NYC vs. London Compared

By PropertyClub Team
Jun 1st 2024
New York City and London are two of the most culturally important cities in the world and often face comparison. While both cities offer plenty of excitement and opportunity, New York has more to offer in terms of diversity and lifestyle. Here is a side-by-side breakdown to illustrate how the two cities compare.

hash-mark1. Cost of Living

Both cities are expensive compared to the national average in their respective countries. However, London is slightly cheaper than New York City. Consumer prices in New York City are 27.9% higher than in London, and rent prices are 46.8% higher. A meal at an inexpensive restaurant costs about $25 in New York, whereas in London, it's roughly £16 (or $19.56).

The biggest discrepancy is housing prices, and the median listing price of a home in NYC is $760,000, whereas, in London, it's around £537,919 ($657,713.56).

Additionally, the maximum income tax rate is higher in NYC than in London, at 53% vs 45%. This is partly due to the New York City income tax

However, the purchasing power in New York is 18.9% higher than in London because NYC residents tend to earn higher salaries on average.

Winner: London

hash-mark2. Weather

New York City experiences a greater range of temperatures but also offers more distinct seasons. According to the Koppen Climate Classification system, New York has a humid subtropical climate characterized by warm, humid summers and cold, wet winters. London has an oceanic climate characterized by cool summers and mild winters.

Temperatures in NYC range from about 28°F to 85°, whereas the temperature in London tends to stay between 39°F and 74°F. Ultimately, which climate you prefer is a matter of preference. But most visitors say New York City has better weather because there is more seasonal diversity and averages more hours of sunlight per year.

Winner: NYC

hash-mark3. Public Transportation

London and New York are well known for the efficiency of their public transportation systems. However, the grid-like layout of New York and non-stop energy give it the upper hand. Compared to London's tube system, NYC's MTA is cheaper, more efficient, and runs 24/7.

London's public transit system is a bit more complex, with a combination of subways (or tubes), trams, cable cars, commuter rails, and ferries. As a result, London's tub system is harder to connect and more expensive. Plus, it stops running at 5 am. While both systems are among the best in the world, the efficiency and price make NYC the winner in this category.

Winner: NYC

hash-mark4. Job Opportunities

You will find many job opportunities in both cities; however, New York offers higher salaries and a greater diversity of options than London. The economy of NYC is much larger than London, with an economic output of $1.4 trillion, compared to $836 billion in London. According to Payscale, the average salary in New York City is $86,000 per year, whereas the average salary in London is £41,000 ($50,130.70).

New York offers employment opportunities in many different industries, including finance, real estate, healthcare, manufacturing, media, and technology. In comparison, the economy of London is primarily dominated by financial services and associated occupations such as banking, insurance, and legal professions.  

Winner: NYC

hash-mark5. Cuisine and Lifestyle

When it comes to cuisine and lifestyle, it's tough to beat New York, even though London is a major contender. New York offers some of the best cuisine in the world, including 73 Michelin-star restaurants and food from virtually every culture on the planet. London's food scene, in comparison, is more homogenous and less experimental. However, it does offer excellent Indian food.

New York also offers a totally unique lifestyle, with easy access to the best nightlife, entertainment, and shopping in the world at virtually any time of day. London is a bit more relaxed, although it features some of the world's top museums and cultural attractions.

Winner: NYC

hash-mark6. Crime Rates

Although both cities are remarkably safe compared to many major metro areas, New York has a lower crime than London by a fair margin. On the whole, violent crime is about 30% lower in New York City than in London. The one exception is homicides as London has a lower murder rate than NYC, at about 1.2 murders per 100,000 residents, compared to 3.4 per 100,000 in New York.

The crime rate in New York City is 21 incidents per 1,000 people, which is about 9% lower than the national average. However, there has been a spike in violent crime since the pandemic, which has led to increased security measures by the NYPD.

London, in comparison, has a crime rate of about 29 crimes per 1,000 people, which is 22% lower than the rest of the UK.

Winner: NYC

hash-mark7. City Culture

Both cities have a unique city culture, and which you prefer is really a matter of preference. New York is a very American city with a bustling atmosphere and a melting pot culture that is unlike anywhere else in the world. In contrast, London has a much more European identity that is a bit calmer and quieter but also offers plenty of unique attractions and cultural landmarks.

New York takes a slight advantage just because of the unbridled energy and opportunity, especially if you're a young professional. But London also has a vibrant culture that some may prefer.

Winner: NYC

hash-mark8. Commute Times

New York City residents enjoy much shorter commute times, on average. According to the US Census Bureau, the average commute time for New York City residents is about 41.4 minutes. However, the average commute time in London is as high as 74 minutes.

Many NYC residents commute into Manhattan from New Jersey, Long Island, or one of the outer boroughs and have many options for getting into the city, including trains, subways, and ferries. Londoners have fewer options if coming from an outer district or suburb, which means trains and buses during rush hour tend to get overcrowded, leading to a longer commute.

Winner: NYC

hash-mark9. Quality of Life Index 

Overall, due to all of the factors discussed, NYC has a slightly higher quality of life index score than London. The quality-of-life index is a metric that ranks many of the critical factors that impact the lifestyle of the average resident and assigns them a numeric value based on hard data. The quality-of-life index score for London is 129.41 vs. 136.27 for New York.

Although they are neck in neck in both categories, New York residents enjoy more purchasing power than Londoners, making the high cost of living more manageable.

Winner: NYC 

hash-markNYC vs. London Comparison




Cost of Living






Public Transportation



Job Opportunities



Cuisine and Lifestyle



Crime Rates



City Culture



Commute Times



Quality of Life






hash-markNYC vs. London Bottom Line

Overall, New York City is the better choice when compared to London, winning in 7 out of 9 categories. However, most are neck and neck, and some are a matter of personal preference. Both cities are major cultural and financial powerhouses and offer a high quality of life and an abundance of opportunities for residents. However, New York has a slight advantage over London in several key categories that make it the clear winner when comparing the two cities side by side.