Moving to Hempstead, NY  | ULTIMATE Living in Town of Hempstead Guide
The Town of Hempstead is located in Nassau County on western Long Island bordered by the Atlantic Ocean, Long Beach, Lido Beach, Jones Beach, and Point Lookout. Comprising 22 incorporated villages, including Hempstead village, the Town of Hempstead is known for its rich history, diversity, dozens of marinas and parks, and its gorgeous beaches. While Nassau County is America’s most expensive county and has one of the highest median incomes, the Town of Hempstead has everything from affordable neighborhoods for families to luxury waterfront properties. While living in Hempstead, NY, you’ll enjoy shopping, family-friendly amenities, beaches, and beautiful parks at your fingertips.
The Town of Hempstead has a unique history. The town was founded in 1644 after a treaty was reached between the Lenape Indians and English colonists. A patent was issued by the New Netherland government and the town was called Heemstede in 17th century Dutch documents. It may have been named for Heemstede in the Netherlands or Hemel Hempstead, England, the birthplace of one of the town’s co-founders.
Hempstead separated into two towns during the American Revolution. American sympathizers in the north split into North Hempstead in 1784 and Loyalists or Tories in the south split into South Hempstead, today the Town of Hempstead. In 1899, parts of the Town of Hempstead seceded and became part of Queens.
Over its long history, the Town of Hempstead has had many famous residents. Charles Lindbergh spent a lot of time in the town and left for his famous transatlantic flight from the area. Eleanor Roosevelt spent summers in the Town of Hempstead as a girl and George Washington even visited in 1790.
Ready to see what awaits you? Here’s what you can expect ahead of relocating to Hempstead.
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Hempstead, NY Population & Demographics
The Town of Hempstead has a population of 772,000 with a population density of 6,490 people per square mile. If it were incorporated as a city, it would be New York’s second-largest city ahead of Buffalo!
Remember that the Town of Hempstead is actually made up of several villages, hamlets, and unincorporated areas. These communities vary a great deal in terms of culture, diversity, income, and amenities. When locals say “Hempstead,” they are generally referring to the village of Hempstead in the Town of Hempstead. The town contains the following hamlets and villages.
The largest villages in the Town of Hempstead are:
- Hempstead (pop. 55,000)
- Garden City (22,000)
- East Rockaway (10,000)
- Freeport (43,000)
- Floral Park (16,000)
- Lynbrook (19,000)
- Rockville Centre (24,000)
- New Hyde Park (10,000)
- Mineola (19,000; mostly in North Hempstead)
Small villages in the Town of Hempstead include Bellerose, Atlantic Beach, Cedarhurst, Island Park, Hewlett Neck, Hewlett Bay Park, Hewlett Harbor, Lawrence, Malverne, South Florida Park, Stewart Manor, and Woodsburgh.
The Town of Hampstead contains the following hamlets with a population of at least 10,000:
- Levittown (pop. 52,000)
- East Meadow (38,000)
- Elmont (33,000)
- Oceanside (32,000)
- Franklin Square (29,000)
- Uniondale (26,000)
- Baldwin (24,000)
- North Woodmere (22,000)
- Merrick (22,000)
- Wantagh (19,000)
- West Hempstead (19,000)
- Woodmere (17,500)
- Bellmore (16,000)
- North Valley Stream (16,000)
- Roosevelt (16,000)
- North Bellmore (16,000)
- Seaford (15,000)
- North Wantagh (12,000)
- North Merrick (12,000)
- Salisbury (12,000)
Overall, the Town of Hempstead has a racial and ethnic composition that is 54% non-Hispanic white, 17% African American or Black, 21% Hispanic, 6% Asian, and 4% two or more races. The median household income in the Town of Hempstead is $111,000.
Interestingly, the gender ratio in Hempstead is very uneven: for every 100 adult females, there are 88 males.
Famous people who have lived in Hempstead include Steve Buscemi, “Long Island Medium” Theresa Caputo, actor Tony Danza, and actor/comedian Kevin James.
Overall, the Town of Hempstead, NY is a safe place to live. However, the crime rate varies dramatically by village or community. The town has a crime rate 36% below the national average.
Hempstead Climate – What’s the Weather Like in Hempstead?
While living in the Town of Hempstead, you’ll enjoy pleasant weather with humid, warm summers and wet, cool winters. Most of Nassau County, particularly areas on the south coast and close to Queens, are in a humid subtropical climate but some areas of Hempstead have a humid continental climate with hotter summers.
The average temperature in the Town of Hempstead is 32 degrees in January to 75 degrees in July. Ahead of relocating to Hempstead, NY, pack an umbrella and good raincoat because you’ll get an average of 46” of rain per year, well above the U.S. average. The area gets just 23” of snow per year and 172 sunny days per year.
Hempstead, NY Schools
There are dozens of school districts in the Town of Hempstead with most villages operating their own districts. You can see a complete list of school districts in Nassau County here.
16 high schools in Nassau County, Long Island were recently ranked among the best in the country by U.S. News. Two of these schools are in the Town of Hampstead:
- Garden City High School in Garden City (#27 in New York)
- Herricks High School in New Hyde Park (#33 in New York)
Here are some of the best Town of Hampstead school districts based on SAT and Regents exam results.
- Garden City
- Herricks (serving New Hyde Park) ranks 5th in the state
- Hewlett-Woodmere (serving Hewlett, Woodmere, Woodsburgh, North Woodmere, Hewlett Harbor, Hewlett Neck, and Hewlett Bay Park plus parts of Lynbrook)
- Rockville Centre
- East Meadow
Hofstra University, Long Island’s largest private university is located in Hempstead.
Best Hempstead Neighborhoods
The Town of Hempstead has 22 villages and 37 hamlets. It can definitely be challenging figuring out which community to call home ahead of moving to Hempstead. Here are some of the best places to live in Hempstead, NY.
East Meadow – Safe Hempstead Neighborhood for Families
East Meadow is one of many unincorporated hamlets in the Town of Hempstead. It’s home to a popular county park with plenty of shopping and low crime rates. It’s one of the best neighborhoods in Hempstead for families! You’ll find tons of nearby shopping too, including the East Meadow Mall, Meadowbrook Square, and Clearmeadow Plaza.
Bellmore – Affordable Waterfront Hempstead Neighborhood for Millennials & Active Families
Looking for a safe but affordable neighborhood in the Town of Hempstead? Bellmore has a lot to offer! This small, quiet hamlet is located on the south shore of Long Island with picturesque water views and convenient shopping. You’ll enjoy easy commutes to NYC from the Bellmore railroad station and be just 15 minutes to JFK airport. There’s tons of nearby amenities for staying active and enjoying the summer including Jones Beach Park, Wantagh Park with a pool and splash park, and hiking at the Meroke Preserve.
The median home price in Bellmore is $580,000 with a huge range of housing options.
Garden City – Affluent Hempstead Neighborhood
Garden City is one of the most affluent neighborhoods in Hempstead. This village is home to 22,000 and it’s from an airfield in Garden City that Charles Lindbergh took off in the Spirit of St. Louis for his 1927 transatlantic flight. You’ll find many ranch and split-level homes dating to the 1960s when Garden City became a popular suburb. You’ll fall in love with the high-end boutiques, grand homes, and cobblestone sidewalks of Garden City, but be aware of the home prices. You can see Garden City, Hempstead homes for sale here with an average home price of $953,500!
Cost of Living in Hempstead, NY
Is Hempstead, NY expensive? While the Nassau County cost of living index is 162, and the county is one of the country’s most affluent, the Town of Hempstead cost of living is more affordable. The Hempstead cost of living index is 138, or 38% more expensive than the national average.
Groceries and healthcare are about 10% more expensive than the national average. Utilities are nearly 25% above the national average. The two biggest factors contributing to the higher cost of living in the Town of Hempstead? Housing and transportation.
You’ll probably spend a lot of time driving and commuting after moving to Hempstead. Most communities in the town are served by the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) with monthly fares ranging from $197 to $500 depending on the zone.
The average home price in the Town of Hempstead, NY is $569,000. However, this is highly dependent on the town or village. In Hempstead village, the median home price is $411,000. In the village of Garden City, you’ll see an average home price of $953,000. There is a large selection of homes for sale in Hempstead.
Renting after moving to Hempstead? The average rent in Hempstead village is $2,040 according to RentCafe. Here’s the average apartment rent in other major villages:
- Garden City: $3,828
- Lynbrook: $1,959
- Rockville Centre: $3,124
- Levittown: $2,712
- East Meadow: $2,601
Hempstead Jobs & Average Salary
The average household income for the Town of Hempstead is $111,000. However, income is highly variable based on the village or hamlet. In Levittown, the largest hamlet, the average salary is $69,000 or $19.49 per hour according to Payscale. The average salary in Hempstead, the village, is $60,000 or $17.45 per hour.
Many people living in Hempstead commute to New York City. While Long Island is a popular destination for commuters, Nassau County offers employment opportunities in the government sector, retail, healthcare, and professional services.
Major employers near the Town of Hempstead include:
- Northwell Health
- State of New York
- Nassau County
- Federal Government
- NYU Langone Hospital – Long Island
- Town of Hempstead
How to Get Around the Town of Hempstead
Getting around the Town of Hempstead is easy by car and public transit. The town is served by several major roadways including the Wantagh State Parkway, Southern State Parkway, Meadowbrook State Parkway, Loop Parkway, and Ocean Parkway. There are also nine New York State Routes going through the town.
You can also take advantage of Town of Hempstead public transportation.
The Long Island Rail Road’s Main Line has several stations throughout the town from Bellrose to Garden City. There are five branches serving the Town of Hempstead:
- Long Beach Branch from Lynbrook to Long Beach
- West Hempstead Branch from Valley Stream to West Hempstead
- Babylon Branch from the New York City line to Seaford and Oyster Bay
- Hempstead Branch from the Floral Park Main Line to Bellrose and Hempstead
- Far Rockaway Branch from Valley Stream to Inwood and the Rockaways
The Nassau Inter-County Express buses mainly serve the Town of Hempstead and there are limited MTA bus routes entering the town from Queens.
Use this interactive map of the Town of Hempstead to see major roadways and landmarks.
While living in the Town of Hempstead, you’ll be served by John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), just 12 miles from Hempstead. In the southwest communities like Lynbrook and Oceanside, you’re only 7 miles from JFK!
Top Things to Do in Hempstead, NY
Ready to see the top Town of Hempstead, NY attractions you’ll have at your fingertips? Known for its beaches and parks, Hempstead also offers excellent museums, golfing, and entertainment. Here are the top Town of Hempstead points of interest for kids, families, retirees, and millennials alike.
Town of Hempstead Attractions
- Jones Beach State Park is one of the best beaches on Long Island! Enjoy 6.5 miles of white sand beach at Jones Beach in the Town of Hempstead hamlet of Wantagh. It’s even got a boardwalk, splash pad, adventure park, and other new upgrades!
- Newbridge Road Park is more than a park: it’s one of the best things to do in Hempstead with kids and the whole family. There’s a year-round indoor ice rink, outdoor pools, and more.
- Hempstead Golf & Country Club is one of the best golf courses in Nassau County, a region already famous for its world-class golfing.
- Belmont Park is one of the Northeast’s leading thoroughbred horse racing facilities in Elmont, NY.
Town of Hempstead Entertainment & Museums
- Long Island Children’s Museum in Garden City is one of the top attractions in the Town of Hempstead. This former airplane hangar offers 14 interactive exhibits and live theater!
- Hofstra University Museum of Art has two art galleries on the Hofstra University campus.
- African American Museum of Nassau County is one of NYC’s only African American museums and showcases national and local African American artists.
Town of Hempstead Parks
- Hempstead Lake State Park is one of three parks in the Town of Hempstead and it features playgrounds, game courts, bridle trails, and more.
- Kennedy Memorial Park in Hempstead village is a popular neighborhood park with arts and crafts, game courts, an indoor gym, and a boxing room.
- Oceanside Park in Oceanside boasts waterfront game fields, playgrounds, and an outdoor swimming pool.
Town of Hempstead Shopping
- Roosevelt Field in Garden City is Long Island’s largest mall with 270 shops, a food court, cinema, and restaurants.
- Hempstead Village Commons in Hempstead village is a strip mall anchored by TJ Maxx.
Top-Rated Hempstead Restaurants
Ready to explore the excellent local dining options after moving to Hempstead? The town is absolutely packed with top-rated restaurants featuring American comfort food and international cuisine. Here are some of the best restaurants in Hempstead, NY you’ll love.
- Mi Tierrita Restaurant. You’ll fall in love with Mi Tierrita, one of the best places to eat in Hempstead, NY when you’re craving Colombian food and rotisserie chicken. Mi Tierrita Restaurant, 31 N Franklin St, Hempstead, NY 11550 (516) 292-2666
- Ben’s Crab. A favorite among students, this seafood restaurant is located in Hofstra University and serves up gumbo, catfish, shrimp, lobster, and more. Ben’s Crab, 1002 Hempstead Turnpike, Uniondale, NY 11553 (516) 340-6050
- La Hacienda. Enjoy Central American classics in one of Hempstead’s best restaurants. Just remember: it’s usually packed! La Hacienda, 392 Clinton St, Hempstead, NY 11550 (516) 505-0606
Sports in the Town of Hempstead, NY
Long Island and the Town of Hempstead boast excellent sports venues and several pro teams.
- The New York Islanders (NHL) and the Long Island Jets (NBA D-league) play at the new Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
- The New York Lizards, a pro lacrosse team.
- The baseball team the Independent Atlantic League Long Island Ducks playing at Fairfield Properties Ballpark.
- At the Mitchel Athletic Complex, catch two pro soccer teams: the New York Cosmos and the Long Island Rough Riders.
The Town of Hempstead is home to Long Island’s top pro sports venues:
- Hofstra University James M. Shuart Stadium in Hempstead
- Mitchel Athletic Complex in Uniondale
- NYCB Live Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale
The Town of Hempstead is famous for thoroughbred horse racing at Belmont Park. You’ll also enjoy tons of athletic programs and sports venues after moving to the Town of Hempstead. The town offers plenty of opportunities for boating, hiking, swimming, lacrosse, soccer, baseball, basketball, ice skating, racquetball, tennis, and more.
Living in Hempstead Pros & Cons
- Pro: Excellent public schools
- Pro: Tons of amenities, beaches, parks, and museums
- Pro: Affordable home prices for Long Island
- Con: Public transportation on Long Island isn’t the best and you feel cut off from the rest of New York City
- Con: Some areas of the Town of Hempstead have high crime
Does living in the Town of Hempstead sound like a dream come true? With so much natural beauty and family-friendly attractions at your fingertips, you’ll see the perks of living on Long Island in exchange for a longer commute into NYC. When you’ve settled on the right hamlet or village to make your home, give us a call at Zippboxx Moving & Storage for a free Hempstead moving quote!