Skip to content

Where to Live in NYC: Comparing the Five Boroughs

icon - star icon - star icon - star icon - star icon - star
Based on 4,117+ reviews on

The Big Apple is an incredible place that’s full of endless possibilities. Many people come to New York to pursue the American Dream which seems to be right within reach in this incredible city. However, before they decide to relocate to the area and find a New York moving company that can handle their belongings, they first have one very important decision to make – where to live in NYC? The place of your new humble abode can determine how successful you will be in your intent to obtain a better life for yourself and your family.


Each of the five boroughs of New York City has a unique flavor, as most New Yorkers will attest. They will also argue to no end that their resident borough is the best one. Without starting an argument, let us say that they all have their strengths and weaknesses.Where to Live in NYC


If you are thinking of moving to NYC or to another borough within the city, then you will need to choose which borough is right for you. Below, we will discuss each of the five boroughs of New York City and the pros and cons of relocating to each one.

Hopefully, this article will help you decide which part of NYC is right for you. Of course, if you happen to get it wrong the first time, you can always move locally within NYC. But let’s try to prevent that by helping you find the place where you belong.

An aerial view of New York City.
The five boroughs of NYC all have their charm. But they all come with some disadvantages, as well.

Where to live in NYC – your guide to the five boroughs

Let’s start with a little disclaimer – you can still work and have fun in NYC even if you opt for a suburban area or the neighboring New Jersey. However, it’s going to be much easier to handle your daily tasks if you do them from one of the official five boroughs of NYC. With how much they differ in terms of affordability and vibe, we have no doubt you’ll find your perfect place in one of the following areas.

Moving to Manhattan

Population (2020 est.): 1,694,251

Manhattan is the most famous and recognizable borough of New York City. It contains the most desirable addresses in the city. Tourists and new residents naturally flock to Manhattan because of its location and popularity.

That’s why it might surprise you to know that this is not the first borough of choice for native New Yorkers. Manhattan comes with an extremely high cost of living that most people simply cannot afford. The tourists also turn native New Yorkers away from the city’s most famous area. And because it is a cultural and business hub of New York City, Manhattan is busy. That will make driving in and around Manhattan rather difficult and stressful.

Roadway Moving's vehicles.
Should you decide to make Manhattan your home, Roadway Moving will be by your side.
However, all of this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t even consider hiring Manhattan movers to help you get to the area. There are some benefits to living in Manhattan if you can afford it. Your daily commute will be shorter because it is where most of the office buildings in NYC are located.  Also, in a recent survey conducted by, Manhattan was voted “the friendliest of the five boroughs.” And let’s not forget about the fact that Manhattan has an incredible concentration of bars, coffee shops, and restaurants with various menus. It’s definitely the most affluent area of NYC, so if this is the kind of lifestyle you have or aspire to have, this is the place to be.

Moving to Brooklyn

Population: (2020 est.) 2,736,074

Jay-Z’s hometown has undergone an interesting shift in recent years. Increasing gentrification of the area has led the place—once viewed as an affordable alternative to Manhattan—to become one of the most expensive places to live in the US. However, if you can find a place in your price range, Brooklyn has a lot of evidence to back up its reputation as the “cool” borough. Food and art are flourishing, and there are plenty of museums, parks, and other attractions to make moving to Brooklyn a great choice.

Brooklyn was once the fastest-growing borough in New York City because of lower rents and the relocation of business headquarters there. But rental prices quickly caught up to demand. Nowadays, Brooklyn is no longer an up-and-coming area – it is a place to be! Thus, don’t expect anything to come with a cheap price tag after moving here. Research shows that Brooklyn’s cost of living index is over twice as big as that of the national average. That means you should take a good look at your finances before contacting moving and storage Brooklyn companies.

However, if you can find an apartment in your price range, Brooklyn is one of the greatest boroughs of New York City. Culture, food, art, and commerce are flourishing there. It is just difficult to find anything affordable. But, if you can pull it off, Brooklyn is a great choice when relocating to New York. Moreover, Brooklyn is an incredible place for family-oriented people. It has parks with lush greenery, boasts plenty of family-friendly activities, and has that sense of community that people love. And don’t get us started about the incredible views of Manhattan’s skyline that are easy to see when living in Brooklyn. They sure are enough to help you beat the moving blues – or any other kind of blues you might be feeling.

Moving to Queens

Population: (2020 est.) 2,405,464

If you want to experience the “true” New York, then locals suggest that you move to Queens. The largest of the five boroughs, Queens is an ethnically diverse urban area: 48 percent of its residents (as of 2020) were foreign-born. Moreover, it’s also one of the safest areas in New York City, which is extremely important for families with children. Speaking of which, Queens is a great area for families. The borough gives one diverse housing options and lets you choose among rowhouses, single-family homes, and condos.

A man kissing a baby after deciding where to live in NYC.
If you have a family, you might not have to wonder where to live in NYC. Queens might be the right place.
From suburban neighborhoods to high rises, there is something for every price range here. Because of its size and popularity, it has also become one of the most expensive places to live in America. Not as expensive as Brooklyn and Manhattan, we must add. But, the cost of living here is still on par with the rest of New York City, so it is a great option when moving to NYC.

The commute from Queens can be long and arduous, so keep that in mind when deciding where to live in NYC. It’s going to be a great idea to contact some of the most experienced movers Queens has if you are going to work within the same borough. However, if your job is on the other side of NYC, then you will want to think things through.

All in all, Queens has everything you expect to see in a borough in NYC. Plenty of amenities are close-by, and while the prices are still steep, they aren’t anywhere near Brooklyn’s and Manhattan’s cost of living index.

Moving to Staten Island

Population: (2020 est.)  495,747

Staten Island is the place to move to if you want to live in New York City without feeling like you are living in New York City. This borough is more like a suburb with more space and family-centric neighborhoods, unlike in the other areas of the city. Plenty of outdoor spaces are at your disposal, making it easy to spend a nice and relaxing day in the park with your family. Of course, we can’t fail to mention the biggest advantage of making Staten Island your home – affordability.

Staten Island’s housing prices are nowhere near the ones you can see in Brooklyn and Manhattan. So if you are contemplating where to live in NYC if you don’t have a hefty budget, know that Staten Island might be your place. The borough has also been getting quite a lot of investments, meaning that the area could become a tourist attraction in the future.

A move packing up moving boxes.
Pack up your items and head straight to Staten Island if in need of some peace.
The difficulty with moving to Staten Island is, that if you work in Manhattan or Brooklyn, the commute is long. But if you have a family and do not mind taking a little extra time to get to work in the morning, then moving to Staten Island might be perfect for you. Likewise, we have to mention that, if you are a young person looking for some rich nightlife, you won’t find it here. If this is nothing more than a small inconvenience for you, then by all means go ahead and move to the area.

Moving to The Bronx

Population: (2020 est.) 1,472,654

The Bronx has experienced a revival since the 1990s. Once the most dangerous part of New York City, today the Bronx is thriving more than ever before. Affordable housing initiatives have attracted new residents and the area’s character is getting refreshed because of it. So if you are thinking about moving and living in NYC on a budget, the Bronx could be the right solution. You’ll be able to purchase a much larger house for your money, which is important if you have a family. Moreover, driving and parking in the Bronx will actually be doable. Unlike in the rest of NYC, finding a parking spot in this borough shouldn’t be a problem. These are all the reasons why you should pick up your phone and contact Bronx movers. But there are also some cons to it.

According to a survey by, The Bronx is still the least popular of the five boroughs. However, new investments in both tech and real estate in the city have improved the area. And while the crime rates in the area are nowhere near as alarming as they used to be, some parts of the Bronx are still not entirely safe. That’s why it’s very important to look into neighborhood crime rates before moving. We know that you can find a safe area. You just need to look and get to know your Bronx neighborhood. Moving to the Bronx is better than it ever has been in history, so you should seriously consider it.

Have you already decided where to live in NYC?

Whether moving to NYC from a distant location for the first time, or relocating to a new borough, it might seem like a daunting process at first. But with the right guide, your move will be a breeze. First you need to decide which borough you would like to move to using the information above. Then, you need to hire NYC Movers with the experience necessary to pull off a successful move to New York.

An up-close view of Roadway Moving's truck.
Give Roadway Moving a call and experience a smooth and seamless moving endeavor.
Roadway Moving has conducted thousands of moves within New York City. We will take care of everything! Thus, if you know where to live in NYC, feel free to contact us. Request a free quote today, get a closer look at our prices, and book your moving day with us. We’ll make sure that everything goes according to plan.

Ready to get moving?

Tell us about more your move.

Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.

Quick Links

Stay informed

Be prepared for your move with our essential tips and guides, including helpful advice on how to appropriately tip your movers.

Ready to get moving?