What’s the cost of living in New York?

1 min readLast updated February 7, 2024by Rachel Carey

Wondering about the cost of living in New York? This article summarizes everything you need to know, from tax rates to healthcare costs.

When considering a move to a new state, understanding the cost of living is vital for effective budgeting and financial planning. If New York is at the top of your list, here are some current statistics related to the cost of living in the state that could help you make up your mind.    

The average cost of living in New York 

New York is home to over 8.4 million people. 

Unsurprisingly, according to research, the cost of living in New York is higher than the national average. In New York City, NY alone it is 38% higher than the state average and 80% higher than the national average. 

While according to data gathered in 2022 from MERIC, the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center, the state ranks 47th in a list of states with the lowest to the highest cost of living. 

Housing costs in New York 

As of March 2023, the average home value in New York is estimated to be around $411,304, according to the Zillow Home Value Index as of March 2023.  

It’s important to note that housing prices can significantly differ across various regions within the state. Here are some examples of typical home prices based on Zillow's data: 

CityAverage Home Value
New York City $648,402
Buffalo $209,233
Rochester $199,288
Yonkers $600,834
Syracuse $162,985

The monthly rental price ranges across the state for those considering renting in New York. The average monthly rental price for two-bedroom apartments is $4,995, and an average price per square feet of $77.23. 

Utility costs in New York 

Utility costs play a significant role in New York's overall cost of living. According to Forbes, the average monthly cost is around $433.  

UtilityAverage cost in New York
Energy bill $116.70
Monthly water bill $30
Internet $30
Natural gas $96
Phone bill $114
Streaming $47

Grocery and food costs in New York 

When it comes to groceries and food costs, New York generally aligns with prices found elsewhere in the United States.   

According to Zippia, those in New York City pay $482 on average each month.  This is the fourth highest in the country. 

According to 2021 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average spending on food at home is $5,259 annually, or about $438 per month for US households.   

Transportation costs in New York 

Transportation costs, including gas prices and vehicle maintenance, impact New York's overall cost of living.  

According to MIT, a single adult with no children can expect to pay upwards of $4,400. 

Gas prices in New York are typically in and around the national average. New York was higher than the national average at the time of writing. These prices fluctuate over time.   

It is also worth noting that prices can vary across different regions within the state.  

Healthcare costs in New York 

Understanding healthcare expenses is crucial when considering the cost of living.  

The specific healthcare costs in New York can vary depending on factors such as insurance coverage and individual circumstances. Therefore, it is advisable to research and consult with healthcare providers and insurance companies to obtain accurate cost estimates. 

MIT estimates:  

ScenarioAnnual healthcare expenditure
One adult, no children $3,207
One adult, one child $8,487
One adult, two children $8,497
Two adults (one working), no children $6,666
Two adults (one working), one child $8,497
Two adults (one working), two children $8,422
Two adults (two working), no children $6,666
Two adults (two working), one child $8,497
Two adults (two working), two children $8,422

Childcare costs in New York 

Families in New York currently pay around $12,709 per year for childcare for one child. This figure doubles for two children.   

However, it's important to note that this figure can vary across the state.  

Taxation in New York 

New York’s state income tax rates operate on a progressive system. They range between 4% and 8.82%. 

Here's a comparison of income tax rates among some neighboring states:  

StateIncome Tax Rates (2021)
New York 4.00% - 8.82% (progressive tax brackets)
Connecticut 3.00% - 6.99% (progressive tax brackets)
Massachusetts 5.00% (flat tax rate)
New Jersey 1.40% - 10.75% (progressive tax brackets)
Pennsylvania Flat rate of 3.07%

The sales tax rate in New York State is comprised of both state and local components. The state sales tax rate is 4% as of my knowledge cutoff in September 2021. However, localities in New York State have the authority to impose additional sales tax on top of the state rate. Therefore, the local sales tax rates can vary across different counties and cities within the state. 

On average, including both state and local sales tax rates, the total sales tax rate in New York State ranges from approximately 7% to 8.875%. However, it's important to note that the specific sales tax rate can vary depending on the location within the state. 

You can also check out the complete guide to taxes in New York here.

The bottom line

The amount of money needed to live comfortably in New York can vary depending on location, lifestyle, family size, and personal preferences. However, as the most expensive state in the US, you may need more than you first think. 

It's essential to consider these factors, along with personal circumstances and preferences, when evaluating the cost of living in New York. In addition, consulting with a financial advisor can provide valuable insights and assistance in managing expenses and financial planning. 

Whether you’re retirement planning or considering relocating to chase a new career, Unbiased can assist you with your move's financial ins and outs. Find the right advisor for your needs today. 

Senior Content Writer

Rachel Carey

Rachel is a Senior Content Writer at Unbiased. She has nearly a decade of experience writing and producing content across a range of different sectors.