Is Syracuse a Good Place to Live?
With incredible restaurants practically on every corner (some even featured on shows like Man v. Food or Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives), the Erie Canal Museum (among other historical sites), and plenty of room to explore the outdoors, we understand if you’re eager to call Syracuse home. But, before you decide whether or not to move here, check out this guide to help you figure out if Syracuse is a good place to live.
First, we’ll offer a few general statistics and info about the Syracuse area. Then, we’ll cover Syracuse’s history and more specific stats like crime rate and cost of living. You’ll also find some pros and cons of living in the city at the end of our blog.
After reading this guide, you’ll be able to make a well-informed decision about whether Syracuse is the right place for you!
What is Syracuse Like?
Syracuse is located in central New York State, about 87 miles east of Rochester. The city is adjacent to Onondaga Lake (offering a variety of watersports and beautiful views) and is considered a gateway to the Finger Lakes region of New York.
Here are some general stats about Syracuse:
|Land area (2020, square miles)
|Population per square mile (2020)
|Percent of persons in poverty
*Data from Census.gov
The Onondaga Indians originally inhabited the area that is known as Syracuse today, until explorers and missionaries arrived in the 17th century. The city was named “Syracuse” because the area reminded an early settler of a city in Italy with the same name (Siracusa in Italian).
The construction of the Erie Canal (completed in 1825) played a major role in the growth and development of Syracuse, as did the arrival of railroads shortly after. The salt industry was crucial to Syracuse in the 1800s, but the economy diversified in the 20th century and beyond.
Is Syracuse a Safe Place to Live?
The crime grade of Syracuse is A-. The metro area is in the 80th percentile for safety (20% of areas are safer, and 80% of areas are more dangerous). In central neighborhoods, the chance of being a victim of a crime is 1 in 35. In southwest neighborhoods, the chance of being a victim of a crime is as low as 1 in 122. Syracuse has a better crime grade than many nearby metro areas.
Is it Expensive to Live in Syracuse?
The cost of living in Syracuse is less than the average cost of living in the United States and significantly lower than the average cost of living in the state of New York. The median home cost in Syracuse is $148,700, much less than the housing cost of New York ($373,000) and the U.S. average ($291,700). Utilities and health costs in Syracuse are more expensive than U.S. averages, but grocery, housing and transportation costs are cheaper. The majority of people rent vs. own their home in Syracuse (61% vs. 39%). Syracuse is slightly less expensive than metro areas around the U.S. with a similar population size.
|Cost of Living*
|Cedar Rapids, IA
*Data based on a national average of 100, from Bestplaces.net
Food and Entertainment in Syracuse
There isn’t a dull moment in Syracuse. With fascinating attractions, unique history and a variety of outdoor opportunities—Syracuse has something for everyone. No matter when you visit, chances are there’s something going on. From food festivals (like the Bacon Festival and Crawfish Festival) to music festivals and beyond—visitors can enjoy numerous events year-round. Syracuse also hosts Syracuse University sporting events.
For history buffs, Syracuse is home to the Erie Canal Museum (the Erie Canal once ran right through Clinton Square in downtown Syracuse), MOST (Museum of Science and Technology), the Onondaga Historical Association, Palace Theatre and more.
Syracuse also has arts and culture abound. The Landmark Theatre presents touring Broadway shows, and Syracuse Stage and Syracuse Opera also offer thrilling performances. The city boasts a number of art galleries and art museums.
With skate parks, nature centers, parks, golf courses, ski resorts and much, much more—Syracuse is the place to be if you want to spend time in the great outdoors. If you’re in a shopping mood, head to Destiny Mall (the biggest shopping center in New York), right in town.
After experiencing everything Syracuse has to offer, stop by one of the exceptional restaurants in the area to feed your appetite. Some of the top spots in the area have even been featured on television! Check out Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, Eva’s European Sweets, Mother’s Cupboard and Pastabilities.
What are the Pros of Living in Syracuse?
There are a number of pros of living in Syracuse. The low cost of living and low housing costs are major positives. Many people are also attracted to Syracuse because of the generally low crime rate. An A- grade means Syracuse is safer than 80% of metro areas.
Another major perk of living in Syracuse is the wide variety of entertainment, attractions and activities. Whether you’re eager to learn about the area’s history, get on the water or try a different restaurant every week—you’ll never get bored in Syracuse.
What are the Cons of Living in Syracuse?
One con of living in Syracuse is the climate, especially the winters. If you’re not a fan of freezing temperatures and snow—Syracuse winters may prove to be a challenge. Syracuse also has a high poverty rate, about 30.3 % of people are living in poverty, according to Census.gov.
Do you think Syracuse is a Good Place to Live?
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