NYC Vs. London: Which City is Better in 2023?

NYC Vs. London

London must have popped up in your mind if you have thought about living outside the US. The United Kingdom capital city is similar to NYC in many ways; think about history, art, fashion, and culture. But there are notable differences between the two that can impact your decision to live in either.

NYC and London are highly populated cities, with New York having over 8.4 million residents, slightly smaller than London’s 9 million. They have a similar buzz and city feel; however, London is almost double the size of New York, providing more green areas for its residents.  

Picking one of the two iconic cities can be a challenge, but you should compare the quality of life to see which one matches your needs. This article delves deep into the similarities and differences of these cities, helping you decide which one to choose. 

Population in NYC vs London

NYC, The Big Apple, is a highly populated city in the United States, with over 8 million residents. On the other hand, London, The Big Smoke, has over 9 million residents. Both are big cities, so you can expect crazy human traffic on the streets. 

It is surprising to see that London has a higher population than New York, as New York has always been seen as the cramped one. London does not seem as populated as New York City because of its large size. 

New York covers about 302.6 square miles, while the greater London area covers approximately 607 square miles. This gives London an upper hand in distributing its residents, contributing to its less cramped-up nature. 

Even so, the city center of London is as busy as that of New York City as a vast number of residents running businesses and working in the city center. There is not much difference in the population density, so it should not deter you from choosing one over the other.  

Diversity in NYC vs London

Both cities are pretty diverse, attracting people from all walks of life. According to the government data website, London has 61.5% white, 13.8% Black or African American, and 19.2% Asian, with the other chunk covering other races. 

On the other hand, NYC has 42.5% white, 24.6% Black or African American, and 13.9% Asian, with the additional percentage covering other diverse races. According to World Population Review, these numbers clearly show that New York City is diverse. 

From the data from both cities, NYC seems more diverse than London, with races other than white taking a significant percentage of the population. However, the main difference is the number of whites in both cities, with London taking the lead. 

Generally, both are diverse and inclusive, so you can be sure to find different people from all around the World in both cities. Again, these numbers do not necessarily determine the friendliness of a major city but can help you gauge the kind of people to expect. 

Talking of the people, Newyorkers are pretty erratic, forward, and confident, but in a good way. Being in such a busy and fast-moving city, you have to be confident and proactive to survive in NYC. New Yorkers will call you out for anything, so it is not for the weak-hearted.  

On the other hand, London people are polite, giggly, and sometimes judgemental. Londoners respect their polite dressing code but will unbutton their shirts at the pub. They are generally polite; however, they will stare at oddballs and give you a judgemental look.  

Cost Of Living in NYC vs London

Both cities are known for their high costs, but London appears to be more expensive than NYC. And this is not just for the residents but tourists too. London is the most expensive city for tourists, from meals, taxi rides, and accommodation in hotels. 

In a study by The Daily Mail, London came in first with a cost of $485 while New York came third with a total of $466. This was after comparing the cost of food, taxi rides, and accommodation in a four-star hotel. 

The difference does not seem like much, but the costs can quickly add up if you spend money on other things. Does this mean that the costs would be even higher if you lived in London than how much you would spend living in New York? 

Let’s go over the cost of groceries, public transportation, and housing for a detailed comparison. 

Cost of Groceries in NYC vs London

Surprisingly, New York City is more expensive than London when it comes to the costs of groceries. New York is at least 60% more costly than London except for milk and cigarettes. 

If you live day-to-day while depending on low-priced items in grocery stores, New York is not the best place for you. Groceries in London are 37.92% lower than in New York, while consumer prices in London are 16.52% lower than in New York. 

The higher prices in New York can be attributed to the higher demand for consumer goods. Again being half the size and about the same number of residents as London, it is expected that groceries and other consumer goods would be expensive to meet the demand. 

Public Transportation in NYC vs London

The public transportation in NYC and London is pretty advanced, with a vast network of trains, buses, and taxis. They both have an extensive underground train system that decongests the roads greatly. 

In New York, the NYC Subway transports residents around the city, while the London Underground, also known as the ‘tube,’ works to get people around the city. New York City tops if the number of tracks and stations is anything to go by. 

The Subway system has 24 lines, 468 stations, and 659 miles of track, while the Tube has 11 lines, 270 stations, and 249 miles of track. Considering London is more extensive than New York, it is evident NYC has better coverage. 

Also, the Subway runs 24 hours a day while the Tube stops operation at midnight. Therefore, you cannot depend on the Tube as your only means to get around the city. 

It is much easier to commute in New York City than in London, as the public transport system is much more efficient and covers a broader range. London is quite efficient; however, you would need to switch from the underground train to buses or taxis to get to your destination. 

When it comes to the cost, the Subway is cheaper to use than the Tube. A single ride on the Subway costs $2.75, and an unlimited monthly pass comes at $116.50. A ride on the Tube costs $7.30, and a monthly pass costs $191. 

New York City costs less to move around from these numbers, and the system is more dependable. 

Housing in NYC vs London

Real estate in both cities is pretty high, but getting an apartment in London is more expensive than New York. London ranks as one of the most expensive cities to rent and buy. One square meter of an apartment in London costs $34,531, while the same costs $18,499 in New York. 

If you were to rent, you would need to pay an average cost of $6,856 for a 120 square meter apartment in London. The same apartment in New York would cost you an average monthly rent of $6,553. New York City is, therefore, cheaper to buy or rent than London. 

Attractions in NYC vs London

It is challenging to compare the quality of attractions in both cities, as this depends on personal taste and preferences. But we can look at the number of attractions in each city. 

London tops with 492 sights and attractions while New York has 285. London has 38 more museums than New York City, which has 224. London also has 36 more tours and attractions than New York’s 439. 

The top attractions in NYC are Central Park, Empire State Building, Times Square, and the Hudson River, whereas London has Hyde Park, London Museum, and the Thames River. 

London has a variety of attractions to choose from and offers free admission to most museums and galleries. Therefore, you are likely to see more in London at a lower cost than in New York City. 

London has a lot to see; however, it does not feature a lot of theatres and concerts. The Big Apple has 363 theatres, whereas London has 277. Despite the difference, both cities have vibrant theatre scenes that you can barely scratch the surface of. 

Entertainment in NYC vs London

The entertainment industry in both cities is vibrant, thanks to the high and diverse population. It is difficult to determine which of the two cities has more restaurants and other entertainment scenes. 

If the quality is anything to gauge the entertainment industry in both, NYC seems to be ahead. Nyc has 126 Michelin star restaurants, twice the number of London’s restaurants with Michelin stars.

More to this, 9 NYC restaurants made it to the World’s 100 Best Restaurants List, whereas London recorded just five. Therefore, NYC wins since it has more restaurants with a high rating and provides a variety for the diverse population. 

If you like to party, New York, the city that never sleeps, is probably the best city for you. Bars and clubs stay open much later than those in London, so you are bound to enjoy more nightlife and get a different experience from London pubs that close early. 

But the city of London has more pubs and bars, recording about 1190 establishments more than NYC’s 816. So, if you like to club-hop, London can give you a wider variety than NYC. But, consider that London is bigger, so the established are distributed across a larger area than NYC. 

Generally, NYC wins on this one because it has more establishments, and they stay open till late. 

Weather in NYC vs London

It seems like London receives more rainfall than New York, but in reality, New York gets more precipitation, including snow. London gets rainy around October with 2.42 inches, while New York gets rainy around May with 4.48 inches. 

Temperatures in London are milder than those of New York throughout the year. Average lows in New york are during the winter months, hitting as low as 20 to 30 Fahrenheit. On the other hand, London lows hover around 40 degrees Fahrenheit. 

During the summer, temperatures are higher in New York than in London, hitting average highs of 80 degrees Fahrenheit. In London, temperatures in the summer are 10 degrees F lower than those of New York. 

London is friendly when it comes to weather, but there is not much difference. Both cities are known for their extremes in weather changes, so this may not impact where you decide to live. 

Job Opportunities in NYC vs London

Both cities have myriad opportunities in all fields, thanks to the massive growth in small and large corporations. There are plenty of jobs to choose from; however, you would need a high-paying job to afford to live in these cities. 

Both NYC and London are known for their financial markets, including banks. They have a thriving creative industry providing marketing, advertising, and theatre jobs. 

Annual salaries between the two cities do not vary greatly, but they are higher in NYC. But, considering the higher cost of living in NYC, the wage gap should not be much of a concern. But this is dependent on your industry, so you might want to look into your job specifics. 

Final Thoughts

New York City wins in many ways, including lower cost of living, public transport coverage, housing, and entertainment. But, London is less crowded, offering more green space, better weather, and more attractions. 

So, it boils down to what you are looking for and the kind of lifestyle you want to curate. Each city has a lot to offer its residents, so you would need to evaluate the most critical elements to choose a city that meets your needs. 

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