Moving to a new location is both an exciting and frightening experience at once. The idea of starting fresh in a new city makes us giddy, but the process of relocating all of our belongings can be quite tiresome. But don’t worry! If you’re moving to the state of New York, our complete guide will help you out during this process.
Internationally known for being home to the most famous city in the world, the state of New York is also the fourth most-populated state in America, and it was one of the 13 colonies that initially formed the United States. With over 19 million residents, the state of New York has a diverse geography and an even more diverse population.
New York State is home to several of the best universities in the world, and it is one of the six biggest contributors to the United States’ economy, generating over $1.5 trillion dollars in gross state product in 2018 alone.
Pros and Cons
No matter where you’re moving to, the one thing you need to keep in mind is that there will be pros and cons of living in that place. Even if you move to Norway, also known as the best country to live on the planet, you’ll find a thing or two that are considered as disadvantages. The state of New York is no different: here are 7 pros and 7 cons about moving to New York!
- Arts and culture: if you’re an art lover or a culture-inclined individual, New York State has more than enough attractions that will please you.
- Distinct seasons: the Empire State, as it is known, experiences the four seasons very distinctly, which is a positive aspect for many people.
- Low crime rate: as surprising as it may sound, the state of New York actually has a lower crime rate than most states, ranking #12 in terms of public safety.
- Educational institutions: the state of New York is home to several of the best universities in the world and to some of the best high schools in the country.
- Healthcare: those who are considering moving to the state of New York should be aware that this state is one of the best in terms of healthcare access and it is the second-best state for public health.
- Natural environment: surprisingly enough, the state of New York ranks #6 in terms of pollution, meaning that there are low pollution-related health risks in the state — especially outside of the NYC metro area.
- Celebrity sightings: while most people may think that celebrities are only spotted in New York City, that’s actually far from the truth: celebrities own property all across the state of New York.
- Cost of living: as great of a place as it is, the state of New York was actually considered the third most expensive state to live in the United States.
- Harsh winter: the entire East Coast of the United States is known for having particularly harsh weather during wintertime, and it’s no different in the Empire State.
- Job opportunities: being one of the most populous states in the U.S., New York still has a lot of room for improvement when it comes to the job market. Its unemployment rate is 8.4, which is higher than the United States average rate of 6.7.
- Real estate: as we mentioned, the state of New York is one of the most expensive places in the United States, with a price per square foot of over $1,000!
- Opportunity: on top of being expensive, the state of New York ranks #35 in terms of economic opportunity, which means that upward social mobility is pretty difficult in this state.
- Traffic: living in a state that has over 19 million residents means that, naturally, there will be a lot of traffic, especially if you move to the NYC metro area.
- Taxes: one of the biggest downsides about New York State is that it has the highest total tax burden in the United States at 12.28%.
New York has a lot of history to share with the world, thus this state has plenty of fun facts that we could share — ranging from cultural facts to pop facts, the Empire State has seen it all! Below are 10 fun facts about New York State:
- State capital: while many may think that New York City is the capital of the state of New York, it’s actually the city of Albany.
- Big population, small land: the Empire State is the fourth most populous state in America, home to over 19 million people — but it ranks #27 in terms of size!
- Home to celebrities: it should be no surprise that the state of New York is the home state to a bunch of celebrities, including Cardi B, Michael Jordan, Scarlett Johansson, Jennifer Lopez, and many others!
- Most visited attractions: the state of New York is home to a few of the most-visited attractions in the United States, including Central Park and Niagara Falls!
- World record in cinema: interestingly enough, the most filmed location on the planet is Central Park in New York City, which can be seen in over 200 films!
- Woodstock Festival: an interesting fact about New York is that the (probably) most famous festival of all time, Woodstock, took place in the small town of Bethel.
- Important inventions: Some of the most important inventions in the world were created in the state of New York, including Jell-O, toilet paper, potato chips, and air conditioning.
- Worse than sharks: apparently, New Yorkers bite more people every year than sharks do!
- Largest park: the largest national park in the United States is the Adirondack Park, located in northeastern New York.
- Powerful economy: if the state of New York were an independent country, it would be one of the top 15 economies in the world, living up to its nickname (the Empire State).
Funny State Laws
Though they seem unrealistic, funny laws exist in pretty much every state. It’s hard to tell why they exist, but these laws will make you laugh loudly and wonder what their creators had in mind when they passed these laws! Here are 5 funny laws in the state of New York:
- No ice cream on Sundays: in the state of New York it is illegal to carry an ice cream cone in your pocket on Sundays!
- Jaywalking is fine: in New York, it’s not against the law to jaywalk, as long as you don’t do it diagonally — a word of advice, though: no one should cross the street out of the crosswalk!
- Masks are prohibited: according to the state law in New York, wearing masks that disguise identity is forbidden in large groups — though that law is now being repealed, given the 2020 coronavirus pandemic.
- No disrobing in the car: if you’re in Sag Harbor, New York, keep in mind that it’s illegal to change clothes inside your car.
- Puppet shows: in the Empire State, it’s strictly forbidden to stage puppet shows from one’s apartment window.
Weather and Climate
The weather in the state of New York is classified as a humid continental climate — this means that this state experiences the four seasons and that it has large temperature differences. This is confirmed by the fact that New York sometimes has scorching hot summers and stone-cold winters. According to meteorological data, the best time to visit the state of New York is between the months of April and May and mid-September to October, as this is the period when the weather is most comfortable. The winter may be the worst time to visit the Empire State, given that the state experiences great amounts of snowfall, especially in Upstate New York.
New York State has plenty of natural sightings to offer. This state is located in a geographically-privileged region, as it has mountains, waterfalls, beaches, lakes, and rivers. According to data, over 13% of the total area of the state consists of water and most of the state’s boundaries are in the water. On top of that, around 3 million acres in New York state are considered Forest Preserve. Here are the top nature and wildlife areas to see in the state of New York:
- Niagara Falls, border of New York, USA and Ontario, Canada.
- Adirondack Park Forest Preserve, Northville, NY.
- Bronx Zoo, New York City, NY.
- The Wild Center, Tupper Lake, NY.
- Mohonk Preserve, Shawangunk Ridge, NY.
As their name suggests, natural disasters are events that happen naturally and that cannot be changed. In the state of New York, the most common natural disasters are thunderstorms, ice storms, tornadoes, hurricanes, and snowstorms. These disasters are common to the New England region, given the similar climate between the states. According to data, an average of 10 tornadoes per year happen in the entire state, and snowstorms can last for days (usually at the end of the year, which consequently makes January the coldest month of the year in the Empire State).
Moving Prices from Major Cities
If you’re thinking of moving to New York State from a major city, you can calculate the estimated costs using ourfree moving costs calculator.To give you a head start, here the moving prices from 6 major cities in the United States:
- Dallas, TX to Albany, NY:$2931 — $4886
- Los Angeles, CA to Buffalo, NY: $4138 — $6897
- Phoenix, AZto Rochester, NY: $3772 — $6287
- Philadelphia, PA to New York City, NY: $831 — $1385
- Houston, TX to Syracuse, NY: $2906 — $4843
- San Antonio, TX to Yonkers, NY: $3196 — $5327
Housing / Real Estate
Currently, the real estate market in the state of New York has more houses for sale than it has buyers. This could be happening due to the elevated housing prices throughout the state. According to data, the median home value in New York is around $340,000 — this number is significantly higher than the USA median home value of $263,351. Generally speaking, the average rent price in New York State is higher than the national average. The cheapest city in the state to rent an apartment is Cheektowaga, with an average rent price of $850/month. In New York City, on the other hand, the rental price for a 2-bedroom apartment was $3,600/month.
Price of Living
We’ve mentioned before that the cost of living in the state of New York is above the national average, which seems to be a pattern in the New England region. It should come as no surprise that New York State is an expensive place, given that it is a well-developed state and it is home to the most famous city in the world. If you’re thinking of moving to New York, here are the prices of living in 5 different areas of the state (estimates calculated for a family of 2 adults and 2 children):
New York City (metro area)
Albany/Schenectady/Troy (metro area)
Buffalo/Cheektowaga/Niagara Falls (metro area)
Rochester (metro area)
Syracuse (metro area)
These data were retrieved from the Family Budget Calculator provided by the EPI.
As of 2019, the total population in the state of New York was 19,453,561. Out of this number, 20.7% were persons under 18 years old and 16.9% were persons over 65 years. More than half of the population is female (51.4%), and the most populated counties in the state are Kings County, Queens County, and New York County — all of which are in New York City. The racial composition of the state, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, is:
- White alone: 69.6%
- Black or African American alone: 15.64%
- Asian alone: 9%
- Hispanic or Latino: 19.3%
In spite of being home to some of the most prestigious schools in the world, New York ranks #22 in terms of education. The debt at graduation for post-secondary students is slightly higher than the national average and the high school graduation rate is below the national average. The state of New York is especially known for being home to selective private schools and to the best performing arts schools in the world. Here are the top educational institutions in New York:
- Trinity School
- Regis High School
- Horace Mann School
- Collegiate School
- The Brearley School
Universities / Colleges
- Cornell University
- Columbia University
- New York University
- University of Rochester
- Barnard College
Healthcare and Medical Institutions
Among all fifty states, New York ranks #13 in terms of healthcare. It is the second-best state for public health (after California), it is the #1 state in the low suicide rate, and it ranks #3 in the low mortality rate ranking. While it is not among the top states for health care quality, it is among the top 15 states for health care access. Here are the top medical institutions in the state of New York:
- New York-Presbyterian Hospital-Columbia and Cornell (New York City, NY)
- Strong Memorial Hospital of the University of Rochester (Rochester, NY)
- St. Francis Hospital (Roslyn, NY)
- Mount Sinai Hospital (New York City, NY)
- NYU Winthrop Hospital (Mineola, NY)
Tourism / Attractions
Considering that the Empire State is home to the most popular city in the world, it is bound to welcome millions of tourists every year, most of whom go to New York City. According to data, tourists visiting the city spent over 40 billion dollars in 2018 alone! The thing about the state of New York is that, when you visit this state, you’re likely to find an attraction that suits you — from mountains, lakes, and beaches to theaters, museums, and historic places, New York State has it all! Here are the top places visited by tourists in the Empire State:
- Statue of Liberty;
- Central Park;
- Niagara Falls;
- Lake Placid;
- Times Square;
- The Adirondacks;
- George Eastman House and the International Museum of Photography and Film;
- Darwin D. Martin House Complex;
- Broadway and the Theater District.
The state of New York is the home to the most populous city in the country, which is also the most popular city in the world: New York City. Because of that, many tend to overlook the other cities in New York and focus only on the Big Apple — but the other top cities in this state also have quite a lot to offer!
- Albany: the capital of New York is a powerhouse for culture, architecture, and education. Though it has a population of fewer than 100,000 people, Albany is the largest city in Albany County.
- Buffalo: this is the second-largest city in New York State. Buffalo is known for its system of parks, urban planning, and for its architecture. The city is also just 16 miles away from Niagara Falls.
- New York City: the most populous city in the U.S., New York City is home to over 8 million people and is visited by over 50 million tourists every year.
- Rochester: after NYC and Buffalo, Rochester is the third-most populous city in the state of New York. It is the birthplace of some of the most famous companies ever, such as Kodak and Xerox.
- Syracuse: this city is known for being an educational and economic hub in the state of New York. Syracuse is also really important as a crossroad between canals and railways.
In spite of what one may think, the state of New York’s job market is not thriving. Ranking #39 among all fifty states, New York hasn’t seen job growth over the past few years, plus its unemployment rate is 2 points above the average unemployment rate in the entire United States, at 8.4%. The top hiring companies in the state of New York are:
- JPMorgan Chase
You can check the official website of New York State for more job opportunities.
A little over 9 million people in New York are currently employed, and the median income per household is around $67,000. The highest-paying jobs in the Empire State are in the following industries: securities, commodities, financial investments, and nondepository credit. As for the top industries, they are:
- Food services
- General medical hospitals
- Specialty hospitals
Things to do in New York State
The state of New York is home to the most important cultural and historical centers in the country, thus there are plenty of places that you can visit once you move to New York. Here are the top attractions in the state of New York:
- Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City: possibly one of the most famous museums in the world, the MET features over two million art pieces that were created over a span of 5,000 years!
- Catskill Mountains, Hudson Valley: if you’re a nature person, you can’t miss the Catskills, a region that is a part of the Appalachian Mountains and has plenty of land to explore and amazing resorts to visit.
- The Adirondacks, Northeastern New York: the Adirondacks region has a lot to offer for those who love adventure. You can go hiking, whitewater rafting, skiing, camping, and do pretty much you can do outdoors!
- National Baseball Hall of Fame, Cooperstown: sports lovers will definitely want to visit this attraction. The National Baseball Hall of Fame features treasures from the history of this sport that is loved by many Americans.
- New York City: although NYC is a city and not a mere attraction, the Big Apple is home to some of the most popular locations in the United States, including Broadway, Rockefeller Plaza, Empire State Building, Times Square, and many other attractions!
- Thousand Islands: situated at the border of the United States and Canada in New York, the Thousand Islands have over 30 parks and plenty of fun activities are offered to visitors.
- Animal Adventure Park, Harpursville: if you have children, they’ll love to visit this attraction. At the Animal Adventure Park, visitors can meet sloths and also see the internet celebrity, April the Giraffe.
- Niagara Falls: this group of waterfalls is one of the top attractions in the United States (and also in Canada). Here, you can visit a bunch of state parks and an amazing trail conference at Finger Lakes.
Transportation in the state of New York is not considered one of the best in the country. While the state ranks #1 in terms of public transport usage, it is also #50 in commute time — these numbers mean that, given that most residents in New York State use public transport, the time to commute between your house and your job will be much longer. Here are the top means of transportation in the state of New York:
|MTA Subways (NYC)||One-way: $2.75|
|MTA Buses (NYC)||One-way: $2.75|
|MTA Express Buses (NYC)||One-way: $6.75|
|NFTA-Metro (Buffalo)||One-way (full): $2 One-way (reduced fare): $1|
|RTS (Rochester)||One-way (full): $1 One-way (reduced fare): $0.50|
|Centro (Syracuse)||Day pass: $5|
|Staten Island Ferry||Free|
|NYC Ferry||One-way (adult): $2.75|
Crime and Safety
Contrary to popular belief, New York State ranks #12 in public safety, and it has lower crime rates than other American states. The violent crime rate in New York is 357 per 100,000 residents, which is slightly below the national average of 394/100,000. Juvenile incarceration in the Empire State is also below the national average, at 71/100,000 juveniles. According to data, the state of New York is #3 for states with the safest small towns, with 17 towns making the cut. The 10 safest cities to live in New York State are:
- Lewisboro Town
- Sleepy Hollow Village
- Kirkland Town
- Highlands Town
- Briarcliff Manor
- New Castle
Acquire a new Driver’s License
When you become a resident in a different state, whether it’s Massachusettsor Connecticut, or New York, one of the first things you need to do is transfer your out-of-state driver’s license to your new address. Here is what you have to do to acquire a new driver’s license in the state of New York:
- Organize and
the following documentation to the DMV:
- Proof of date of birth (U.S. Passport, U.S. Birth certificate, Valid Foreign Passport, Certificate of Naturalization or Citizenship, Permanent Resident Card, or others)
- U.S. Social Security card
- Proof of NY State residency (bank statement, utility bill, credit card statement, or others)
- Proof of name (Social Security Card, bank statement, credit card, debit card, border crossing card, DMV Statement of Identity, or others)
- Completed Application for Permit, Driver License, or Non-Driver ID Card (MC-44)
- Pay the document fees ($65-$75 for Standard Driver License, $70-$80 for Motorcycle Driver License, $95-$105 for Taxi, Livery, Limousine Driver License, $127-$137 for Commercial Driver License)
- Take (and pass) a vision test at the DMV
- Surrender your out-of-state license
- Get more info on the NY State DMV official website.
Road Safety, Highways, and Routes
In New York State, the Department of Transit is responsible for the implementation of road safety programs in order to help prevent crashes. The Highway Safety Improvement Program is one of the programs that were created for this purpose, and it has been helping improve not only highway safety but also pedestrian safety. Between the years 2012 and 2014, 5.6 of every 100,000 residents in the state of New York died in a car accident. The main highways and routes in the state are:
New York State is a culturally-rich state, thus it’s only natural that it has some of the most important museums in the country — and in the world. The MET Museum and the MoMA (both in NYC) are just two of the many museums (both indoors and outdoors) scattered across the state of New York. Here are the top museums in the Empire State:
- Boldt Castle, Alexandria Bay
- Corning Museum of Glass, Corning
- National Baseball Hall of Fame, Cooperstown
- Northeast Classic Car Museum, Norwich
- Albany Institute of History & Art, Albany
- Benjamin and Dr. Edgar R. Codeld Judaic Museum, Buffalo
- Susan B. Anthony House, Rochester
In the end, is moving to New York State worth it?
Home to over 19 million residents, the state of New York is the fourth-most populated state in the U.S. Geographically speaking, this state is ideal for those who love nature — New York has mountains, waterfalls, snow-covered regions, lakes, islands, among other natural attractions. Although the cost of living in New York State is higher than the national average, it is worth it to move to the Empire State for a handful of reasons: you’ll be near to the most important cultural, economic, and social center of the world; you’ll get to choose among the top schools and universities (for you or for your children, if you have any); New York is #1 for health care access, and the crime rate in this state is lower than in other states.
How to Move to New York (state)
There is a lot to do and a lot to learn when you’re moving to a different state. You’ll need to consider any possible issues you may encounter during the process of relocating, as well as choosing the best moving company to help you save money. Our goal is to help you during this process, so here are ten tips on how to move to the state of New York!
- Plan ahead: no matter what we’re doing, planning ahead is the best way to save ourselves a headache — and also to save time and money! You can download our moving checklist to help you plan ahead!
- Downsize: in general, moving can be quite expensive, especially if you don’t follow step one. Our recommendation for those trying to stay on budget is to downsize!
- Get moving quotes: if you want to hire the best moving companies that your budget allows, the first thing you need to do is get moving quotes from different companies.
- Book movers: once you find the moving company that best suits your needs, it’s time to hire their services and get started with your moving process.
- Visit your new area: when you’re moving, it’s completely natural to be scared — you’re starting fresh somewhere else, after all. A tip to get over your fears is to visit and get acquainted with your new area.
- Start packing: after you’ve booked a mover, it’s time to start packing your belongings. This can be a boring and tiresome process, so a tip is to come up with creative ways to make moving fun.
- Create Essential Box: when you start packing, you may notice that there are a lot of boxes. If you want to avoid losing something important, create an Essentials box.
- Say farewells: the next step in the moving process is to say farewells to your friends and relatives. This is quite an emotional step, so make sure to save plenty of time to do this — and don’t forget to bring tissues!
- Get some rest: this is a very important step that is often overlooked. Taking a break from packing and getting some rest is essential if you want to make moving less stressful.
- Enjoy the move: the last, but not least, step in the moving process is to enjoy the move! This is a huge moment in your life and you’ll want to make the most of it.
Moving services to help you relocate to New York State
If you’ve never relocated before, it’s likely you’ll be surprised when you start doing your research. There are several things you need to consider before you make the big move, and you’ll need to know exactly what types of special services you may need during this process. Below, we break down 9 moving services to help you relocate to the state of New York!
- Furniture transportation: when you relocate to a new place, the #1 item you’ll bring along is your house’s furniture. Make sure to hire the best moving company to help you move your furniture to New York carefully.
- Residential movers: before you contact a mover, make sure that you’re hiring a residential moving company, and not an office moving one.
- Piano transportation: if you have a piano at home, you’ll need to keep in mind you’ll need a moving company that specializes in moving large items, as not all companies will move a piano to New York.
- Art and antiques movers: art pieces and antiques can be quite expensive and will need extra care when being transported, so make sure to hire a company that specializes in moving these items.
- Hot tub movers: if you’ve made the calculations and came to the conclusion that moving a hot tub to New York is cheaper than buying a new one, look for a mover that moves large items.
- Pool table movers: you’re moving to New York but don’t want to leave your pool table behind? Contact a moving company that moves bulky items!
- Office movers: if you’re looking forward to upgrading your work environment and want to move an office to New York, there are companies that specialize in office/commercial moving.
- Long-distance movers: if you’re moving to New York from another state (from Washington State, for instance), make sure to confirm with your mover if they work with long-distance moving.
- Last-minute movers: ideally, you should book a mover ahead of your moving day. However, if you end up needing to make a last-minute move to New York, there are companies that offer this service.