While New York will always be best known for the metropolis that shares its name–the country’s largest city and culture/commerce capital–it’s a big state with lots of other great cities. Read up on New York’s five best cities to live in for a fuller picture of The Empire State.

1. New York City

New York’s best city to live in is–of course–New York City. Although it’s one of the most expensive cities to live in in the United States, most New Yorkers would agree that it’s worth it. The Big Apple is a city like no other: a metropolis with the best job opportunities, nightlife, and culture in the world.

2. Ithaca

Ithaca is a small city located in the Finger Lakes region of the state. A long way away from NYC both distance wise and in character, Ithaca is a community you settle in to get away from big city hubbub. As home to both Ithaca College and Cornell University, Ithaca has a hip college town vibe.

3. Pittsford

Ranking third is Pittsford, a pleasant suburb of Rochester with the Erie Canal running through it. Pittsford is distinguished for its excellent public school system, which has won the New York State Governor’s Excelsior award.

4. Fairport

Fairport, another cozy suburb of Rochester, calls itself the “Crown Jewel of the Erie Canal”, and that characterization certainly isn’t far off. The city is home to a large waterfront area where festivals are frequently held and tour boat companies operate trips down the river.

5. Orchard Park

Orchard Park, a suburb of Buffalo, is #5 on the list. The affluent community is most well known for housing New Era Field, where the NFL’s Buffalo Bills play.

Best Cities to Live in New York, 2019

RankCity
1New York
2Ithaca
3Pittsford
4Fairport
5Orchard Park
6Webster
7Clifton Park
8Hamburg
9Lancaster
10Tonawanda
11Endicott
12Liverpool
13Baldwinsville
14Saratoga Springs
15Cortland
16Plattsburgh
17Ballston Spa
18Queensbury
19Forest Hills
20Rochester
21North Tonawanda
22Elmira
23New Rochelle
24Watertown
25Canandaigua
26Jamestown
27Oswego
28Binghamton
29Auburn
30Schenectady
31Amsterdam
32Yorktown Heights
33Lockport
34Rome
35Troy
36Rego Park
37New City
38Syracuse
39Long Island City
40Smithtown
41Kingston
42Poughkeepsie
43Hempstead
44Holbrook
45Plainview
46Commack
47Sunnyside
48East Northport
49Centereach
50Ronkonkoma
51Merrick
52Albany
53Bellmore
54Utica
55Wappingers Falls
56West Islip
57East Meadow
58Farmingdale
59Hopewell Junction
60Coram
61Riverhead
62Levittown
63Garden City
64Wantagh
65Hicksville
66Huntington
67Selden
68Oceanside
69Patchogue
70Huntington Station
71Syosset
72Medford
73Jackson Heights
74Ossining
75Deer Park
76New Windsor
77Baldwin
78Massapequa
79White Plains
80Mahopac
81Niagara Falls
82West Hempstead
83Long Beach
84Amityville
85Rockville Centre
86Uniondale
87Bayside
88Yonkers
89Central Islip
90West Babylon
91Lindenhurst
92Valley Stream
93Glen Cove
94Great Neck
95New Hyde Park
96Westbury
97Mount Vernon
98Bay Shore
99Brentwood
100Buffalo

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Methodology

We ranked a total of 2,509 qualified cities (those with populations above 25,000 and enough data for analysis) by five factors: employment (number of establishments, median earnings); housing (owner-occupied housing with a mortgage, monthly housing costs); quality of life (work commute, poverty levels); education (percentage with a bachelor’s degree or higher); and health (obesity ratios).