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: 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


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

Well, I guess technically 0.9% of North Hills residents who want to have a job can’t find one, so not everyone has a job, but it’s the 1st 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, North Hills also ranked well for crime (16th) and median income ($123,798).

Floral Park, NY

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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 another great city in New York with a low unemployment rate and where residents earn high salaries.

Said one reviewer on ” We feel incredibly safe in Floral Park. The houses and neighborhoods are beautiful, the people are friendly, and it’s wonderful to have such good neighbors. People watch out for each other here, they teach their children to be respectful of others and things.”

Enough said.

Rye, NY

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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

Taking its place as the 3rd best place in New York is Rye. Residents here earn a really high salary each year, and crime is fairly low, in comparison to the rest of New York.

It’s considered a cultural community, as it boasts an arts scene, and many ethnic restaurants, too. Which means you can’t be bored here.

An unemployment rate of only 4.9% helps thing too.

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

If you don’t have a job in Sea Cliff, you’re most likely not trying very hard. The unemployment rate here is almost as low as you can get — 4.1%. In fact, there are probably enough butler and landscaping jobs available here to put every single unemployed resident to work, what with a median income of $114,048.

That’s actually not a bad idea…

Bayville, NY

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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

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

The crime rate in Bayville isn’t amazing, but it’s far below the state average. The homes are valued at $506,900 here, and the schools get some of the most funding in New York.

If Bayville can get some more of their residents to work, things will look even rosier here. The unemployment rate (3.2% is the 8th highest in the state.

Malverne, NY

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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

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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 is another gem in Empire State. The unemployment rate here is 74th lowest in the entire state at 6.8%. Other factors that make Massapequa Park so desirable is the solid education and home prices.

Homes are valued at $444,400, and parents earn a combined $117,934 a year

There’s nothing like the American dream.

Rockville Centre, NY

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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

By far the largest city at the top of our rankings, Rockville Centre has a well deserved spot on this list. Let’s look at why.

It is a solid place to live due to the relatively low crime for a city its size and the fact that residents are employed at a high rate.

Plus, obviously, there’s a boat load of things to do every day of the week.

Lawrence, NY

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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

The crime is the 16th lowest in the state in Lawrence, and there were only 4 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 $140,221 a year.

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

And rounding out the top 10 best places to live in New York is Williston Park.

Williston Park followed a similar path to other cities the top 10 with its low unemployment, however it also stood out for its crime rates, which place in the top 10% of the state.

Another universally recognized great place to live, Williston Park has consistently appeared as one of the best places to live in New York over the years.

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

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