice the national average! Plus, groceries and dining out can eat up your budget quickly. In fact, the cost of living index for Manhattan stands at 148.5, where the national average is 100. This means you’ll need a solid financial plan to make it work.

Traffic issues

New York is often ranked as one of the most congested cities in the world. According to a 2021 report by INRIX, a traffic analytics company, New York City drivers spent an average of 100 hours in traffic the previous year. For this reason, moving companies Upper West Side has to provide frequently caution new residents about the area’s traffic, especially during rush hours. After all, the Upper West Side is a prime residential and commercial area, making it prone to bottlenecks.

Weather extremes in New York are not beloved

The weather in NYC can be a real challenge. For instance, during winter, temperatures can plummet well below freezing. On the other hand, in summer, the city becomes a hot, humid playground. In July 2020, the city experienced 14 days with temperatures exceeding 90°F. That’s not even mentioning the occasional hurricanes and snowstorms that disrupt daily life.

Picture of the Brooklyn Bridge during winter
The weather can get extreme.

You might not expect it, but rat problems are real

Then there’s the issue of rats. While the city has taken steps to control the rat population, problems persist. A 2019 survey from RentHop showed that rat sightings had increased by 38% over the previous five years. So, if you’re considering a move to NYC with, for instance, the assistance of Astoria NY movers, this is something to keep in mind.

Living in New York City in 2023 means living in the fast lane

The speed of life can be overwhelming in this city. New Yorkers walk faster, talk faster, and make decisions faster than elsewhere. According to a 2019 Robert Half staffing agency study, 60% of New Yorkers describe their work-life balance as “average” or “poor.” Balancing work, social life, and personal time becomes a real challenge when living in New York City in 2023.

Coping with crowds and noise pollution

On top of that, the city can get crowded. In pre-pandemic times, an estimated 330,000 people passed through Times Square daily. That’s not counting the tourists. Finding personal space can be a rare luxury in popular spots like these. On the other hand, noise pollution is another problem in popular areas. In 2019, for example, noise complaints made up nearly 10% of all 311 service requests. Furthermore, according to data from, areas around busy intersections are the noisiest, with noise levels sometimes reaching 80 decibels. This is as loud as a garbage disposal.

Job and housing markets are competitive

In contrast to the downsides, the opportunities in New York can be rewarding. But competition is fierce. According to Glassdoor, there were over 150,000 job openings in New York City in early 2022. That’s a lot of jobs, but also a lot of applicants. The housing market is similar. There are many listings, but many potential tenants too. As you can see, good opportunities draw stiff competition, making it essential to stand out.

Picture of running lanes
The housing market is just as competitive as the housing market

The lack of open spaces

While Central Park is an oasis, open green spaces are uncommon throughout the city. The Trust for Public Land reports that only 21% of New York’s city land is reserved for parks or recreational areas. That’s lower than many other major cities. So, if you enjoy wide-open spaces, you might find New York lacking.

Concerns about safety

Likewise, safety can be a concern in certain areas. According to NYPD data, the overall crime rate had increased by 2.4% year-on-year as of August 2022. However, it’s worth noting that many neighborhoods are considered very safe, with crime rates far below the city average. It all comes down to picking the right neighborhood.

Is NYC friendly or not?

New Yorkers are known to be unfriendly, but many residents say otherwise. A 2019 report from Big Seven Travel ranked New York as the 44th friendliest state in the U.S. This mixed reputation makes the city’s friendliness a subjective experience. What some see as the typical New Yorker’s directness, others interpret as rudeness.

  • What to know before making the move? – By now, you probably realize that moving to New York isn’t a decision to be taken lightly. According to a report, 34% of people moving to New York did so for job opportunities, while 29% moved for family or personal reasons. Whatever your reason, prepare for both the upsides and the downsides.
  • Can you survive without a car? – Absolutely, many people do. The MTA reported that in 2019, an average of 5.5 million people used the subway each weekday. And the city is also very walkable. In fact, Walk Score rates New York City as the most walkable large city in the U.S.
  • Is living on a budget possible? – Living cheaply is challenging but doable. Couponing, finding roommates, and shopping at thrift stores are ways to manage. A 2021 study by SmartAsset estimates that a single person needs at least $40,000 to live “comfortably” in the city.
Picture of smiling people who are living in New York City in 2023
The friendliness of New Yorkers depends on the perspective of the viewer.

Is living in New York City in 2023 right for you?

New York is a city of contrasts. It offers endless opportunities in work and life, but those come with challenges like high costs and noise pollution. Living in New York City in 2023 has its share of ups and downs, but the experience is what you make of it. Is it worth moving here? If you can navigate its complexities and appreciate its unique qualities, then the answer could be yes.



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