The 10 Largest Cities in New York (By Area & Population) | Upgraded Home (2022)

The 10 Largest Cities in New York (By Area & Population) | Upgraded Home (1)

New York state is the fourth most populous state, behind Florida, Texas, and California. The Empire State is home to nearly 19.5 million people as of 2020. It is not only full of people though; New York is flooded with history, diversity, and fascinating places.

In many ways, New York state can be described as the “land of opposites.” On the one hand, New York consists of some of the most renowned urban settings in the entire world, packed with pedestrians and dominated by public transportation. On the other, the state features rolling hillsides, forests, and many state parks. In fact, you may be surprised to hear that forests make up 61% of the entire state of New York.

Although New York is generally associated with Times Square, The Statue of Liberty, and all that NYC has to offer, there is so much more to this state. Whether you’re relocating to New York or planning an extended stay, you’re probably already aware that New York is home to some of the most diverse and beloved cities in the nation.

If you’re having a hard time narrowing down which popular state to dedicate your time, you’ve come to the right place. Examine our list of the 10 largest cities in New York by population.

Ten Largest Cities in New York By Population

RankName2020 Population2010 CensusChangeDensity (km²)
1New York City8,323,3408,190,3601.62%10,699
2Buffalo255,244261,301-2.32%2,441
3Rochester203,792210,452-3.16%2,200
4Yonkers199,021196,4051.33%4,266
5Syracuse140,987145,270-2.95%2,175
6Albany96,85397,744-0.91%1,747
7New Rochelle77,91277,2200.90%2,906
8Cheektowaga74,02675,178-1.53%1,126
9Mount Vernon66,95567,388-0.64%5,897
10Schenectady66,10766,153-0.07%2,365

1. New York City

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  • 2020 Population: 8,323,340
  • Median Home Value: $675,000

Being one of the most famous and exciting cities in the world, in addition to a popular tourist destination, it’s hard to imagine any other city topping this list. New York City is not only the largest city in New York state, it also has the highest population of any city in the nation and ranks as one of the largest in the world.

In addition to having an incredibly high population, New York City is also the world’s largest metropolitan area, covering 4,585 square miles. In fact, there are so many people packed in such a small area that it is dubbed the most densely populated major city in the United States. From Manhattan to Wall Street, Times Square to Central Park, Broadway to Greenwich Village, superstars, presidents, world-class art museums, the 9/11 Memorial, and so much more, the diversity in New York is unmatched.

It’s no surprise that NYC has been described as the financial, cultural, and media capital of the world. Positioned on the northeast coast of the U.S., New York City is situated on one of the world’s largest natural harbors. Being the home of the United Nations, it is also an important center for international diplomacy.

2. Buffalo

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  • 2020 Population: 255,244
  • Median Home Value: $140,000

Located just south of the Canadian border, Buffalo is the second-largest city in New York by population. This western New York destination is a mere 20 miles from Niagara Falls and is situated right on Lake Erie. It is a popular gambling and shopping spot for both Canadians and Americans alike.

While Buffalo has faced a decreasing population in the past, it has recently experienced quite a resurgence. With growing businesses, a thriving job market, and increased development, the area has begun to attract families, students, and young professionals from all around the U.S.

3. Rochester

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  • 2020 Population: 203,792
  • Median Home Value: $129,000

Despite its significant decrease in population since the 2010 census, Rochester still remains the third most populous city in the state of New York. Its low cost of living, extraordinarily affordable housing market, and highly rated school system make it one of the top places to live in America for students and families.

Although Rochester experiences some bitter cold winters, The Flower City (a nickname given because of the annual Lilac festival) is loved by its residents. Located on the edge of Lake Ontario, Rochester is known for its music culture, namely institutions such as the Eastman School of Music and the Rochester International Jazz Festival.

4. Yonkers

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  • 2020 Population: 199,021
  • Median Home Value: $539,000

Located along the Hudson River and less than an hour from Manhattan, Yonkers is the fourth largest city in New York by population. This suburb is popular for both professionals and families, as it offers a mix of small-town charm with all the top-notch amenities of a big city.

More and more people are being attracted to Yonkers due to its influx of new housing developments and booming downtown area. The city is home to a variety of cultural amenities including the Hudson River Museum, Untermyer Park and Gardens, prestigious colleges such as Sarah Lawrence, the arts, a planetarium, shopping centers, and a number of entertainment venues.

5. Syracuse

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  • 2020 Population: 140,987
  • Median Home Value: $107,250

Known for its cold, snowy winters and educational institutions, Syracuse has the fifth-highest population in the state that has been steadily decreasing since the 1990s. Home to Syracuse University and Le Moyne College, Syracuse is considered the educational hub of Central New York. It also has some relatively well-known convention sites, with an extensive downtown convention complex.

Syracuse was nicknamed “salt city” in the 19th century, after the area’s salt springs that were the pillar of a thriving salt industry on the southern end of Onandaga Lake. It is an affordable place to live, making it desirable for both families and retirees. The city was also named among the best 100 places to live in the United States.

6. Albany

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  • 2020 Population: 96,853
  • Median Home Value: $207,280

The capital city of New York is one of the most popular places to live in the state. Albany is one of the oldest remaining settlements of the original British thirteen colonies. The city is known for its commerce, rich history, architecture, culture, and numerous institutions of higher education.

It is centrally located, offering easy access to the Adirondack Mountains, the Berkshire Mountains, the Hudson Valley, and the Finger Lakes. Albany has some exciting cultural attractions including the Albany Institute of History and Art, The Egg, and the New York State Museum.

Despite the fact that much of New York has seen a decrease in population over the years, Albany and the Capital Region has managed to sustain a continuously-moderate growth rate.

(Video) CITIES size Comparison ► 3D Animation

7. New Rochelle

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  • 2020 Population: 77,912
  • Median Home Value: $735,020

Located in Westchester County, on the Long Island Sound, New Rochelle is a vibrant, diverse, and bustling community that features a number of cultural attractions. Formed in 1688 by a group of Huguenot refugees, New Rochelle was named after La Rochelle, a seaport found on France’s Atlantic coast. In fact, it is considered one of the most historic and oldest establishments in the Northeast.

Given its position within the state, New York City is easily accessible from New Rochelle, along with beaches, parks, and bike paths near the Long Island Sound. The city’s downtown area also offers a variety of high-end dining experiences and some exciting nightlife.

8. Cheektowaga

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  • 2020 Population: 74,026
  • Median Home Value: $136,100

Studies have found that this little Western New York town is the ‘most livable small city in America.’ This has to do with a number of factors including home affordability, a high percentage of residents with health insurance, a high concentration of local attractions, and more.

This town is located in Erie County and is considered to be a suburb of Buffalo. Cheektowaga gets its name from early settlers: the native Iroquoian-speaking Neutral people. The town has become, and remains, one of the most progressive townships in New York State.

9. Mount Vernon

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  • 2020 Population: 66,955
  • Median Home Value: $358,000

Also found in Westchester County, Mount Vernon has the ninth-largest population in the state of New York. It located near both Yonkers and New Rochelle and is considered to be an inner suburb of New York City. Families and commuters are attracted to this area due to its many housing opportunities and urban ambiance.

Families who flock to Mount Vernon enjoy a number of parks, playgrounds, and after-school programs suitable for their school-aged children. The Mount Vernon Public Library is a popular attraction, as it is one of the largest libraries in the New York City metropolitan area and the entire state. The downtown area has a lot to offer as well, for its thriving business district and many shopping and dining opportunities.

10. Schenectady

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  • 2020 Population: 66,107
  • Median Home Value: $175,000

Rounding out our list of the ten largest cities in New York State by population is the City of Schenectady. Once a manufacturing center nicknamed “The City that Lights and Hauls the World,” Schenectady is still home to General Electric (once known as the Edison Electric Company), and the American Locomotive Company (ALCO).

The city’s name comes from the Mohawk word skahnéhtati, or “beyond the pines.” It was founded by Dutch colonists in the 17th century, many of whom were from the nearby Albany area. Nowadays, Schenectady is home to an energetic downtown business district, large farmers markets, and a slew of exciting dining experiences.

(Video) Top 5 Biggest Cities in New York | Population & Metro | 1900-2020

Residents of Schenectady enjoy many outdoor adventures including kayaking along the Mohawk River, exploring the nearby Blatnik Park, and biking the Mowhawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail.

Ten Largest Cities in New York By Square Miles

For comparison, the following chart outlines the ten largest cities in New York State by square miles. To help break it down and provide some perspective, we’ve also included the size of these cities in relation to both New York City and Albany (both considerably well-known cities).

RankNameLand in Square MilesSize in “NYCs”Size in “Albanys”
1New York City302.641.000014.1500
2Rome74.790.24713.4968
3Buffalo40.380.13341.881
4Rochester35.780.11821.6729
5Saratoga Springs28.060.09271.3122
6Syracuse25.040.08271.1709
7Oneida22.050.07281.0308
8Albany21.390.07071.0000
9Yonkers16.760.05950.8421
10Utica16.760.05540.7836

Related Questions

What is the most dangerous city in New York State?

Most recent polls put Buffalo in the top spot for the most dangerous city in the state of New York. The city is followed by Binghamton, Niagara Falls, Watertown, and Rochester. Buffalo earned this spot based on a poll that analyzed a number of crime statistics from the FBI. The categories included Murder, Motor Vehicle Theft, Rape, Arson, Burglary, Robbery, Larceny, and Aggravated Assault.

What is the safest city in New York State?

As of 2020, Lewisboro Town is considered the safest city in New York State. It has received this ranking for three consecutive years, reporting zero crimes to the FBI in 2018. The top three safest cities (Lewisboro, Sleepy Hollow Village, and Kirkland Town) experience no reported violent crime, so their rankings were based solely on property crime in the area. Lewisboro has a population of 12,823 residents with a median income sitting at $141,477.

Where should I avoid in NYC to be safe?

When you’re traveling or based in New York City, it’s important to be aware of where not to go. These areas include Soundview, Brownsville, and the majority of the Bronx. You should instead stick to some of the safest areas in NYC, such as Beekman, Battery Park City, Sutton Place, Carnegie Hill, Roosevelt Island, and Tudor City.

Is it expensive to live in New York State?

Not surprisingly, the average cost to live in the state of New York is above the national average. However, New York City is partly to blame for the considerably higher price range. In fact, two of New York’s major cities, Albany and Buffalo, actually fall below the U.S average cost of living. If you’re planning on moving to New York City, you can expect to have to fork over some big bucks. When it comes to the rest of the state, home costs are generally substantially lower than the national average, and you’ll still get to enjoy the quintessential New York city life.

When is the best time to move to NYC?

If you’re planning on relocating to NYC, you’ll notice that rent prices tend to be considerably higher in the summer months. While this can be a great time to move to the city because temperatures are up and there’s more housing availability, you will pay more. If you aren’t already aware, the winters in New York City can be harsh, and hurricane season is unpredictable.

However, apartment rental prices and broker fees are much less expensive during the winter. Also, since renters are more motivated to rent and fill vacancies during this time, you’ll have more bargaining power when signing a lease. According to Curbed New York, February is considered to be the cheapest month to rent in New York City.

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Jessica considers herself a home improvement and design enthusiast. She grew up surrounded by constant home improvement projects and owes most of what she knows to helping her dad renovate her childhood home. Being a Los Angeles resident, Jessica spends a lot of her time looking for her next DIY project and sharing her love for home design.

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FAQs

The 10 Largest Cities in New York (By Area & Population) | Upgraded Home? ›

10 Largest Cities in New York
  • New York City (8,930,002)
  • Buffalo (281,757)
  • Yonkers (214,687)
  • Rochester (211,480)
  • Syracuse (149,310)
  • Albany (99,498)
  • New Rochelle (80,258)
  • Cheektowaga (77,159)

What is the largest city by area in New York? ›

New York State cities ranked by geographic size

(Or, to put it more simply: NYC is 14 times the size of Albany.) We picked Albany because it's a place with which most people around here are familiar, and NYC and Mechanicville because they're the biggest and smallest.

What are the major cities in the state of New York? ›

New York

What is the biggest city in the world by land area? ›

New York is the largest city in the world by area at 12,093 km2 (4,669 mi2). New York's estimated population is 20,870,000, the highest in the United States. Of the ten largest global cities by area, eight are in the United States.

What is the top 10 most populated city in the world? ›

Here is a list of the top ten most populated cities in the world: Tokyo (Population: 37,435,191) Delhi (Population: 29,399,141) Shanghai (Population: 26,317,104)

What are the 10 most populous cities in New York State? ›

10 Largest Cities in New York
  • New York City (8,930,002)
  • Buffalo (281,757)
  • Yonkers (214,687)
  • Rochester (211,480)
  • Syracuse (149,310)
  • Albany (99,498)
  • New Rochelle (80,258)
  • Cheektowaga (77,159)

What are the fastest growing cities in New York? ›

Based on U.S. Census data, these are the fastest-growing cities in New York, based on population change%ages from 2010 through 2022.
...
5 Fastest-Growing Cities in New York
  1. Kiryas Joel — 35.7% growth. ...
  2. New Square — 33.0% growth. ...
  3. Kaser — 21.0% growth. ...
  4. North Hills — 18.8% growth. ...
  5. Elmsford — 12.5% growth.

What is the biggest city in the world by population? ›

Tokyo-Yokohama

What are the 5 main cities in New York? ›

New York City, Buffalo, Rochester, Yonkers, and Syracuse are the top five most populated cities in New York state. New York City is also the biggest city in the US by population, and a worldwide culture and media capital.

What are the 5 largest cities in NY? ›

Gallery
  • New York City, largest city in New York and the United States.
  • Buffalo, the second largest city in New York.
  • Yonkers, the third largest.
  • Rochester, the fourth largest.
  • Syracuse, the fifth largest.
  • Albany, the sixth largest and capital of New York.
  • New Rochelle, the seventh largest.

What is the smallest city in New York? ›

Red House has the smallest population of any town in the state of New York. About a quarter of the town's population holds public office.

Why NYC is the greatest city in the world? ›

World leader

NYC's high ranking was attributed to its diversity and culture, as well as its world-class restaurant and art scene, with 91% of those surveyed agreeing that there's always something to see or do in the city that never sleeps.

What is the population of New York City in 2022? ›

The current metro area population of New York City in 2022 is 18,867,000, a 0.23% increase from 2021. The metro area population of New York City in 2021 was 18,823,000, a 0.1% increase from 2020. The metro area population of New York City in 2020 was 18,804,000, a 0.01% decline from 2019.

Which is the No 1 city in the world? ›

New York City

Is Tokyo bigger than NYC? ›

Tokyo is the most populated metropolitan area in the world, so it's appropriate that it's much larger than NYC in terms of land area. Still, it's noteworthy that Tokyo is SO large that its population density is 15,604 people per square mile, as compared to New York's 27,578 people per square mile.

Is NYC the biggest city in the world? ›

Six (6) cities in the world have populations greater than 20 million. Thirty three (33) cities in the world have populations greater than 10 million. New York City is the most populous city in the United States and the 11th most in the world.

What is the most crowded city in the world 2022? ›

In 2022, the list of the top 20 most populated countries remained similar to the 2021 edition, with a slight change in numbers and positions. Tokyo kept its status as the world's largest city, with 37 million inhabitants, while Delhi and Shanghai, followed in second and third positions.

Which is the largest city in the world 2022? ›

Tokyo Japan

Is New York City the largest city in the United States? ›

America's largest city (and metropolitan area) is New York City, by far.
...
America's Big Cities.
RANK1
CITYNew York, New York
2020 Census8,804,190
2010 Census8,175,133
2000 Census8,008,278
49 more columns

What are the three largest cities in New York by population? ›

What are the biggest cities in New York? The five big cities in New York are Syracuse (pop. 148,600), Rochester (211,300), Yonkers (211,600), Buffalo (278,400), and New York City (8.8 million).

What is New York's most popular city? ›

1. New York City. The proverbial apple of New York State's eye, Manhattan is the most popular tourist destination, not to mention one of the best places to visit in New York State. It's also one of the best cities in New York and, arguably, the world.

What is the fastest growing county in New York State? ›

Fastest-growing counties in New York
  • P199 // Wikimedia Commons. #50. St. Lawrence County. ...
  • Pubdog // Wikimedia Commons. #49. Cattaraugus County. ...
  • Daniel Case // Wikimedia Commons. #48. Chenango County. ...
  • Reilchey27 // Wikimedia Commons. #47. Schoharie County. ...
  • Nina Alizada // Shutterstock. #46. Oneida County.
May 18, 2022

Is upstate NY growing? ›

Upstate metropolitan areas grew by 56,265 – 1.2%, but that growth was offset by a decrease in population of 57,581 – -3.6% outside those urban areas.

Is upstate New York growing? ›

Upstate New York's Population Plateau: The Third-Slowest Growing 'State'

When was New York the biggest city in the world? ›

In 1900, New York City was the world's second largest city (London was the largest). In 1950, it had moved up to first with Tokyo second and London third.

What is under New York City? ›

There are also seven secret tunnels like the Farley-Morgan Postal Tunnel, McCarren Pool Tunnels, East New York Freight Tunnel, Columbia University Steam Tunnels, Atlantic Avenue Tunnel, Hidden Concourse at 1271 6th Avenue, and Underground Spine of Goldwater Hospital.

How many cities are there in New York City? ›

All of New York's 62 cities have charter amendment by initiative under state law.

What is the poorest city in New York? ›

New Square

What are the 3 most populated cities in New York? ›

10 Largest Cities in New York
RankName2010 Census
1New York City8,175,133
2Buffalo261,310
3Yonkers195,976
4Rochester210,565
65 more rows

What is the smallest city in New York? ›

Red House has the smallest population of any town in the state of New York. About a quarter of the town's population holds public office.

Is Manhattan the biggest city? ›

Manhattan has the third-largest population of New York City's five boroughs, after Brooklyn and Queens, and is the smallest borough in terms of land area.
...
Manhattan.
Manhattan New York County, New York
CountyNew York County (coterminous)
CityNew York City
Settled1624
Government
32 more rows

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