Are you ready to pull the plug on Las Vegas and move to fabulous New York City? Despite the higher cost of living, you’re likely looking forward to the significant lifestyle contrasts.
Even though Las Vegas may be considered the Entertainment Capital of the World, it really can’t hold a candle to the diversity and incredible volume of the New York City entertainment scene. And entertainment is just a fraction of the benefits you can look forward to.
The following details should help you compare the basic lifestyle aspects of the two cities so you can be sure you’re making the right decision.
What to Know About Moving from Las Vegas to New York City
Housing and Cost of Living
The median home value in Las Vegas is $290,535 but in NYC, get prepared for a median home value of $652,307. Scroll down to the ‘Best Neighborhoods’ section to see the median home value for each borough.
A one-bedroom apartment averages $905 in Las Vegas but plan to pay an average $1,788 in New York City. Plus, many rentals involve a brokers fee, so be sure to ask your agent if this applies.
The cost of living in Las Vegas is just 11% over the national average. The New York City cost of living is 87% higher than average. That means you’ll pay more for food and groceries, health costs, utilities, transportation, and miscellaneous expenses like repairs, insurances, eating out, clothing, and child care.
The US family median income is $70,850. It’s $62,786 in Las Vegas and slightly higher in NYC at $64,565.
Sales tax in Las Vegas is 8.38%. New York City sales tax varies from borough to borough, starting at 7% and going up to 8.5%.
If you’re a Las Vegas homeowner, you pay 0.705% property tax. Property tax in NYC also varies from borough to borough. Brooklyn offers the lowest property tax rate at 0.627%, while the highest is in the Bronx at 0.888%.
Although Nevada doesn’t levy a state income tax, plan to budget for the progressive New York state income tax of between 4% and 8.82%. New York City also imposes a city income tax.
Economy and Job Growth
The gaming, tourism, and convention sectors dominate the Las Vegas economy, and job growth was 3.5% in 2019. New York City’s economy is more diverse; major industries include finance, tech, education, tourism, manufacturing, retail trade, media, and publishing. Job growth In NYC was 0.5% in 2019.
Long term job growth in the US is predicted to be 34% over the next ten years. Models predict long term growth in Las Vegas of 39% and in NYC, 31%.
Transportation and Traffic
Las Vegas has a relatively limited public transportation system that fights to keep up with city growth. NYC is known for its excellent public transit system, especially the subway. Only 4% of Las Vegas residents commute by public transit compared to 57% in NYC. And conversely, 78% of Las Vegans commute by car compared to only 22% in NYC.
Your NYC commute will average 41 minutes one-way compared to 25 minutes in Las Vegas. With one of the longest commutes in the country, you’ll probably want to find housing that’s close to work.
Weather and Climate
Moving to New York City from Las Vegas will put you in an altered climate reality.
Average December highs in Las Vegas are 57 °F with lows of 39 °F. You’ll be gearing up your wardrobe to manage NYC winters where the average January high runs 39 °F, and the low averages 26 °F. You’ll also need to plan for 47 inches of annual rain and about 25 inches of snow – quite a difference from the 5 inches of rain and zero snow you have In Las Vegas.
Your average July high in Las Vegas is a dry 105 °F, dropping to about 81 °F at night. In NYC, the July high will be a muggy, sticky 85 °F, cooling to an average 70 °F at night.
Will it surprise you to learn that NYC’s crime rates are significantly lower than in Las Vegas? On a scale from 1 to 100, Las Vegas’s violent crime is 41, and in NYC, it’s 28. Las Vegas property crime is 43, and in NYC, it’s 25.
Crime varies among neighborhoods, so as you start to zero in on your favorites, be sure to check online for rates.
Culture, Diversity, and Demographics
Moving from a city of 621,662 people with a density of 4,385 people per square mile to a megalopolis of 8,560,000 and a density of 28,498 will be a considerable contrast. The majority of the Las Vegas population is 44% White, 33% Hispanic, 12% Black, and 7% Asian. New York represents a population of 32% White, 29% Hispanic, 22% Black, and 14% Asian.
Las Vegans lean slightly toward the liberal side of politics, with 52% of voters registered Democrat, 42% registered Republican, and 6% registered Independent or other. NYC is liberal, with 80% of voters registered Democrat, 18% Republican, and 4% Independent or other.
In addition to climate, you’ll notice a drastic geographical difference too. Say goodbye to Las Vegas’ flat arid desert valley at an elevation of 2,000 feet and say hello to New York City’s peninsula, islands, rivers, bays, and ocean harbors where you’ll settle in at an average 33 feet above sea level.
Best Neighborhoods in New York City
New York City consists of five boroughs, each of which has a vast range of neighborhoods – from beautiful tranquil suburbs with parks and green spaces to ultimate urban enclaves with intensity and density. We summarize some of the best areas in each borough below.
Directly north of Manhattan, the Bronx has about 1,470,000 diverse residents. Home values, at a median of $320,335, are typically lower than in other boroughs.
- Riverdale provides history and luxury.
- Kingsbridge offers diversity and well-priced housing.
- Fordham, the home of Fordham University, has a bustling university vibe.
- Dense Pelham Bay is full of amenities and greenspace.
- Concourse, combining industrial and residential areas, houses Yankee Stadium.
- Family-oriented Country Club offers an urban-suburban mix.
- Small Morris Park sits in the center of the Bronx.
- Mott Haven, in the southwest Bronx, offers lots of amenities and is close to Harlem.
The borough with the highest population, Brooklyn, has about 2,650,000 residents. The median home value is $669,457.
- Downtown Brooklyn has convenient access to Manhattan and a thriving business district.
- Carroll Gardens is a beautiful neighborhood with luxury condos and charming Brownstones.
- Park Slope is one of NYC’s most desirable neighborhoods because of its excellent public transit, beautiful streets, great schools, and lovely parks.
- Historic Prospect Heights is full of restaurants, cafes, bars, pubs, an array of small businesses, pretty streets, good schools, and excellent public transportation access.
- Windsor Terrace provides ethnic diversity, a strong sense of community, and a wide variety of housing types and prices.
The most densely populated of the five boroughs, Manhattan, is home to about 1,660,000 people. The median home value is $998,557.
- The Upper West Side has very expensive housing but gives you access to all the best amenities in Manhattan.
- The Upper East Side is equally expensive, and housing consists mainly of doorman condos, co-ops, and apartments, alongside elegant Brownstones.
- Lenox Hill offers exclusive shopping and median home values of almost $2 million.
- Historic Gramercy Park has an old-world feel with its tree-lined streets and beautiful buildings.
- Bohemian East Village features some of NYC’s most iconic Eastern European restaurants and terrific nightlife.
- West Village, AKA Greenwich Village, is a lively mix of creativity, old-world, hip, and happening.
- Lower East Side is traditionally a Jewish enclave with super restaurants, nightlife, and entertainment.
- Battery Park City is a more tranquil neighborhood – a planned community built on almost 100 acres of a landfill at the southern tip of Manhattan.
More suburban than Brooklyn, the Bronx, and Manhattan, Queens is located on the western end of Long Island, just across the East River from Manhattan. The median home value in Queens is $537,350.
- Astoria, known for its excellent social scene, is just a 20-minute subway trip from Manhattan and is a popular neighborhood for people employed in Manhattan.
- Sunnyside is a more tranquil suburban neighborhood with parks and community gardens.
- Forest Hills is a popular family-friendly community where commuting is convenient via the Grand Central Parkway.
- Bayside is another family-oriented neighborhood with access to parks, waterways, and marinas.
- Jamaica Estates offers high-earning professionals an elegant but more laid-back lifestyle than in Manhattan.
- Long Island City offers commercial and residential areas filled with the culture and amenities of Manhattan and Brooklyn but without the high cost of living.
- Kew Gardens has a smaller population than other Queens’ neighborhoods, with more affordable housing and a strong community vibe.
- Suburban Bellerose, in eastern Queens, has larger homes with bigger yards, shopping centers, and parks.
Located 18 miles southwest of Manhattan, Staten Island has more greenspace, parks, and single-family homes than the other boroughs. The median home value is $547,792.
- Huguenot offers convenient public transportation, nature-filled parks, and some outstanding ethnic cuisine.
- Great Kills has excellent schools, a suburban/urban vibe, beautiful parks, and recreation.
- St. George is Staten Island’s most densely populated neighborhood, mainly because residents have convenient and quick access to the Staten Island Ferry and Railway.
- New Dorp is an urban neighborhood on the east side of the island with lots of great shopping, excellent schools, and popular restaurants and cafes.
- Todt Hill is a spacious suburb that is Staten Island’s most exclusive and expensive.
- West Brighton is an established commercial and residential harbor-front community of only 5,800 residents on Staten Island’s north shore.
- Arden Heights is a dense suburban neighborhood that was developed in the 1960s and features NYC’s first planned urban development, Village Greens.
- New Springville is full of parks and woodlands but also a variety of more newly developed housing types.
Cost of Moving from New York City to Los Angeles
On average, it costs about $3500-4500 to move from Las Vegas to NYC. Though this might sound expensive, consider that you are hauling your stuff 2,522 miles across the country. The total cost of your move will depend on several variables, including your origin and destination zip codes, the time of year you’re moving, the size of your household, and which services you require. The best way to get an accurate estimate is by scheduling an in-home or virtual (no contact) walkthrough with a licensed and insured interstate mover. Get free moving quotes from the best New York City to Los Angeles movers now!