New York and Los Angeles in Numbers: How the Cost of Living Differs


New York and Los Angeles are cities of dreamers and artists, where the energy is high and the food is world famous. As two of the country’s largest cities, they’re gathering places for millennials. Where do New York and Los Angeles start when it comes to real life in these cities?

The labor market in both cities is well developed and stable. But New York is ahead of Los Angeles by an average annual income of about 3 thousand dollars: $57,782 vs. $54,501.

Different jobs are concentrated in different parts of the country. New Yorkers are more likely than residents of other cities to become transportation workers and fashion designers. Public transit drivers and subway train drivers earn $74,850 a year in that city, fashion designers earn $94,460 a year, and police officers in transportation and railroading earn $83,200 a year.

Los Angeles has a high concentration of makeup artists and media production workers. A makeup artist (makeup specialist) earns $81,110 per year, equipment workers in the media field earn $84,720 per year, and film and video editors have an income of $115,160 per year.

Both cities are known for their high housing prices. The average cost of renting a studio apartment in New York is $2400, while in Los Angeles it is $2661. But in the case of one-bedroom apartments, the difference is significant in favor of Los Angeles – renting such apartments in this city will cost $2448, while in New York – $3157. If you are going to rent an apartment with two bedrooms, in New York it will cost $2472, and in Los Angeles – $2799.

The average cost of a home in New York is $619,000 and in Los Angeles it’s $734,000.

When you say Los Angeles, the first thing that comes to mind is traffic congestion. In the City of Angels, only 9.8% of residents use public transportation, while 77.9% drive, and the average commute to work takes 30.9 minutes.

In New York City, it’s different – 56.5% of residents use public transportation, 26.6% drive cars, and the commute to work takes about 40.8 minutes.

A subway pass in Los Angeles costs $100 per month, gasoline costs $3.68 per gallon (3.78 liters), a ride on Uber for a distance of 5 miles (8 km) will cost $10.11. In New York City, you can buy a monthly pass for $121, the price of gasoline is $3.03 per gallon, and Uber will take you the same distance for $22.98.

It’s interesting to examine grocery and entertainment prices. A basic check after a visit to the supermarket for food will be $48.84 in New York and $37.31 in Los Angeles. Eating out and entertainment is slightly more expensive in the Big Apple, here are examples: a pint (473 ml) of local beer will cost $7 in New York and $6 in Los Angeles; movie tickets will cost $16 and $15, and a meal at a restaurant will cost $20 and $15 dollars, respectively.

According to the polls, Los Angeles beats New York City for life comfort and well-being, better physical health, financial security, and an optimistic outlook on the future. New York has a better career because of its high earnings. But Los Angeles wins on cost of living and balance between work and other areas of life.

So, if you’re looking for more delicious pizza, perhaps New York is for you. And if your priority is beautiful sunsets, move to Los Angeles.