Is It Cheaper To Live In SF Or NY?

Selecting between two major cities of the world can be a very difficult choice to make. There are several factors you have to consider before you choose to move from one city to another. Both of these major cities of the United States offer world-class amenities, including infrastructure, transportation, healthcare, education, cost of living, job opportunities, and much more.

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Factors To Consider While Comparing Between Cheapest City Between SF And NY

  • Cost of Living


The cost you incur to maintain your living standards is referred to as the cost of living. In other words, it is the money you require to cover your direct expenses in a particular place and time. These regular expenses might include expenses on food, taxes, housing, healthcare, education, traveling, etc.

Comparing the cost of living between San Francisco and New York City, the cost of living in SF is more than in NY. As per statistics, the cost of living in SF is 4.3% more expensive. The housing price in San Francisco is very high and nearly unaffordable to pay monthly house rent for a regular person with an average pay grade.

Other services might be lesser than NY, such as food, transportation, healthcare, etc. But the median rent and median sale price are expensive enough that makes the cost of living in NY cheaper than SF.

  • Cost of Public Transportation


The cost of public transportation is the average cost you incur for commuting from one place to another in public transport. Public Transportation includes traveling in trains, busses, taxi cabs, rental car services, etc.

In New York City, the cost of public transportation is higher than in San Francisco. As per statistics, average monthly expenses in SF on public transportation can cost up to $78, whereas, in NY, the average monthly transportation cost can rise to $121.

There are enough public transportation options for daily commuters who live on the outskirts of the city. You can avail of monthly passes for traveling in public transports at a cheaper rate in SF. The cost of public transportation in NY is much more expensive and commuting in a personal vehicle is better than traveling in public transport.

  • Average Salary and Income

The average salary and income is also an important factor to consider to make a comparison between the cheaper place to live between San Francisco and New York City. The median household income of SF is comparatively more than the median household income of NY.

As per statistical data, the average salary and income people earn in SF is $96,265. On the contrary, the average salary and income people earn in NY is $57,782. Since the median household income is higher in San Francisco, which helps people to maintain a higher cost of living than in New York City.

  • Average Expenditure on Education


Expenditure on education makes a huge impact when you are comparing the cheaper place to live between San Francisco and New York City. Sending your kids to school in SF is less expensive as compared to NY.

The average expenditure on education for each student in SF is 48.6% less than in NY. Due to which the number of residents who have graduated high school is more in SF, since more students can afford to go to school in San Francisco.

  • Average Expenditure on Healthcare

The average expenditure on healthcare in NY is significantly higher than in SF. The average cost of healthcare is calculated using a standard daily cost of a hospital room and the cost of visiting a doctor and dental check-ups. As per statistical data, the monthly average healthcare cost in New York City is $127.6, whereas the average expenditure on healthcare each month in San Francisco is $114.9.

People in New York tend to spend more on healthcare services and expenses as compared to San Francisco. Higher expenditure on healthcare denotes that healthcare facilities in NY are better than SF.

  • Transportability Score

Transportability score is the quantitative score of a city’s transportability based on separated lanes for vehicles, road infrastructure, roads connectivity, public transportation services, nearby amenities, and plenty of other services. The transportability score makes a great impact on the standard of living of people living in the city.

San Francisco is amongst the top cities in the United States with a high transportability score. Even with hills around the city, it has better road connectivity and better public transportation services to commute between cities.

  • Quality of Life Index


The quality of life index is the measurement of several different indices that represents the quality of life or well-being of a country. The quality of life index is measured based on purchasing power, health care, safety, cost of living, pollution, climate, commute time, and a few other factors.

San Francisco has a high quality of life index of 153.42 with a very high purchasing power index, climate index, and cost of living index, which makes it higher than New York City that has a moderate life index of 138.16. San Francisco has a high quality of life index, which indicates that quality of life is better as compared to New York City.

The Bottom-line

Moving between places can be hectic. The first thought that pops up in our mind is whether the new place will be cheaper or not. To determine if the place is cheaper or not, you consider several factors like cost of living, housing expenses, education expenditure, transportation expenses, healthcare cost, and several other factors which help you to determine which is the cheapest amongst the two cities.

Based on the above-mentioned factors, it’s clear that living in New York City is cheaper than in San Francisco. Hope this article will help you to make a better choice before moving between NY and SF.