In NYC, You’re Never too Old to Have a Roommate

In many places in the USA, it would be strange if a grown man lived with a roommate—not in New York City.

With about 8.6 million residents packed into the five boroughs, with 1.6 of them packed into Manhattan island, it’s no wonder the cost of living is through the roof.

See how much money you need to make to rent an apartment alone in New York City

Living with a roommate in New York is in most cases not a choice, but rather a consequence of sky-high rents. Take a studio apartment in Manhattan for example. With a median rent of $2,559, you’ll have to make at least $102,360 a year to live alone. That figure is about double the median household income across New York City, which hovers around $50,711.

median housing nyc

“There’s a long tradition of men living with something like roommates,” notes Dr. Klinenberg, a sociology professor at New York University. “Men used to live in boardinghouses quite commonly. You had places like the old Y.M.C.A.s. These were really significant parts of the housing stock a century ago. They have since become far less common.”

Data on the living situations of Americans between the ages of 18 to 44 show that nonfamily households have become more common. A United States Census Bureau study, which takes an even broader look, also demonstrates an increase from 1.7% in 1970 to 6.1% in 2012.