Choosing between two major cities can be overwhelming, not forgetting the many factors you need to consider before your move. New York and Houston are top considerations for people looking to move to a new city, but are they really comparable?
New York City is diverse and presents a thriving job market, but the cost of living is high, and the weather is quite a problem. On the other hand, Houston has a growing job market, the cost of living is lower than in NYC, and you get more sunny days in Houston than in NYC.
If these two top your list of cities you are considering moving to, this article discusses how they compare in 2023. It is a great resource to help you narrow down to one that meets your needs as far as a city goes.
NYC vs. Houston: What is the Population Like?
NYC is one of the biggest cities in the United States, with approximately 8.2 million residents. Houston is a less populated city with about 2.2 million as of 2020.
NYC is crowded and busy, with many residents cramping up the city center. NYC maintains a reputation for a fast-paced life, and the metropolitan area is just as active. That said, it is quite a challenge to make space for yourself, physical or not.
On the other hand, Houston is uncongested both within the city center and the outskirts. There is enough room for everyone as residents are spread out in the city. This means that there are fewer people in a few square miles compared to New York City.
The effect of congestion in NYC is that you can almost always expect to queue for services and wait longer for events than in Houston. This spills over to eating at a restaurant, shopping in a grocery store, etc.
Both cities are pretty diverse, having people from all over the world. Thankfully, this factor should not be a concern as the two cities make it to the top ten most diverse cities in the United States.
Regarding age distribution, however, New York City tops the list with more young professionals than Houston, Texas. New York’s average age is 35.5 years old, while Houston’s is 1.6 years older at 37.1 years.
Age distribution might not seem significant at a glance, but the younger the population, the better development perspectives there are in a city. And this is evident with New York City leading in innovations and inventions.
NYC vs. Houston: How Does Cost of Living Compare in 2023?
NYC is known for its high cost of living, but this comes with some advantages, in that job opportunities are plenty. Even so, it is still relatively high compared to Houston’s cost of living. That includes housing, daily expenditure, transportation, health care, and entertainment.
Housing and rent are cheaper in Houston than in New York, thanks to the lower population density and the availability of housing options. The same goes for food expenses and groceries; these are cheaper in Houston than in New York, and you are bound to find more organic ingredients.
While the average salary in Houston is lower by about $600 than that of NYC, Houston’s cost of living is generally cheaper. The difference is vast and significant as NYC is 94% more expensive than Houston.
Therefore, if you are considering moving to a city that is cheaper to live in and sustain your lifestyle, Houston is a better place than NYC. You may be drawn to New York City for its buzzing career pools; however, it is not always a guarantee that you will land a good-enough job.
On that note, there is much more to gain in New York, especially if you want to grow your career. So the high standards of living can be a good compromise as you work on developing your career or possibility adopting a new one.
NYC vs. Houston: Transportation
The transportation network in NYC is vast, and considering the city’s growth, you can walk almost everywhere. This is not the same case with Houston, whose transportation systems are yet to match those of NYC.
Interestingly, the city of Houston has restrictions regarding subways. The city is built from swamplands, and the soil cannot support such a complex transportation system.
Therefore, it is natural for Houston residents to get a car to move around. In New York City, the subway serves as the primary means of transportation for the residents. Its network is well distributed and near most amenities.
This makes it easy for New Yorkers to access every part of the city in minutes. And taxis are seconds away where the metro system doesn’t get to.
It is clear New York City is winning regarding transportation, but this does not mean it has the best. The quality of New York’s transit system is wanting, and there are still things that need improvements.
You can expect a delay with the Subway, and the regular repairs affect a large number of residents’ commutes. New Yorkers might have adapted to this system, which may not look like a challenge, but as a newcomer in the city, this can prove to be quite a challenge.
Transportation Costs in NYC vs. Houston
The amount of money you spend on transport can break or make your budget; therefore an essential factor to keep in mind. Public transportation is more available and cheaper in NYC than in Houston.
Houston is a car city, meaning you must account for gas, especially if you live on the outskirts. While public transportation is available, it is not as vast as New York’s and generally costs a little more too.
A monthly transport ticket will cost you about $46.38 in New York, while the same can cost you about $116 in Houston. The difference is significant, not forgetting Houston’s transit system might not always get you to your destination and might take a lot of time, costing you more in the long run.
Housing in NYC vs. Houston
Houston is much cheaper than New York City when it comes to renting. For example, a 1-bedroom apartment in the city center in Houston costs about $1,285, while the same in New York can cost an average of $3,000. This is over twice as much the cost compared to renting in Houston.
The significant difference gives Houston an advantage, making it attractive to people looking for affordable housing. And the quality of real estate in Houston is much better than that of New York, providing more space, newer finishes, and amenities.
A one-bedroom apartment in New York does not give you as much space to work with. Most of them are cramped and close together, depriving you of personal space and comfort. In Houston, you can find apartments that come with balconies and backyards.
If you are moving permanently and looking to build your own home, housing costs in Houston would be much cheaper than in New York. For example, a 2,000-square-foot home attracts construction costs between $120,000 to $150,000 in Houston.
1,500-square feet homes in New York can cost upwards of $500,000, not factoring in the cost of the land, developer’s profit, and property taxes. This difference in home prices makes Houston the best option if you want to build a home in the long run.
Additionally, it is cheaper to buy older houses in Houston, as real estate market value depreciates over time. A monthly mortgage payment is much more affordable in Houston than in NYC.
NYC’s expensive housing makes the most significant difference in the cost of living index, deterring people away from moving to NYC.
NYC vs. Houston Crime Rate
It is crucial to consider crime rates when moving to a new city, specifically because it directly affects the overall security of the area. The crime rate varies between NYC and Houston and is different depending on the type of crime.
According to bestplaces.net, violent crime in New York ranks at 28.2 whereas, in Houston, violent crime ranks at 50.4. This is on a scale of 1 to 100, with 1 being low crime and 100 being high crime.
When it comes to property crime, Houston records a higher crime rate at 60,2 compared to New York’s 24.9. These numbers are quite surprising, but it is clear New York City is a safe city compared to Houston.
All factors considered, Houston is a better place to live than New York City. The cost of living is lower because food, groceries, and housing are cheaper than in NYC. Even though the public transit system is not as vast as NYC’s, Houston still hits the Mark with the less congested city center and lower housing prices.
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