NYC Vs. Mexico City: Which is the Better City to Live in 2023?

NYC Vs Mexico City

When moving to a new city, you need to consider several factors to ensure you get the quality of life you desire. Factors such as the population, weather, security, architecture, transport, and people greatly influence the decision.

Mexico City generally has good weather with diverse neighborhoods and friendly, nice people, providing a better quality of life, especially for upcoming artistic/creative individuals. Compared to NYC, Mexico City’s low cost of living makes it a better option; however, it does not present as many opportunities and career paths as NYC.

New York is considered one of the most populated cities in the United States. Considered a financial center, the city spans five boroughs/counties; however, Mexico City is way bigger because its population is spread out.

Which one would you live in, between Mexico City and New York City?

Read on to see which one suits your needs best.

Differences Between NYC and Mexico City

NYC was and is still being built on immigration, with over 500 languages spoken, making it a multicultural city where people from different parts of the world bring their cultures.  

It is an expensive city, with housing and rent taking significant expenses.

The weather changes through the seasons, with winter being the most brutal season for people new to the city.

Fall in NYC is fantastic and beautiful, while spring might go either way from being pleasant to horrid.

People in New York are considered rude and pushy, with a vast majority of them being busy and focused on keeping up with the high cost of living and getting by, making it a hard-working city.

Mexico City inhabitants are more friendly, sociable, warmer, and family oriented.

The cost of living is much cheaper, and housing is more affordable.

Affordable prices apply to public transportation and purchasing of new cars.

The sub-tropical weather climate in Mexico is better and bearable even during “winter.”

The excellent weather conditions are ideal for crop growth all year round, so there’s a constant supply of fresh quality produce.

Now and then, there are occasional earthquakes. The city has 68 official languages, where 63 are indigenous.

Check out the following video.

Mexico City vs. New York Size

Mexico City is the biggest city in North America at 573 square miles, closely followed by NYC at 302.6 square miles. It’s considered one of the largest cities in the world, with Brazil’s Sao Paulo and Japan in Tokyo.

Mexico is a vibrant city with a mix of ancient and modern aspects. According to an article published by the NY Times, Mexico City is one city that has always been big, which can be attributed to its large land area.

The large area contributes to its exceptional air quality, which cannot be compared to the air pollution in and around NYC.

New York City and Mexico City hold their right in size and area of occupation in North America.

However, Mexico City takes the cup by being the largest and with a larger population.

Population Density in NYC Vs. Mexico City

The population in NYC stands at 8.8 million residents in the city center and 23.6 million in the metro area, and that of Mexico City at 9.2 million people living in the city and 21.8 million in the metro area.  It further proves that Mexico City is massive and has a larger population than NYC though the NYC metro is larger than that of Mexico.

The People in NYC

According to general standards, the people in New York are considered rude, pushy, and aggressive. They claim this is tied to the fact that it’s a busy city with constantly turning wheels that leave no room for small talk and chit-chat.

New Yorkers might consider it rude if you happen to hold up the line, say at a coffee shop or the convenience store, by chatting up the cashier.

It’s a loud city with a lot going on; people must shout to be heard to keep everything moving and not hold others back. In NYC, people are blunt and get straight to the point, which is done with indifference; it’s just the way of life in the city.

The People in Mexico City

People in Mexico City are friendly, polite, and generous. Generally, they are kind and welcoming, hospitable, and willing to help out strangers if they can.  

They face many challenges, but despite this, they have a great sense of humor and are happy, excited, and full of life which might be attributed to their simple approach to life.

Mexicans are hard-working people with strong family values and have no prejudice against foreigners, nor are they pretentious.

Mexico City Crime Rate vs. New York

By looking and hearing about the homicide and crime statistics in Mexico City, you are bound to worry and be hesitant. But the truth is unless you are planning to involve yourself in criminal cartel activities and turf wars with gangs, there’s nothing to worry about.

New York City is considered one of the world’s safest cities compared to other major cities in the world, with a low crime rate. Like in any other place, a sense of responsibility and awareness is expected to maintain one’s safety.

Most of Mexico City’s neighborhoods are majorly safe, but like any large major city, some areas are more prone to insecurity.  Such cities are La Joya Iztapalapa, Tepito, Lagunilla, Cerror Gordo, and some parts of Coacalco.

Another place to avoid is the hilltop area found in Michoacan state, the northern and central counties in Tamaulipas state, and Oaxaca state.

If you happen to find yourself in these areas, it’s advisable to maintain a low profile and find a way to get to where there are more people or easy access to public transportation.

On the other hand, New York City is far much safer than other cities, more so if you are aware of your surroundings and vigilant.

Some neighborhoods should be avoided due to muggings, pickpockets, drug-related crimes, and shootings.

These neighborhoods include:

  • Brownsville and Crown Heights in Brooklyn
  • Midtown Manhattan
  • East Harlem in Manhattan
  • Hunts Point in the Bronx
  • South Bronx

Cost of Living in NYC Vs. Mexico City

NYC is an expensive city; the cost of living is much higher as opposed to Mexico City. Housing and the cost of groceries in NYC is high compared to Mexico City, which can be attributed to the high demand for essentials.

With the same minimum wage as what you would earn in NYC, you could live comfortably, spend less money and get the best bang for your buck in Mexico City.

Mexico City is a little more affordable in terms of regular groceries. Therefore, you can afford a more decent lifestyle compared to New York if you were to make the same amount of money.

Getting around in NYC vs. Mexico City

Public transport is your best bet to avoid traffic and get somewhere faster and easier in NYC. Ideally, use the subway and avoid buses and taxis.  Luckily it operates 24 hours a day and seven days a week. As you get further from the city, you can hop on a bus or taxi to get you where subways can’t reach or get to.

The unlimited MetroCard will save you a lot if you plan to use the subway many times as compared to paying it with your card for each ride. The point to note, however, is that most of the subways are old and might be dirty, but they will get you to where you need to go regardless.

Due to the crowding and traffic on the streets, it’s easier to walk than use a car in NYC. With a comfortable pair of walking shoes, you can quickly move from one place to another and explore the city better on foot. 

In Mexico City, you can use the subway to get around, which is cheap, safe, and easily accessible; be sure to keep an eye on all your valuables. You can also use an Uber or drive if the traffic is not crazy because it tends to get intense and can hold you up for hours.

When this happens, walking, renting a bike, or using the metro would be better. Another option would be using the bus services with ticket booths available at the stations near the airports.

Attractions in NYC vs. Mexico City

New York and Mexico City have quite a lot to see.  If you are a history buff, NYC has several museums and historic buildings and is considered a top tourist destination.  Times Square in NYC is one of the most renowned attractions, including parks, the 9/11 memorial, Fifth Avenue and Rockefeller Center.

Mexico City has a lot to offer in terms of modern, ancient, and historical architecture. The pyramids in Teotihuacan are outstanding and breathtaking cathedrals and “zocalo.” You can’t miss Chapultepec park and castle, museums like the National Museum of Anthropology and Soumaya museum.

Mexico City is vibrant and colorful, offering great places to visit and explore, from ancient ruins and castles and some of the most amazing foods and cuisines to try out other than tacos.  

For anyone looking for some water fun, there are fabulous beaches, rivers, impressive waterfalls, and jungles for the more adventurous type. 

NYC has so many museums, theaters, parks, and beautiful neighborhoods that one can visit.  No fun is complete without food; thanks to the diverse and different cultures, you will have quite a selection to choose from and excite your pallet.

Entertainment in NYC vs. Mexico City

Both are big cities offering vibrant and fantastic nightlife and clubbing scenes.  Due to the small size of NYC apartments, people prefer going to clubs, restaurants, or bars to meet up with friends. The numerous theatres offer quite a selection of shows to sample from.

Besides the breathtaking landscapes, Mexico City offers entertainment that one can enjoy by visiting towns like Veracruz for its iconic music or Playa Del Carmen, which has a hipper bar culture. If that doesn’t tickle your fancy, you can try the town of Condesa for fine dining and shopping. Additionally, there is an array of street food to sample around the city. 

Weather in NYC vs. Mexico City

NYC has four distinctive seasons, with winter being the hardest for most as the temperatures can drop to even single digits during the coldest months, but it’s beautifully balanced when spring and fall come around

When winter arrives, be assured that there’s a chance it might snow. The snow most times is piled by the curbsides and street corners. During such times to avoid spoiling your dress shoes, opt to move around in a pair of boots, waterproof footwear, or another type of stout. 

Mexico City has excellent weather all year round, even though it might get quite hot in some areas like Mexicali, Obregon, or the Yucatan peninsula.  It can also get chilly in December and January during the evenings, but it is manageable.

Final Thoughts

Both cities offer a lot in terms of being metropolis areas and major hubs; it all comes down to what one is looking to gain by going to either city since both have a lot to offer in terms of culture, experiences, and opportunities. NYC is a better option regarding safety and low crime rates, but Mexico City offers cheaper options with much lower general costs.

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