What Is It Like Living in New Jersey

If you have landed on this page, you plan to live in New Jersey. If this is the case, you don’t need to fret, as I will cater to all your needs and guide you to the best of my knowledge. New Jersey, the Garden State, is a captivating destination enriched with vibrant communities and stunning landscapes. We are home to lakes, beaches, mountains, and cityscapes – perfect for daytime adventures and date nights. This diverse state has something to offer for everyone housed in it. As a resident of New Jersey, I have had the privilege of being carried away by its charming beauty and the endless opportunities it holds for everyone.

History & Heritage

To fully understand and genuinely appreciate living in New Jersey, we must understand its rich heritage and historical significance. From its iconic Ellis Island to its revolutionary war sites like Princeton Battlefield, let me walk you through the mesmerising beauties where millions of immigrants first stepped into America. Having personally explored these sites, I can attest that one feels a profound connection when the stories of those sites are unfolded.

Prime Location and Accessibility

The prime location of this state on the East Coast emerges as a hidden gem and is a state that has a blend of urban and suburban tranquillity and vibrancy. This state’s largest city, Newark, is undergoing a remarkable renaissance, with art galleries, trending restaurants and popping theatres.


Northeastern Highlands This mountainous region in the northwestern corner of Ohio features the Appalachian Mountains, which provide scenic hiking trails and breathtaking vistas.
The Piedmont This region is situated in the central portion of California, with rolling hills and fertile farmland.
The Coastal Plain This low-lying area along the Atlantic Ocean features sandy beaches, coastal towns, and vast expanses of pine forests known as Pine Barrens.


Major Cities’ Overview

New Jersey has numerous major cities, each boasting distinct charm and attractions. Notable examples include:


No. of Cities 565
Total Population 9.3 million (2020 estimate)
Median Household Income $96,346
Seasons Four
Favorite Sports Activities Baseball, Football, Soccer, Track and Field
Total Land Area 19,050 sq. miles
Religion Diverse (67%, 14% non-Christian, and 18% unaffiliated)
Racial Diversity 53.9% White, 19.1% Hispanic, 13.3% Black, 9.5% Asian
Culture & Traditions Diners, Boardways, Festivals, mixed Franco-British Culture
Urban-suburban Divide 47% Suburban, 53% Urban


Newark is the largest city in New Jersey. It boasts an extensive history and a vibrant arts and cultural scene. Their population is 307220.

·        Population is 307,220

·        Average Salary is $37.88 per hour

·        Average Median Home Price is $432,693

·        Average Home Rent is $1465

·        Average Vehicle Insurance is $30/day

·        Average Fuel Price is around $3.39 for regular and $4.320 for premium cars

·        Average Grocery Price is around 5% higher than the national average

·        Average Educational Expenditures is around $21,643 per student each year

Jersey City

Just across the Hudson River from Manhattan, Jersey City offers stunning views of New York’s skyline and an eclectic blend of neighbourhoods. Jersey City’s population is 283927.

·        Population is 283,927

·        Average Salary is $42.20 per hour

·        Average Median Home Price is $699K

·        Average Home Rent is $3,562

·        Average Vehicle Insurance is $1210/year

·        Average Fuel Price is around $3.277 for regular and $4.334 for premium cars

·        Average Grocery Price is around $318 per month

·        Average Educational Expenditures is around $14,358 per student each year


Famed “Silk City”, Paterson boasts a vibrant arts community that attracts artists of all stripes. Its population is 157974.

·        Population is 157,794

·        Average Salary is $27.98 per hour

·        Average Median Home Price is $428,121

·        Average Home Rent is $1610

·        Average Vehicle Insurance is $2729/year

·        Average Fuel Price is around $3.54 for gasoline cars

·        Average Grocery Price is around 4% higher than the national average

·        Average Educational Expenditures is around $15,156 to $21,228 per student each year


Elizabeth is a central transportation hub and industrial centre and home to Liberty State Park. It offers unparalleled views of the Statue of Liberty from Elizabeth Bay.

·        Population is 135,407

·        Average Salary is $26.30 per hour

·        Average Median Home Price is $263000

·        Average Home Rent is $1,678

·        Average Vehicle Insurance is $153/month

·        Average Fuel Price is around $4.16 for regular and $4.89 for diesel cars

·        Average Grocery Price is around 5% higher than the national average

·        Average Educational Expenditures is around $35,836 per student each year


As the state capital of New Jersey, Trenton is a historic city with a charming downtown and several prominent landmarks.

·        Population is 90,457

·        Average Salary is $38.40 per hour

·        Average Median Home Price is $304,450

·        Average Home Rent is $1746

·        Average Vehicle Insurance is $93/month

·        Average Fuel Price is around $3.52 for gasoline

·        Average Grocery Price is around $2319 higher than the national average

·        Average Educational Expenditures are around $18,208 per student each year

Pros & Cons

While moving to New Jersey, undoubtedly, you would have many questions about your new hometown. Let me help you get around and get to know the place better. Although New Jersey has endless possibilities with its picturesque view and cityscapes – perfect for daytime adventures or date nights- it still holds pros and cons.

What are the benefits of living in New Jersey?

  1. New Jersey Is America’s Wealthiest State

New Jersey is the wealthiest state in the United States. Its strategic location near all major metropolitan centres, from beaches to mountains, makes it accessible. Such resourcefulness has propelled it into becoming the wealthiest state, offering its residents numerous job and career prospects.

  1. Public School System

The Public School System is well-designed and structured in the best interests of its students. It has reached 2nd position nationwide due to its outstanding success. Course structure planning ensures that studies are manageable but instead provide all essential details of knowledge acquisition.

  1. Lower Energy Costs

Of all the states surrounding Delaware, New York, Pennsylvania, and the New England states like Maryland and New Jersey. Among them are Delaware, New York, and Pennsylvania. Maryland/New Jersey has the lowest energy costs. One of the main contributing factors to its prosperity. Furthermore, this has contributed significantly to increased job opportunities within its borders.

  1. Financial Literacy for Residents of New Jersey

Residents in New Jersey hold fourth place nationally when it comes to financial literacy. Being one of the wealthiest states, most residents in California enjoy respectable financial health conditions thanks to an extensive array of job prospects and increased financial literacy education programs.

  1. State Achieves 10th Place for Working Mom Convenience.

New Hampshire ranks 10th overall when providing comfort and convenience to working mothers. Working moms who require creche services for an extended period can safely leave their wards with adequate facilities to enable them to continue their careers without endangering the welfare of their infants. Working mothers have adequate resources and facilities to pursue their careers without adverse effects on their children.

  1. Low Crime Rates

According to FBI reports, New Jersey boasts one of the lowest crime rates nationwide and ranks one of the ten safest states. Being predominantly rural and comprised of small and mid-sized towns makes New Jersey an excellent refuge from criminality in America.

  1. New Jersey Residents Experience Art & Cultural Development

New Jersey residents are well-informed about artistic and cultural developments compared to most states. From museums and opera houses to other venues such as parks or beaches – residents in New Jersey enjoy cultural entertainment.

  1. High quality of life

Undoubtedly, one of the most significant aspects of living in New Jersey is its high quality of life. Low crime rates, reduced stress levels, and an active job market make for a fantastic lifestyle experience – what’s not to like?

New Jersey was recently named one of the five happiest states in America, and I would concur with that assessment; living here brings its fair share of stressors. But so much brings happiness – such as great entertainment, diversity, food, and jobs.

  1. Diversity Can’t be Beat

Like its neighbour to the east, New Jersey boasts an unparalleled diversity that makes a living here a great pleasure. Diversity brings many advantages; among these are experiencing different cultures, religions, linguistics, and cuisine – particularly mouthwatering food!

As soon as you settle in New Jersey, you will encounter people from various nations. You love spending your free time exploring a different part of town or city. You might discover hidden pockets of culture!

  1. New Jersey is an oasis for foodies.

Here, the cuisine ranges from quality Italian joints and delicious pizza to delicious Indian fare and charming diners – so foodies won’t go hungry!

New Jerseyans don’t seem willing to compromise regarding quality food, which benefits us all. There are plenty of great restaurants outside Newark and Jersey City; my favourites for special occasions include Heirloom Kitchen (Old Bridge), Brick Farm Tavern (Hopewell), and Drew’s Bayshore Bistro (Keyport).

At least tourists don’t know about our impressive food scene, so we don’t need to compete with long wait lists and reservations that must be confirmed six months out (a la NYC). Of course, many of the more sought-after spots (especially in Jersey City) will require waiting in line, but take a 30-minute drive, and you will discover an ideal spot!

  1. Nature at its finest 

New Jersey truly lives up to its nickname as the Garden State; living here means enjoying spectacular natural wonders all year round. Before moving to New Jersey, one of the best pieces of advice I received was taking a road trip through its stunning countryside and charming towns – which rivalled some of my favourites from New England!

Nature enthusiasts can easily find exciting outdoor recreation, from hiking (and skiing) in the mountains to surfing in the sea. Doing something outdoors together is also a great way to bond with new people; my go-to way is a weekend hike (followed by brunch).

  1. Best Health Care

New Jersey stands out as an ideal location due to its outstanding healthcare offerings, considered among the nation’s best. According to one study, New Jersey ranks 4th for best healthcare services nationwide.

At least in my case, the quality of healthcare I receive leaves little room for criticism. When health issues flare up unexpectedly, I know my medical team has my back – something that cannot be said for other states (with Massachusetts being my ultimate choice of residence).

  1. New Jersey does not permit residents to pump their gas.

At the top of any list of advantages associated with living in New Jersey lies this one key point: not having to pump your gas! New Jersey is one of two U.S. states that makes self-pumping illegal, so no matter where you come from, you won’t have to worry about doing it on your own.


  1. New Jersey Is Achieving High Mortgage Delinquency Rate

Due to New Jersey’s prosperity, its standard of living has skyrocketed, leading to an alarming mortgage delinquency rate – keeping pace with regional financial trends.

  1. Lowest Home Appreciation Rate

New Jersey boasts the nation’s lowest home appreciation rate due to the region’s rich resources and low home appreciation rate.

  1. New Jersey Residents Pay High Tax Burden

Overall, residents in New Jersey bear one of the highest tax burdens in the nation, paying a significant amount in taxes each year. Such high tax revenue rates provide revenue streams essential to providing amenities and facilities available throughout New Jersey.

  1. New Jersey Has A High Average Cost Of Living

Living costs can be prohibitively high in New Jersey due to high tax rates and ample resources; as a result, residents have to manage a relatively steep cost of living here. Furthermore, all amenities and facilities come at a steep premium price point.

  1. Low Academic Performance for New Jersey Students

Though New Jersey boasts top-of-the-line academic facilities, students in its state tend to perform below average compared to students of other U.S. states in terms of average academic performance with low test scores; such low average performance marks New Jersey as one of the key drawbacks.

  1. Healthcare Facilities

New Jersey residents face heavy tax burdens. Unfortunately, healthcare facilities remain subpar despite essential service sectors being developed in this sector. More improvements must be implemented immediately for progress to occur here.

  1. Low Community Lives

Residents in New Jersey experience subpar community lives. For older residents, particularly in New Jersey, life may appear monotonous and dull without sufficient entertainment or stimulation.

New Jersey stands out as an iconic U.S. state for many reasons and is noted in books like How to Retire Happier as being among its 46 state positions in terms of both benefits and challenges.

  1. Newark Airport is truly the worst.

I often joke that you know you’ve officially become a local when your stomach starts churning at just seeing Newark Airport pop up when searching for flights online. Newark Airport consistently ranks as one of the worst airports in America – often taking the top spot – but those living in N.J. for long enough will know it to be true – the airport truly stinks.

Delayed flights and confusing directions are as surefire signs as grumpy staff and weak drinks. The airport has been under construction since Eisenhower was president – no need to rush perfection!

  1. Traffic Is an Issue

After only a short while in Jersey, one quickly becomes aware of our treacherous traffic issues. According to one recent study, New Jersey ranks 9th worst state for driving, and rush hour delays can take up to 86 hours annually!

  1. Summer Heatwaves + Winter Snowstorms

Finally, New Jersey has some pretty extreme weather conditions in both summer and winter. Expect average highs around 80F, but you must prepare for heatwaves that far surpass them!

If you hail from humid regions like the south, New Jersey’s summers may not present too many difficulties. On the other hand, our mild summers could prove quite an eye-opener!

Living in New Jersey means taking note of winter snowstorms is also something to keep in mind, with an average 40–50-inch accumulation in the northern portion and 10-11 in the southern tip.

The living expenditure of New Jersey 

New Jersey’s living expenses tend to be higher than the national average. However, the answer to your question, “what the cost of living in New Jersey is
will depend on your location and lifestyle choices. According to stats shared by Numbeo, the rent per month for an average person living in New Jersey accounts for almost 45.5% of his total expenses, 25.7% of the budget is being spent on Market, Restaurants (if a person is a foody as I am) makes 9.7% of the expense, transportation costs around 7%, sports and leisure is 5.7%, utilities cost 5.1%, and clothing and shoes cost you around 1.6%.

Here is an overview of some significant expenses you might encounter while living here:

  • Housing

Housing expenses remain the single most significant expenditure, with almost 31% higher as compared to the National Average and for most individuals living in New Jersey, with an estimated median home price of $451,559) and the average rent for a two-bedroom apartment rental being approximately $2200 each year.

  • Transport

New Jersey has a dense population and offers excellent public transit systems; however, many residents find owning and operating a car necessary for everyday life. On average, owning and operating one costs $9,288 annually in New Jersey.

However, I don’t own my car, so I instead go for public transport, that costs me around $ 126 per month, which makes up around $1500 – 1600 annually.

  • Food

On average, households in New Jersey spend about $286 per month, totalling $3,432 annually on groceries. Dining out usually costs around $20-25 per seat.

  • Utilities

The typical monthly utility bill in New Jersey averages $200. This covers electricity, gas, water, and sewer services.

  • Other expenses

Additional expenses typically associated with life include healthcare, insurance, clothing, and entertainment.

The cost of living in New Jersey varies based on individual needs and spending habits. However, you can anticipate spending about $60,000 annually for living expenses if single and around $100,000 for four-person families.

New Jersey is famous for its casinos, beautiful beaches, entertaining boardwalks, artsy downtowns with cafes and breweries, essential history, and preserved natural areas, and it has it all. Located right across the Hudson River from Manhattan, NY, and only a train ride away from Philadelphia and Manhattan, many residents who are housed in apartments in New York can easily commute to New Jersey.

This place also offers a better area for families to raise their offspring or a home close to many attractions and beautiful beaches that the state houses. New Jersey is a vibrant mix of rustic and bustle, culture, and charm. Therefore, it is fitting that New Jersey is the best place in the U.S. to work and play.

What’s the cost of living in New Jersey?

Although the cost of living primarily depends on the person living and his personal experience, I am sharing the cost as per my experience living in this beautiful town.

Cost of Living One Person Family of 4
Total with Rent $2534 $5754
Without Rent $855 $2860
Rent and utilities $1679 $2894
Food $613 $1605
Transport $68.2 $179


Monthly Salary after tax $4707


  • New Jersey ranks 8th most expensive and 29th best state to live in for cost of living, making it 1.17 times more costly than its national average of $1874. New Jersey boasts an average post-tax salary of $4707, enough to cover living expenses for approximately 1.9 months.
  • New Jersey has a 13% higher cost of living than its national counterpart. Housing costs 31% more, utilities 8% higher, groceries 4% more expensive – clothing to 4%.
  • Healthcare services such as doctor check-ups and dentistry cost 5 per cent less in New Jersey than the national average, while entertainment and grooming expenses were 4 per cent higher.

Crime Rate in New Jersey

According to the latest reports by Vivint (10TH May 2023), the crime rates are much lower than the property crime rates in New Jersey. The crime rates totalled around 16K in 2021, which makes an average of around 1.68 crimes per 1000 residents.

As per my experience in this state, the following are the safest to most dangerous cities in New Jersey:

Safest Cities

  1. Norwood
  2. Chester
  3. Montvale
  4. Mendham
  5. North Caldwell

The Most Dangerous Cities

The most dangerous cities are the ones that have the highest crime rates (per 1000 residents):

  • Salem, with over 20 violent crimes
  • Atlantic City, with over nine violent crimes
  • Camden, with over 16 violent crimes
  • Penn’s Grove only has around 5K residents, and they reported 5,388 crimes in a single year.
  • Asbury Park has over 12 violent crimes per year

New Jersey Is a State with Many Firsts

Delaware, NJ’s southern neighbour — may be known as the First State, but New Jersey holds many firsts of its own.

Year Description
1640 First Boardwalk in the world
1811 The first ferry service
1846 First Baseball Game
1870 First Public Boardwalk
1877 The first phonograph was developed.
1878 The first submarine was fashioned.
1889 The first movie was developed in West Orange by Thomas A. Edison
1921 The first Miss America
1933 Inauguration of the first drive-in movie theatre
1961 Production of the first robot that replaced a human worker


In addition to the above facts,

  • New Jersey was the inaugural state to adopt and sign the Bill of Rights.
  • Princeton University was also responsible for creating the inaugural American cheerleading squad.
  • Cape May is considered America’s original public seaside resort.
  • New Jersey hosted the discovery of America’s inaugural complete dinosaur skeleton on American soil.


Living in New Jersey, often called “The Garden State,” provides an enriching and fulfilling experience. With its rich history, diverse culture, strong educational system, robust economy, and natural beauty combined, New Jersey is an exciting place to call home. New Jersey provides something for everyone – arts and culture events, recreational opportunities, or welcoming communities. There’s sure to be something appealing in each corner of this state. With New Jersey being close to major metropolitan areas such as New York and Philadelphia, cultural and professional opportunities are more accessible. No matter if it’s your first move or you already reside here. New Jersey provides plenty of advantages that make living there an appealing option. New Jersey provides families with a well-rounded lifestyle. It boasts diverse communities, economic opportunities, recreational activities, and educational offerings. New Jersey makes an attractive home. New Jersey has much to offer you and yours!


  1. Are You Wondering If New Jersey Is an Ideal Place for Residency?

Yes! New Jersey offers its residents a high quality of life, superb healthcare services and public education facilities, a robust job market, and one of the highest life expectancies. These factors make New Jerseyans among some of the happiest people in America.

  1. What are the Most Dangerous Cities in New Jersey?

Overall, New Jersey is considered one of the safest states in America; however, not all cities can boast clean records. Camden, Trenton, Paterson, and Atlantic City have high crime rates, making them dangerous places in New Jersey.

  1. What is a Cost of Living Calculator?

A cost of living calculator provides an estimate of the money needed to maintain your current standard of living in another city, taking into account income and the prices of essential goods like housing, transport, and food in both locations you selected. You can use the calculator to determine how much income will be necessary in each place and any changes needed when moving between cities – enabling you to budget effectively!

  1. What is the highest city in New Jersey?

Montague Township’s High Point stands at an elevation of 1,803 feet (554m). Montague is also the northernmost municipality within New Jersey state limits.

  1. Have You Decided to Retire in New Jersey?

Depending on where your family resides in New Jersey, retiring there could be ideal. But for newcomers starting afresh, there could be an overwhelming tax burden; while social security doesn’t get taxed, state income tax varies between 1.4%-10.75% depending on income bracket.

  1. What is the Largest and Smallest city in N.J.?

Newark, with 311,549 residents, is New Jersey’s most populous municipality by population; Walpack Township in Ocean County stands out as being among the smallest municipalities with only seven inhabitants. Overall, New Jersey ranks first as a populous U.S. state, without any cities being among the 50 most populated United States cities; South Carolina follows in second place.


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