More and more people would prefer to live in the cities and towns that surround New York to avoid all the hustle and bustle.
So the question arises: what suburbs of New York are the worst?
Today, we’ll use Saturday Night Science to determine which New York ‘burbs need a little tender loving care – the sore thumbs of the New York area if you will. Realistically, you can only expect some of the suburbs to live up to New York proper, although East Hills certainly tries.
We examined the 201 biggest suburbs of New York to find out the worst places to live. And while you won’t necessarily find them on the worst places to live in New York lists, these ten places are a little too far downwind of New York in terms of quality of life.
Now don’t freak out.
What’s the worst suburb of New York? Morristown ranks as the worst suburb of New York for 2023 based on the most recent Census and FBI data.
And remember, there are some good places to live around New York too.
The 10 Worst New York Suburbs To Live For 2023
We’ll get the ball rolling with Morristown, the absolute worst place to live around New York according to the data.
And in the world of worst rankings, Morristown beat the competition pretty handily thanks to scoring in the bottom 15% in three major categories. Income is the worst in the New York area, and to make matters worse, the city ranks 3rd worst when it comes to home values.
But hey, at least it’s cheap to live there. But there’s a reason for that… it’s Morristown.
You won’t feel bad about not having a great income for the area. There aren’t a bunch of places to spend your money anyway.
Welcome to Newark. Home to KMart, Big Lots, and a lot of gas stations.
This city is 12.9 miles to New York. Income levels here are the 2nd lowest in the metro area, where families bring in about $41,335 a year, which only goes so far even on a shoestring budget.
But on the bright side, there are a lot of fast food joints in the area.
Back up the highway we go for the third worst New York suburb you can live in. You might have expected to see Perth Amboy on here. While the cost of living is low, your entertainment and work options are limited. And that’s an understatement.
In terms of numbers, it’s in the worst 15% for insurance, and the adult high school dropout rate is poor compared to other New York suburbs.
But at least there are lovely parks to bring the kids during the day.
If you live in Plainfield, most likely you struggle to make ends meet every month. It ranks as the 14th lowest New York suburb for median household incomes.
Not only that, but this is the 11th worst unemployed suburb you can live in if you choose to live near New York. Remember, we looked at 201 cities for this study.
Plainfield is about 25.2 miles to downtown.
Paterson has the distinction of being a New York suburb. Which means that’s about all it has going for it.
All snarkiness aside, Paterson has the 9th lowest home values in the metro New York area, where the median price is $269,200. The median income is $250,001.
Paterson has an unemployment rate of 9.32% which ranks 15th worst.
Passaic has 70,308 residents that probably know it’s a pretty crummy place to live when you look at the data. (Or, if you’ve ever been there, you don’t need to look at the data.)
Incomes are towards the bottom, and the poverty rate sits at 25.32381292395573%.
Ah, New Brunswick. You rank as the 7th worst place to live around New York.
It’s the place with the 60th most out of work residents in the New York metro area (6.49%).
Long Branch is a city about 25.6 miles from New York, but New York probably wishes it was further away. It ranks as the 8th worst burb for 2018.
You’d be hard-pressed to find a worse place to live. Long Branch has the 13th most uninsured people, 16th worst incomes, and has the 37th highest unemployment rate (7.47%) in the entire New York metro area.
Homes only cost $392,600 for a reason. That’s cheap for New York standards.
If you absolutely have to live near New York, then East Orange might be a place for you to consider as it’s only the 9th worst New York suburb.
About 11.85% of residents are out of work.
Rounding out the ten worst New York suburbs to call home is North Plainfield.
Located 26.4 miles outside the city, North Plainfields is a real pit when you look at the data. Its residents have the 16th highest unemployment rate (9.32%), and poverty is far above the area average.
Methodology: Determining The Worst Suburbs Around New York for 2023
To figure out how bad a New York suburb is to live in, we only needed to know what kinds of things people like and then decide what suburbs have the least amount of those things.
It’s Saturday Night Science.
We threw a lot of criteria at this one to get the best, most complete results possible. Using the most recent American Community Survey data from 2017-2021, this is the criteria we used:
- High unemployment rate
- Low median household incomes
- Low population density (no things to do)
- Low home values
- A lot of high school dropouts
- High poverty
- High rate of uninsured families
We defined a suburb as any town within 30 miles of New York.
We also limited the analysis to places with over 2,000 people. This left us with a grand total of 201 suburbs to evaluate around New York.
We ranked each place with scores from 1 to 201 in each category, where 1 was the “worst.”
Next, we averaged the rankings for each place to create a quality-of-life index.
And finally, we crowned the city with the worst quality of life index, the “Worst Suburb near New York.” We’re looking at you, Morristown.
We updated this article for 2023, which reflects our tenth time ranking the worst suburbs around New York.
Summary: The areas around New York where the dream is more of a nightmare for 2023
Well there you have it — the worst of the ‘burbs surrounding New York with Morristown casting itself ahead of the pack.
As we mentioned earlier, the suburbs around New York aren’t all bad. East Hills takes the cake as the best place to live around New York.
- East Hills
- East Williston
- Essex Fells
For more New York reading, check out:
- Best Places To Live In New York
- Cheapest Places To Live In New York
- Most Dangerous Places In New York
- Best Places To Retire In New York
- Richest Cities In New York
- Safest Places In New York According To Science
- Worst Places To Live In New York State
Detailed List Of The Worst New York Suburbs
|Rank||City||Population||Median Income||Median Home Values|
|19||West New York||52,485||$65,913||$363,800|
|55||West Long Branch||8,470||$107,059||$483,300|