Is California More Expensive than New York? 

As you’re aware, people move to different cities for different reasons. It could be for business, vacation, study, or permanent residency. If California and New York are on your shortlist, you want to know which of the two places is more expensive. So is California more expensive than New York? 

California is relatively cheaper than New York. While both cities have a remarkably high cost of living, New York trounces California. The required annual income for a single person to live comfortably in California is $46,636, which is way lesser than the $82,637 required to live in New York. 

Whether or not you can afford these costs, understanding the financial differences between the two cities informs your choice. So to help you out, we’ll give a comprehensive breakdown of living expenses in both cities. 

Living Expenses in California 

There’s no disputing that California is one of the most desirable places to live in the US. With over 40 million people, there’s a high demand for everything, even the most basic things. As a result, living expenses are higher compared to other states. 

According to MERIC, the state ranks third on the list of the most expensive states to live in the US, with the third-highest living cost.  This cost breakdown includes housing, feeding, healthcare, utility, transportation, and miscellaneous. 

Housing in California 

It’s impossible to neglect housing costs when evaluating a place’s overall cost of living. As such, the average cost of housing in California is between $1,248 – $2,357 monthly. You’ll have to move mountains to get a sum that’s less than $1,000 per month despite having over 14 million housing units

While the median home value is around $800,000, this cost varies per location. So you’ll get between $400,000 to $792,907 in bigger cities in the state, while you can get less in less popular locations. 

Feeding in California 

According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, a single person’s average annual feeding cost in California is $3,630. This cost covers non-restaurant foods, equating to $302.50 per month. Therefore, a family of four could spend up to an average of $1,210 on monthly feeding and $10,543 per year. 

Your location in California also influences the cost of feeding as an individual or a family. The cost in popular locations tends to be higher than in less popular locations. 

Healthcare in California 

The cost of healthcare for an individual in California, as it is everywhere else, depends on specific care needs. It also depends on the health insurance coverage they have. However, the Bureau of Economic Analysis Personal Consumption Expenditures by State reports that the average cost of healthcare for an individual in California is  $7,638 per annum. 

Utilities in California 

The utility bill is another unavoidable living expense that includes electricity, gas, water, cable, and internet costs. The cumulative cost of utilities in California is $375 a month. You can reduce the cost by opting for alternative energy like solar instead of a public electricity supply. 

Transportation in California 

It’s difficult to precisely state the cost of transportation in California as that depends on your mobility. However, the MIT Living Wage Calculator report shows that an adult spends an average of $4,900 on transportation annually. While two adults without kids spend $8,987, and a family of four spends $13,317. 

Living Expenses in New York 

As the US’s fourth most populous state and financial center, New York is considered the second-most expensive place to live. All living expenses, including housing, feeding, utility, healthcare, and transportation, are high across the 5 boroughs in the state. The following is a breakdown of this cost:

Housing in New York 

Housing costs take most of the living expenses in New York. The median home value and rent prices are way above the national average. To buy a home, you’ll need between 313,700 – $606,00. For rent, you may have to pay between $1,280 to $3,000 per month.

Feeding in New York 

While the cost of feeding depends on age, location, and feeding habits, amongst many others, New York ranks the fourth state with the highest cost of feeding in the US. On restaurant meals, New Yorkers spend an average of $3,470 yearly. 

Utility in New York 

The cost of utilities in New York is about $477 a month, which is the fifth highest in the country. Cable and electricity costs take a chunk of it, so you can find ways to reduce them if it gets overbearing. 

Healthcare in New York 

Whether your healthcare needs involve being an inpatient or an outpatient, the average cost of healthcare in New York is around $6,734. Although the higher or lesser you pay depends on your specific needs, the cost in New York is the sixth highest in the country. You can get information on healthcare insurance enrollment and other options here

Transportation in New York 

Getting around in New York is also expensive, whether you own a car or not. If you do, you can spend up to $400 monthly on fuel, insurance, and maintenance. Using public transport is way less in New York, but the cost is relative because it’s way higher compared to other places. 

Is California More Expensive than New York? 

If you evaluate the above-mentioned factors, you’ll realize California isn’t as expensive as New York. The living expenses in California are lower than the expenses in New York. That’s why, even though they have a few things in common, California is a popular choice among the two. 

In Conclusion 

Whether you choose California or New York, you must know that both states are ranked high on the list of expensive places to live in. However, while this post has established that California is cheaper than New York, you must do further research to find unique features of each state that align with your demands and budget.