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New York ScoreCard

Movehub Rating: 91

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purchase power
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crime rate
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How to Move to New York

Moving to New York City

You won’t encounter any great culture clash when you move from the UK to New York - after all, both share the same language, a very similar legal system and many of the same high-street brands. Besides, through Hollywood movies and television you’ll already be familiar with the most important cultural touchstones.

In common with London, New York is a centre of international finance and media, where most people work in international finance and media.

Unlike most of the UK, NYC is a truly 24 hour city. Many bars, restaurants, grocery stores and gyms stay open around the clock, as does the subway, the Staten Island Ferry, some hardware stores and even the odd hairdresser.

Working in New York City in Hospitality

Once you’ve got used to driving on the ‘wrong’ side of the road, you’ll find navigating New York City, with its numbered streets and avenues and efficient underground system, considerably easier and cheaper than, say, London. Facilities for cyclists are slowly improving, but unless you’re a very confident cyclist you might feel like leaving the two-wheeler behind.

One thing you might miss from the UK is greenery: while New York’s public parks are big (take for example the 843 acre behemoth of Central Park in Manhattan or Brooklyn’s 585 acre Prospect Park) and well maintained, they’re also pretty few and far between.

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New York

New York, New York; The City So Nice They Named it Twice; Empire City; The Big Apple; Gotham; The City that Never Sleeps; The City of Dreams; The Capital of The World. Whatever you want to call it, one thing’s for certain: no city that picks up so many nicknames could ever be a boring place to live.

The USA’s most heavily populated and iconic city is the inspiration for thousands of songs, books and movies. While a visit to New York can give you a taste of its awe inspiring diversity, energy and grandeur, to truly get to know it you need to live in it.

to New York City opens up a huge range of career, cultural, culinary and entertainment options but it does come with a few drawbacks. While the city’s reputation for crime is largely unearned - crime rates have been falling steadily since the 1980s and are currently pretty unremarkable - the cost of living makes it one of the most expensive cities in the world. Fortunately, in counterbalance, salaries in New York are also some of the highest globally.

While the climate is temperate for most of the year, the city’s position on the eastern seaboard of the United States leaves it vulnerable to freak storms (as in the case of Hurricane Sandy), heavy snowfalls and summer heatwaves - all of which can cause severe problems for residents.

Case Study - Moving to New York

Jim moved to New York from Australia. He had lived in New York in the late 80s and early 90s and had been invited back to work as a comedian.
“This time, unlike last time, I knew that I wouldn’t starve,”
says Jim. So he decided to go. But leaving Australia was difficult.
“I was in a developing relationship with a very sweet woman, my career was just at the verge of taking off and I was getting quite comfortable”.
Some things about the city were just how Jim remembered from his previous stay.
“I find New York City to be one of the friendliest cities in the world. As I say in my stand-up act, I love New Yorkers because they stab me in the front. They tell it like it is.”
As an expat comedian he is interested primarily in the people of New York.
“I got help from total strangers when I first arrived. They could see I was frustrated when I was lost and offer their assistance. I still find them that way. They have an amazing sense of humour as well… There is almost a sense of innocence… I can’t just go onstage with my [Australian] accent and ignore it. I have to acknowledge who I am and audiences find that very entertaining.”

But he found the practicalities of taxes and housing difficult. Jim had to pay to have a visa that would permit him to pay taxes, plus pay further tolls and self-employment taxes. Opening a bank account was difficult too, but ultimately it all worked out.

“I moved several times, which is very difficult and stressful but I finally settled into a place very close to where my cousins live and I haven’t looked back since.”

After all this, what kind of relationship does Jim have with the city?

“Nowadays, I feel very at home in New York. I keep calling New York my girlfriend; we had a rocky start because I wouldn't commit to her and always wanted to leave so we agreed to see others cities. I dated London for a little while but that's when I realized where my true love lies. I came back to New York and told her I'm willing to commit. We haven't looked back since.”

New York vs London

In terms of quality of life New York just edges London out as a desirable place to live. First of all, it seems your money goes further in NYC with both property and consumer goods working out cheaper as a proportion of average income.

In New York people also spend less time commuting to and from work and there’s marginally less crime and pollution. A good deal, as long as you can live with less green space and more expensive health care. Find out more about shipping costs from London to New York

Comparing Living Costs
Living Costs London New York
Disposable Salary $2,557 USDpcm $3,246 USDpcm
3 Bedroom Apartment $3,323 USD $4,196 USD
Imported Beer 0.33cl $4 USD $6 USD
Bottle of Wine $9 USD $13 USD
Marlboro $9 USD $12 USD
Eggs $3 USD $3 USD
VW Golf 1.4 $20,458 USD $16,778 USD
Basic Utilities $205 USD $101 USD
Rice (1kg) $1 USD $3 USD
Capuccino $3 USD $4 USD
Meal for 2 $64 USD $71 USD
Cinema Ticket (1) $14 USD $10 USD
Source: Unsplash|Hector Aguello Canals

When it comes to culture and attractions it’s a toss up. Obviously New York lags behind London in terms of historical interest but the two go toe-to-toe when it comes to museums and galleries; there’s not much between Broadway theatre and the West End; and both cities have an abundance of sporting venues.

Both cities see their warmest month in July and their coldest in January. New York is warmer than London (in the summer) but also colder (in the winter) and experiences almost twice as much precipitation.

The Job Market

Working in New York in Finance

One of the main things that people move to New York is the job market. In a city so large with so many different types of businesses it is inevitable that there will be a number of jobs available.

New York is the financial capital of the world, with Wall Street, and a number of financial firms headquartered there, there is no shortage of finance and banking related jobs. However, these jobs are often very competitive and require very skilled candidates but for people with the correct skill set these jobs can be incredibly rewarding both financially and professionally.

Because of its size and tourist nature, New York is home to a huge number of hospitality and service jobs. New York has hundreds of restaurants, hotels, and stores that need to be staffed with a large number of people in order to keep up with their customers. There are also many jobs related to tourism such as tour guides, trip coordinators, etc.

Bikes in New York

Because so many people from different parts of the world visit New York, speaking different languages is seen as a huge plus point in job candidates. New York is known as the land of opportunity because it is possible for almost anyone from any walk of life to make a living and find a job which can be seen in the city’s very low unemployment rate of 6.1%, which is only slightly above the national average.


Transportation is something very important to take into account when moving to New York. Because of the immense amount of traffic most people prefer to take public transportation rather than have their own cars.

Transportation in New York City

Space in New York is tight which means it’s almost impossible to find parking if you do have a car and paid parking is very expensive. The subway is the most popular form of transportation. New York City has an extensive subway system that runs at all hours and makes stops throughout the city. A single ticket currently costs $2.50 and a monthly pass costs $112.

Public Transportation in New York
Subway the best way to get around town, the NYC subway is open 24 hours, though the service at night can mean long waits, and runs over 20 routes
Buses for shorter distances the buses are great, particularly for travelling long avenues
Move to New York City

Aside from the subway, taxis are another popular option for transportation but as you can guess they also run on the expensive side.

Property Information

Before moving to New York, know that the majority of people in New York City rent their apartments rather than buying them. As rents indicate, property prices are extremely high with an average 2 – 3 bedroom apartment in Manhattan costing around $1,000,000.

Because of these prices and low availability of property on the market people choose to rent rather than buy. The vacancy rate for apartments in Manhattan hovers around 1% which is exceptionally low. " >Finding an apartment in New York can be very difficult so it’s important to start searching well before your move. Apartments on the market tend to be taken up very quickly so if you see something you like it’s critical to act quickly.

Occupancy rates are not expected to drop anytime soon and rents are only expected to go up so keep these factors in mind when deciding on whether New York City is right for you.


Deciding ">where to live in New York can be overwhelming at the start; the city is comprised of five different boroughs, the most well-known of which is Manhattan. The other four are Brooklyn, Queens, The Bronx, and Staten Island. The cost of living in each borough can vary dramatically so it’s crucial to do your research before choosing where to live. Each borough offers its own distinct set of pros and cons.

Move to Brooklyn, New York
  • Family Friendly: Brooklyn Heights in no other than Brooklyn, Riverdale in the Bronx, and Forest Hills in Queens are all great for families ,especially that there is more space for parks and green spaces that in Manhattan. However, the Upper East and West Sides opposite Central Park are great for those families that can afford it. Staten Island has many family friendly neighbourhoods at the cost of being too close to New Jersey.

  • Upmarket: Manhattan is the most luxurious but also the most expensive and crowded. The Bronx has the lowest per capita income but also lower housing costs. As costs in Manhattan continue to rise more and more people are moving to Brooklyn.

  • Move to New York: classic Manhattan brownstone
  • Hip & Trendy: The most notable neighbourhoods in New York include SoHo, and The Meat Packing District which are both known for their artsy and very hip vibes. They also contain some of the best bars and restaurants the city has to offer. In Manhattan, the Upper East Side is known for luxurious buildings, museums, and some of the best shopping in the world.

  • Up & Coming: Recently, more and more neighbourhoods in areas like Astoria in Queens are becoming more developed in order to cater to the city’s growing population.

Cost of Moving

The cost of moving to New York obviously varies on where you are moving from. The following costs are based on the average cost for a 20ft long shipping container shipped to NYC from the following global cities:

From Cost
London $2,785 USD
Sao Paulo $3,490 USD
Shanghai $4,235 USD
Cape Town $7,019 USD
Sydney $7,738 USD
Dubai $8,777 USD

Schools and Education

Like every area in the US, New York City has its own public school system. The city is split into multiple districts with schools to cater for each district.

Finding a school in New York

Although New York has many public schools, many people choose to send their children to private schools because they offer a higher caliber of education in most cases. Public schools in New York tend to be overcrowded and understaffed because of budgeting shortages in the city. The average cost of sending a child to private school in New York City is around $14,000 a year.

Universities in New York

New York City is home to some of the best universities in the world. Columbia University and NYU are both located in the heart of the city. Both universities offer extensive subjects and are known for their academic excellence on a global level drawing thousands of students from all over the world.

There are a number of other universities in New York as well including Hofstra, Fordham, and Hunter. College.

A Day in The Life

Now that we’ve gotten through all of the nitty gritty aspects of moving to the city, it’s time to get to the fun part – a day in the life of a New Yorker! Living in New York is an exhilarating experience and each day offers a chance to learn new things.

Living in New York City

An average New Yorker will wake up, get dressed, head out for coffee and breakfast and hop on the subway to get to work. After a day at the office it’s time for dinner and drinks with friends at any of the thousands of incredible bars and restaurants New York has to offer.

Moving to New York: daily life

Between work and dinner, there’s time to walk around and explore new areas, try out a new coffee shop, visit a new book store, or people watch in one of the many parks. In a city as large and exciting as New York the possibilities are endless!

New York City's climate through the seasons

June - August
as high as 30 degrees Celsius (86F), sinking to as low as 14C (57F)
~3 inches of rain
September - November
as high as 23 degrees Celsius (74F), sinking to as low as 4 (39F)
~4 inches of rain
New York City in Winter
December - February
as high as 5 degrees Celsius (41F), sinking to as low as -25C (-13F)
~3 inches of rain
March - May
as high as 20 degrees Celsius (68F), sinking to as low as 0C (32F)
~4 inches of rain