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Our survey found that NYC is not in fact the greatest city in the world

By Time Out New York editors

New York is the greatest city in the world—we all know this. But that maxim is undoubtedly biased, so we asked thousands of people living here as well as 31 other cities across the planet—from Barcelona to Boston to Hong Kong—to take Time Out’s City Life Index and tell us how they really feel about their local culture, neighborhoods and overall happiness. The results contradicted the mantra oft-shouted into Gotham air: New York turned out to be just the third-best city to live in.

Chicago took the top honors, followed by Porto, Portugal. And while third is still pretty great, the ranking likely won't sit well with any New Yorker who's found themselves crying tears of joy at 4am while eating a slice and looking out at the waterfront, thinking, “There’s no place I’d rather be right now.”

Beyond putting a dent in our collective ego, the City Life Index did provide some illuminating details about how New York’s residents feel about their city. Most notably: we know how to fucking party. 

Our survey found that 78 percent of New Yorkers think the city has great nightlife, making it the best after-hours city in the world. A whopping 91 percent of residents here drink, and roughly 60 percent said that they’d been to a bar in the last week. The only other city that is hitting the pubs as much as us was Austin, but that may have something to do with the fact that they live in Texas (sorry, we're just really salty about these results). 

Finding love in New York is completely miserable (three percent of respondents said its easy to catch a beau in town), but finding a weekend lover is not too bad. Forty-three percent of New Yorkers surveyed said that it’s easy to have sex in town, and roughly two-thirds were still single. 

So, while New Yorkers might not adore New York like Chicagoans adore Chicago, we still party harder and play more intimately than any other place on Earth. Those Midwesterners can keep enjoying their stupid lake and salad-covered hot dogs; we'll take our late night dance parties.

Discover more facts and figures from this year’s Time Out City Life Index, and follow us for more takeaways from the survey. 


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