New York gets a bad reputation for being an extremely expensive place to live. While this is true, it’s easy to forget that New York is an entire state and not just a city. Manhattan and the surrounding boroughs get all of the attention; however there’s a lot more to the Empire state than just New York city. If you’re in a New York State of mind but the state of your wallet gives you pause, the cost of living in Buffalo is among the lowest in the state.
Buffalo, New York is the second largest city in New York state. Sitting on the shores of Lake Erie, Buffalo is known as the home of the Buffalo Bills, the headquarters of M&T Bank, and the birthplace of the Buffalo chicken wing.
It’s also an affordable alternative to living in New York City. According to recent data, the cost of living in Buffalo is he lowest in upstate New York and among the lowest in the entire state.
According to the Economic Policy Institute in Washington, D.C. the cost of living in Buffalo is far better than it’s NYC counterpart. In Buffalo,a family of four can live adequately on $7,339 per month, or $88,071 per year.
The median income in Erie county, where Buffalo is located, is $47,372. A two-income family could therefore earn a median income of nearly $100,000 per year; far above the $88,071 indicated in the study.
That Still Sounds Like a Lot
$47,372 may sound like a lot of money. However, it’s below the US Census Bureau’s national median income of $59,039. Furthermore, it is well below the New York City median income of $64,971; or nearby Westchester County (one of the most expensive suburbs in the country) of $79,619.
The same Economic Policy Institute study determined that the same family of four in Buffalo would have to earn $124,129. That’s almost three times as much just to maintain the same standard of living 6 hours away in New York City.
The same EPI study found that San Francisco ranked highest in cost of living. That same family of four would need $12,370 per month, or $148,440 per year, to attain a basic standard of living. That’s a $20,000 INCREASE over New York City!
As for the reason, two main factors appear to be driving the low cost of living. Housing and groceries. The Buffalo housing market is punctuated by reasonably priced homes and relatively low property taxes. Groceries are likewise lower than in other similar areas.
A six hour difference in geography requires a 300% increase in income. Location matters not only in real estate but in cost of living. The city you live in comes with its own costs, standards, taxes, and more.
That’s why City vs City calculates cost of living at the zip code level. Rather than rely solely on averages or medians, City vs City goes deeper. Our powerful calculator examines your income, household expenses, state and local taxes, and more.
If you’re wondering if you can live more comfortably in Buffalo or NYC; City vs City will show you exactly where your money will be spent.
Download the City vs City app today and see which city is best suited for your cost of living needs.