Living and traveling in NYCAs the city's population continues to grow, so too does its infrastructure, housing needs, and overall wealth. In fact, in 2020, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the New York metro area reached over 1.5 trillion U.S. dollars. However, the growing wealth of the city has a downside, as housing costs rise faster than the average New Yorker's pay. As of 2020, the annual per capita income of the New York metro area was just over 82,000 U.S. dollars. This seems like a substantial amount until realizing that the hourly wage needed to afford a two-bedroom apartment in most areas of New York is around 40 U.S. dollars per hour. With such a high cost, it is no wonder so many New Yorkers rely on public transportation.
In 2020, the annual number of passengers using the NYC subway system experienced a large decline due to the global pandemic. However, with high housing costs and busy traffic, most citizens continue to rely on public transportation rather than drive themselves. Despite the pandemic, the Times Square 42nd Street station had an annual ridership of over 20 million passengers in 2020 alone.
Risk and RewardArguably the greatest downside of life in the big city is the high prevalence of crime, a factor for concern among many New Yorkers during their crowded commutes and daily life. In 2021, the New York Police Department (NYPD) reported well over 100,000 felonies within NYC. Of those crimes, around 24,000 were some form of assault or rape.
However, life isn't all danger and risk in the Big Apple. In fact, NYC is still a major hub for tourism, culture, sports, and more entertainment than most cities can brag about. Every year, millions of visitors enjoy the collection of art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in central New York City. Additionally, over 18 million U.S. dollars of revenue is brought in by the Broadway theater scene every week. Clearly the downsides of life in this major metropolitan environment is not enough to scare away its denizens from enjoying life in the Big Apple.