These Are The 10 Best Places To Live In New York For 2019


The cream of the crop in the Empire State.

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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: can the cities in this safe truly be safe?

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, however, 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; and more importantly, what cities made our Top 10 Best Places to Live in New York 2019:

  1. North Hills (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  2. Floral Park (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  3. Rye (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  4. Sea Cliff (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  5. Bayville (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  6. Malverne (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  7. Massapequa Park (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  8. Rockville Centre (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  9. Lawrence (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  10. Williston Park (Photos | Homes For Sale)

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:

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.

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

At an unemployment rate of 0.9%, everyone who wants a job can get one in North Hills. And the residents command high salaries ($123,798 a year combined income), and live in big fancy homes ($957,600 each).

We’re not saying money is why these cities are the ‘best’ in New York. What we’re implying is that money means safety and peace of mind. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

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

Floral Park is a short drive from everything, but who would want to leave the 2nd best place in New York?

Homes are priced around $499,300 and residents have the 131st shortest commute in New York.

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

Well, I guess technically 4.9% of Rye residents who want to have a job can’t find one, so not everyone has a job, but it’s the 30th closest of any city in New York.

You can tell they take business seriously as they have by far the coolest Chamber of Commerce website we came across in our research.

In addition to its incredibly low unemployment rate, Rye also ranked well for crime (1st) and median income ($162,394).

Sea Cliff, NY

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/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

The crime rate is much lower here than in the rest of New York, as there were only 3 violent crimes in the city limits last year. The unemployment rate is the 16th lowest in New York (4.1%), and the public schools are ranked 3rd in the state in terms of spending per student.

Additionally, homes are the 14th most expensive in Sea Cliff ($650,700), meaning a lot of people want to live there.

Plus, the residents earn a really great salary: $114,048 a year.

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

It’s obvious why Bayville ranks 5th in the state for best places to live: they have the 8th lowest unemployment rate and the 32nd highest home values.

Plus, they’re known for their quality education and relatively low crime, making Bayville a great place to live.

Malverne, NY

Overall SnackAbility

6
/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 ranks as the 6th best place in New York for 2019. Let’s take a look at why.

Malverne has a lower crime rate than the cities mentioned above. Malverne’s cost of living is a tick higher, but families also earn much higher salaries – to the tune of $105,213 a year.

The knock? We can’t really find one 🙂

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

In Massapequa Park, everyone loves to call Massapequa Park home! The median home value is the 42nd highest in New York.

Additionally, the unemployment rate is the 74th lowest in the state. and the crime rates are some of the lowest in Empire State.

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

Rockville Centre is known for having a great education system and has the 146th shortest commute time.

Additionally, the unemployment rate in Rockville Centre is the 52nd lowest in New York and the median income is the 29th highest in the state.

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 offers an impressive amount to do while maintaining a small town’s charm.

The unemployment rate sits as the 2nd lowest in New York and incomes are the 8th highest.

When you come into town be sure to check out the parks as they are a good time for people of all ages.

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

Known for its low unemployment rates and great education, Williston Park is a wonderful place to live in this state.

The relatively stable household incomes and below average crime rates don’t hurt either!

While it may not be as great as some other places on this list, Williston Park still holds its own in in New York.

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:

Detailed List Of 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
11 East Rockaway 9,815 5.4% $443,600
12 East Hills 7,072 4.8% $921,600
13 Great Neck 10,183 4.8% $763,600
14 Mineola 19,071 3.0% $438,900
15 Farmingdale 8,532 4.4% $369,700
16 Babylon 12,130 4.4% $440,400
17 Cedarhurst 6,652 7.1% $530,500
18 Larchmont 6,031 6.0% $1,060,700
19 Northport 7,393 5.4% $554,600
20 New Hyde Park 9,854 6.9% $483,100
21 Pelham Manor 5,564 5.2% $854,700
22 Scarsdale 17,684 3.2% $1,318,500
23 Lynbrook 19,584 6.7% $423,600
24 Pelham 6,996 4.0% $628,500
25 Great Neck Plaza 6,924 6.8% $331,500
26 Kings Point 5,140 4.9% $1,724,800
27 Port Jefferson 7,795 5.2% $499,400
28 Pleasantville 7,134 4.6% $578,300
29 Bronxville 6,395 8.5% $995,100
30 Irvington 6,559 2.3% $648,300
31 Long Beach 33,670 7.0% $455,800
32 Manorhaven 6,601 6.8% $561,500
33 Hastings-On-Hudson 7,959 6.2% $627,100
34 Briarcliff Manor 7,732 4.5% $678,100
35 Wesley Hills 5,860 6.2% $562,500
36 Westbury 15,319 4.0% $416,800
37 Dobbs Ferry 11,058 6.4% $618,200
38 Lake Grove 11,206 3.6% $382,100
39 Airmont 8,833 4.1% $460,100
40 Suffern 10,936 5.9% $309,200
41 Glen Cove 27,246 4.7% $479,800
42 Fairport 5,372 4.2% $167,600
43 Colonie 7,888 4.0% $198,700
44 Valley Stream 37,626 9.5% $371,500
45 Lindenhurst 27,234 5.6% $345,700
46 Williamsville 5,269 5.1% $164,000
47 Saratoga Springs 27,447 7.0% $332,800
48 Chestnut Ridge 8,096 5.7% $433,200
49 White Plains 57,925 6.7% $513,300
50 Nyack 6,788 4.9% $444,800
51 Kenmore 15,303 3.4% $114,500
52 Hamburg 9,576 4.2% $151,300
53 Scotia 7,732 5.0% $137,400
54 Cortland 19,018 5.0% $96,200
55 Amityville 9,484 5.3% $378,500
56 Kaser 5,082 5.7% $568,200
57 Freeport 43,217 6.7% $311,100
58 Ballston Spa 5,134 8.9% $216,300
59 New Rochelle 79,299 7.5% $545,700
60 Mechanicville 5,169 6.9% $151,100
61 Harrison 28,082 7.4% $803,200
62 Cohoes 16,411 8.7% $150,100
63 North Tonawanda 30,935 7.9% $109,200
64 Waterloo 5,184 4.5% $86,000
65 Watervliet 10,207 7.2% $139,000
66 East Aurora 6,209 3.2% $180,000
67 Croton-On-Hudson 8,209 6.7% $519,400
68 Horseheads 6,608 3.0% $104,000
69 Glens Falls 14,422 8.0% $150,800
70 Mamaroneck 19,263 6.8% $591,700
71 Ithaca 30,625 7.4% $219,100
72 Plattsburgh 19,820 6.6% $148,600
73 Hempstead 55,454 7.1% $306,900
74 Corning 10,978 6.5% $105,100
75 New Hempstead 5,311 8.9% $471,200
76 Rye Brook 9,513 9.4% $737,100
77 Geneseo 8,124 5.5% $157,800
78 Patchogue 12,293 6.6% $297,700
79 Hilton 5,921 6.1% $126,100
80 Peekskill 23,977 8.2% $289,100
81 New Square 7,804 11.7% $339,000
82 Oneonta 13,863 8.3% $141,100
83 Warwick 6,777 7.1% $299,400
84 Washingtonville 5,813 5.5% $242,600
85 West Haverstraw 10,334 7.1% $264,600
86 Rome 32,673 5.5% $94,100
87 Yonkers 199,725 8.6% $379,500
88 Depew 15,325 5.5% $112,300
89 Saranac Lake 5,569 7.1% $148,500
90 Medina 5,885 7.9% $72,300
91 Goshen 5,378 6.1% $300,900
92 Fredonia 10,801 8.1% $128,900
93 Canandaigua 10,460 6.8% $161,200
94 Lancaster 10,220 7.8% $123,200
95 Beacon 14,289 8.7% $244,600
96 Port Chester 29,417 7.5% $435,100
97 New York 8,461,961 8.6% $508,900
98 Norwich 6,979 7.5% $86,600
99 Monroe 8,547 5.0% $304,900
100 Baldwinsville 7,461 7.1% $119,200

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