10 Best Places To Live In New York For 2019


The cream of the crop in the Empire State.

Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2019. This is our fifth time ranking the best places to live in New York.

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Whether it’s larger than life statues: A.K.A. the Statue of Liberty in New York City.

Or ginormous waterfalls: A.K.A. Niagara Falls in Buffalo.

Or big beautiful New York cities: A.K.A. Rochester.

New York knows how to do it up big.

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.

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. #biggerisbetter

Geographically speaking, New York doesn’t mess around either. It borders two of the biggest lakes in the country on the West; Lake Erie and Lake Ontario and the massive Atlantic Ocean to the West. And, don’t get us started on the big beautiful Catskills Mountains in the southeast or the Hudson River that starts at Lake Tear and travels 315 miles to the coast.

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.

Grab yourself a fully loaded cup of diner coffee and a NY slice and read on to see how we did.

What city is the best place to live in New York for 2019? Well according to the US Census and FBI data we crunched, North Hills is the best place to live in New York 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 10, 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 nothin’ on you.

Do not fret if you don’t see your hometown in the top 10. We ranked all 163 for you! Take a breath and scroll down to see where your town ranked.

If you’re looking for something more national, check out the best states in America or the best places to live in America.

For more New York reading, check out:

The 10 Best Places To Live In New York For 2019

North Hills, NY

Overall SnackAbility

7.5
/10

Population: 5,420
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $957,600 (6th best)
Unemployment Rate: 0.9% (1st best)
More on North Hills: Real Estate | Data | Photos

North Hills is feeling the love as it ranks as the best city to live in New York for 2019.

It ranked highly because of its high incomes (12th overall) and low crime (16th overall and one of the best in the top ten).

We think the city should probably change its motto at this point to something like “The Place To Be In New York”.

Floral Park, NY

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 16,189
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $499,300 (34th best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.3% (40th best)
More on Floral Park: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Perhaps what makes Floral Park 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 Floral Park great. They also have the 28th highest median income and the 131st shortest commute time.

Rye, NY

Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 15,949
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $1,107,000 (3rd best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.9% (30th best)
More on Rye: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Rye makes a case for being one of the best places to live in New York mainly because of a low crime rate and a higher than average household income level.

And when school spending is higher than the national average and only 4.9% of folks are jobless, you can bet Rye residents are glad to live where they do.

Sea Cliff, NY

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 5,069
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $650,700 (14th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.1% (16th best)
More on Sea Cliff: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Sea Cliff is known for having a great education system and has the 134th shortest commute time.

Additionally, the unemployment rate in Sea Cliff is the 16th lowest in New York and the median income is the 19th highest in the state.

Bayville, NY

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 6,745
Rank Last Year: 13 (Up 8)
Median Home Value: $506,900 (32nd best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.2% (8th best)
More on Bayville: Real Estate | Data | Photos

When you’re looking at the best places you could live in New York, Bayville came in 5th. Let’s see why.

It has a low unemployment rate and high incomes.

Plus, Bayville has an impressive history for a place of just over 6,745 people. The median home costs a cool $506,900 and households make $100,078 which is good for 31st in New York.

Malverne, NY

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 8,556
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $434,400 (47th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.5% (23rd best)
More on Malverne: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Malverne comes in 6th in our best places to live in New York analysis.

Ranking highly for its exceptionally low unemployment rate (23rd overall) and crime rate (16th 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.

Massapequa Park, NY

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 17,176
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 4)
Median Home Value: $444,400 (42nd best)
Unemployment Rate: 6.8% (74th best)
More on Massapequa Park: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The crime rate is much lower here than in the rest of New York, as there were only 11 violent crimes in the city limits last year. The unemployment rate is the 74th lowest in New York (6.8%), and the public schools are ranked 3rd in the state in terms of spending per student.

Additionally, homes are the 42nd most expensive in Massapequa Park ($444,400), meaning a lot of people want to live there.

Plus, the residents earn a really great salary: $117,934 a year.

Rockville Centre, NY

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 24,262
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $608,600 (19th best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.9% (52nd best)
More on Rockville Centre: Real Estate | Data | Photos

If you want to live in New York, you can’t go wrong if you decide to make the Rockville Centre area your home. However, everyone and their mother wants to live here.

Can you blame them? It’s a beautiful place with really low crime, where a majority of residents are wealthy (a $102,807 median income will do that).

Plus, the residents are really involved with helping to make Rockville Centre as great as possible. You can’t get it much better than in Rockville Centre.

Lawrence, NY

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 6,526
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 3)
Median Home Value: $856,000 (8th best)
Unemployment Rate: 2.3% (2nd best)
More on Lawrence: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Lawrence comes in at a close 9th. They have the 2nd lowest unemployment rate in the state and the 8th highest median income as well, which means the people in Lawrence are working and getting paid well.

Additionally, the median home value is the 8th best in the state.

Williston Park, NY

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 7,282
Rank Last Year: 8 (Down 2)
Median Home Value: $484,300 (35th best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.1% (36th best)
More on Williston Park: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Williston Park ranks as the 10th best place in New York for 2019. Let’s take a look at why.

Williston Park has a lower crime rate than the cities mentioned above. Williston Park’s cost of living is a tick higher, but families also earn much higher salaries – to the tune of $104,750 a year.

The knock? We can’t really find one 🙂

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 98,425 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 163 cities, 465 towns, and 340 small towns.

We then decided, no matter how much anyone loves their town, the best places have more of everything and therefore you need to have over 5,000 people to truly be ‘the best’.

Now we also realize that city living might not be your cup of tea, so we ran the following analysis on towns and then again for small towns.

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 163, 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
  • Crime
  • Education Levels
  • Health Insurance Coverage
  • Poverty rates

Sources of criteria include the New Census Data and FBI Crime Data.

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 2019.

Best Towns To Live In New York

  1. Kensington (Pop. 1,176)
  2. Orchard Park (Pop. 3,197)
  3. Clarence Center (Pop. 2,341)
  4. East Greenbush (Pop. 4,960)
  5. Pittsford (Pop. 1,573)
  6. Halesite (Pop. 2,504)
  7. Katonah (Pop. 2,077)
  8. Roslyn Estates (Pop. 1,200)
  9. Point Lookout (Pop. 1,128)
  10. Cayuga Heights (Pop. 3,799)

Best Small Towns To Live In New York

  1. Copake Falls (Pop. 208)
  2. Chautauqua (Pop. 567)
  3. Virgil (Pop. 367)
  4. Grand View-on-Hudson (Pop. 366)
  5. Woodsburgh (Pop. 756)
  6. Hewlett Neck (Pop. 363)
  7. Malverne Park Oaks (Pop. 653)
  8. Belle Terre (Pop. 725)
  9. Plandome Manor (Pop. 884)
  10. North Hornell (Pop. 763)

If you’re curious enough, here are the worst places to live in New York according to the data:

  1. Newburgh (Pop. 28,406)
  2. Rochester (Pop. 210,291)
  3. Monticello (Pop. 6,577)

For more New York reading, check out:

Where Are The The Best Places To Live In New York?

Rank City Population Unemployment Rate Home Value
1 North Hills 5,420 0.9% $957,600
2 Floral Park 16,189 5.3% $499,300
3 Rye 15,949 4.9% $1,107,000
4 Sea Cliff 5,069 4.1% $650,700
5 Bayville 6,745 3.2% $506,900
6 Malverne 8,556 4.5% $434,400
7 Massapequa Park 17,176 6.8% $444,400
8 Rockville Centre 24,262 5.9% $608,600
9 Lawrence 6,526 2.3% $856,000
10 Williston Park 7,282 5.1% $484,300

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.

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