The 10 Best Places To Live In New Jersey For 2022


We crunched the numbers to find out the best place to live in the best state in the good ole US of A.

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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.

And while you might have heard about Hoboken, Trenton, or Newark, New Jersey has some awesome smaller places that we’re going to highlight today.

After analyzing over 174 places in New Jersey, we came up with this list as the best places in the Garden State to call home.

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 Park Ridge, 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 Park Ridge 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.

If you’re looking for something more national, check out the best states in America or the best places to live in America.

For more New Jersey reading, check out:

The 10 Best Places To Live In New Jersey For 2022

Coming in as the best place to live in New Jersey is Park Ridge, a borough of 8,721 located about a half-hour north of Newark.

For starters, Park Ridge ranked as one of the safest places in New Jersey, recording the 2nd lowest overall crime rate statewide — the crime rate in Park Ridge is nearly half the national average.

It’s not just safe streets, though. Park Ridge has some of the best schools in New Jersey, with their elementary school scoring in the top 5% statewide and their high school receiving a College Success Award from GreatSchools.

Education has undoubtedly played a key role in reducing poverty and unemployment numbers to incredibly low levels. In fact, the median household income in Park Ridge is $143,103, and the median home price here is $604,500.

If you’re looking for fun things to do locally, the Wortendyke Dutch Barn Museum provides a unique historical perspective on Bergen County’s roots. And having Newark down the road helps meet your entertainment needs as well. After all, you can always catch a New Jersey Devils’ game or a concert at the Prudential Center.

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 8,721
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $604,500
Unemployment Rate: 2.7%
More on Park Ridge: Real Estate | Crime Report | Cost Of Living

Park Ridge, NJ

It’s not hard to stop and smell the roses in Roseland, our 2nd best place to live in New Jersey. New Jersey Monthly frequently lists Roseland as one of the top spots in New Jersey, so we’re not alone in handing out hosannas here. At 44, Roseland is the oldest place on this list, so those seeking a mature and balanced lifestyle will find plenty to love here.

A word to the wise, though: if you’re a diehard member of the Grand Old Party, Roseland might not smell so sweet to you. With over 75% of residents as registered Democrats, Roseland is among the most liberal places in New Jersey. But hey, living in the place with the 12th highest rate of health insurance coverage and 13th lowest unemployment in New Jersey might help overlook your political differences.

A nice feature of living in Roseland is its proximity to Newark. In just twenty minutes you can be snapping photos of the cherry blossoms at Branch Brook Park or losing your voice shouting at an event at the Prudential Center, depending on your inclination.

Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 5,841
Rank Last Year: 16 (Up 14)
Median Home Value: $516,500
Unemployment Rate: 2.8%
More on Roseland: Real Estate | Crime Report | Cost Of Living

Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 11,510
Rank Last Year: 23 (Up 20)
Median Home Value: $523,900
Unemployment Rate: 1.6%
More on River Edge: Real Estate | Crime Report | Cost Of Living

River Edge, NJ

Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 10,317
Rank Last Year: 13 (Up 9)
Median Home Value: $567,200
Unemployment Rate: 3.5%
More on Hillsdale: Real Estate | Crime Report | Cost Of Living

Hillsdale, NJ

Fair Haven is a Monmouth County borough of 5,833 and ranks as the 5th best place to live in New Jersey. Whether you’re after a heady meal complete with live jazz or piano music at Raven & the Peach or looking for outdoors serenity at the nearby Hartshorne Woods Park, Fair Haven has you covered.

As for being family-friendly, 50.45% of Fair Haven’s households have kids, so you know that people consider it an excellent place to raise children. The statistics actually prove the truth of that, considering that GreatSchools gave Fair Haven an average score of 9/10 for its public schools, and test scores here are in the top 5% statewide.

If you don’t want to embarrass yourself at a pub quiz night in Fair Haven, you’d better get studying because 76% of adults are highly educated here (including an incredible 30% of adults with master’s degrees or higher). Additionally, 97.9% of residents have health insurance in Fair Haven, the 2highest rate in New Jersey.

But you won’t need that insurance for any crime-induced injuries. Fair Haven had the 5th lowest total crime rate over 2020.

Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 5,833
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 2)
Median Home Value: $772,200
Unemployment Rate: 3.2%
More on Fair Haven: Real Estate | Crime Report | Cost Of Living

Fair Haven, NJ

Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 13,382
Rank Last Year: 22 (Up 16)
Median Home Value: $631,000
Unemployment Rate: 3.1%
More on New Providence: Real Estate | Crime Report | Cost Of Living

New Providence, NJ

Source: Public domain

Glen Rock is a borough of 11,747 located about 5 miles northeast of Paterson. We named Glen Rock one of the best places to raise a family in New Jersey, and a lot of those same factors land Glen Rock in the #7 spot on this list. Like having a GreatSchools rating of 8/10 for local public schools, including a college success award-winning high school. And the proximity of family friendly activities like the Paterson Great Falls.

At 38, Glen Rock has the youngest median age on this list, so if living in a hip, vibrant place is a priority for you, this might be your top choice. And these young-uns have the crime situation well under control, because the crime rate is about 80% lower than the national average, and ranks as the 24th lowest in New Jersey.

Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 11,747
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 2)
Median Home Value: $666,600
Unemployment Rate: 4.2%
More on Glen Rock: Real Estate | Crime Report | Cost Of Living

Glen Rock, NJ

We’re sticking around Bergen County for our 8th best place to live in New Jersey, Waldwick. At $462,200, homes in Waldwick are some of the cheapest you’ll find on this list. Residents still enjoy a high median household income of $127,574/year, which helps give Waldwick the second lowest cost of living among the cities we’re covering here. And an unemployment rate of 2.4% is the 9th lowest in New Jersey. Just 2.3% of folks in Waldwick are on food stamps, so you know the economy is working just fine here without government assistance.

Low crime numbers and solid scores in education also make Waldwick an attractive place to live. Fans of railroad history will also be interested in visiting the Waldwick Museum.

Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 10,051
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $462,200
Unemployment Rate: 2.4%
More on Waldwick: Real Estate | Crime Report | Cost Of Living

Waldwick, NJ

There are a number of reasons why the affluent NYC suburb of North Caldwell is the 9th best place to live in New Jersey. For starters, the crime rate in North Caldwell is roughly 90% lower than the national average and ranks as the 2lowest within New Jersey.

One of the factors that helps keeps North Caldwell so safe is the high standard of living residents enjoy. For example, both the poverty level and unemployment rate in North Caldwell are below 2%. And with 99.7% of people having some form of health insurance, North Caldwell ranks as the most insured place in New Jersey.

It’s important to note that the good life North Caldwell offers doesn’t come cheap. It was named the richest place in New Jersey after all. The median home price is steep at $739,500, but residents also earn the 7th highest median household income in the state at $188,750/year. If you’re into (fictional) mobster lore, Tony Soprano’s house is in North Caldwell and, as of last summer, was up for sale.

Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 6,640
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 2)
Median Home Value: $739,500
Unemployment Rate: 4.4%
More on North Caldwell: Real Estate | Crime Report | Cost Of Living

North Caldwell, NJ

Located just west of Newark, Westfield is a town of 29,690, making it the biggest place on this list. Downtown Westfield is a regional destination with plenty of shopping, restaurants, and nightlife, so this just might be the most exciting place to live among the places we’re covering here.

Roughly 75% of Westfield residents have at least a bachelor’s degree, so you know people take education seriously here. That dedication to learning has translated into a number of economic successes. Like having the 16th highest median household income in the state at $158,323/year. Or having a poverty level of just 2.4% and the 17th highest percentage of residents with health insurance in the state, 98.1%. And with a perfect 10/10 SnackAbility score for education, you’d better believe that Westfield’s up-and-coming generation is set up nicely to continue the community’s tradition of excellence.

And since my wife grew up here, I think it’s pretty great.

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 29,690
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 7)
Median Home Value: $773,200
Unemployment Rate: 4.0%
More on Westfield: Real Estate | Crime Report | Cost Of Living

Westfield, NJ

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 83,387 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 174 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’.

Now we also realize that city living might not be your cup of tea, so we ran the following analysis on towns and then again for small towns.

You can see those two top tens at the bottom of the post.

Methodology: 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 174, 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
  • Crime
  • Education Levels
  • Health Insurance Coverage
  • Poverty rates

Sources of criteria include the New Census Data and FBI Crime Data. You can download the data here.

After the dust settled, what was the best place to live in New Jersey? That would be Park Ridge.

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 Park Ridge at the end of the cul-de-sac.

Summary: 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.

Park Ridge made a strong showing to take in the overall number one spot for the best place to live in New Jersey for 2022.

Best Towns To Live In New Jersey

  1. Plainsboro Center (Pop. 2,733)
  2. Brielle (Pop. 4,745)
  3. Allenwood (Pop. 1,002)
  4. Barclay (Pop. 4,340)
  5. Ho-Ho-Kus (Pop. 4,139)
  6. Pennington (Pop. 2,567)
  7. Spring Lake Heights (Pop. 4,646)
  8. Robbinsville (Pop. 3,321)
  9. Navesink (Pop. 1,699)
  10. Hopewell (Pop. 1,904)

Best Small Towns To Live In New Jersey

  1. Skillman (Pop. 211)
  2. Belle Mead (Pop. 196)
  3. East Rocky Hill (Pop. 223)
  4. Hainesburg (Pop. 59)
  5. Blawenburg (Pop. 305)
  6. Interlaken (Pop. 806)
  7. Mantoloking (Pop. 276)
  8. Loch Arbour (Pop. 202)
  9. Clyde (Pop. 243)
  10. Rocky Hill (Pop. 618)

If you’re curious enough, here are the worst places to live in New Jersey according to the data:

  1. Camden (Pop. 73,742)
  2. Newark (Pop. 281,917)
  3. Bridgeton (Pop. 24,264)

For more New Jersey reading, check out:

Where Are The Best Places To Live In New Jersey?

Rank City Population Unemployment Rate Home Value
1 Park Ridge 8,721 2.7% $604,500
2 Roseland 5,841 2.8% $516,500
3 River Edge 11,510 1.6% $523,900
4 Hillsdale 10,317 3.5% $567,200
5 Fair Haven 5,833 3.2% $772,200
6 New Providence 13,382 3.1% $631,000
7 Glen Rock 11,747 4.2% $666,600
8 Waldwick 10,051 2.4% $462,200
9 North Caldwell 6,640 4.4% $739,500
10 Westfield 29,690 4.0% $773,200
11 Haddonfield 11,342 2.4% $534,000
12 Little Silver 5,817 3.9% $709,600
13 Ridgewood 25,110 3.1% $744,200
14 Emerson 7,606 3.7% $532,200
15 Woodcliff Lake 5,836 7.4% $840,100
16 Florham Park 11,719 3.6% $612,500
17 Chatham 8,729 5.9% $807,900
18 Cresskill 8,701 4.6% $680,500
19 Ramsey 14,915 2.3% $605,600
20 Wood-Ridge 9,016 4.1% $443,600
21 Franklin Lakes 11,044 5.5% $1,009,800
22 Caldwell 7,970 3.9% $464,300
23 Midland Park 7,230 6.2% $497,500
24 Upper Saddle River 8,214 8.1% $956,600
25 Linwood 6,719 4.1% $283,200
26 Rumson 6,757 4.3% $1,200,600
27 Mountainside 6,859 3.0% $637,400
28 Old Tappan 5,924 4.7% $779,300
29 Morris Plains 5,888 2.6% $540,900
30 Fanwood 7,686 5.0% $495,700
31 Glen Ridge 7,583 2.7% $651,100
32 Allendale 6,757 3.4% $699,100
33 Westwood 11,096 1.8% $458,300
34 Hawthorne 18,762 3.6% $411,900
35 Norwood 5,789 2.2% $629,900
36 Madison 16,647 6.5% $741,300
37 Manasquan 5,837 4.9% $691,500
38 Oradell 8,126 4.3% $642,300
39 Fair Lawn 32,986 3.9% $439,100
40 Tenafly 14,550 5.2% $848,600
41 Englewood Cliffs 5,349 4.6% $1,086,600
42 Oakland 12,953 3.4% $472,400
43 Closter 8,551 2.9% $689,100
44 Watchung 6,040 3.1% $726,000
45 Haddon Heights 7,520 5.5% $284,300
46 Maywood 9,626 7.2% $396,000
47 Bernardsville 7,641 4.8% $655,300
48 Kinnelon 9,988 8.4% $599,400
49 Oceanport 5,715 2.3% $527,300
50 Hoboken 53,283 3.2% $759,800
51 Hasbrouck Heights 12,026 4.4% $432,000
52 Dumont 17,598 5.4% $383,900
53 Edgewater 12,890 3.3% $617,500
54 Bogota 8,375 3.6% $335,400
55 Butler 7,669 4.5% $366,000
56 Leonia 9,059 3.0% $522,000
57 Matawan 8,696 5.7% $349,700
58 Montvale 8,538 5.9% $612,600
59 Point Pleasant 18,686 3.8% $386,700
60 Union Beach 5,362 4.9% $296,100
61 Metuchen 14,289 4.4% $462,200
62 New Milford 16,477 6.4% $433,000
63 Rutherford 18,376 3.8% $476,200
64 Summit 21,913 5.7% $831,700
65 Audubon 8,656 3.4% $223,200
66 Hopatcong 14,228 3.6% $240,600
67 Ringwood 12,229 6.2% $360,500
68 Somerville 12,139 3.7% $336,600
69 Tinton Falls 17,584 3.7% $353,000
70 Bergenfield 27,375 5.4% $369,500
71 Jamesburg 5,876 5.2% $276,100
72 Beachwood 11,274 4.5% $235,700
73 Pompton Lakes 10,998 3.7% $324,700
74 Paramus 26,403 5.9% $614,900
75 Mount Arlington 5,751 2.0% $325,500
76 Wanaque 11,719 3.8% $318,400
77 Highland Park 13,803 7.3% $364,900
78 Carlstadt 6,158 2.1% $403,200
79 North Haledon 8,425 5.7% $423,200
80 Rockaway 6,345 9.9% $347,900
81 North Arlington 15,681 4.2% $372,400
82 Boonton 8,510 4.7% $406,300
83 Roselle Park 13,574 4.4% $295,800
84 Lincoln Park 10,220 9.7% $344,400
85 Northfield 8,088 6.5% $226,100
86 Bloomingdale 8,080 6.4% $320,300
87 Cliffside Park 25,410 3.7% $454,400
88 Ridgefield 11,209 6.2% $471,400
89 Fort Lee 37,843 3.3% $348,300
90 South Plainfield 23,961 5.9% $352,200
91 Raritan 7,833 4.4% $361,400
92 Berlin 7,543 2.8% $238,300
93 Palisades Park 20,693 4.9% $577,900
94 Totowa 10,810 3.8% $370,300
95 Ridgefield Park 12,928 6.0% $367,500
96 Little Ferry 10,761 5.5% $363,900
97 Barrington 6,678 5.5% $189,400
98 Bound Brook 10,254 3.1% $273,000
99 West Long Branch 7,911 6.7% $454,900
100 East Rutherford 9,707 3.8% $381,000

How Is Your Town In ?

Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2022. This is our ninth time ranking the best places to live in New Jersey.

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.