New York City is the most expensive and the most populated city in America.
About 3 million people work in Manhattan each day, according to a 2013 U.S. Census estimate. More than half are commuters who take public transit into the city from their homes in outer boroughs and surrounding suburbs.
The daily round-trip commute on New York and New Jersey’s packed trains and subways is notoriously brutal at times — even posing potential risks to riders’ long-term health.
So, why don’t more people live in the city where they work? All things considered, Manhattan is just too expensive. For many people, it seems, the cost of commuting — both in dollars and patience — is dwarfed by the sheer savings of living in a nearby city, particularly for homeowners.
Business Insider compared monthly fixed expenses for residents of Manhattan and six popular commuting hubs that are accessible by underground train: the Bronx, Brooklyn,Queens, Hoboken, Jersey City, and Newark. The commute into Manhattan from each of these places clocks in under 40 minutes.
To find the total monthly cost for each place, we gathered median home prices and annual property taxes from Sperling’s Best Places. We calculated the monthly mortgage payment for each assuming a 20% down payment and 4% interest on a 30-year fixed rate mortgage.
We added these costs together, plus the cost of either a monthly subway pass or PATH train pass (depending on whether you’re in New York or New Jersey), to get the total monthly cost for a homeowner who commutes to Manhattan for work. Check out the map below for the final numbers.