You know that you want to make a significant change, and that means moving to a new city. If you are torn between NYC and Atlanta, you might be wondering what sets these two cities apart and which is the better fit for you. It can be difficult to pinpoint which one is “better” because it often depends on what qualities matter the most to you. This breakdown will help you figure out where to move next.
NYC has a larger population, lower crime rates, and a higher cost of living. Atlanta offers a more cost-effective way of life with bigger and less expensive homes and beautiful weather year-round. Both have great job markets and cultural opportunities to explore in your spare time.
Don’t start packing up those moving boxes until you read the significant differences between these two urban cities.
NYC vs. Atlanta Population
Many people turn to NYC because it is the epitome of a fast-paced and crowded city. This is one of the first and largest aspects that sets New York City and Atlanta apart. While both claim to be big cities, you will quickly see that their populations could not be further apart. NYC has roughly 8.2 million people, while Atlanta has just 512,000.
Of course, the biggest reason why NYC has a larger population is that it covers more than 300 square miles. In comparison, Atlanta boasts a pretty impressive population, given that it measures just 136 square miles. Atlanta is a bit less congested but still offers a big-city feel if you don’t mind the smaller area.
NYC vs. Atlanta Cost of Living
One of the biggest influential factors in where you should live is the cost of living. Consider how much you could earn in each city and whether you can make that dollar stretch. This is one area where Atlanta really blows NYC out of the water. Let’s take a closer look at what you can expect in three key areas: housing, food, and transportation.
Cost of Housing in NYC vs. Atlanta
When it comes to the cost of housing in NYC compared to Atlanta, you may not save much if you plan to rent. The average rent in Atlanta is somewhere around $1,200, while NYC’s average rent is about $1,500. While $300 can make a big difference in your budget, it may not be enough to sway you in one direction or the other.
However, you may find that you get a more spacious living situation by choosing to live in the Atlanta area over New York City. In many cases, you can get multiple bedrooms in Atlanta, whereas you may have to settle for a studio apartment in NYC.
For those who plan to purchase their own home, you will face significant savings in Atlanta. Based on the data collected by the U.S. Census Bureau, the median value of owner-occupied housing units was just $314,400 in Atlanta compared to $635,200 in NYC.
Cost of Food in NYC vs. Atlanta
How often do you like to go out to eat? New York City is known for its many restaurants and fine dining options, but they could break your budget. If you choose to eat in a mid-range restaurant, a three-course meal for two often runs around $100. You can slash this budget in half by living in Atlanta, where a comparable meal will only set you back $50.
Of course, you won’t be going out to eat every night, so it’s important to consider groceries as well. Here is what you can expect to pay for your food bill each month:
- National average: $324.33 per month
- NYC average: $486.71 per month
- Atlanta average: $312.65 per month
You might be able to save even more by choosing to eat more meals at home in Atlanta, with a grocery budget that is just slightly below the national average.
Transportation in NYC vs. Atlanta
In NYC, it is generally accepted that most people do not own their own vehicles. There is a robust public transportation system with the subway, buses, and numerous taxi companies. Not only can you save time by allowing someone else to ferry you around the city while you work from the comfort of your subway seat, but you can save money this way too.
Public transportation in NYC ranges from $2.75 to $6.75, depending on where you choose to ride.
On the other hand, most people in Atlanta drive their own vehicles, which can lead to congestion and longer commute times. Standard fare via the MARTA train will cost you $2.50 if you opt for public transportation.
Lifestyle and Culture in NYC vs. Atlanta
New York City is well-known as a cultural mecca in the United States and around the world. It is home to Broadway shows and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It is also well-known for its many skyscrapers and rich history. You can spend your weekends touring the Statue of Liberty, American Museum of Natural History, and the Empire State Building. You may even want to take a leisurely stroll around Central Park.
Atlanta likewise has a bustling nightlife and plenty of things to do during the daylight hours. This urban metropolis is home to many important historical movements, including the American Civil Rights Movement, which is reflected in many of its museums and monuments.
In addition, you can explore some of the best culture offered on the East coast with their public art scene and High Museum of Art. If you prefer to explore with your ears rather than your eyes, you can visit the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, the theater, or a musical.
Job Industry in NYC vs. Atlanta
Are you worried about how you will find work in the area you choose to move to? Knowing what to anticipate from the job market in both of these cities will be essential before you make a move.
In NYC, they have a slightly higher unemployment rate that comes in near the national average at 8 percent. The job industry is highly diversified, offering jobs in just about every sector, such as jobs in entertainment, finances, and more. They have thousands of job positions that pay more than $100,000 annually.
Atlanta has a lower-than-average unemployment rate, coming in just a bit over 7 percent. Many of the available jobs in this city are related to professional and business services. This category is closely followed by trade, transportation, and utilities. Coming in third, leisure and hospitality offer more places of employment. There is also a robust healthcare system and higher education in the area.
Climate in NYC vs. Atlanta
Would you rather see the snow in the winter or soak up the sunshine year-round? This is one area where NYC and Atlanta could not be further apart. In NYC, you will have mild summers and snowy winters, keeping you cool through most of the year. This allows you to truly experience all four seasons.
On the other hand, Atlanta offers much warmer weather all year round. You will get brutally hot summers but mild winters where snow is a rarity. Temperatures rarely dip below freezing and frequently surge higher than 90 degrees during the hottest parts of the year. Additionally, you will experience much more humidity in this southern city.
Crime Rate in NYC vs. Atlanta
Both NYC and Atlanta are considered major cities, and they have crime rates that are often indicative of this setting. If you choose to move to either of these cities, be prepared that you may need to take extra precautions to avoid being a victim of any type of crime, whether that is a property crime or a violent crime.
The crime rate in NYC is relatively low for such a big city but could still be alarming for many who are used to the relative safety of a small town. 2 percent of residents will be the victim of a property crime, and less than 1 percent will be the victim of a violent crime. The good news is that homicide rates are trending downward in NYC.
According to Neighborhood Scout, Atlanta is even less safe than NYC. There is a slightly higher risk of being the victim of a violent crime and almost a 3 percent risk of being the victim of a property crime.
Which City is Right for You?
How do you know whether NYC or Atlanta is the better fit for you? Consider which attributes are the most important to you:
- Stretching your budget
- Climate conditions
Both cities have a lot to offer prospective residents, but it depends on what matters to you. NYC is great for a big-city feel if you don’t mind dealing with snow and ice during the winter. Atlanta has a thriving cultural scene and a cheaper cost of living, but its crime rates are a bit higher. Before you hire a moving company, be sure to refer to this guide to learn more about what to expect.
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