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New Yorkers need to earn $75,000 more per year to afford rent

Everything is fine, everything is totally fine…

Written by
Christina Izzo

We already know that living in one of the world’s greatest cities costs a pretty penny—and it looks like we’re going to need a lot more of them. 

RECOMMENDED: NYC Rent Board approves 6% increase for rent-stabilized apartments

The national median rent is $1,967 per month, according to data from Zumper, but the rental cost of a one-bedroom apartment in New York City is almost double that: on average, $3,495 monthly. And given that it’s said that you shouldn’t spend more than 30% of your total income on your dwelling, that means you’ll have to be pulling in a solid six-figure salary to even begin to afford rent in NYC. But how much money exactly? 

According to a new analysis by the Chamber of Commerce, New Yorkers would need to earn an additional $74,483 per year in order to afford rent for a one-bedroom apartment. The current median yearly income for NYC residents is $65,371, but to comfortably be able to pay the median rent for a one-bedroom, they would need to earn an income of $139,800. Based on the current median rent ($3,495), NYC residents can expect to pay an average of $41,940 total per year on rent, per the analysis. 

The study “took a closer look at the true cost of rent in cities across the country by determining how much yearly income is needed in order to afford a one-bedroom rental in each city. Our analysis included the median rent for a one-bedroom apartment as well as the median income in more than 120 cities.” The study also includes a breakdown of rent ratio differences by genders: in NYC, the male rent-to-income gap comes in around $72,000, while women would need to earn an extra $76,624 to make ends meet. 

Yes, if it makes you feel any better, the data did reveal the problem isn’t only relegated to New York City. In Miami, renters would need to earn $120,000 per year for a one-bedroom apartment, which is $78,713 higher than that city’s median income. Bostonians also need a hefty jump, from a median income of $72,077 to $106,000, as would folks in San Diego, which needs an income boost from $66,536 to $101,720. And across the river, residents of Jersey City would be better able to afford the $2,574 median rent for a one-bedroom if they were raking in $102,960 instead of the average $76,964. 

Check out where other major U.S. cities stacked up in this Chamber of Commerce infographic below:

Income Needed to Afford Rent 2023 infographic
Chamber of CommerceIncome Needed to Afford Rent 2023 infographic

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