Long Island and Manhattan: The Same or Different?

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Living in New York City is exciting, in part because there are so many great areas located in and around Manhattan. Whether you want to visit or live in New York, it’s good to know the differences between the many different areas first, and it starts with learning what city is where.

Long Island is a popular place to live and work, but it is not officially part of Manhattan. Let’s take a closer look at the details.

What Are the Five Boroughs of New York City?

There are five boroughs in New York City: Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, the Bronx, and Staten Island. Interestingly, each borough has its own ambiance and characteristics that make it unique. Long Island is east of Manhattan, and while both Queens and Brooklyn are technically a part of it, most people are referring to Suffolk and Nassau Counties when talking about the island.

In fact, the character and atmosphere between Queens and Brooklyn and the counties of Nassau and Suffolk are completely different. When most people say “Long Island,” therefore, they are talking about a specific area of Long Island that includes Nassau and Suffolk counties and not the areas that include Brooklyn and Queens.

One of the things that makes these counties in Long Island so different is that they are very affluent areas. Indeed, Suffolk and Nassau counties are consistently listed in the top 25 richest counties in America. Nassau County, for instance, is the 30th richest county per capita in the entire country. That being said, the two counties have a nice casual and small-town feel, which is what residents love.

What Are the Differences Between Long Island and Manhattan?

So, we’ve determined that Long Island is a part of both the boroughs of Queens and Brooklyn and that the main part of Long Island consists of the affluent counties of Suffolk and Nassau. This means that the two cities are in completely different locations when you’re looking at a map of New York City. And both Manhattan and Long Island almost require a high income in order to live there.

Like a lot of cities in America, both Long Island and Manhattan have areas where very rich people live and areas that are almost poverty-stricken. On Long Island, many of the richest people live in an area known as Old Westbury. It is home to fewer than 4,700 people and has a very rural and safe feel. As a general rule, it is a slow lifestyle that certain people tend to love.

As far as Manhattan is concerned, it tends to be an expensive place to live regardless of where you choose to call home, but some of the priciest areas include Soho, Hudson Yards, the Upper East Side, and Tribeca. Some of the cheapest areas of the city include Washington Heights, Gramercy, Midtown East, and East Harlem.

Pros and Cons of Living on Long Island

Let’s take a closer look at the other differences between Manhattan and Long Island. Here are some advantages and disadvantages to living on Long Island:


  • Tons of parks and beaches
  • Ownership of a home is within reach for many people
  • Tons of charming small towns to enjoy


  • The traffic can be unbearable

Pros and Cons of Living in Manhattan

And here are some advantages and disadvantages to living in Manhattan:


  • Truly amazing culture and nightlife
  • Mass transit system makes it easy to get around
  • It is a very diverse area
  • Some of the best museums in the world


  • It is filled with tourists and crowds
  • Housing is hard to find and unaffordable for many

If you love a fast-paced lifestyle, lots of things to see and do, and a big-city feel, and especially if you can afford to do so, living in Manhattan will never disappoint. On the other hand, if you prefer a slower pace, more green space, and fewer crowds, choosing Long Island will make you much happier.

If you work in Manhattan and live in Long Island, the commute time might be difficult, depending on exactly where you live. Nevertheless, a lot of people do it every workday of the year and still love the arrangement.

Long Island and Long Island City

There is also a part of Long Island called Long Island City (LIC), which is located at the western tip of Queens and is a well-known residential and commercial neighborhood. It is a separate area of Long Island that is known for its art communities, art museums, and artistic culture. It is also home to numerous buildings, including the post office building, listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Some of the villages included in LIC are Ravenswood, Middletown, Bowery Bay, Astoria, and Sunnyside, among others. The thing people like about LIC is that the cost of living is not that high and most people can afford to buy a home.


Long Island and Manhattan are different in many ways and a lot alike in many others. City lovers tend to prefer Manhattan, while people who love a good old-fashioned country “feel” often prefer Long Island. Manhattanites usually live in high-rise apartments and penthouse suites, whereas Long Islanders tend to live in residential homes instead.

While both cities offer tons of advantages, Manhattan is great for busy people who have no desire to keep up with a yard, while Long Island is perfect for people who appreciate the suburbs and love having a garden to toy with every year.


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