Why Is NYC So Expensive? (11 Reasons Why)

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Morgan Stephens

Morgan Stephens has been to 43 countries and counting, and he's never content to stay in one place for too long. Right now, he's living in South Korea, but he's always on the lookout for his next adventure.

If you think about popular cities in the world, New York City (NYC) will likely be one of the first cities you think of. Besides being an incredibly famous city, NYC is also notorious for being expensive.

If you have thought about visiting or moving to NYC, you might wonder why NYC is so expensive. I looked up some facts, and here is what I learned!

Why Is NYC So Expensive?

NYC is expensive because NYC is convenient to live in, thanks to the available public transportation, establishments, and entertainment. Plus, people keep moving into NYC to get better jobs, which gradually increases the cost of living. Also, the real estate in NYC is very valuable and expensive since NYC is not large.

Do you want to find out more facts about what makes NYC expensive? I made a list of factors below, so keep reading!

1. Ease Of Transportation

Generally, whenever a place has a lot of transportation methods, and commuting is easy, the price of living in that area will be more expensive.

That said, this is because having many ways to commute makes life more convenient, which can add to the overall cost of living.

NYC is known for having tons of buses and taxis available for you, along with a subway station that can quickly take you to different parts of NYC.

Therefore, it would be very easy for NYC citizens to commute whenever needed, which increases the overall cost of living in New York City.

2. Convenience

Another reason NYC is so expensive is that it is a very convenient place to live in, especially for people who are often busy.

If you live in any city in NYC, you will find that almost everything you need is walkable or can easily be reached via bus or taxi.

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For instance, you can easily walk to a laundry shop if you do not have a washer and dryer in your apartment.

Generally, most establishments in New York City are located close to each other, so living in any part of NYC means you will find what you need within a few blocks.

3. Popularity

Popularity is one of the driving reasons why NYC is expensive since most people want to move to NYC.

So, since NYC is popular, many people will regularly try to move into NYC, which will naturally make everything in the city more expensive.

4. Large Job Market

Another common reason the cost of living in NYC is expensive is that the job market in NYC is huge.

For example, NYC is full of various industries that are often looking for new employees, meaning people can usually find a job in their field.

Additionally, there are many jobs in NYC, and many of the jobs you can get in NYC are high-paying jobs.

Since most of the jobs in New York City pay well, the cost of living will go up since the economy is strong.

Typically, the average annual salary of a citizen of NYC is $69,182, whereas the average yearly wage of citizens from other states ranges from $34,248 to $51,916.

Also, the salaries tend to go up to help the citizens maintain buying power since the cost of living will be more expensive.

5. Dense Population

5. Dense Population

One of the significant reasons NYC costs so much to live in is that the population is very dense.

As of 2022, there are roughly 18,867,000 living in NYC, with approximately 1 million people moving into NYC each year since 2018.

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Since there are so many people in NYC, the cost of living tends to rise since there will be so much business available in NYC.

6. Rent Control

Rent control should be a good thing for citizens since rent control keeps rent prices of real estate from spiking, which should be in the renter’s favor.

However, long-time NYC citizens who do not want to leave often hold rent-controlled real estate.

Therefore, any newer real estate available in NYC is allowed to get higher since the real estate will be newer.

Further, this means that any available real estate you can find in NYC will likely be costly since all the rent-controlled real estate would be taken.

7. Valuable Real Estate

Usually, another huge factor as to why NYC is so pricy to live in is that the real estate in NYC is very valuable.

While there are many reasons real estate in NYC is so valuable, one of the primary reasons is that there is not a lot of space in NYC.

For instance, Manhattan is one of the most popular and expensive parts of NYC, but Manhattan is only 13.4 miles long and 2.3 miles wide.

Therefore, the value for even a small plot of land in NYC will be very costly since NYC lacks space.

8. Entertainment

NYC is an amazing place for tourists since there are many places to visit for entertainment, making NYC more expensive.

For example, you can visit the Empire State Building, One World Observatory, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Other than typical tourist spots, New York City hosts many bars, restaurants, live performances, and more to keep various people entertained.

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9. Transient

NYC can be considered a transient city where people constantly come and go, which surprisingly can make NYC pricy.

Further, this is because many new people will move into NYC not knowing the average cost of living, allowing people to keep the prices high.

10. Public Services

If you are a citizen, NYC has various public services that can assist the residents, especially those in need.

Typically, these public services are funded through the taxes of NYC citizens, which can make it more expensive for middle-class people to live in NYC.

11. Construction Costs

Costs for construction in NYC tend to be much higher than in other states due to the workers, equipment storage, etc.

Further, this means that the land owners will want to recoup the construction costs by charging more for rent once the construction is done.

To know more, you can also read our posts on why Vancouver is so expensive, why Nantucket is so expensive, and why Seattle is so expensive.


NYC is one of the most expensive cities to live in in the United States since real estate is very valuable and offers convenience for its citizens, thanks to all the businesses in NYC.

Additionally, many people want to move to NYC to get new, high-paying jobs, which will increase the cost of living in NYC.


  • Morgan Stephens

    Morgan Stephens has been to 43 countries and counting, and he's never content to stay in one place for too long. Right now, he's living in South Korea, but he's always on the lookout for his next adventure.

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