It’s not a contest we particularly want to win, but New York is the second most expensive state in America, right behind Hawaii. The average cost of living index for the Empire State is 148 – almost 50% above the nation’s average.

Of course, most of this dubious honor is directly related to NYC. Once you leave the city and head Upstate or west, then rent, groceries, and gas fall off dramatically. But with bills and inflation what they are, maybe you’re looking for the cities in New York where you can really stretch a dollar. If so, you’re in luck – two of the top five are in Upstate.

man holding a purse with money closeup
Getty Images/iStockphoto

Based off of data collected by Nasdaq and doxo, they rounded up the five cheapest cities in New York state. They based their data off of the average monthly cost of housing, utilities, cable, satellite, insurance, and phone service.

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Here are the three cities in the top five that are in Central New York and Western NY:


A St. Patrick's Day Parade in Hornell, NY
Marduk via Wikimedia Commons

Hornell is the state’s cheapest city. It’s a historic city with a big railroad past and is great for craft beer lovers. It’s also great for homeowners: the average mortgage payment is $757. Hornell also has some of New York’s lowest health insurance rates.


Downtown public space. This is in the city of Norwich in Chenango County in NY state.
Tomwsulcer via Wikimedia Commons

Norwich is home to a cool classic car museum, and it must blend over to other parts of town – the city isn’t saving cash on car insurance. Mortgage payments stay low and internet is very affordable, though.

Niagara Falls

Aerialist Nik Wallenda Attempts To Cross Niagara Falls On A Tightrope
Getty Images

The Canadian side may have better views, but the American side has a surprisingly great cost of living. For a world-famous city, you can still get by on $1,450 per month. Chalk that up to more low housing costs, even with slightly higher groceries and utilities.

Here are the two cities in the top five that are in Upstate:


A 1907 postcard showing the main street of Oneida, NY
Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons

On the border of where Upstate meets CNY, Oneida has small town charm and smaller living expenses. In their dedication to tiny size, it even has the world’s smallest church (29 square feet) in the middle of a pond. The average cost of living in Oneida for a month is $1,395. The vast majority of rental units and homes are available for under $1,000.


The city of Ogdensburg on the St. Lawrence River.
P199 via Wikimedia Commons

If you like UP Upstate and low cost of living, Ogdensburg is for you. It’s on the St. Lawrence River and has lots of nature to explore. Renters have it pretty good here with a $638/month average, but expect some savings to be eaten up by winter utility costs. The cold’s no joke.

8 of TripAdvisor’s Top 20 Museums in New York State Are In Upstate

Upstate contributes 40% of TripAdvisor's list. New York City takes two in the top three. The National 9/11 Memorial and Museum, which is truly one of the most emotional and moving memorials in the world, is number one with a 4.5 out of a staggering 95,990 reviews. Number three is The Metropolitan Museum of Art in Central Park.

Western New York has the number two spot with The Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester. While Upstate doesn’t crack the top three, the region takes the majority of the rest of the list. How many of these must-visit places have you been to?

These Are New York's 14 Most Expensive Colleges For 2022

The Business Journals calculated total yearly cost for higher learning across America. Their total cost figures no financial aid, no in-state discounts for public universities, and the cost of books, room, board, and general living expenses.

By far, New York is the country’s the most expensive state for college, with more schools in the top 60 than any other state. We have 14: one in the top five, and three more in the top 20. Massachusetts finished second with 10 colleges in the most expensive 60. This is probably not a distinction to be particularly proud of, but as inflation continues this trend isn’t likely to slow down over the next year.

These Are The 11 Most Valuable Crops Grown in New York State

The US is expected to export more that $191 billion in agricultural goods in 2022. Data aggregate Stacker combed through US Department of Agriculture studies and overviews to find the most valuable crops grown in each state.

While New York's largest piece of the agricultural pie is dairy (a nearly $3 billion industry), the state has its fair share of successful crops. We even place in the top five producers of several crops on this list.

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