New York City and Los Angeles Compared

New York City, New York The Big Apple Empire City, The City of Dreams The City So Nice They Named It Twice and Los Angeles, California The Big Orange, The City of Angels La-La Land, Shaky Town NYC and LA are the two largest cities in the United States. New York has the most people, with a population of 8.5 million, while LA has around 4 million people. CONAN: 4 million people, yeah. That’s a pretty big deal. That’s a big deal and I wanted to celebrate so ladies and gentleman, let’s do this. Jerry would you do the honors please? Yes! Here we go. Yeah! We did it! The New York metropolitan area, however, has 20.3 million people. So about 1 in 16 Americans live there. The Los Angeles metropolitan area has about 13.1 million people. Both are cosmopolitan, world famous cities. Two cities that never seem to sleep- always hustling and bustling. Over the last century, the two cities have dominated and influenced the culture of the rest of the country. It’s like the two forget the fact that the rest of us exist. You see this on mainstream TV. Most national news and entertainment programming occurs in LA or New York, although LA has way more YouTubers than New York. Both are by oceans. NYC by the Atlantic Ocean, and LA by the Pacific. Both are diverse. We’re talking people flock from all over the world to these two cities to start new lives. More than 37% of New York residents were born in another country. Nearly 40% of LA residents were born in another country. Almost half of the residents of LA are considered either Hispanic or Latino. New York has historically been the main way immigrants come to the United States. In both LA and New York, you’ll see lots of ethnic enclaves, or neighborhoods dominated by one ethnic group. Both tend to have younger residents compared to most other cities around the United States, although LA’s a bit younger. It’s really freaking expensive to live in both cities, although LA is about 8.3% less expensive than New York. But it’s a lot more expensive to buy a home in LA. The median household income in both cities is similar. The unemployment rates and job growth rates are also comparable. Related to how expensive it is in both places, of course, is how crowded both cities are. While LA is notorious for its bad traffic, by some metrics New York’s traffic is actually worse. Here’s another surprise. If you look at the entire metro areas, LA, the city known for its sprawl that goes on for miles and miles, has a higher population density than New York. But city proper, ain’t nobody as dense as New York City. We’re talking 27,000 per square mile in NYC versus around 8,000 people per square mile in LA. The average commute time for both cities is way higher than the national average. New Yorkers use more public transportation than LA folks BY FAR. I mean, there’s really no comparison. In LA, people own cars. They drive. In New York, over half of the households don’t own a car. 75% of Manhattan residents don’t. New York has by far the highest rate of public transportation use of any American city. 1 in 3 Americans who use mass transit regularly live in New York or its suburbs. New York has one of the largest subway systems in the world. Los Angeles? No offense, but your mass transit system is a joke. Larry David: Ah come on, open the door! Does this go to Olympic and Hauser? Bus driver: Not all the way, you gotta transfer Larry David: Transfer? Olympic and Hauser? Excuse me, sir, I’m supposed to go to Olympic and Hauser? Man: Yeah, it’s easy man. Get off at the La Hacienda stop. You got a couple options. Larry David: Ok, would you tell me when that’s coming up? Man: I’m not your babysitter. Figure it out. Both cities used to be under the control of different European countries. New York used to be New Amsterdam, under the control of the Dutch in first half of the 1600s. Los Angeles used to be under Spanish rule in the late 1700s and early 1800s, and then under Mexican rule for awhile. Yeah, let’s go into some history of the two cities. Eh? But before I get too far in New York, I should say this video is a collaboration with M.Laser, who just released a video about the history of New York. M.Laser: Hello! He goes in, like, way more detail than me. But I will give you some bits and pieces here. So New York, it used to be settled by the Russians. M.Laser – Actually no, the New York City area prior to the European colonization was inhabited by the Lenape people Ok well but New York city was named by the British after the York Peppermint Pattie M.Laser – No it wasn’t Agh just go do your video already M.Laser – OK but I am going to need your help. Wait, what did you do? M.Laser – Don’t worry about it Yeah so anyway, now that you’ve got some history of New York, here is a bit of the history of LA. When the Spanish arrived in greater numbers in the 1700s, around 5,000 Native Americans known as the Tongva resided in the Los Angeles basin. NYC was founded in 1624, 157 years before LA. To put that in perspective, Denver is 160 years old. And for decades, Los Angeles was just a sleepy little colonial town along the Pacific Ocean. It was founded on September 4, 1781, by 11 Mexican families, all known as Los Pobladores. Even after the Americans took control of the town in 1848, it remained small. However, that began to change after the completion of the Santa Fe railroad line, which connected Chicago to LA in 1885. After that, the population exploded, going from around 15,000 to 100,000 by 1900. In the early 1900s, filmmakers began flocking to the Los Angeles area to escape Thomas Edison and his Motion Picture Patents Company in New York. You see, in Southern California they could escape the ridiculous licensing fees from Edison’s monopoly. Once the filmmakers got to LA, they stayed for the wonderful weather and wide range of geographical locations and architectural styles nearby. So Hollywood fueled even more growth, as well as innovative aircraft construction during World War II. After World War II, growth remained steady, and while today old industries in the city have dramatically declined, new ones have taken their place. The top three industries in Los Angeles today are entertainment (no surprise there), aerospace, and tourism. The top three in New York are financial services, media, and communications. New York residents are generally more well educated than LA residents. About 39% of New Yorkers have at least a bachelor’s degree compared with 32% of Angelenos. It gets quite a bit colder in New York, although it can get pretty hot in the summer. It has a humid subtropical climate, believe it or not. New York has four seasons. LA has two. A wet season and a dry season. LA has what they call a Mediterranean climate, with moderate, lovely temperatures year-round. And yeah, it can get fairly dry there, which often can cause wildfires that swallow up neighborhoods. Speaking of disasters, LA also has to deal with earthquakes being in the Ring of Fire, and more smog than New York, but it’s not as bad as it used to be there. New York might have a bad winter storm here and there, but usually by the time hurricanes make their way up the East Coast to NYC they have weakened considerably. LA has mountains nearby, New York doesn’t. New York is actually, like five cities. Really they are administrative divisions. They call them boroughs. They all used to be independent places but consolidated. The five are Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, The Bronx, and Staten Island. New York has stricter laws overall than LA. For example, it has a ban on smoking in public. New York also has a higher tax burden than LA. New York has lower property taxes, but slightly higher sales taxes and much higher income taxes. What about tourist attractions? Well New York’s got Times Square, the Statue of Liberty, One World Trade Center, Central Park, The High Line, The Rockefeller Center, and the Empire State Building. LA’s got Hollywood, Universal Studios, Disneyland, Griffith Observatory and Park, The Getty Center, Santa Monica Pier, and Venice Beach. Professional sports teams? Of course. New York’s got the Yankees and Mets for baseball, the Giants and Jets for football, the Knicks and Nets for basketball, and the Devils, Islanders, and Rangers for hockey. LA’s got the Dodgers and Angels for baseball, the Chargers and Rams for football, the Lakers and Clippers for basketball, and the Kings and Ducks for hockey. Other random things. New York has a stock exchange. LA does not. LA has hosted the Olympic games. New York has not. New York was tragically one of the sites of the deadliest terrorist attack in American history. LA hasn’t had a severe earthquake since 1857, back when hardly anyone lived there. That was a magnitude 7.8 on the Richter scale. It this were to happen today, it would be perhaps the deadliest natural disaster in American history. LA has palm trees, New York does not. Strangely, when Los Angeles was founded, it didn’t have any palm trees at all, by the way. Alright, so this is getting way too long. I better wrap this up. The bottom line is, the two cities definitely symbolize two different cultures in the United States. You know, the whole East Coast/West Coast divide. When you’re at both places, you really feel like you’re in the middle of it all. While the two try to dominate over the whole country, it’s nice to know they keep each other in check. I’m here with the Cynical Historian and Grant Hurst and I’m just going to ask them what they think the differences are between New York and LA Cypher: Pizza. That’s it. Grant: In LA, no one uses their signal on their cars. In New York, no one drives cars. Mr. Beat: Which do you prefer? Personal preference. Cypher: LA Grant: Probably LA, yeah. Mr. Beat: Ok, why? Cypher: I can still drive, and being able to like, have a house? Grant: Well yeah, as expensive as LA is, it’s still cheaper than New York. Mr. Betts: Woah, woah. Mr. Beat. New York versus LA? It’s no contest! New York all the way! We have the best people the best cultures, the best landmarks the best buildings, the best pizza the best bagels, the best baseball It’s New York all the way. And I know this is a total rip off of that Casey Neistat angle. We still got him, too! What did we miss? What did we get wrong and right? Come on now. I know a ton of you live in either Los Angeles or New York or travel to both regularly. Which is better? Personally, I think I’d rather live in LA honestly. Also, do not forget! This is a collaboration with my friend M.Laser. He released a video about the history of New York City, and I’ve linked it below. So go watch that now if you haven’t already. What else do you have to do, really? The laundry? The dishes? That can all wait. M.Laser actually has a whole series on the history of cities around the world. So that means you skip out on a bunch of chores. Thanks to my friends Mr. Betts, the Cynical Historian, and Grant Hurst for appearing in this video. Go check out their channels as well, and thank you for watching!

100 thoughts on “New York City and Los Angeles Compared

  1. Which is better? New York City or Los Angeles? Which two cities should I compare next?

    And here is M.Laser's video:

  2. IMHO:

    New York is a metropolis, and a shining example of American hustle and bustle. LA is more suburban, but that's not a bad thing.

    Both have profound effects on American culture, fashion, politics, and other important parts of our American lives. One city is just bigger, and on the other side of the country. They're two different slices of two very different pies.

  3. Two of the cities i'd like to visit the most…how can i chose?? I think NY would be better suited to me, but the LA weather and the ability to drive a bit into the countryside and have amazing peaceful landscapes really makes me think about it.

  4. you are comparing 2 cities that are 2500 (4000km) miles away from each other. i live in europe and it's like comparing Dublin (Wales) and Cairo (Egypt) (also 4000 km aka 2500 miles) with each other —- the diameter of europe aint even 2500 miles dude

  5. LA Resident: We have Awful Traffic!

    Me, a Boston resident: Oh dear! Let me press F on the worlds smallest keyboard!!

  6. NYC on left, L.A. on right. NYC is East Coast. L.A. is West Coast. Your editor's left eye is on the right, and their right eye is on the left.

  7. As a life-long Angeleno who travels to NYC regularly, both are horrible and great for their own unique set of reasons. As I get older, I'm desperate to get out to live somewhere less populated and has 4 distinct seasons w/a more temperate summer…maybe New England?

  8. There’s nothing like a dead animal wrapped around one’s neck to make a beautiful person look ugly AF—and heartless, too.


    Raquel Z | Fur is Dead | CC by 2.0

      Wearing fur, vintage or not, is saying you’re totally OK with paying someone to kill this li’l animal, peel off his or her skin, and chemically treat it so it doesn’t rot while wrapped around your neck.It gets worse. Anim iials killed for fur are sometimes skinned while still alive. An undercover investigation found that animals were skinned while their hearts were still beating.

    Animals aren’t an #OOTD!

    Tell your fur-wearing friends what’s up.

    Please watch this video:

    Check out: PETA Undercover Investigation: Juvenile Racehorses
    .6Forced to Run in Deadly Speed Tests
    #love #instagood #photooftheday #tbt #cute #beautiful #me #followme #happy #follow #fashion #selfie #picoftheday #like4like #girl #tagsforlikes #instadaily #friends #summer #fun #smile #igers #instalike #likeforlike #repost #food #instamood #follow4follow #art #style

  9. NY has WATER and yes , there are mountains nearby .
    LA has maybe 4 kinds of ppl White, Black Mexican and Asian , NY has the whole world
    AND we ( NY ) got better food , LA , FORGETTABOUTIT !!!!

  10. I was born in Greece and moved to NYC and the houses around my apartment (Queens) are 1m+ and houses like those would cost 400k somewhere else in the U.S.

  11. L.A. has cooler features and better beaches miss frequently going to L A. while NYC I don't think I would ever care to come back and visit plus NYC is very overrated as a City their ? is also overrated

  12. Hope there's a NYC vs SF video from Mr Beat. Would like to see their comparison of similarities (e.g. historic significance and current influence, immigration history like Ellis Island and Angel Island, economic levels & impact, Central Park vs Golden Gate Park, both with Little Italy next to Chinatown) and their great differences that are too many to list here.

  13. I knew you were gonna say it! As an I.E. Inland Empire (Riverside and San Bernardino Counties) native, Disneyland is NOT in Los Angeles County, it is in Orange County in Anaheim! Gosh you barbaric people, what is wrong with you?! ?? Get it RIGHT!!!! We’re not ALL the same in Southern California!!!

    I’ve finished my rant, carry on good sir ??

  14. I have relatives in Los Angeles and we have to drive through the Freeways to get around the Metropolitan Area.

  15. Contrary to popular belief, California does NOT have devastating earthquakes every week. But we do have really, really, bad drivers. Its me- Im bad drivers

  16. NY is better,NY you can just get up and go people are use to interacting with others no one is afraid,LA is boring unless you are rich with a fancy car, NY has beautiful women that you are actually able to see daily because they are out walking in the city ,LA women are in their homes and cars good luck on getting a glance

  17. New York has many mountains nearby. Upstate New York you can find Westchester County which has many mountains. Also Northern Jersey has many mountains.

    PS (Don’t ever call Staten Island a part of NYC ever again lol) Jersey City and Newark would be better fits

  18. LA for the beaches and weather but NYC for everything else. But if I were to live in California I wouldn't live in LA anyway. Would rather live in San Diego.

  19. all New Yorkers are planning on going to LA to beat the shit out of Californians..That is 10 million plus New Yorkers ?

  20. Of course it didn’t cuz they stole the palm trees from the Middle East specifically Iraq yes they brought the seeds of the palm trees from Iraq .:.

  21. I'm from LA, lived in NYC for the last two years, and don't know the answer to which is better. I've been thinking about moving back to LA, so I came to this video for guidance. lol. I think in my heart, I feel more comfortable in LA. I love how nature trips are so common. Like hiking, river trips, surfing- people do that stuff all the time on the weekends. You can access nature near-ish to NYC by train but no one does. Too hard or they are too busy, idk. 

    In my opinion, LA actually has better food. There are soooo many amazing cheap restaurants and nice restaurants. NYC may have better options for super high class dining, but cmon…Thai town, little Armenia, koreatown?! so much delicious non expensive food.
    I also love the creative culture in LA. Yes, there are artists in NYC but LA is bursting with creatives. I like that. NYC is bursting with miserable finance ppl who hate their lives. I do not like that.
    IT is awesome how gorgeous NYC is and how glamorous it can feel. People dress up more here and high fashion is everywhere. LA is more casual.

    I do appreciate the emphasis on success here in nyc. It drives me to constantly be wanting more out of life. If you aren't the best at what you do here than gtfo, is the way it is.

    Things are more old-school here. Highly educated people coming from highly educated families. Old money types. In LA, people who are successful come from more varied backgrounds, from what I've seen. In New York it feels like you are either an Ivy League graduate who's parents have a mansion in Connecticut, or you're poor. If you fall in the middle it can be strange. In LA, people are diverse as fuck, as individuals.

    I think I prefer LA.

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