LA vs. NYC Living Comparison

By PropertyClub Team
Feb 20th 2024
What's the difference between LA and NYC and which city is a better place to live? When comparing LA vs NYC living it is important to consider the pros and cons of living in each city, from the nightlife and entertainment scenes to real estate prices and weather.

hash-markLA vs. NYC Real Estate Prices

The biggest elephant in the room these days is the price of real estate, and we’ll be honest. It should be. Though both cities are notoriously expensive, living in LA vs NYC means that you will save a pretty penny on your home. 

The average price of a house in NYC is around $1 million. In Los Angeles, the price of a house goes for around $660,000. While most parts of the country would balk at either, it’s clear that buying a home in the Big Apple is a far more difficult task. 

Verdict: Los Angeles real estate is cheaper than NYC. 

hash-markLA vs. NYC Cost of Living

Although both cities are expensive compared to the national average, the cost of living in LA is lower than in NYC. According to Numbeo, the cost-of-living index for New York is 100, while the COLI for Los Angeles is 84.8. That indicates LA is about 15.2% less expensive than NYC. Rent prices, in particular, are 23.2% cheaper in LA than in New York City. The purchasing power of LA residents is 32.5% higher as well. It would take $10,000 to maintain the same standard of living in New York as a person with $7,683.3 in Los Angeles.

Verdict: Los Angeles is cheaper than New York City. 

hash-markLA vs. NYC Weather

New York City has four seasons that can range from the bitter cold to the swelteringly hot. That makes it a great place for people who want to experience snow, sun, and a little bit of spring and fall too. Though it has inclement weather, wildfires and earthquakes don’t really happen here.

Los Angeles, for the most part, is famous for its perfect Mediterranean weather. It’s almost always sunny, the temperatures don’t fluctuate too much, and it’s always a good time for the beach. The problems here, though, are earthquakes and wildfires. So, it’s a tradeoff.

Verdict: Los Angeles takes this hands down. It's hard to beat the incredible LA climate. 

hash-markLA vs. NYC Transportation

In New York City, public transit and walking is a way of life. You can get to almost any point in the city without a need to drive. That’s why many people in town don’t have (or want) a car. If you’re athletic and love a good stroll, it’s a great thing to have.

Los Angeles is a driver’s city. Everyone will have a car here, even if they only need to drive a couple of blocks over. The city is known for heavy traffic, but if you are willing to deal with it, it’s a cruisin’ dream.

Verdict: NYC wins when it comes to public transport, but if you love cars, go to LA. If you prefer walking, go to NYC.

hash-markLA vs. NYC Job Market

When it comes to the vast majority of glitzy, high-paying jobs, you’ll find that they’re centered around each coast. East Coast jobs are mainly in finance, West Coast jobs tend to be in entertainment. But, things are changing and now we’re seeing a lot more people traveling from coast to coast. 

In terms of salaries, NYC has more high-paying jobs, but the cost of living is much higher compared to LA. 

Verdict: It depends on your situation, but NYC jobs tend to pay better. However, industry matters a lot as well. If you're in tech LA might be better, while if you're an investment banker, NYC would be the logical choice. 

hash-markLA vs. NYC Lifestyle

Both LA and NYC are known for world-class entertainment scenes with hip nightclubs, great concerts, luxury living, and top-rated restaurants. There are definitely some noteworthy lifestyle and personality differences you’ll see between New York and Los Angeles. 

New Yorkers are known for their work ethic and for being a little high-strung. They love their pizza, but they also are open to dinner and drinks after work. It’s a very Wall Street-style world with suits and ties being the status quo in most circles. 

Los Angeles, on the other hand, has a strong entertainment industry vibe. This city is known for being more amenable to plastic surgery, focused on fitness, and having a strong “hippie” vibe. If you love spirituality and fitness, or simply prefer a more casual vibe, you might prefer LA.

Verdict: Think about which lifestyle you want to have before you choose between LA and NYC.

hash-markLA vs. NYC Crime Rates

Though New York City used to be known for having a decent amount of crime, the actual statistics paint a different story. Crime in the city has been on a downward trend since the 90s, and NYC is now considered one of the safest cities of its size. It should be noted that in recent years crime has slightly risen, mostly due to the overall incompetence of mayor de Blasio and his administration. 

Los Angeles, on the other hand, has a crime problem. The city has a higher murder rate than New York, and also reports higher rates of robberies, vandalism, and assaults. With that said, LAPD has been working hard at clamping down on crime.

Verdict: New York is safer and will only get safer now that Bill de Blasio is out of office.

hash-markLA vs. NYC Overall Winner

When comparing NYC vs LA, the overall winner is New York City due to its stronger job market, lower crime rates, and better amenities. New York simply offers more than Los Angeles, so for the majority of people, it's a better place to advance their careers and enjoy life in a world-class city.

However, if a better climate and lower real estate prices are a major concern for you, LA might be the better choice. 

Los Angeles scores highly on the quality-of-life index, with local purchasing power, cost of living, and property price-to-income ratio being better in LA than in New York. Ultimately, the quality of life in both LA and NYC is high, and your personal priorities will help you decide which city is right for you. 

hash-markLA vs. NYC Living Comparison


Los Angeles

New York

Real Estate



Cost of Living









Job Market






Crime Rates






hash-markLiving in LA vs. NYC Bottom Line

Trying to compare life in Los Angeles to life in New York City is a lot like comparing apples to oranges. Often, deciding between LA vs NYC is a matter of personal preference. Both cities offer a glitzy and glamorous take on city living. They’re both entertainment hotspots on a global scale. They’re both notoriously pricey and have been featured in countless movies. They’ve both also been famous for being places where anything can happen.

Similar as they are, the two cities have stark differences that often lead to a quasi-rivalry between the East and West Coast. Most people have one town they prefer over the other. Which one is for you is up to you to decide.

hash-markLos Angeles vs. New York FAQs

1. Do more celebrities live in LA or New York?

Since LA is home to Hollywood it's no surprise that most celebrities live in LA, although New York City has plenty of celebrities as well. Also, many celebs own homes in both cities.  

2. Is LA or NYC traffic worse?

While NYC traffic is bad, LA traffic is even worse. Los Angeles is known for having some of the worst traffic jams in the US, so be prepared to sit in traffic during rush hour. 

3. Is NYC cleaner than LA?

Both NYC and LA are massive cities, and neither is particularly clean, but NYC isn't as clean as LA when it comes to street trash. While LA has cleaner streets than NYC, the air quality is worse as there's more pollution in the area. 

4. Is LA more expensive than NYC?

Overall, LA is about 24% less expensive than NYC. The cost of living in LA is lower than in NYC thanks to far lower housing prices. On average, housing in LA is 34% cheaper than in New York City. Additionally, prices for groceries, as well as restaurant prices, are lower in Los Angeles than in NYC. 

5. Is New York or LA more diverse?

New York City is more diverse than Los Angeles. There are over 600 different languages spoken in the NYC metropolitan area, making it an incredible melting pot of cultures.