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New York's residents also know that "the big" doesn't stop there. Large groups of New Yorkers flock to the Hamptons every summer, big attitudes grace the stages on Broadway daily, and there's a reason they're called the New York 'Giants'.
With all this bigger is better lifestyle in New York, we had to ask the tough question: what makes their cities the best? In order to produce a comprehensive list of New York's best cities, we took a look at things that matter: low cost of living, gold star schools, and an above average employment rate to name a few.
Don't let New York's over-the-top demeanor scare you. New York really does rock. So much, that it was quite the challenge to reduce its best cities to just one list. The slogan "I Love New York" is stamped on every license plate and all the highway welcome signs greet you with the same love. Rightfully so, New Yorkers love their state and they want you to love it too. Even more, they want you to call its best cities home.
Grab yourself a fully loaded cup of diner coffee and a NY slice and read on to see how we did.
The 10 Best Places To Live In New York For 2020:
- North Hills (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- East Hills (Homes For Sale)
- Floral Park (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Massapequa Park (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Malverne (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Rockville Centre (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Lawrence (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Rye (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Mineola (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Williston Park (Photos | Homes For Sale)
What city is the best place to live in New York for 2020? Well according to the US Census and FBI data we crunched, North Hills is the best place to live in the Empire State if you care about home values, low crime, and a high quality of life.
If you live anywhere in or close to New York's Nassau County, consider yourself pretty lucky. Our top ten, bigger than life, best New York cities like North Hills, Rye, and Massapequa Park raise the bar for the rest of the state. The star on The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree has nothing on these places.
However, do not fret if you don't see your hometown in the top ten. We ranked all 162 places in New York for you! Take a breath and scroll down to see where your town ranked.
For more New York reading, check out:
- Best Counties To Live In New York
- Cheapest Places To Live In New York
- Best Places To Raise A Family In New York
The 10 Best Places To Live In New York For 2020
North Hills has it made. In fact, according to science, it's one of the best places to live in the state of New York.
The unemployment rate is the 3rd lowest in the state at 1.5%, and residents make a pretty penny. Median incomes are $137,423, and the average cost of a home is $981,400. Which is an indication that lots of people want to live here.
We wouldn't be surprised if more and more publications call North Hills one of America's gems.
It's obvious why East Hills ranks 2nd in the state for best places to live: they have the 2lowest unemployment rate and the 7th highest home values.
Plus, they're known for their quality education and relatively low crime, making East Hills a great place to live.
You might be surprised to see the Town of Floral Park so high on the list. Unless you live in Floral Park.
The unemployment rate here is really low, and at 3.6%, Floral Park residents are some of the hardest working in the state of New York. When you factor in high home prices, high incomes and low crime, Floral Park is doing quite well.
Let's be honest -- Floral Park is the kind of place you brag to your friends on Facebook about.
Massapequa Park comes in at a close 4th. They have the 4lowest unemployment rate in the state and the 18th highest median income as well, which means the people in Massapequa Park are working and getting paid well.
Additionally, the median home value is the 43rd best in the state.
Malverne comes in 5th in our best places to live in New York analysis.
Ranking highly for its exceptionally low unemployment rate (25th overall) and crime rate (20th overall), Malverne is the exact kind of place you'd want to live with a family.
Several large companies call the surrounding area home which should keep Malverne in our lists for years to come.
We wouldn't be surprised to see CNN call Rockville Centre one of the best places to live in the United States. Not only do the residents all make great livings, there's essentially no crime in the entire city. And the residents are very involved in the community.
They can't build homes fast enough here as it seems everyone wants a piece of Rockville Centre.
The crime is the 20th lowest in the state in Lawrence, and there were only 2 violent crimes in the entire city last year. We think it's even safer here than the numbers indicate.
The schools are some of the best in New York, and residents live in very expensive homes. They also earn more than most every other city in the state. Residents in Lawrence earn $142,500 a year.
Rye ranks as the 8th best place in New York for 2020. Let's take a look at why.
Rye has a lower crime rate than the cities mentioned above. Rye's cost of living is a tick higher, but families also earn much higher salaries - to the tune of $180,958 a year.
The knock? We can't really find one 🙂
Perhaps what makes Mineola so amazing is the high emphasis they put on quality education: they have one of the highest rate of education at attainment for adults.
However, quality education isn't all that makes Mineola great. They also have the 40th highest median income and the 99th shortest commute time.
Williston Park broke into the top ten best places to live in New York on the back of a low unemployment and a quality schools system.
It placed 71st overall for its low unemployment rate and the 3highest median income of any place in our analysis.
However, it only has the 108th shortest average commute time of any place in New York.
Mapping The Best And Worst Places To Live in New York
The Pressing Question: Size
Before we even started to collect data, we had to answer a tough question: Is it fair to pit Albany with a population of 97,889 against places with a population of 18?
We firmly decided no, that just isn't fair.
So to create our ranking, we broke places to live into three tiers:
- Cities -- Populations over 5,000
- Towns -- Populations between 1,000 and 5,000
- Small Towns -- Populations below 1,000
This left us with 162 cities, 465 towns, and 340 small towns.
We then decided, no matter how much anyone loves their town, the best cities to live in New York have more of everything and therefore you need to have over 5,000 people to truly be 'the best'.
You can see those two top tens at the bottom of the post.
How We Calculated The Best Cities To Live In New York
Now that we had our set of cities, it was time to rank them.
We ranked each place in New York across a number of criteria from one to 162, with one being the best.
We then took the average rank across all criteria, with the city posting the lowest overall score being crowned the winner of the title "Best Place To Live In New York".
The criteria we looked at were:
- Median Home Values
- Median Income
- Population Density (Higher better)
- Unemployment Rate
- Commute Time
- Education Levels
- Health Insurance Coverage
- Poverty rates
After the dust settled, what was the best place to live in New York? That would be North Hills.
If your city or town isn't among the top 10, jump down to the bottom of the post to see a detailed chart of the best places in New York.
Otherwise, buckle up for a ride down good living lane with North Hills at the end of the cul-de-sac.
Wrapping Up The Best Places When It Comes To Living In New York
If you're looking at areas in New York with the best economic situations, where there's lower than average crime, and a lot to do, this is an accurate list.
North Hills made a strong showing to take in the overall number one spot for the best place to live in New York for 2020.
Best Towns To Live In New York
- Kensington (Pop. 1,176)
- Orchard Park (Pop. 3,197)
- Clarence Center (Pop. 2,341)
- East Greenbush (Pop. 4,960)
- Pittsford (Pop. 1,573)
- Halesite (Pop. 2,504)
- Katonah (Pop. 2,077)
- Roslyn Estates (Pop. 1,200)
- Point Lookout (Pop. 1,128)
- Cayuga Heights (Pop. 3,799)
Best Small Towns To Live In New York
- Copake Falls (Pop. 208)
- Chautauqua (Pop. 567)
- Virgil (Pop. 367)
- Grand View-on-Hudson (Pop. 366)
- Woodsburgh (Pop. 756)
- Hewlett Neck (Pop. 363)
- Malverne Park Oaks (Pop. 653)
- Belle Terre (Pop. 725)
- Plandome Manor (Pop. 884)
- North Hornell (Pop. 763)
If you're curious enough, here are the worst places to live in New York according to the data:
- Rochester (Pop. 207,778)
- Monticello (Pop. 6,476)
- Gloversville (Pop. 14,938)
For more New York reading, check out:
- Best Places To Retire In New York
- Richest Cities In New York
- Safest Places In New York According To Science
- Worst Places To Live In New York State