Choosing a place to live in can be a daunting task for everyone since a number of factors have to be considered in advance. Most decisions are influenced by personal preferences and conveniences. Whether one has a family or is still single determine to some extent on where the person would lice.
Cities with high population and a busy environment may attract more single people than those who want to stay with their family. America has so many places to choose from and is one has to conduct an extensive research in order to determine the best city or area to put up a home. This report explores the characteristics of two major places in the United States; New York and Boston. They are compared using the following criteria:
Size and population
Crime rates and statistics
Real estate value
Economy and employment opportunities
Society and culture
These are some of the major factors that should be considered while seeking for a place to live in. The report uses the block method of comparison to depict the similarities and differences between the two cities.
The task of choosing where to live is as demanding and important as choosing a spouse. This is because once a given place is chosen, one would be expected to spend a considerable period of time in it while working, studying, living with the family, or even in retirement (Greenfield 5). The United States of America has numerous places to live in where one can choose from.
However, making the most appropriate choice involves extensive comparison among the many cities and states. There are a number of factors that one may want to consider before deciding on the best place to live in (Rutherfurd 3). Most of the factors center around individual preferences as well as convenience especially if one is still single or has a family.
This task, therefore, calls for extensive research before the best choice is eventually made. This report details the characteristics of two major cities in America; New York and Boston. Each of these places will be analyzed in terms of size and population, crime rates and statistics, real estate value or housing cost, economy and job opportunities, education system, climatic conditions, as well as society and culture.
The population of a place that one would want to live in is a very important factor to consider. Some places are densely populated while others are relatively scarcely populated. According to U.S Bureau of Statistics, the City of New York remains to be the largest and most populated city in America as well as the world’s most populated metropolitan areas since 1790 (Greenfield 31). The land area of the city is 305 square miles which is equivalent to 790 km2.
In 2010, the population of New York increased by 2.1% since 2000 and stood at 8, 175,133 making it America’s densely populated city. In the larger Metropolitan Area of the city, the population is about 18.9 million within an area of 6,720 square miles or 17,400 km2. It was estimated in 2006 by demographers that the population of New York will be between 9.2 and 9.5 million by the year 2030 (Rutherfurd 17).
The crime rates and statistics are the most critical factors to consider before deciding on where to live. A place associated with rampant cases of insecurity will automatically drive people away and discourage even more from moving in.
New York had significantly high rates of crime in the 1980s and early years of the last decade of the 20th century (Burns, Sanders, and Ades 9).
The rise in crime rate during this period was occasioned by the crack epidemic associated with massive drug abuse and deals. The City of New York was considered one of the most unsafe cities in the United States at the time.
However, this trend has notably changed over the past decade and the city has recorded the lowest rate of crime among the 25 largest American cities (Burns et al. 115). In 2002, New York was ranked among the safest cities in the United States with populations of more than 100,000 at position 197 out of the 216 cities in America (Greenfield 69). It had nearly the same crime rate as other well known safe cities which include Utah and Provo.
According to official statistics, the rate of violent crime in the City of New York went down by over 75% between 1993 and 2005 (Rutherfurd 73). The declining trend was recorded even when the national crime rate continued to increase. Over a period of about four decades, the homicide rate hit the lowest level in 2005 with an all time low of less than 500 homicides being recorded in 2007.
Blacks and Hispanics are the greatest victims of both murder and shooting incidences constituting over 95% of all reported cases (Burns et al. 257). Similarly, over 90% of the criminals involved in murder and shooting are black or Hispanic. This is largely due to their relatively higher number in New York City. Efforts to establish the cause of the drastic decline in crime rates and statistics in the city have been made.
However, both sociologists and criminologists are yet to come up with a common explanation of this notable trend. Some have argued that the strategy used by the security personnel in New York City have changed over time resulting in enhanced security provision. Demographic changes in the city as well as the bringing to an end of the crack epidemic have also been used to explain this situation of improved surety to city dwellers.
Reliable statistics on crime reveal that New York City has for a long period experienced the security risks posed by organized crime (Greenfield 82). This is especially at the beginning of 19th century and the late 20th century. The Mafia group was dominant in the 20th century and has remained to be one of the dreaded organized crime in New York.
The city has also seen the growth in the number of gangs some of which are prominent today. New York City was attacked on September 11, 2001 when terrorists executed their plan by hitting the South Tower of the former World Trade Center killing about 3,000 people (Rutherfurd 112). However, reconstruction of the site is underway and is aimed at restoring the status of the city by 2014.
Acquiring a home is probably one of the greatest dreams that an individual can have and calls for serious investment. Before deciding on where to live, one ought to find out the current housing rates for different places since the price trends are in a constant flux. The cost of buying a home as well as the likely resale value has to be established before making the final decision on where to put up a home.
The real estate venture drives the economy in New York City due to its high value (Rutherfurd 162). The cost of buying and selling property in the city is quite high and holds the national record when it comes to property value. The cost of housing is generally high in the compared to other cities in the United States.
A good education sets the foundation for the children in preparation for their future endeavors. When choosing a place to live in, the kind of education offered is of paramount importance. The education system followed in the area as well as the general reputation and cost of schools within an area determines whether people would want to move in or not.
The New York City Development of Education is in charge of the public school system. The school system in this city is the largest in America with over 1,200 primary and secondary schools accommodating a total of about 1.1 million children (Greenfield 152).
There are a few schools which receive partial public funding. Nearly 1000 schools are under private management; secular and religious institutions. The city is home to over half-a-million university students, making it the largest student population in the cities in North America.
It was established in 2005 that a majority of Manhattan residents had received some university education while 25% of them had acquired an advanced degree. These facts have ensured that a high proportion of the total population in the City of New York is educated making it America’s most educated population.
New York City has numerous private universities and one of the largest public universities in the United States. The city also has a number of community colleges and other specially operated institutions.
When it comes to scientific research, the City of New York is well known in medicine and various life sciences with the largest number of post-graduate degrees being awarded each year. It prides itself of over 40,000 registered physicians and over 100 Nobel laureates who studied in the local learning institutions (Greenfield 170). The City of New York has one of the best libraries on America.
For a long period New York has been an international center for businesses and commerce and commands a fairly large share of world economy together with Tokyo and London. It is one of the major centers for banking and finance, world trade, tourism, retailing, new and traditional media, real estate, fashion, insurance, and theater in America (Greenfield 231).
In 2010, the larger New York had an estimated gross metropolitan product of $1.28 trillion. This made it the leading regional economy in the united states and ranked the second largest city economy globally controlling about 40% of the worldwide finances in 2008 (Rutherfurd 124). The city has remained to be the world’s leading financial center. New York City is home to both local and foreign corporations.
The New York Stock Exchange, the world’s largest stock exchange is located in the city. NASDAQ which is ranked second worldwide is also found in New York City. Statistics indicate that financial services in the city account for over 35% of the total employment income in New York (Burns et al. 421). These diverse economic ventures and fairly strong competitive advantage in the market make the city a rich destination for most of the employed people both in the United States and abroad.
The climate of a place plays a critical role in determining its livability especially when it comes to extreme weather conditions. In America, seasons are experienced to varying degrees across the states. Finding a place with relatively climatic conditions enables one to feel comfortable while engaging in various day to day duties.
The City of New York has been classified as being in the region with humid subtropical climate. The city has got an average of about 234 days and some sunshine in the year. Cumulatively, New York City experiences a total of about 2,400 to 2,800 hours of sunshine annually (Rutherfurd 138).
The prevailing wind influences the impact of Atlantic Ocean on the weather during winter. The city is relatively warmer during winter compared to other inland cities at similar latitudes in the United States. This is due to the partial shielding of the Appalachians and the warm air blown over the Atlantic onto the land.
New York experiences cold weather at the beginning of the year with temperatures averaging 0.1o C (32.1oF). In extreme cases, temperatures may be as low as 10oF or -12oC and as high as 50oF or 10oC (Rutherfurd 142). The weather patterns during spring and autumn are generally difficult to predict and may vary from chilly to warm. These seasons are usually mild and less humid. New York City experiences summer and in July it is usually hot and high humidity with temperatures averaging 76.5oF (24.7oC).
During the night, the temperatures are usually high averaging 90oF (32oC) of 18 days during this season. In terms of rainfall, the city records 1,260 mm per year and is uniformly spread across the year. On average, the snowfall during winter since 1971 to 2000 stands at 22.4 inches (57 cm). New York City is not associated with hurricanes and fierce tropical storms although they are experienced on occasional basis (Burns et al. 446).
There are about 800 different languages spoken in New York City creating the world’s most diverse city in terms of languages (Homberger 7). The total population in 2010 comprised of 33% white and 23% black who are non-Hispanic (Rutherfurd 97).
Asians constituted 13% while 29% were Hispanics of all races and Asians were found to be the rapidly increasing portion of the population over the last decade. New York City is composed of diverse ethnicities. This is largely due to the fact that the city has been a strategic entry point for most immigrants from Europe. According to estimates of birthplace 36% of the total population in the city was not born in New York (Rutherfurd 104).
Just like any other critical consideration, population density of a given place is a factor to be considered when making decisions on where to live. According to the United States census released in 2010, the total population of Boston City was estimated at 617,594 (Taylor 8). This was a 4.8% increase compared to the population in 2000. About a decade ago, the population density of the city was estimated to be 12,166 people for every square mile.
The Greater Boston which is one of the largest metropolitan areas in America is home to over 4.5 million people. This huge number usually raises the population of Boston City to 1.2 million and even 2 million during the day as most people move to the city for education, healthcare services, work, and other occasions. The majority of city (35.8%) dwellers are young people aged between 25 and 44. In 2010, there were 239,528 households in Boston City with slightly over half (51.9%) of them being non-families (Taylor 17).
It is natural that none would want to live in a place associated with high crime rate. Before choosing an area to live in, one would be advised to conduct an extensive research on available crime statistics as far as crime rates are concerned (Vorhees 13). This would in turn assist in comparing the safety of a place and its neighborhood. Police stations and government bureaus offer the best opportunities for acquiring the necessary statistics and reports on crime and its prevalence in various cities.
Boston has witnessed a decline in violent crime rates over the past two decades. This notable decrease has been associated with the efforts by the Boston Police Department to involve members of the community in ensuring safety (Psaros and Psaros 35). There has been a strong collaborative relationship between the police and community groups and church organizations that has helped in reducing the number of youth involved in gang activities.
This spirit of cooperation has been promoted by the office of the US Attorney as well as the District Attorney. This move saw a ‘magical’ decline in crime rate in the city. In 1999, the number declined to 31 from 152 in 1990 with a rate of 5.26 for every 100,000 people (Harris 49). However, there was a notable fluctuation in the number of murder in the first ten years of the 21st century.
In 2002, a total 60 murders were reported in the city but the number reduced to 39 a year later. The annual downward trend then changed with 64 murders occurring in 2004 and 11 more in the following year. This unsteady trend in the rate of murder has been a cause for alarm among the residents of Boston. Boston Police Department has been reviewing its strategies of combating murder and related crimes in the city so as to ensure the safety of the residents.
The cost of buying a home as well as the likely resale value has to be established before making the final decision on where to live. The cost of buying and selling property in Boston city is relatively affordable although it varies with location in the city as well as neighborhood (Harris 85). The cost of housing is generally affordable for all income levels when compared to other prominent cities in America.
Boston boasts of a number of colleges and universities within its territories. It has very high intellectual ratings due to its teaching and research activities in the learning institutions. Boston University located in the city is the fourth-largest provider of employment opportunities. There are fewer public colleges and universities in Boston (Vorhees 53). Boston has America’s oldest public school system with a capacity to enroll 57,000 students from preschool through grade 12.
In terms of economic status, the larger Boston metropolitan comes sixth countrywide and world’s 12th-largest. The city’s economy is mainly driven by the large number of colleges and universities in the region. Students alone contribute up to $4.8 billion per year to the economy of Boston City (Psaros and Psaros 78). These schools and higher institutions of learning provide employment opportunities to many people. Most technology companies are to be found in Boston making it the country’s leading city in terms of life sciences.
Due to its advancement in biotechnology, Boston receives the country’s largest share of funding from the National Institute of Health each year. Furthermore, tourism contributes a significant share to the economy of Boston and is ranked among the top ten tourist destination cities in America (Hantover 9). Financial services and insurance also contribute significantly to the economy of the city with a number of prominent companies having their headquarters in Boston.
The climate in Boston is classified as humid continental but is greatly influenced by maritime due to its location along the coast. During the summer season, the weather is warm, associated with rain, and with high humidity. Winters, on the other hand, are usually cold, windy, and snowy in nature. Spring and autumn conditions are mild but are determined by the direction of the prevailing wind with the wind blowing offshore affecting Boston and hence reducing the impact of Atlantic Ocean (Psaros and Psaros 94).
July is usually the hottest with average temperature of 73.9oF (23.3oC) while the month of January is the coldest with mean temperature of 29.3oF (-1.5oC). Extreme temperatures during winter and summer are not common but are occasionally experienced. Boston temperatures are moderated by virtue of its location along the North Atlantic coast. However, this locale exposes the city to weather systems that are associated with heavy rain and snow.
The annual rainfall in Boston is 1,080 mm on average and 41.8 inches (106 cm) of snowfall per annum. As one moves inland from the city, the amount of snowfall increases significantly as the warming effect of the season reduces especially during the months of December through March (Hantover 102).
Boston City is usually covered with fog during spring and the beginning of summer. The city also experience occasional tropical storms or hurricanes which pose a great risk to the inhabitants (Lodge 214). This is common during the onset of autumn. Located along the North Atlantic, Boston experiences sea breeze mostly during late spring.
Moderate thunderstorms are experienced between the month of May and September although sometimes they may be destructive since they are characterized by heavy downpours, strong winds, as well as large hail. Boston is usually one of those cities that receive tornado warnings although no major event of such kind has ever struck the downtown regions of the city (Lodge 228). However, other parts of the city have experienced destructive storms.
From the mid to the end of the 20th century, the number of non-Hispanics has been on the decline. At the dawn of the 21st century, the non-Hispanic whites constituted about half the population in Boston (Vorhees 161). Whites have recently moved into the traditionally non-white territories with the number of blacks declining over the same period.
By 2006, statistics revealed that the proportion of non-Hispanic whites was on the increase once again (Vorhees 178). Five years later, the minority population has increased significantly partly occasioned by the housing crash. In general, Boston is made up of non-Hispanic Whites, Black or African-Americans, Asians, and Hispanics.
Boston language is distinguished by its unique English accent. There is a variety of seafood, salt, as well as dairy products in the city. The Irish Americans have greater influence on political and religious matters in the city. The city has also been known to be a major center for religious institutions especially the Roman Catholic and protestant faiths. Generally, Boston city has diverse cultural aspects that may cater for individual preferences.
It is evident that before decides where to live, a number for factors have to be considered and extensive research done so as to make the best choice. The above discussions on some of the major factors give a picture of the two cities. In terms of size and population density, New York City is far much larger compared with Boston.
Crime rates and statistics for both cities have been on a significant decline especially on violent crimes. Despite being highly populated, New York City has become one of the safest cities in America. Organized crime, however, is still a major threat to security in the City of New York. On the real estate business, New York City leads Boston due to the high property value. Cost of housing, on the other hand, is much affordable in Boston than in New York.
On the education front, both cities have well developed systems with New York City schools serving a very population in America. Boston boasts of its advancement in biotechnology and other life sciences giving it a competitive edge in higher education on the international platform. Economically, New York City is superior to Boston due to its diverse sources of finances. The City of New York offers more employment opportunities than Boston.
Considering the general weather patterns in the two cities, it is evident that New York has the best climatic condition with less risk from hurricanes and storms. New York City is also a highly multicultural society with diverse languages in use. It offers an opportunity to understand the culture of other people. Although both cities have a number of interesting cultural practices and opportunities, New York is the most diverse due to the diversity of its huge population.
The reported has highlighted some of the most important factors to consider before choosing a place to live. It has compared two American cities; New York City and Boston. The two places have been analyzed under the following factors: size and population, crime rates and statistics, real estate value and housing cost, education, economy and employment opportunities, climatic conditions, as well as society and culture.
The aspects of each city presented in the report may be used by an individual to make an appropriate choice depending on personal preferences. In general, it can be concluded that despite the relatively high cost of living, New York City has the best opportunities that one would want in a place to live in.
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Hantover, Jeffrey. City in time: Boston. NY: Sterling Publishing Company, Inc., 2008.
Homberger, Eric. New York City: a cultural and literary companion. Oxford: Signal Books, 2002.
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