The 10 Best Counties To Live In New York For 2021


Using science and data, we can tell you which counties in New York have the most for people looking to make the move to New York.

Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2021. This is our seventh time ranking the best counties to live in New York.

Some of you might be asking yourself, at this very moment: is New York a good place?

The answer is unequivocally yes... if you know where to locate the best places to live in New York.

Lucky for you, we're here to help you identify the best counties to live in the Empire State based on the most recently available data from the Census. And this isn't our first rodeo -- we've been helping people find the best places to live in America for years.

So, the question becomes, if you wanted to relocate to the best part of New York, where would you go? To answer that we looked at crime, cost of living, and demographic data for all 62 counties in the state.

After the analytic dust settled, we identified the 10 best counties to live in Empire State for 2021.

Saratoga County is the county to be when it comes to living the good life in New York. And you might want to avoid Franklin County if you can -- at least according to the data.

So if you're thinking of making the move New York, we've got you covered. Keep on reading for a detailed methodology.

Or, check out the best places to live in New York and the cheapest places to live in New York.

The Best Counties To Live In New York For 2021

1. Saratoga County

Ballston Spa, NY

Biggest Place: Saratoga Springs

Population: 228,502
Median Income: $84,291 (7th best)
Median Home Price: $258,300.0 (13th best)
Unemployment Rate: 346.8% (2nd best)
More on Saratoga County: PhotosData

2. Putnam County

Brewster, NY

Biggest Place: Mahopac

Population: 98,787
Median Income: $104,486 (2nd best)
Median Home Price: $358,500.0 (10th best)
Unemployment Rate: 457.4% (19th best)
More on Putnam County: PhotosData

3. Nassau County

East Rockaway, NY

Biggest Place: Hempstead

Population: 1,356,509
Median Income: $116,100 (best)
Median Home Price: $493,500.0 (6th best)
Unemployment Rate: 386.3% (7th best)
More on Nassau County: PhotosData

4. Ontario County

Canandaigua, NY

Biggest Place: Geneva

Population: 109,511
Median Income: $64,944 (16th best)
Median Home Price: $161,800.0 (24th best)
Unemployment Rate: 345.2% (best)
More on Ontario County: PhotosData

5. Warren County

Glens Falls, NY

Source: Public domain

Biggest Place: Glens Falls

Population: 64,276
Median Income: $61,024 (2best)
Median Home Price: $196,500.0 (18th best)
Unemployment Rate: 400.6% (10th best)
More on Warren County: PhotosData

6. Albany County

Albany, NY

Biggest Place: Albany

Population: 306,968
Median Income: $66,252 (14th best)
Median Home Price: $222,500.0 (16th best)
Unemployment Rate: 451.6% (17th best)
More on Albany County: PhotosData

7. Suffolk County

Amityville, NY

Source: Public domain

Biggest Place: Brentwood

Population: 1,483,832
Median Income: $101,031 (3rd best)
Median Home Price: $397,400.0 (9th best)
Unemployment Rate: 418.7% (13th best)
More on Suffolk County: PhotosData

8. Rensselaer County

Hoosick Falls, NY

Biggest Place: Troy

Population: 159,185
Median Income: $68,991 (11th best)
Median Home Price: $188,700.0 (19th best)
Unemployment Rate: 474.4% (23rd best)
More on Rensselaer County: PhotosData

9. Tompkins County

Dryden, NY

Biggest Place: Ithaca

Population: 102,642
Median Income: $60,240 (23rd best)
Median Home Price: $204,600.0 (17th best)
Unemployment Rate: 381.7% (6th best)
More on Tompkins County: PhotosData

10. Dutchess County

Beacon, NY

Biggest Place: Poughkeepsie

Population: 293,754
Median Income: $81,219 (9th best)
Median Home Price: $282,000.0 (11th best)
Unemployment Rate: 502.9% (30th best)
More on Dutchess County: PhotosData

How do you determine which New York county is the best?

To give you the best county in New York, we have to look at a handful of metrics that signal the quality of a place. To do that, we need to make some assumptions about what's a "best county" and what isn't. And, for reference, we are trying to make the kind of argument you'd make at a bar using facts, don't take this analysis to court.

With that in mind, we went to two of the best sources of data on the internet; the American Community Survey data and FBI Crime data for the most recent time period.

We paid particular attention to:

  • Violent Crime Rates
  • Property Crime Rates
  • Median Home Values
  • Median Income
  • Unemployment Rates
  • Adult Education Levels
  • Health Insurance Coverage
  • Poverty Rates

We then ranked each county in New York across each of the criteria from one to 62, with one being the best.

Taking the average rank across all criteria, we created a quality of life score with the county posting the lowest overall score being the "Best County To Live In New York".

The result is some of the safest, quiet, and best counties to raise a family in the Empire State.

Read on to see why Saratoga County is the best county, while Franklin County is probably in contention for being the worst county in New York.

There You Have It - The Best Counties In New York To Call Home For 2018

It turns out living in New York can vary from one part of the state to the next -- who woulda thought?

But now you the know the really good parts and the parts to avoid and that's why you came here to learn at the end of the day. And for that, you are welcome.

Here's a look at the worst counties in New York according to the data:

  1. Franklin County
  2. Oswego County
  3. Orleans County

For more New York reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Counties In New York

County Rank Population Median Income Median Home Price
Saratoga County 1 228,502 $84,291 $258,300.0
Putnam County 2 98,787 $104,486 $358,500.0
Nassau County 3 1,356,509 $116,100 $493,500.0
Ontario County 4 109,511 $64,944 $161,800.0
Warren County 5 64,276 $61,024 $196,500.0
Albany County 6 306,968 $66,252 $222,500.0
Suffolk County 7 1,483,832 $101,031 $397,400.0
Rensselaer County 8 159,185 $68,991 $188,700.0
Tompkins County 9 102,642 $60,240 $204,600.0
Dutchess County 10 293,754 $81,219 $282,000.0
Madison County 11 71,205 $61,633 $136,800.0
Genesee County 12 57,808 $60,524 $119,800.0
Livingston County 13 63,591 $59,510 $129,400.0
Orange County 14 380,085 $79,944 $271,200.0
Westchester County 15 968,890 $96,610 $540,600.0
Richmond County 16 474,893 $82,783 $504,800.0
Erie County 17 919,355 $58,121 $153,400.0
Columbia County 18 60,371 $66,787 $233,600.0
Ulster County 19 178,665 $64,304 $230,500.0
Essex County 20 37,459 $56,763 $153,600.0
Schenectady County 21 154,859 $65,499 $169,600.0
Onondaga County 22 462,872 $61,359 $145,400.0
Tioga County 23 48,686 $62,999 $119,700.0
Cortland County 24 47,865 $56,023 $123,800.0
Niagara County 25 210,820 $55,522 $125,600.0
Monroe County 26 743,341 $60,075 $148,400.0
Schoharie County 27 31,222 $57,714 $144,800.0
Wayne County 28 90,519 $59,449 $123,800.0
Wyoming County 29 40,305 $58,052 $115,900.0
New York County 30 1,631,993 $86,553 $987,700.0
Hamilton County 31 4,515 $58,675 $166,000.0
Rockland County 32 324,422 $93,024 $443,400.0
Herkimer County 33 62,057 $54,646 $100,000.0
Oneida County 34 229,959 $56,027 $127,700.0
Greene County 35 47,424 $53,601 $176,300.0
Washington County 36 61,616 $57,258 $149,000.0
Cayuga County 37 77,425 $58,377 $128,000.0
Chemung County 38 84,895 $54,940 $105,800.0
Clinton County 39 80,583 $56,365 $134,100.0
Jefferson County 40 112,842 $52,685 $149,900.0
Queens County 41 2,287,388 $68,666 $543,800.0
Chenango County 42 47,909 $52,002 $98,400.0
Otsego County 43 59,972 $54,028 $146,400.0
Fulton County 44 53,646 $50,482 $109,600.0
Lewis County 45 26,572 $54,524 $120,200.0
Yates County 46 25,011 $56,563 $136,300.0
Delaware County 47 44,995 $49,544 $139,300.0
Broome County 48 193,188 $52,226 $117,000.0
Seneca County 49 34,390 $54,545 $107,100.0
Cattaraugus County 50 77,121 $48,703 $88,100.0
Bronx County 51 1,435,068 $40,088 $404,700.0
Kings County 52 2,589,974 $60,231 $706,000.0
Sullivan County 53 75,116 $57,426 $172,800.0
Montgomery County 54 49,302 $49,462 $105,400.0
St. Lawrence County 55 108,913 $50,940 $93,600.0
Chautauqua County 56 128,496 $46,820 $88,000.0
Steuben County 57 96,422 $53,663 $99,600.0
Schuyler County 58 17,920 $52,327 $133,100.0
Allegany County 59 46,688 $48,412 $76,400.0
Orleans County 60 40,904 $52,620 $98,400.0
Oswego County 61 118,339 $55,967 $104,600.0
Franklin County 62 50,477 $50,407 $108,700.0

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.

2 thoughts on “The 10 Best Counties To Live In New York For 2021

  1. Your list couldn’t be more wrong!!! What about Suffolk or Rockland Counties? You obviously don’t live in New York and/or don’t travel much throughout the state. Smh.

  2. Get Tompkins County out of your top ten. Tompkins County is run by the money hungry land hungry Cornell University. The City of Ithaca is a dump. Cornell is pushing for 45,000 undergraduate students by 2025.

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