Miami vs New York City: Which Is Better?

By PropertyClub Team
Jul 9th 2023
New York and Miami are two of the most popular cities in America. However, they also couldn’t be more different. New York is over 15 times the size of Miami in terms of population and features a much more career-driven and business-focused culture. On the other hand, Miami offers amazing weather, sandy beaches, and a lifestyle that attracts residents from all over the country.

Both New York City and Miami have a lot to offer residents but have different strengths and weaknesses. Here is a look at the key differences between them. 

hash-markCost of Living

New York is far more expensive than Miami. Florida is famous for its affordability and lack of income tax, which is what attracts so many retirees. While Miami is definitely the most expensive city in Florida, it still hasn’t quite reached the same level as NYC. In Miami, the cost of living is only about 14% higher than the national average, but housing is 45% higher. On the other hand, NYC is 129% higher than the national average, and housing is 369% higher. So while Miami is getting more and more expensive all the time, the cost of living is nothing compared to the Big Apple.  


Weather is another category where Miami has New York beat. Miami is warm all year round and the temperature rarely drops below 60 degrees Fahrenheit. The summers may get a bit humid for some people, but it's manageable outside of July and August. New York, on the other hand, has clearly defined seasons. The spring and fall tend to be very pleasant, but the summer and winter can get brutal. Plus, New York gets a decent amount of snowfall, which is non-existent in South Florida. Residents of Miami do have to contend with hurricanes, but overall it has much more pleasant weather than New York. 

hash-markPublic Transportation

New York has a much better public transportation system than Miami. The New York MTA runs 24/7 and features an efficient fleet of trains and buses that can get you anywhere in the city at any time of day. On the other hand, Miami is not particularly well known for its transportation system. Most residents drive or take advantage of rideshare apps like Uber and Life because the public transit is minimal and only operates in certain areas. It also has a trolley that runs near the coastline, but that’s mostly used by tourists. 

hash-markJob Opportunities

New York also has Miami beat when it comes to the job market. New York City is a major hub for industries like finance, tech, medicine, and healthcare, and every year hundreds of thousands of jobs are created by businesses based in New York. The economy of Miami tends to focus more on financial services, hospitality, tourism, and media. New York features a much more work-centric culture whereas Miami is more focused on recreation and luxury. But the results speak for themselves, and employers in New York typically pay about 23.6% higher salaries than in Miami.  

hash-markCuisine & Lifestyle

Both cities have a lot to offer in terms of food and lifestyle but have differing strengths. The restaurant scene in New York is much more diverse and some of the best restaurants in the world can be found there. Miami’s culinary scene isn’t quite as famous, but it does feature some of the US's best Cuban, Mexican and Caribbean food. Which city has better nightlife is contestable – New York offers glam and energy, but it’s also often overcrowded and expensive. Miami is well known for its club scene, and it also offers gorgeous beaches and views of the ocean. But its nightlife can be a bit one-dimensional and doesn’t offer quite as much diversity as New York. 

hash-markCrime Rates 

The crime rate in Miami is significantly higher than in New York City. According to an index created by BestPlace, New York scored 28.2 out of 100 for violent crime and 24.9 for property crime. In contrast, Miami scored 48.8 for violent crime and 62.7 for property crime. As far as large cities go, New York is among the safest in the country. Overall, Miami is generally a safe city, especially for tourists. But it did earn itself a reputation for being a major drug trafficking port in the ’80s, and to this day, there are certain areas residents are wise to avoid. 

hash-markCity Culture

The city culture in New York vs Miami couldn’t be more different. New York is much more fast-paced and work-oriented. It’s not uncommon for residents to work 50-60-hour weeks and mainly socialize with other professionals in their field or industry. On the other hand, Miami is much more laid back and focused on recreation. As a result, residents tend to be more heath-focused and attracted to the clubs and beaches than the boardrooms. But both have a lot to offer residents and which is better is really a matter of preference. 

hash-markCommute Times

Miami residents tend to enjoy much better commute times than those in New York City. On average, the commute for residents of Miami is 12.7% shorter than it is in New York. Professionals in NYC, on average, spend about 41 minutes a day commuting, whereas Miami residents only spend about 28 minutes. In Miami, most commuters drive their own vehicle, whereas in New York, it’s more common to take mass transit. The majority of Miami commuters also live within 30 minutes of their workplace, whereas in New York, it’s not uncommon for workers to live up to 90 minutes outside of the city. 

hash-markQuality of Life Index

According to the index created by Numbeo, Miami has a slightly higher quality of life than New York City. This index was created using data on local crime rates, health care quality, climate, economic data, property prices, and statistics on pollution and traffic. Based on these metrics, Miami scored 152.48, which is considered moderate to high. On the other hand, New York scored 138.09, which is considered moderate. The biggest factor impacting New York’s score is the exorbitant housing prices relative to the average income.  


New York and Miami are very different places, and which is better depends largely on personal preference. If you’re more career-driven and in search of energy and excitement, New York is much better. NYC is the city that never sleeps and offers a unique melting pot culture that is unlike anything else in the world. However, if you are looking for sandy beaches and outdoor recreation, Miami is probably your best bet. It offers amazing weather, friendly residents, and a relaxed pace of life that is better for vacationers and retirees. NYC offers more in terms of culture and energy, but it’s also more expensive and crowded, which may not be ideal for everyone. 

hash-markNew York vs. Miami Comparison Winner



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Quality of Life Index