New York vs San Francisco

New York vs San Francisco

Is New York or San Francisco better? Well, this has been a much-debated topic in recent years.

Let us understand the debate of San Francisco vs. New York in detail.

New York is known as the financial and cultural hub of the USA. On the other hand, San Francisco is known for its technology and the iconic Silicon Valley.

New York is often addressed as the ‘City that never sleeps’ and San Francisco as the ‘City by the Bay’. No city is superior to the other except for stark differences in lifestyle costs, experiences, businesses or architectural structures.

New York is known for its hustle culture and magnificent city-like vibes. On the other hand, San Francisco is known for its ancient Victorian architectural vibes and offers beautiful views of Peninsula Bay.

Is it cheaper to live in NYC or San Francisco?

New York and San Francisco are two of the most iconic places in the USA.
San Francisco has higher property prices and rental rates than NYC. So, SF is the most expensive city to live in, in the US.

As per reports, the cost of living in San Francisco is 3.1% higher than in New York City.

New York vs San Francisco

It is cheaper to live in NYC than in San Francisco due to high property rates.

But to be frank, both cities are anything but affordable. Read the article move to New York to know more about the living costs in NYC.

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Differences between Living in New York and San Francisco?

Making a move from one city to the other is a strenuous task. Consider factors like housing costs, transportation, incomes, and entertainment avenues to compare the living between two cities.

One such popular comparison is that of San Francisco vs. New York.

Let us dive deeper into the article to know more.

1. Rent Comparison Between NY & San Francisco

The cost of housing makes San Francisco the most expensive city to live in. Demand and supply result in a hike in prices.

Also, San Francisco is home to the famous Silicon Valley. Silicon Valley is a hub of technological startups. Annually, SF attracts a large number of settlers. There are strict restrictions on the construction of housing units.

Rent Prices

New York has large buildings and has no restrictions on any new construction.

Average home prices in NYC are less than in San Francisco.

The rent in San Francisco is $1280 more than in New York. Now, when it comes to New York versus San Francisco regarding rent comparison, you’ve your answer.

Is rent higher in NYC or San Francisco?

The monthly rent in San Francisco is higher than in NYC. The average monthly rent in San Francisco is $3767 and in San Francisco is $2495.

Is New York or San Francisco better for Rent?

The rent in New York is less than that of San Francisco. Hence, San Francisco is better than New York for rent.

2. New York vs San Francisco cost of living

The cost of living in San Francisco is more than in New York. The cost of living depends on several parameters like property prices, transportation costs, average incomes, and quality of life.

Cost of Living

Let us compare all the parameters and try to conclude a comparative cost of living between the two cities.

The median rent in NYC is $2495 and in San Francisco is $3767.

The average cost of a house in NYC is $100,000 and in San Francisco is $1374800.

Transportation cost in NYC is $121 per month. In SF, it is about $78.

The average income in NYC is about $57,782. In San Francisco, it is $96,265.

Quality of life is better in SF than in NYC, with a score of 171 against 141.

San Francisco is a clear winner in San Francisco vs. New York from the above comparison.

Is it more expensive to live in NYC or San Francisco?

As per statistical reports, it is more expensive to live in San Francisco than in New York.

3. Which is safer, New York or SF?

NYC vs San Francisco – which is safer? Jump out the below information to get an accurate answer.

New York is safer than San Francisco based on various parameters.

Safe City

Many businesses are being set up in Silicon Valley. The homelessness situation in SF is getting worse because of the pleasant weather conditions that people can afford to live off the streets. Cities like Chicago and New York have extreme weather conditions compared to San Francisco.

San Francisco has higher crime rates of assault, substance abuse, and robbery and is rich with a large homeless population.

Tenderloin, Bayview, Hunters Point, and Mission see high crime rates. Most of the top areas of SF are very safe.

NYC is a large metropolis with a dense population and is one of the safest metro cities in the USA.

Why is San Francisco better than New York in Safety Points?

New York and San Francisco have similar safety points. Both the cities are relatively safer and are the most secure to live in. However, according to the statistics, New York is safer than San Francisco as New York is a metro city and always stays awake; you’ll never feel alone in this city.

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4. Comparing Economy

SF is known for its technological businesses; besides, it is renowned for its financial, cultural, and medical services in the USA. Thus, NYC has access to a variety of professional services.

Compare Economy

Technology pays more than other services. Hence, salaries in San Francisco pay 3.9% more than in New York.

Also, the median household income in NYC is $57,782 compared to $96,265 in San Francisco.

It clearly shows that SF has a better economy.

Is San Francisco’s economy good?

San Francisco’s economy is better than NYC. Silicon Valley in SF is the technological hub driving various startups on a global, regional and international level. Due to this, SF’s economy is ranked 23rd in the world.

Why is San Francisco so economically successful?

San Francisco is a leading region for entrepreneurship, technology, and investment business.
Leading technological advances have been conceived and scaled in SF, leading to economic growth and prosperity in the region.

5. Compare the Climate and Weather

There is a wide diversity in climatic and weather conditions in NYC and SF.

San Francisco maintains a steady climate throughout the year; summers are warm, and winters are mild. The record low temperature in SF is only around 37 degrees.


SF is known to experience the “Mediterranean climate with warm summers”.

New York experiences all four seasons in one go. Spring and fall are pleasant to experience. In contrast, NYC also experiences extreme winters and summers.

To know more about the weather conditions in NYC, refer to our article on the best time to visit New York weather wise. This article will give a brief overview of conducive weather conditions in NYC for travel and also the climate in general.

Why is San Francisco warmer than New York?

Hot air from the desert hits the coasts of San Francisco, leading to warmer temperatures in San Francisco than in New York.

Why is New York City so hot?

The climate of New York consists of cold winters and hot summers. The city is located at 41 degrees latitude and in a place where different winds combine. Cold winds from Canada and warm winds from the Gulf of Mexico combine to present a warm and unstable climate.

6. San Francisco vs New York – Population Comparison

San Francisco is the second-most densely populated after New York City.

Population Comparison

NYC has 7.7 million more inhabitants than San Francisco. The last census took place during the peak of the pandemic. The most dramatic surge happened in the Brooklyn borough. However, the growth was not across the boroughs.

According to recent statistics, NYC has 8.5 million inhabitants, and San Francisco has 0.8 million inhabitants.

What is the current population of San Francisco?

The current population of San Francisco is around 0.8 million inhabitants.

How much Increasing the Population in New York?

The growth rate in NYC is about 7.7% between 2000 and 2010 and shows a consistent and surging population growth.

7. Education

New York University is the most expensive college globally, spending $19076 per student each year against the national average of $10,560.


Expenditure per student is $12,975 in SF and is $25,257 in NYC. NYC hosts the largest Public School system in the US and spends most of the budget on educational facilities and amenities.

The average public student-teacher ratio in the US is about 16:1. Alone in NYC is 13:1 and is 23:1 in San Francisco. Hence, it is better in NYC than in San Francisco.

Which is Better in Education: New York or SF?

New York is better in education as compared to SF. NYC spends about 19% of its budget on education and is known to host better facilities and amenities.

Are NY public schools good?

Yes, NYC hosts some top-rated schools, and the education offered is of a very high standard. The NYC Public School System is the largest in the US.

8. Job Opportunities in Both Cities

New York and San Francisco are known for their job opportunities.

NYC is considered the financial, technological, and medical hub.

Job Opportunities

SF is an innovative and technological center, and the Great Silicon Valley is where leading innovations are conceptualized and scaled.

Thus, SF is known as the startup capital of the US. So, as per your future goals, you can pick any one of them. But make sure that you have done your research thoroughly before moving to any of the cities.

SF and NYC both offer tremendous job opportunities, so be sure about your future plans.

To give you better analysis, you can also roll over to the New York vs. Boston article.

Should I move to SF or NY for a job?

Which city to move to for an opportunity depends on various factors like job role, average salary, and type of company. So, consider these factors before moving to any of these cities.

Are salaries higher in SF or NYC?

Salaries are higher in SF compared to NYC. The average wage in SF is $96,265, and in NYC, it is $57,782.

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9. Which City has High Taxes

NYC has the highest marginal income tax rate in the US, as NYC’s income tax depends on taxable income and filing status.

Standard income tax rates fall between 4% to 8.82% in NYC. In San Francisco, it is between 1% to 13.33%.


Taxes are used for the management of administrative systems and infrastructure facilities.

Do read the article is New York tap water safe to drink to understand more about NYC and its resources.

Does San Francisco have high taxes?

No, San Francisco does not have high tax rates. Tax rates are charged at a modest rate of 1.50% of earned income in addition to California income tax and Federal income tax.

Are taxes higher in SF or NYC?

New York has the highest marginal income tax rate in the US.

What is the tax rate in New York?

A tax of 9.65 percent applies to the taxable income in NYC for incomes above $1,616,450 but less than $5 million.
A tax of 10.3 percent applies on incomes above $5 million but less than $25 million.
A tax rate of 14.8 percent applies on incomes above $25 million.

10. Better Public Transportation

NYC has the best public transportation system in the US, followed by San Francisco at a close second.

Public Transportation

Transportation depends on factors, like convenience, number of transit routes, the distance between the stops, and frequency. Based on these factors, NYC tops the chart of best public transportation.

SF is known to experience heavy traffic during peak hours. The San Francisco Public transportation System consists of city cars, cable cars, BART trains, and ferries.

Why does San Francisco not have a subway?

San Francisco does not have a subway because of the unusual topography of the mainlands and faulty lines in the area.

How good is San Francisco public transportation?

San Francisco has the second-best public transportation system in the US. Naturally, the infrastructure and efficiency of SF are quite good.

What is the main transportation in New York?

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority, also known as MTA, is the main transportation authority in New York. The city’s rail and bus system comes under the MTA, which is affordable, environmentally friendly, and operates round the clock.

New York vs San Francisco FAQs

Is New York the best city for America?

As it has access to world-class facilities, amenities, and infrastructure, you can say that. Further, NYC has the best transportation and education system in America.
It is also one of the safest places to live in. Affordable housing facilities are available in the city and are a popular entertainment hub.

Is San Francisco the best city in the world?

San Francisco was crowned as the best city in the world in 2021 due to the way it handled Covid-19, quality cannabis, high vaccination rates, and judicial inclusivity as per the survey conducted by Time Out magazine. San Francisco also has open, green spaces and thriving art culture.

Final Thoughts

There are pros and cons to every city one lives in, depending on the individual to choose the best city for oneself based on priorities, efficiency, and affordability.

You have got to make the best choice.

Factors like job opportunities, lifestyle costs, safety, and education are just parameters aiding the selection process. Make sure to do the background check right before one makes a move to another city.

San Francisco versus New York is a widely debated comparison.

This article answers most of the queries related to this heated topic. Hoping it helps!

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