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.

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'.

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. #biggerisbetter

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 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 nothin' on these places.

However, do not fret if you don't see your hometown in the top ten. We ranked all 163 places in New York 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


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


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

If you live in Floral Park, you probably know how great it is already.

Floral Park has a stable economy where residents earn a large salary ($103,644). And the crime is really, really low (16th lowest in New York).

If we could afford to move here, we probably would.

Rye, NY

Overall SnackAbility


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

The Town of Rye might be a bit of a surprise to some in terms of how well it ranks according to science.

The crime rate in Rye isn't amazing, but it's far below the state average. The homes are valued at $1,107,000 here, and the schools get some of the most funding in New York.

If Rye can get some more of their residents to work, things will look even rosier here. The unemployment rate (4.9% is the 30th highest in the state.

Sea Cliff, NY

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


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 takes 4th place on our list of best places in New York for 2019 thanks to a strong showing in unemployment rate (16th overall) and things to do.

Sea Cliff is no stranger to top ten lists, being named one of the best places to live in the country by multiple outlets over the past ten years. And that tends to happen when home prices hit $650,700 at the median.

Bayville, NY

Overall SnackAbility


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


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

Who wouldn't want to live in a place where there's low crime and everyone is rich? That's the case with Malverne.

Things are looking peachy keen here. The unemployment rate is the 23rd lowest in New York and the median income comes in at $105,213.

This is the kind of place you brag to your friends on Facebook about.

Massapequa Park, NY

Overall SnackAbility


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

Massapequa Park has some of the most employed as well as the highest earning residents in the entire state of New York. Factor in a very low crime rate, and this Massapequa Park is a real gem.

With high incomes comes a high cost of living, which can been seen in the home prices. Additionally, the commute time for Massapequa Park residents to work is significantly higher than average.

Rockville Centre, NY

Overall SnackAbility


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

Now, we come to Rockville Centre. For a city with such a large population, Rockville Centre has a noticeably low crime rate, good schools and low commute times. And an argument can be made that there's probably lots more to do in Rockville Centre than other places on the list as well.

Add that all up and Rockville Centre places 8th in our ranking of the best places to live in New York for 2019.

Lawrence, NY

Overall SnackAbility


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 isn't just the nicest place to live in New York - it's also the one of the fastest growing places in the state. And with good reason.

It's got the 2nd lowest unemployment rate, the 8th highest adjusted income, and rates above most places in education.

When you're looking at science and data, Lawrence definitely deserves a spot on the list for 2019.

Williston Park, NY

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


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 is a short drive from everything, but who would want to leave the 10th best place in New York?

Homes are priced around $484,300 and residents have the 114th shortest commute 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 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 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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