Lisa Chow is the economics reporter at WNYC. She tries to explore in her stories surprising aspects of New York’s many economies—in plain view or hidden, in neighborhoods or sectors.
Government statistics confirm what New Yorkers have always said: it costs a lot more to live in New York City than anywhere else.
The U.S. Labor Department released numbers this week, showing that households in the New York metropolitan area spent nearly 40 percent more on housing than the typical American household did in 2008 and 2009. New York households spent $23,624 annually, or 40 percent of their budget, on rent or a mortgage, furniture and utilities, whereas households across the U.S., on average, spent $17,002, or 34 percent of their budget.
The second biggest expense for New York households was transportation, including gas, their cars, taxi fares and public transportation, which made up another 15 percent of their budget.
Compared to the rest of the country, New York households spent nearly double the amount on education -- $2,043 annually versus $1,057 -- but they spent less on health care and cigarettes. Smoking rates in New York City are lower than the national average.