What’s Living in Brookhaven NY Like? [2021] 🤷‍♂️ | COMPLETE Moving to Brookhaven NY Guide

Situated in central Long Island of the New York metropolitan area lives the incredible Town of Brookhaven, New York. Not to be confused with the smaller interior CDP of Brookhaven, the rather massive town of Brookhaven is the largest town in Suffolk County by area and is the only town that extends from the North Shore all the way to the South Shore of the island. As a suburb of New York City, you’ll find Brookhaven is in the middle of everything you could ever possibly want or need– lovely beaches like Cedar Beach, outstanding parks, tasty and versatile restaurants, ferry services, an excellent school system, numerous country clubs and golf courses, and an overall clean, safe place to raise a family.

The marvelous town of Brookhaven was originally inhabited by Setauket and Unkechaug Native American tribes and was subsequently referred to by the English settlers as “Setauket”– a present hamlet. Founded in 1655, Brookhaven was a major shipbuilding center in the 9th century and experienced a tremendous population boom post-WWII. Today, Brookhaven, NY is known for containing two highly recognized research centers known as Brookhaven National Laboratory and Stony Brook University. Among its numerous villages, neighborhoods, CDPs, and other communities, Brookhaven has been home to countless notable people such as the NY Giants football running back, Tiki Barber, and the winner of NBC’s 19th season of The Voice– Carter Rubin. Along with the town’s numerous amenities and sparse suburban atmosphere, Brookhaven also offers close proximity to New York City and Manhattan.

Brookhaven, NY Population and Demographics

Also home to the islands of Great South Bay and Fire Island, Brookhaven is the most populated of Suffolk County’s ten towns. With New York City and Hempstead at the top, Brookhaven is the third most populated town out of the state’s 1,527 cities and towns. The entire New York metropolitan area has a population of 20.1 million people whereas Brookhaven has a population of 485,773 and has slightly decreased by .5% in the last decade according to the U.S. Census. Of the inhabitants in Brookhaven, 12.2% of them are foreign-born, 18.2% speak a language other than English at home and 2.7% are unemployed. The median age in Brookhaven is 40.2 years young and the median household income sits at $96,760– this beats the US state average of $68,486.

The racial demographics in Brookhaven, NY are rather diverse with whites taking up 72.1% of the population, Hispanics making up 16%, African Americans at 6%, and Asians at 4.5%. On the other hand, 50.7% of Brookhaven’s population are females which leaves a remaining 49.3 for males.

Brookhaven, NY Neighborhoods | Where to Live in Brookhaven

Each community in Brookhaven has its own unique atmosphere and amenities whereas visitors come from all over the world. The town of Brookhaven is home to 9 villages, 50 hamlets, and 22 other communities. The difference between a village and a hamlet is that villages are typically situated in rural areas and are larger than hamlets– however, this is not always the case. The villages in Brookhaven are known as Patchogue, Bellport, Belle Terre, Lake Grove, Old Field, Poquott, Port Jefferson, and Shoreham.

Patchogue | Most Populated Village with Active NightLife

Population: 12,408
Real Estate: Homes for sale in Patchogue
Median home price: $460,000 according to Redfin

Lake Grove | Welcoming and Family-Friendly Village

Population: 11,072
Real Estate: Home for sale in Lake Grove
Median home price: $482,500 according to Redfin

Port Jefferson | Small, Quaint, and Laid-Back Village

Population: 7,962
Real Estate: Homes for Sale in Port Jefferson
Median home price: $550,000 according to Redfin

Bellport | Wealthiest & Safest Village

Population: 2,041
Real Estate: Homes for sale in Bellport
Median home price: $430,000 according to Redfin

Cost of Living in Brookhaven, NY

Is living in the town of Brookhaven, NY expensive? While Suffolk County’s cost of living index is 132, the town of Brookhaven is more affordable. According to the Economic Policy Institute, a family of four living in Suffolk County should be making about $142,178 to be the most financially comfortable. The Brookhaven cost of living index is 124.5 or 24.5% more expensive than the national average.

With housing and utilities contributing the most to the higher cost of living, Brookhaven has utility costs 26.2% higher than the national average and housing costs 52.7% higher than the U.S. average. Brookhaven’s healthcare and grocery costs of living sit at 10.9% and 5.2% above the national average. Nonetheless, the cost of living in Brookhaven is just slightly above the state average and is nothing out of the ordinary.

Income, Sales, & Property Taxes in Brookhaven NY

  • Sales Tax: 8.63%
  • Income Tax: 6.5%
  • Property Tax: 2.37%

Brookhaven, NY Typical Living Expenses

  • Inexpensive Restaurant: $18.00
  • Takeout Coffee: $3.75
  • Bottle of Coke: $2.00
  • Gallon of Milk: $3.00
  • 1 lb White Rice: $2.50
  • Loaf of Bread: $3.00
  • One Dozen Eggs: $3.00
  • 1 lb of Beef Round: $5.00
  • 1 Banana: $0.49
  • Bottle of Wine: $12.00


Many areas in Brookhaven are known to be very safe compared to the rest of the state. For example, the large hamlet of Stony Brook within Brookhaven has a B- safety score on Crime Grade which is slightly lower than the national average. Even better is the village of Patchogue with a safety score of A+. For every 1,000 residents, Patchotogue in Brookhaven has a property crime rate of 1.271 and a violent crime rate of .9884 which makes it in the 99th percentile of the safest areas in the nation. Nonetheless, the majority of communities in Brookhaven reflect lower crime rates than the state average of 1,732 per 100,000 residents and the nationwide average of 2,477 as stated by the FBI. With that being said, Brookhaven, NY is an overall safe place to live in. In the case of an emergency or an unwanted event, you’ll be served by some of the finest police officers of the Suffolk County Police Department– 2,349 sworn officers to be exact.

Brookhaven, NY Climate

If you’re moving to Brookhaven NY, you can expect cold, snowy winters with lows of 23 degrees Fahrenheit, whereas the summers are warm and humid with highs of 83 degrees Fahrenheit. This makes the perfect weather for residents to get out and enjoy the abundance of outdoor parks spread throughout the town. You’ll get to utilize your shades during the 206 days of sunshine in Brookhaven, and your umbrellas will be useful throughout the 48 inches of annual rainfall. Chances are you’ll need a snow shovel for the 28 inches of snow in Brookhaven (but probably not a blow-dozer). With summer and fall as the most pleasant seasons, the best time to visit Brookhaven, NY is in the warmest months of June, August, and September. On the flip side, the least comfortable and coldest months in Brookhaven are January and February.

Things to Do in Brookhaven, NY

The Town of Brookhaven, NY is loaded with popular attractions to admire, fabulous entertainment to enjoy, lovely outdoor areas to relax in, and tasty restaurants to eat at. All 170 sports complexes, pools, parks, fields, playgrounds, beaches, and recreation centers are maintained by the Town of Brookhaven Parks and Recreation department. Take a look at some of the top things to do in Brookhaven, NY below!

Top Attractions

This 96-acre water park is one of the largest water parks in Florida and arguably the third best in the nation. It features over 30 attractions, rides, slides for families of all ages to enjoy!

The Fire Island National Seashore is swarming with rich history and soothing coastal ambiance. This natural park in Brookhaven is home to diverse plants and wildlife, historical landmarks, and ancient seaside forests.

Looking for a peaceful and highly-rated island park to visit? The Smith Point County Park is nestled on bay and ocean beaches and offers everything from well-kept campsites to laid-back dining on the waterside.

This kid-friendly attraction in Brookhaven boasts native and exotic animal exhibits on top of shows, petting zoos, and even pony rides for the little ones!

This exciting tropical-themed entertainment center is the perfect place to take the kids! IT features everything from go-karts, to an arcade, to mini-golf and a laser maze!

Entertainment/Arts/Museums & Arts

Interesting in taking the kids to feed and pet rescued and rehabilitated animals? The Animal Farm Petting Zoo in Brookhaven is the place to go!

Providing everything from fitness courses, party events, and open jump, this super fun and extensive indoor trampoline park will make you fly high!

This fascinating historical museum in Brookhaven, NY is sure to keep you interested! It displays everything from antique road coaches to enchanting paintings.

Parks & Outdoors

Cedar Beach Town Nature Preserve

With everything from swimming lessons, to a playground, to a fishing peer, this notable beachside preserve in Brookhaven is a great place to unwind among the alleviating presence of Mother Nature.

This lovely beachfront park is home to remarkable campsites, a clean beach, concession stands, and great bass fishing for Dad!

This animal park in Brookhaven features incredible sights of buffalo and black bears as well as a playground and ecology exhibits for the young ones!


With over 140 chain eateries and stores, the Smith Haven Mall is an amazing classic retail shopping complex to spend some cash at!

The South Port Shopping Center has over 147,000 square feet of various shops, restaurants, and retail outlets you can’t miss!

Places to Eat

This incredibly artsy and trendy American restaurant offers an extensive menu of tasty eats and live music to enjoy!

The William Floyd Diner in Brookhaven NY offers great prices, remarkable food, a friendly atmosphere, and truly professional services you usually can’t find anywhere else!

Hungry for loaded specialty pizzas and delicious classic Italian cuisine? –The Mama Lisa Reaustant is a must-try Italian eatery in Brookhaven, NY!

Real Estate

Houses in the Town of Brookhaven range from very affordable to very expensive depending on the location. Brookhaven has 80.1% owner-occupied housing units whereas the most affordable homes tend to be in southern communities like the village of Patchogue. The more costly homes are often in the northern areas of Brookhaven in communities like Stony Brook and Port Jefferson– nonetheless, higher costs are still present in most locations throughout the town. According to Redfin, Brookhaven has an average house cost of $608,000 which has dropped by 9.79% since last year. Homes in Brookhaven are on the market for an average of 28 days and have a cost of $243 per square foot. The real estate here is somewhat competitive and the average homes sell around 2% above the listed price. If you’re thinking about signing a lease, the average apartment rent in Brookhaven sits at $1,834.

Brookhaven Schools

Home to 23 school districts, Brookhave’s most notable is the Sachem School District which is known for having the largest population of all suburban school districts in the state– not to mention on Long Island. What began back in 1955, The Sachem School District in the Town of Brookhaven is now home to ten elementary schools, three middle schools, and two high schools. There is approximately 13,500 student enrolled in the district and the teacher-student ratio is 13:1. With a budget of $340,355,897, the Sachen School District has the main goal of motivating its students toward becoming the finest version of themselves.

The Town of Brookhaven is also home to notable colleges like Suffolk County Community College and Stony Brook University— the largest-sized public university in the state of New York with a total of 25,989 enrolled students. Stony Brook University in the hamlet of Stony Brook offers over 200 majors, minors, and combined-degree programs while the in-state tuition sits at $10,091. If you’re hoping to enroll in this college, you can begin that journey here.

Jobs in Brookhaven, NY

Based on Payscale, the Town of Brookhaven has an average base salary of $77,000 and an average hourly rate of $18.10. In the last year, the wages trends have increased by 1.1%. Some of the best places to work in the Town of Brookhaven are Stony Brook University, Internal Revenue Service, Sachem School District, and Brookhaven National Laboratory.

Looking for employment? You can check out Brookhaven’s job board here. A few of the most available positions include dispatchers, office assistants, guards, cashiers, minibus drivers, senior citizen club leaders, laborers, and kennel attendants. If you’re hoping to maintain a career in Brookhaven, you can also try searching online for open jobs in the Town of Brookhaven, NY.


The Town of Brookhaven is said to have overall light traffic whereas the median travel time to work is 33.5 minutes. The best way to get around Brookhaven is to travel by car— however, you can also travel by taxi or bus. Auto transportation in Brookhaven is made easy thanks to the town’s major roads of Sunrise Highway, North Ocean Ave, Long Island Expressway, and Nicolls Road. Regarding bus and metro public transportation, Brookhaven is primarily served by Suffolk County Transit bus routes and the Long Island Rail Road. For when you’re traveling by water or air, Brookhaven operates the Bridgeport-Port Jefferson Ferry and is home to the Long Island MacArthur Airport.


The Town of Brookhaven is home to a wide variety of gyms, outdoor trails, sports complexes, and fitness opportunities. Brookhaven offers adult and senior softball programs, tennis and golf programs, youth baseball, basketball leagues, summer lacrosse programs, and even ping pong tournaments! A few of the top places to go for residents to get fun outdoor exercise is at the Moriches Sports Complex and the Country Fair Park which offers a driving range, batting cages, and more!

Living in Brookhaven, NY Pros and Cons

Pro: Enjoy the endless options of amenities, attractions, and neighborhoods!
Pro: Sleep sound knowing that the majority of neighborhoods in Brookhaven are at a comfortable level of safety.
Con: You’ll be needing a jacket for the cold and snowy winters!

Fixed on moving to Brookhaven, NY? Our certified and professional Town of Brookhaven moving services at Zippboxx will ensure your relocation is easy and stress-free. Get your move started today by reaching out to us at 631-600-0000!

Rob Marchese
Rob Marchese is one of the founders of Zippboxx Moving and Storage. Since the start of the company it's been Rob's mission to change the way the moving industry is perceived.  The number one goal is to make the moving and storage process as stress free as possible for each and every customer. "The way we do this is by honesty, transparency, and providing a high quality of service."
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