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The Average Salary in New York City


If you’re seriously thinking about New York City as a place to live, you’ll want to be sure that you can do so within your means. A wide range of salaries exists in the Big Apple, so it’s important to know what to expect. Many factors will eventually determine your ability to balance your expenses with your paycheck. Just like any city you choose to live in, budgeting and having a financial plan are of crucial importance. You can even speak with a financial advisor, who can help you with your long-term financial plan.

What Is the Average Salary in New York City?

According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2020 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates, the average individual income in New York City is $107,000. Household income in the U.S. Census data takes into account the income of everyone who lives inside a single housing unit. This includes anyone from individuals, groups of roommates and families. Note that this figure represents the gross amount, before taxes and other deductions.

On the other hand, median household income represents the middle number in the list of all household incomes. Half of all earners make more than the median and half of all earners make below it. In New York City, the median household income is $67,046. This figure takes into account everyone 16 and older with earnings.

Per capita income, on the other hand, is income averaged for everyone 16 or older living in the city. This makes it reliably much lower than all other figures because it includes non-earners as well. For New York City, this number is $41,625.

Income Figures for New York City

TypeIncome Amount
Average Income$107,000
Median Income$67,046
Per Capita Income$41,625

How Does the Average Salary in NYC Compare?

Average Salary in NYC

The average salary in NYC is well above the national average. The average household income in the U.S. is $91,547, according to the 2020 Census ACS. Therefore, the $107,000 NYC average salary comes in at approximately 14% higher than the national average.

Unfortunately, the cost of living in New York City is higher than the national average. The price of most expenses, from rent and transportation to food and entertainment, is relatively high. If you want to live in the Big Apple, you’ll need to be smart about your savings.

What to Know About Salaries in New York City

For what it’s worth, people do make it in New York, and it doesn’t always require spending a fortune. Still, housing in Manhattan certainly isn’t cheap. New York City ranks among the priciest large U.S. cities for income required to pay rent.

The average apartment in Manhattan is 702 square feet, about the size of a one-bedroom apartment. The average rent in Manhattan is $4,265, according to RentCafé data from 2022. In addition, only about 4% of the housing in Manhattan ranges from $1,500-$2,000 in cost. More affordable options are likely available outside of Manhattan.

On the plus side, salaries in New York City appear to be narrowing the gender wage gap, based on figures from a Census Bureau report citing information collected in the 2018 and earlier Current Population Survey Annual Social and Economic Supplements. In the Big Apple, men’s median earnings are $51,791. Median earnings for women are $49,355. This is a gender wage gap of roughly $0.05 on the dollar, which is far better than the national ratio of roughly $0.80 on the dollar. In 2017, the real median earnings of American men working full-time and year-round was $52,146. For American women, that number was $41,977.

Bottom Line

Average Salary in NYC

Many cities show a clear relationship between their income numbers and cost of living requirements. New York City is no different. However, these factors come into play at much higher stakes in the Big Apple, as rent costs and income levels come in well above most other cities in the U.S., even major ones. In turn, it’s paramount that New York City residents adequately plan out their finances. More specifically, build a budget for you and your family, making sure to account for things like savings and retirement as well.

Tips for Planning for Your Financial Future

  • No matter where you live, striving to meet your dream salary also means that you should be mindful of how you’ll support yourself after your working years. Though it’s never too early to start planning for retirement, many people unfortunately often overlook this aspect of being in the working world.
  • Especially if you’re starting to earn more money, it could be time to consider working with a financial advisor to help you achieve your savings and retirement goals. Finding a qualified financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to three financial advisors who serve your area, and you can interview your advisor matches at no cost to decide which one is right for you. If you’re ready to find an advisor who can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.

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