Article Table Of Contents
We all know New Jersey is the best state in the Union. What with the bagels, diners, the shore, and all the great produce.
But because the whole state is so awesome, it's hard to choose the best place to live within New Jersey. Thankfully for you, we decided this question needed to be answered once and for all. So we turned to data and analytics to understand the best place to live in New Jersey. In particular, we looked at home prices, crime rates, unemployment, and other quality of life factors across the state. You know, the things that people from New Jersey would find important when looking for a new place to live.
After analyzing over 175 places in New Jersey, we came up with this list as the best places in the Garden State to call home.
The 10 Best Places To Live In New Jersey For 2020:
- North Caldwell (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Woodcliff Lake (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Haddonfield (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Glen Rock (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Waldwick (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Westfield (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Upper Saddle River (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Roseland (Homes For Sale)
- Midland Park (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Franklin Lakes (Photos | Homes For Sale)
There you have it, the best that New Jersey has to offer when it comes to finding a place to live.
What's the best place to live in the Garden State? That would be North Caldwell, the best place to live in New Jersey based on FBI and Census data. At the end of the day, it looks like the places with low unemployment and high incomes like North Caldwell outmatched their short commute counterparts.
However, in our humble opinion, there's no better state in the nation than New Jersey, so any place inside the state boundaries is a great place to live.
For more New Jersey reading, check out:
- Best Counties To Live In New Jersey
- Cheapest Places To Live In New Jersey
- Best Places To Raise A Family In New Jersey
The 10 Best Places To Live In New Jersey For 2020
At an unemployment rate of 1.9%, everyone who wants a job can get one in North Caldwell. And the residents command high salaries ($190,028 a year combined income), and live in big fancy homes ($722,400 each).
We're not saying money is why these cities are the 'best' in New Jersey. What we're implying is that money means safety and peace of mind. And there's nothing wrong with that.
There's two types of people who live in Woodcliff Lake. Either the old hold outs who have lived there forever and are watching their home values skyrocket, or those d who can afford to buy a $790,400 home there.
Either way, you're set. Your kids go to great schools, there's a ton of things to do, and you earn a great salary. Woodcliff Lake is exactly what you hoped for when you played that board game, LIFE as a kid.
You might be surprised to see the Town of Haddonfield so high on the list. Unless you live in Haddonfield.
The unemployment rate here is really low, and at 2.5%, Haddonfield residents are some of the hardest working in the state of New Jersey. When you factor in high home prices, high incomes and low crime, Haddonfield is doing quite well.
Let's be honest -- Haddonfield is the kind of place you brag to your friends on Facebook about.
Glen Rock makes a case for being one of the best places to live in New Jersey mainly because of a low crime rate and a higher than average household income level.
And when school spending is higher than the national average and only 3.5% of folks are jobless, you can bet Glen Rock residents are glad to live where they do.
It's obvious why Waldwick ranks 5th in the state for best places to live: they have the 12th lowest unemployment rate and the 54th highest home values.
Plus, they're known for their quality education and relatively low crime, making Waldwick a great place to live.
Well, I guess technically 3.3% of Westfield residents who want to have a job can't find one, so not everyone has a job, but it's the 23rd closest of any city in New Jersey.
You can tell they take business seriously as they have by far the coolest Chamber of Commerce website we came across in our research.
In addition to its incredibly low unemployment rate, Westfield also ranked well for crime (58th) and median income ($168,721).
Upper Saddle River isn't just the nicest place to live in New Jersey - it's also the one of the fastest growing places in the state. And with good reason.
It's got the 90th lowest unemployment rate, the 8th highest adjusted income, and rates above most places in education.
When you're looking at science and data, Upper Saddle River definitely deserves a spot on the list for 2020.
If you own a home in Roseland, you're aware that your home values are skyrocketing right now. That's a sign that things are going swimmingly. Most people there have good jobs, and the commute times are short.
The median home costs a cool $500,800 and households make $126,250 which is good for 35th in New Jersey.Roseland has a well deserved spot on this list.
Let's take a look at why Midland Park is a great place to call home for 2020.
There's low crime in Midland Park, and the residents here are gainfully employed (2.8% unemployment rate).
You can make Midland Park your home for only $498,500 which won't be too hard on a $119,231 household salary.
If you don't have a job in Franklin Lakes, you're most likely not trying very hard. The unemployment rate here is almost as low as you can get -- 5.0%. In fact, there are probably enough butler and landscaping jobs available here to put every single unemployed resident to work, what with a median income of $159,883.
That's actually not a bad idea...
Mapping The Best And Worst Places To Live in New Jersey
The Pressing Question: Size
Before we even started to collect data, we had to answer a tough question: Is it fair to pit Trenton with a population of 83,734 against places with a population of 18?
We firmly decided no, that just isn't fair.
So to create our ranking, we broke places to live into three tiers:
- Cities -- Populations over 5,000
- Towns -- Populations between 1,000 and 5,000
- Small Towns -- Populations below 1,000
This left us with 175 cities, 209 towns, and 67 small towns.
We then decided, no matter how much anyone loves their town, the best cities to live in New Jersey have more of everything and therefore you need to have over 5,000 people to truly be 'the best'.
You can see those two top tens at the bottom of the post.
How We Calculated The Best Cities To Live In New Jersey
Now that we had our set of cities, it was time to rank them.
We ranked each place in New Jersey across a number of criteria from one to 175, with one being the best.
We then took the average rank across all criteria, with the city posting the lowest overall score being crowned the winner of the title "Best Place To Live In New Jersey".
The criteria we looked at were:
- Median Home Values
- Median Income
- Population Density (Higher better)
- Unemployment Rate
- Commute Time
- Education Levels
- Health Insurance Coverage
- Poverty rates
After the dust settled, what was the best place to live in New Jersey? That would be North Caldwell.
If your city or town isn't among the top 10, jump down to the bottom of the post to see a detailed chart of the best places in New Jersey.
Otherwise, buckle up for a ride down good living lane with North Caldwell at the end of the cul-de-sac.
Wrapping Up The Best Places When It Comes To Living In New Jersey
If you're looking at areas in New Jersey with the best economic situations, where there's lower than average crime, and a lot to do, this is an accurate list.
North Caldwell made a strong showing to take in the overall number one spot for the best place to live in New Jersey for 2020.
Best Towns To Live In New Jersey
- Plainsboro Center (Pop. 2,733)
- Brielle (Pop. 4,745)
- Allenwood (Pop. 1,002)
- Barclay (Pop. 4,340)
- Ho-Ho-Kus (Pop. 4,139)
- Pennington (Pop. 2,567)
- Spring Lake Heights (Pop. 4,646)
- Robbinsville (Pop. 3,321)
- Navesink (Pop. 1,699)
- Hopewell (Pop. 1,904)
Best Small Towns To Live In New Jersey
- Skillman (Pop. 211)
- Belle Mead (Pop. 196)
- East Rocky Hill (Pop. 223)
- Hainesburg (Pop. 59)
- Blawenburg (Pop. 305)
- Interlaken (Pop. 806)
- Mantoloking (Pop. 276)
- Loch Arbour (Pop. 202)
- Clyde (Pop. 243)
- Rocky Hill (Pop. 618)
If you're curious enough, here are the worst places to live in New Jersey according to the data:
- Lindenwold (Pop. 17,354)
- Newark (Pop. 280,463)
- Bridgeton (Pop. 24,841)
For more New Jersey reading, check out:
- Best Places To Retire In New Jersey
- Richest Cities In New Jersey
- Safest Places In New Jersey
- Worst Places To Live In New Jersey