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Moving to New York?

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New York at a Glance

Moving to New York

New York is one of the largest, most diverse, and exciting cities on the globe, attracting expats and immigrants ever since its founding. Follow in their footsteps and move to New York City! But first, learn more about neighborhoods and visas in our Expat Guide on moving to New York.


The influx of immigrants moving to New York reached its pinnacle in the 19th and the early 20th centuries. Nowadays, the population has risen to about 8.5 million inhabitants. With an estimated 800 languages spoken in NYC, it is also one of the world’s most linguistically diverse cities.

The reasons for moving to New York have changed only slightly over the centuries, and the city continues to fascinate especially young people from all over the world. Historically speaking, moving to New York meant a fresh start in a safe haven. Millions of immigrants came to New York in order to escape oppression, persecution, or poverty.

Along the same vein, some of the city’s main selling points are its booming economy as well as the buzz and excitement created by its sheer size and cultural riches. New York City is the backdrop of countless movies, television shows, and books known to a worldwide audience, and this even further amplifies the strange fascination that fuels many a dream of moving to New York. One thing holds true even today: in New York, everything seems possible.

The Bigger the City, the Harder the Decision: Where to Live in New York

For expatriates moving to New York, deciding on a neighborhood can be incredibly difficult. Lucky expats either live in corporate accommodation or at least get HR support in finding a home.

Others are faced with a difficult choice: How does one decide where to live in a city covering upwards of 468 square miles (1212 km2), or in a metropolitan area stretching over more than 6,720 square miles (17,405 km2)? This decision is, of course, very individual and is usually based on many personal factors such as cost of living, income, proximity to work, schools, green spaces, etc.

However, this short overview might help people thinking of a move to New York narrow down their options and get a rough idea of New York City’s neighborhoods.

Would you like to learn more about rental agreements, the housing search, and what to keep an eye on when signing a lease? Take a look at our article on renting a home in the USA.

A Place for Families: Metropolitan New York

A couple of short paragraphs couldn’t possibly do justice to the vastness and diversity of the New York metropolitan area. Metro New York is a viable place to settle down and has some obvious attractions, especially for families or people who might find the prospect of moving to New York City itself too daunting.

While property is a lot cheaper outside NYC, owning a car may become a necessity, and working family members could face a long and stressful commute every day. Moving to New York City proper might appeal mainly to the young and childless. With the possible exception of Manhattan, however, all boroughs do include family-friendly residential neighborhoods as well as hip and more expensive areas.


We do our best to keep this article up to date. However, we cannot guarantee that the information provided is always current or complete. 

InterNations Expat Magazine