Boston Vs New York: Which City Reigns Supreme?

NYC Vs Boston

Are you thinking of moving to the northeast of the US? Here, two iconic cities will be staring you in the face; Boston with its Ivy Schools and championship sports teams, and NYC with its gigantic skyscrapers and Broadway shows.

Each city has its own unique charm, history, and culture that attracts people from all over the world. But which city is the better place to live? In this article, we will compare Boston and NYC in various categories to help you decide which city is the better choice for you.

Boston vs NYC Population

If you love being around people and crowds are your thing, then NYC is the perfect match for you. It is the most populous city in the US with a whopping population of 8.7 million. On the other hand, Boston’s population only amounts to 672,814. 

You might argue that NYC is massive too, hence the high population but population density reveals it all. NYC has a population density of 27,476, whereas Boston has one of 14,306 only. 

Both cities have a mix of ethnicities including whites, blacks, Asians, and Hispanics. 

Boston vs NYC Crime 

Both Boston and NYC are large cities, and you would expect the crime rate to be high too, relative to the size of the cities. However, surprisingly, both are safe keeping the city size in mind.

In spite of having a population that is 16 times more than that of Boston, New York is far safer than Boston. On a scale of 1-100, with 1 being the safest and 100 the most unsafe, NY has a score of 28.2, while Boston scores 37.3 in violent crimes

Similarly, property crimes in NY are even below the national average. New York has a score of 24.9, whereas Boston stands at 35.8. 

The crime control in New York is truly commendable. The crime rate in NYC used to be high in the 90s, but ever since those times, the NYPD has worked at a zero-tolerance motto. Over the last decade, the crime rate in the Big Apple is half of what it was before. 

The improvement in the safety of NYC is largely attributable to NYPD. It is the most well-funded police force in the country and while the residents of the Big Apple are known to “never sleep”, so is the case with the NYPD.

Boston vs New York Size

New York and Boston are both megacities, however, NYC is twice the size of Boston city. New York spans a land area of 300.46 square miles, while Boston city encompasses 48.34 square miles.

Boston vs NYC Cost of Living

One of the biggest factors that people consider when deciding where to live is the cost of living. According to statistics, New York City is more expensive than Boston in almost every category. The biggest differences in cost are in rent prices, where NYC is 44% more expensive than Boston, and restaurant prices, where NYC is 22% more expensive than Boston.

However, it’s important to note that both cities are expensive compared to the national average. According to the Council for Community and Economic Research, the cost of living index in NYC is 227.7, while that of Boston is 149.7.

Both cities have made it to the list of the top ten most expensive cities in the US. The cost of living index in Boston is 31% higher than the national average, while NYC is 49% higher. So if you’re looking for an affordable city to live in, neither Boston nor NYC would be the best option.

Is it More Expensive to Live in Boston vs NYC?

NYC is more expensive than Boston in all aspects except for housing, making it 9% cheaper than New York. 

Boston Taxes vs NYC

A tax comparison between Boston and NYC depicts that taxes in Boston are lesser there compared to NYC further adding to the lower cost of living in Boston.

The income tax in Boston city is half of that in New York, (10.1% and 5.1%). Sales tax in Boston is almost the same as the national average, and considerably lower than that in New York, (6.3% and 8.9%)

Boston vs NYC Rent

Rents in Boston and New York are generally high, quite more than the national average of $1840. The average rent in Boston is $3410 and that in New York is $3210. Rents in Boston are higher than in NY for every type of housing, be it an apartment or a home.

Most of the rentals in Boston are owner-occupied units instead of apartments, which is contrary to the rental scene in New York.

Boston vs NYC Weather

The weather can have a significant impact on your quality of life, especially if you’re someone who enjoys spending time outdoors. Since both cities are located on the east coast, they have similar weather conditions with just slight variations.

Boston has a humid continental climate, which means that it has four distinct seasons. Winters can be very cold, with average temperatures in January hovering around 29°F (-2°C). Summers are warm and humid, with average temperatures in July around 73°F (23°C).

Since New York is located further south, it has a slightly warmer climate. The Big Apple has a humid subtropical climate, which means that it also has four seasons but milder winters and hotter summers. 

NYC average temperatures in January are around 36°F (2°C), while average temperatures in July are around 83°F (28°C). Furthermore, the winter season in NY is just magical, making it a big attraction for tourists from around the world. 

Boston Subway vs NYC Subway

Public transportation is a critical factor to consider when choosing a city to live in, especially if you don’t own a car. Both Boston and NYC have extensive public transportation systems, but which city has the better one?

In Boston, the primary mode of public transportation is the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA), which operates buses, subway trains, and commuter trains throughout the city and the surrounding areas. The MBTA is generally reliable and efficient, although it has experienced some issues with delays and maintenance in recent years.

Meanwhile, in NYC, the primary mode of public transportation is the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), which operates buses and subway trains throughout the city and the surrounding areas. 

The MTA is the largest public transportation system in the United States and is generally reliable, although it has also experienced some issues with delays and maintenance in recent years.

One major advantage that NYC has over Boston is that it has a 24-hour subway system, which means that you can get around the city at any time. On the other hand, Boston’s public transport is functional from 5 am to 1 am, leaving a tiny window in between. Boston makes up for it by offering cheaper fares to passengers and lesser commute times.

Boston vs New York Sports

Both cities are die-hard sports fans, but Boston’s sports scene has lately become a notch higher than the Big Apple’s. Boston’s sports teams have aced in every major sport in the last decade and have claimed seven championships in the process.

According to recent surveys, Boston ranks number 2 in the country in the sports arena, with New York closely following at the number 3 position. It doesn’t come as a surprise when you see NY and Boston exhibiting one of the fiercest sports rivalries in US history.

Living in Boston vs NYC

NYC is diverse, starting from the food to the people, and even the job market here. It is also brimming with people, energy, and activities. New Yorkers are also known for their “work hard, play hard” attitude. If you decide to move to the City, be prepared to put in an insane amount of work hours during the week, and top it all with an action-packed weekend. 

On the other hand, Boston has its share of activities and all the big-city opportunities, but it can also provide the comfort of a small town. You can retreat to a cozy corner whenever you want to and then jump right back into the action.

Additionally, Boston is also known for its collegiate atmosphere. The city is home to some of the top universities of the country like Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 


New York’s diverse food scene is a testament to the city being called a melting pot of different ethnicities and cultures. You can find any and every type of food here, with no compromise on its taste and authenticity. Among the most popular food items available here are NY style pizza, pastrami, bagels, hot dogs, and much more.

Boston has its own unique taste to offer to its residents. Boston is well known for its seafood and baked beans. Much like its lifestyle, the food in Boston is more family-oriented. 


If you are interested in vibrant nightlife, then New York is the clear winner in this category. The City that never sleeps has endless options to choose from. From world-class clubs, to karaoke bars, and pubs, things can’t get more exciting. 

On the other hand, Boston tends to close early. The nightlife isn’t too bad, but you won’t witness activities going on till the wee hours of the night. Things come to a halt around 2 am, alongwith the city’s public transport system.

New York doesn’t just come alive during the night. There are a myriad of activities to do, and places to visit. You can go visit the Statue of Liberty, watch a show at Broadway, stop by at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, or simply take a stroll at NYC’s Central Park.

Boston is equally charged during the day. The city has a rich history and culture, which is depicted by the various museums, art centers and libraries. You can plan a trip to the John F. Kennedy Presidential Museum and Library, or take a hike down the Freedom Trail.  


Is it more expensive to live in Boston or NYC?

It is more expensive to live in NYC than in Boston because the cost of living in New York City is 19.5% higher than in Boston.

Is Boston rent higher than NYC?

The rent in NYC is way higher than Boston’s rent. The difference amounts to a whopping $1000. Average rents in NYC are $3650, while monthly rents are around $2659 in Boston.

Why is Boston the best city to live?

Boston has a booming job market, with numerous opportunities in the innovation and tech sectors. The economy also presents a promising picture. Reports indicate that Boston has the fastest-growing job sector in all of the US.

Should I live in Boston or NYC?

The decision comes down to your personal preference. The pros of living in NYC are the unmatched energy, growth potential, and rich cultural scene. Boston, on the other hand, is less crowded and a lot cheaper than NYC.

The Bottom Line

Choosing between the two eastern giants of the US is indeed a difficult task, but things can get simpler if you consider the pros and cons of each city. 

If you are an ambitious go-getter, who wants to achieve it all, and doesn’t mind paying the price for it too, then the Big Apple could be the city of your dreams.

Contrarily, if you would like to put your education first, and enjoy all the perks of a big city, but shy away from crowds, then Boston seems to be a perfect fit for your personality.

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