Los Angeles vs New York City – Complete Showdown!

Did you ever have a tough time choosing between two fruity ice cream flavours? You love that fruity punch but are confused if you’d rather have it tangy or super sweet. Choosing between NYC and LA is just as complicated! 

Both are big cities and offer everything that big cities do. However, each city is unique in its own special way. It all boils down to your personal preference. If you are planning a trip to either of the cities or simply relocating, this article will surely put things in perspective and help you decide.

You may want to read about: Miami vs New York City – [Crime Rate, Living Costs, Salary]


If you’re a citizen of a country eligible for the Visa Waiver Program and planning to visit Los Angeles Vs New York, you can apply for an ESTA visa through the ESTA Application.

The process is simple and fast, enabling you to acquire your visa quickly and have a hassle-free trip to either city.

LA vs NYC: Who’s the Winner?

Los Angeles is known for its sunny weather, beautiful beaches, and Hollywood glamour, making it a hub for the entertainment industry. On the other hand, New York City is famous for its towering skyscrapers, diverse culture, and world-renowned cuisine, making it a global hub for finance, fashion, and art.

Let’s dig deeper!


This is probably the single most important factor which determines the place you would be choosing to settle down. Two cities, so similar to each other couldn’t be more different culturally. New York is fast-paced, it’s abuzz. It’ll be hard to keep up if you like to take it slow. 

On the other hand, life in LA is a lot slower, making it easier to handle. This certainly doesn’t imply that you will be bored to death here. There are activities aplenty, you just won’t be rushing from one to another.

People Living In LA vs NYC

Both cities provide excellent growth opportunities making them magnets for attracting ambitious people. But this is where the similarity ends.

Celebrity sightings are nothing to write home about when it comes to LA. Therefore, it doesn’t come as a surprise when you see the rest of the population trying to walk in their footsteps making them fitness freaks and extremely health conscious. Angelenos are all about brands and labels. This might come off as shallow for some, but it’s definitely a glam scene out there.

Contrastingly, New Yorkers are quite the opposite. It’s full of rich people, but you’d never be able to tell if you bumped into one. Their interests are quite different too. If you’re in NY, you’d probably meet a friend over drinks. Angelenos, on the other hand, like to meet over some physical activity. 

While both these city dwellers have a strong sense of attachment to their respective cities, NY’s pride for its hometown goes unmatched. Hence, you would notice every resident takes a keen interest in strengthening community ties and is ever-so-loyal to the go-Yorker slogan!

Size Comparision:

New York is always overcrowded be it day or night. You would hardly find any secluded spots in the city. Comparatively, LA is less busy. At least, you don’t have to wait for an eternity in restaurant lines.

New York is compact whereas LA is spanned out. This is because LA is 1.67 times as big as New York. The upside of this fact is that everything is close by in New York. In LA, however, you would have to spend a long time on the roads just to get from one place to another. 


New York City is one of the most populated cities worldwide and the best part is you’d find a representative from every corner of the world. As of 2023, the city has a staggering population of 8.9 million with whites making up 41%, African American 23%, people of Asian descent 14%, and other races contributing to 14% of the population. 

There are more than 600 different languages spoken in The Big Apple. So, no matter what language you communicate in, we bet you’d find a language partner there. 

On the other hand, LA has a population of 3.9 million, with whites making up 48% of the number. LA has its fair share of diverse groups when it comes to population, falling second to New York only. 

Homeless Population LA vs NYC:

Keeping the glitz and glamour aside, LA is home to (or not) around 50,000 homeless people. This is the highest number in all of the USA with NYC’s homeless population reaching up to 32,000 people. 

Interestingly, NY and LA are the only two cities that have homeless people exceeding the national average of 10,000 people. There are a varying number of factors responsible for the situation, with high housing costs in both cities making it to the top of the list. 

LA vs NYC: Cost of Living

Let’s be honest here. If you are looking for economical living, then either of these cities is not your cup of tea. If they are not the most expensive in the world, they most certainly make it to the top at a national level. 


Housing costs are sky-high in NYC and LA, with New York taking the cake. Rent in LA vs NY is favorable for LA residents. In New York, a small, single-bedroom apartment can cost you up to $3000, whereas a similar-sized one in LA can cost you around $2400. 

Therefore, New Yorkers prefer sharing accommodation with roommates or looking for cheaper options far from the city center. However, this can considerably increase your commuting time by 45 minutes or so. 


Let’s face it. If you want to move around in the City of Angels, you need a car. This is exactly why in the LA traffic vs NYC traffic debate, New York is a clear winner. Almost everyone in LA is a proud car owner which means that parking spots are hard to find and the roads are always congested. 

Public transport is relatively cheaper in LA, compared to NYC; but when you add up the expenses of owning a personal car it can cost you around $500 a month.

Transportation in New York isn’t such a pain. For starters, everything is close by and all you need to get around is a solid pair of feet. Additionally, you have other pocket-friendly options like using the subway or an unlimited MetroCard (which will cost you under $150 a month).

LA vs NYC Fashion

Residents of Los Angeles have a minimalist approach to dressing. They dress casually and it’s almost always for comfort. However, New Yorkers have an entirely different mindset. Here, you have to look your best, even if you are at the workplace or working out! Therefore, clothing tends to get more expensive in New York. 

In New York, footwear doesn’t last long either because of all the walking. Subsequently, the frequent replacement will cost you more in the long run. 

LA vs NYC Taxes

Both cities have higher taxes than the rest of the country. This doesn’t come as a surprise since these are huge metropolises and it is the state’s job to generate revenue accordingly. 

Sales tax in New York is higher than it is in neighboring cities. One sneaky thing that you can try out is to plan a shopping trip to a city nearby!

Weather Comparison:

When it comes to the weather, LA is known for its warm and sunny climate, with average temperatures hovering around 75℉. The city remains all year round with maximum rainfall occurring during the winter season. Locals make excellent use of the weather here and if you plan to settle down be prepared for a lot of hiking, biking, and surfing!

NYC, on the other hand, demonstrates a classic textbook picture when it comes down to the weather. You will experience scorching summers and bone-chilling winters here. The city is well known for its snowstorms and harsh weather conditions. This is probably the only time of the year when you won’t see pedestrians on the road!

If you are an avid four-season fan and love to experience changing seasons, NYC is the place to be. During the winter, you won’t be seeing pedestrians around, but there will be plenty of ice skaters and skiers around. 

LA vs NYC: Crime Rate

New York used to be a pitstop for crime back in the 90s, but that’s not the case anymore. The crime rate has gone down considerably over the last two or three decades. As far as violent crimes are concerned, both New York and LA have comparable scores, with NY being just a tad safer at 28.2 and LA ranking at 29.1 (1 being the safest and 100 the most unsafe).

On the other hand, property crime is seen on the rise in LA ranking at 35.1, and in New York at 24.9. In both cases, the crime rate is still below the national average of 35.4 for property crimes. 

NYC vs LA: Entertainment

Both LA and New York City are quite the entertainers and there is never a dull moment here. Each city has a lot to offer in this regard. NYC is known for its diverse and thriving arts scene, with Broadway being the cherry on the top. 

NYC is home to some of the world’s most famous museums like the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art. If you’d rather be swaying to some soulful music, you can head out to some of the city’s live music venues. And believe me, there’s a ton to choose from!

LA, on the other hand, hardly needs an introduction when it comes to the entertainment industry. Home to Hollywood, there are numerous studios to visit like Paramount Pictures and Universal Studios. Walking through the sets feels like you’re re-living your favorite Hollywood movie.

The Los Angeles music scene is at par with that of NYC. You can enjoy great music at world-class venues like the Hollywood Bowl and the Troubadour. A word of advice here. When you’re out looking for entertainment in La La Land, be sure to carry your autograph book with you. The place is abuzz with celebrities!


Known as “the City that never sleeps”, New York holds good to its name. To facilitate all these night walkers, the city is full of nightclubs, rooftop bars, and live music venues. New Yorkers stick by the “work hard, party harder” rule and you have countless activities and venues to choose from. 

As compared to NYC, LA has a substantially laid-back vibe and chill to it. You will come upon hangouts here that are more on casual lines. You are bound to see more dive bars and neighborhood pubs in this city. Nevertheless, the nightlife is a highlight of both cities. 

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Do more celebrities live in NYC or LA?

More celebrities live in LA since this is the land of Hollywood. However, a lot of celebrities reside in New York too. Additionally, there are many who own homes in both cities. 

2. Is NYC or LA more expensive?

Both NYC and LA have made it to the list of the most expensive cities in the world. Having said that, the cost of living in LA is 24-27% lower than that of New York.

3. Is NYC safer than LA?

NYC is safer than LA in every aspect. The violent crime score of LA and NYC is 29.1 and 28.2 respectively. This includes murder, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault. The property crime score which includes burglary, theft, and arson, stands at 35.1 for LA and 24.9 for NYC.

4. Should I live in NY or LA?

If the cost of living is the sole deciding factor for choosing a place to live, then you should go for LA. Housing prices are 34% lower in LA, as compared to NYC. Similarly, restaurants and groceries are also cheaper in NY.


Choosing between these two high-profile cities is no simple task. Besides, no born New Yorker or Angeleno is ever going to listen to a verdict against their beloved hometowns. 

If you want to live the high life, don’t mind crowds, and love to party all night long, then NYC is the place of your dreams.

Alternatively, if you prefer a relaxed lifestyle, are health conscious, and want to live a movie star life, Los Angeles is calling out to you!

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