New York vs Los Angeles: What Is the Difference?

New York vs Los Angeles

In this article

Statistics show that more than 70 million people visit the United States annually. And New York receives the highest number of tourists, with over 10 million visits, while Los Angeles comes third with over 4 million visitors. These two cities have excellent sites and structures that welcome visitors every time.
For example, New York has magnificent sites like the empire state building, the Laguardia airport, and Greenwich village. Los Angeles, on the other hand, has the Lakers, the famous Hollywood sign, Beverly hills, and intriguing amusement parks. Los Angeles also houses the second largest airport in the United States ( Los Angeles International Airport) and popular universities like the University of Southern California.
Both cities have strip malls and give enough room for luxury living. Both cities have featured in a lot of movies which makes them even more popular, thereby attracting tourists from across t he globe. And as such giving rise to diverse opinions and preferences among tourists who have visited both cities. But, what is the difference between these two cities? Find out in this article.

New York vs Los Angeles: The Essential Differences

New York and Los Angeles are big cities in the US. However, they have striking differences. These differences are listed below.
  • 1. Los Angeles has higher real estate prices compared to New York City
  • 2. Los Angeles is more affordable than New York City.
  • 3. Public transportation in Los Angeles is cheaper, and the city has more vehicle owners.
  • 4. New York City is relatively safer than Los Angeles.
  • 5. New York City has more career opportunities as well as high-paying jobs.
  • 6. The lifestyle in New York city is busier than in Los Angeles
  • 7. New York has interesting nightlife with higher food costs.
  • 8. Los Angeles has an enjoyable natural life
  • 9. LA has a larger land size.

Real Estate Prices

In terms of housing costs, houses in Los Angeles sell for higher than in New York. However, New York, also known as the big apple, has a higher rent cost than Los Angeles.
For example, the average value of homes in New York City starts from $750,000 to $1 million and beyond. While in Los Angeles, houses go for as high as $990,000 to $1.5 million and beyond.
For rent, one bedroom apartment in New York City centre costs $3,000 to $4,000 monthly on average. This is a bit on the high side compared to Los Angeles, which has single bedrooms that cost $2,700 monthly. Apartments on the outer parts of both Los Angeles and New york city cost less money. NYC Apartments cost around $2400, while Los Angeles costs around $1,950 monthly.

Cost of Living: Which One Is More Affordable?

Although both NYC and LA are high-cost states in the US, the cost of living is generally higher in NYC compared to LA. places a 27.9% difference between both cities because a $9,000 standard of living in New York is equal to a $6,200 standard of living in Los Angeles. Let's dive in with instances.
An average meal in a cheap restaurant in New York City costs $25, while it costs $17.5 in Los Angeles. One litre of milk in NYC costs $1.23, while in Los Angeles costs $1.13. Wears in both cities have significant differences as a pair of regular men's leather shoes costs $153 in the big apple, while it costs $137 in LA. Basic household costs like water, electricity, and garbage cost an average of $164 in New York City and around $137 in Los Angeles.

Getting Around: Public Transportation vs Car Ownership

New York is a large city with a vast and accessible public transport system. However, its transportation system is slightly more expensive than Los Angeles. One of the reasons for its high cost is that its public transit system does not reach every part of the city, so people often drive their cars, incurring car expenses.
About 1.5 million out of 3.1 million households have cars in New York. This is about 50% of its entire population, compared to LA, which has over 85% of its population as car owners with over 2000 gas stations. It is easy to get around NYC because it has walkable neighborhoods. LA is also walkable with good road networks. However, rush hour makes traffic in LA notoriously bad.
In NYC, a single ride on the subway costs $2.75, and a monthly pass costs about $129. However, most bus lines in Los Angeles have one-way rides for $1.75, while the monthly tickets go for $99.5. A taxi's normal tariff costs $4.25 in New York City and $4 in Los Angeles.
Transport systems in both cities do not delay beyond 5 minutes. Los Angeles has 170 bus lines, and about 81% arrive early. Public buses in LA are not considered late until 5 minutes. This same rule applies to New York city trains.
Both cities pay detailed attention to their transportation hygiene levels. Los Angeles and New York ensure that their vehicles and trains are cleaned as regularly as possible, mostly every day.
Although the transport systems in both cities are undoubtedly efficient, Los Angeles has a more affordable system, allowing people to utilize public transportation. LA wins in this category.

New York vs Los Angeles: Is One Safer Than the Other?

According to Rent Own Sell New York, Los Angeles has a higher crime rate than New York City. A report on violent crimes (rape, life-threatening assault, murder, etc.) in both cities revealed that Los Angeles scored 29.1 while New York City scored 24.9.
The property crime rate in both cities is also high as Los Angeles scores 35.1 while New York city scores 24.9. Studies show that New York has an average of 4,000 gun arrests yearly, as the NYC police department reported 2290 gun arrests in the first half of 2021.
Numbeo reported that New York has a crime index of 48.54. It also has a safety index of 51.46, a violent crime probability of 1 out of 172, and a property crime probability of 1 out of 50.
On the other hand, Los Angeles has a crime index of 51.23, a safety index of 48.77, a violent crime probability of 1 out of 134, and a property crime probability of 1 out of 44.
Nyc wins in this context.

Career Opportunities & Overall Job Landscape

Both cities offer career and job opportunities for expats and indigenes. However, they have their specialities in different industries. While both cities have thriving local businesses, New York City has more opportunities in the financial sector, while Los Angeles offers more career opportunities in the entertainment industry.
Although both cities offer many job opportunities, New York City has more high-paying jobs than Los Angeles. According to Numbeo, the average salary in New york city is $6,523 monthly, while Los Angeles pegs at $5,200 monthly.
The highest paying jobs in New York City are the roles of a Consultant and Sales Representative with an average annual salary of $244,000 and a General Surgeon with an average yearly wage of $222,700 annually. For Los Angeles, the highest paying jobs are the roles of a Cardiologist with an average annual salary of $314,000 and a Psychiatrist with an average yearly wage of $305,000.
Are workers more satisfied in New York City or Los Angeles? Individuals who can manage a low standard of living with their high incomes can comfortably stay in New York. However, Los Angeles offers more satisfaction.

Los Angeles vs New York: Lifestyle & Diversity

Talking about the usual lifestyle of people in these cities, what's their pace like, what's the offer of recreational activities, how diverse they are in terms of culture?
The lifestyle of New Yorkers and those in Los Angeles is interesting, to say the least, depending on your taste. They sure know how to have fun at luxury restaurants, clubs, and parties. New York is called the city that never sleeps for a reason, so you can easily order from any store of your choice at 2 am.
With LA being one of the biggest entertainment hubs in the world, their lifestyle is pretty much that of showbiz. They care a lot about their appearances and have quite a slower pace of life.
The diversity of new yorkers can be traced to how they have various languages in the metropolitan areas leading to a perfect blend of cultures. On the other hand, Los Angeles has its fair share of arts, museums and cultural exhibitions, but it is not as diversified as New York City.

Food Scene & Nightlife

Both cities offer interesting nightlives, music concerts, and other events. However, what are their differences?
When it comes to food, New Yorkers know their craft well. As expensive as they may be, New York is one city known for its fantastic food and art combinations with excellent results. From fine dining restaurants like Smith & Wollensky, Club A Steakhouse, and Jungsik, to local cuisines such as 5 Napkin Burger, and Barneys Greenhouse, you need to decide what you want.
Restaurants in Los Angeles are also not short of fine dining, local cuisines, and moderately priced options. Some of them include Le grand restaurant, Musso and Frank Grill, Toast Bakery Cafe, Shin, etc. their famous street food options include tacos, meat skewers, burgers, burritos, etc.
Just as said earlier, to be able to get a good meal for one, you should budget about $17.50 in Los Angeles and $25.00 for new york city. You need about $90.00 in Los Angeles and $95.00 for a three-course meal to feed two people.
If you're new to new york, you should prepare to spend on housing, food, and plan to have fun. While in Los Angeles, you can get lots of fun with less expenditure.

New York vs Los Angeles: Do They Have Access to Nature?

The excitement and thrill that comes with city life are second to none. In the category of access to nature, Los Angeles takes the trophy. The array of beaches, desserts, and mountains are all beautiful scenery you can feed your eyes with. In this city, most people prefer to engage in physical activities and outdoor recreational activities.
In New York City, you can find aesthetically pleasing nature sites. Upstate New York is a perfect example, with stunning scenery. In addition, central park is also one of the good nature parks out there.

Weather: Which City Has a More Pleasant Climate?

The most part of the year is alluring and comforting in LA. Los Angeles has a Mediterranean climate with dry summers and rainy winters. However, the city is prone to natural disasters, which can be a huge turn-off.
New York City, on the other hand, has four seasons that can be downright oppressive. It is suitable for individuals who want to experience all kinds of weather conditions in their strengths, from sun, snow, spring, and fall. It is important to note that its weather quickly switches from zero to a hundred and back again.

Los Angeles Population vs New York: Size Matters

Speaking of their population and sizes, is one bigger than the other? Yes, there are striking differences between them. New York has a more diverse population compared to LA. It is bigger than most east coast cities with a land size of 304 square miles and a population of about 70,000 people per square mile. Los Angeles has a land size of 472 square miles.
If you have an issue with crowds, then you might not want to choose New York City. Los Angeles is quite a full city, but it however has its structures evenly spaced, which allows for it to accommodate more.
Furthermore, with the efficient subway transportation system in New York City, commuting in Los Angeles is relatively more of a hassle.

New York vs Los Angeles: Let's Weigh in the Pros & Cons

Speaking of the cost of living and transportation costs, LA has the upper hand compared to NYC. NYC is a go-to place for ballers and party lovers because they can party all night with food and drinks available. However, Los Angeles has lesser tolerance for late-night parties.
New York City has a higher safety index and better career opportunities. However, it has a higher cost of living and a smaller land size too.
Los Angeles, on the other hand, has a lower cost of living with a more comfortable and stable climate. The city also has an affordable transport system. Its neighborhoods are widely spaced, which actually makes them less walkable.

Which City Is Better to Live in: LA or NY?

For starters, it’s good to know that reaching New York has become a bit easier with the ESTA for New York, and the same goes for LA: you can obtain the California ESTA if Los Angeles is your dream destination.
In the end, NYC and Los Angeles are huge cities in the US. However, they have their up and downsides.
Settling in any city boils down to preference. If you are comfortable with harsh climates, high cost of living, and high-income rates, you can opt for NYC. However, LA is your go-to place if you want to enjoy a low cost of living. However, you would need to be security conscious.


This depends on your preference. If you're looking for a calm environment that can still have fun, then you should consider LA. NYC is your best fit if you don't mind the crowd, a fast-paced life, and 2 am meals.
Due to the difference in housing prices, LA is less expensive to live in compared to NYC. In addition, the prices for daily feeding are way lower in LA, whether cooking or eating out.
New York is richer than LA due to the numerous wealth inflow into the city. Due to early establishments, taxing systems, and proper management, it has been able to handle and maintain its wealth.
With both coasts being highly populated, they are both prone to street dirt. However, the streets of LA are relatively cleaner than New York's. According to independent research, New York has been ranked number 1 in dirtiness, with LA following close behind as number 2.
The best coast between the two is quite indecisive as they are both commendable cities, and preferences might defer. However, Los Angeles might have the upper hand due to its stable weather, beaches, and nearness to Las Vegas.
While New York has a history of violence, it is relatively safe compared to Los Angeles. Los Angeles has a higher crime rate, such as thefts, assaults, and vandalism. You can say New york is easily the safer choice.

Written by Abisola Fikayomi

Abisola is an accomplished writer interested in US Travel, immigration, passports and visas. She’s passionate about exploring new places and cultures and willing to share her experiences, expertize and findings with others. That is her primary drive for specialising in this industry.

Ultimate USA Road Trip Itinerary

Many people dream about doing a USA road trip because it is the best destination in the world to go on a road trip. There are so many different options in regards to road trip routes and you can make your trip as short or long as you like. You can combine beach visits with city sightseeing and cultural visits with casinos.

Read More..

United States Pet Passport & Regulations

If you are planning on taking your dog to the US then it is a good idea to find out all of the information that you need to know and the requirements for importing a dog into the US. Whilst the EU does have pet passports, which are a physical passport for your pets ,in the US a pet passport just refers to the different documentation that is needed for you to be allowed to take your pet into the US.

Read More..