Not everyone is cut out for city life. Some people would prefer to live in the cities and towns that surround New York.
So the question arises, do the suburbs maintain a semblance of the larger-than-life appeal of their more famous neighbor?
Today, we’ll use science and data 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’t expect all the suburbs to live up to New York proper, although Scarsdale certainly tries.
Of course, not all suburbs of New York are created equally, which is precisely why we set out to find the best ones. So without further ado…
We examined the 202 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 City in terms of quality of life.
Here are the 10 worst suburbs around New York City for 2018:
- Newark (Photos)
- New Brunswick
- Long Branch
Read on to see how we determined the places around New York that need a pick-me-up. And remember, don’t blame the messenger.
Or, if you’re thinking of moving to elsewhere in New York check out the best places in New York overall or the worst.
And remember, there are some good places to live around New York too.
Editor’s Note: If you see a slight difference between the worst in state rankings and this suburb ranking, it’s because of the methodology. We needed a way to include more places, so we eliminated crime and commute times as criteria for this analysis.
Determining The Worst Suburbs Around New York City for 2018
To figure out how bad a place is to live in, we only needed to know what kinds of things people like and then decide what cities have the least amount of those things.
We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using the most recent American Community Survey data, 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 drop outs
- High poverty
- High rate of uninsured families
FYI: We defined a suburb as being within 30 miles of New York.
Additionally, we limited the analysis to places that have over 2,000 people. This left us with a grand total of 202 suburbs to evaluate around New York.
We ranked each place with scores from 1 to 202 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 lookin’ at you, Morristown.
Read on below to learn more about what it’s like to live in the worst of the worst. Or skip to the end to see the list of all the suburbs ranked from worst to best.
Unemployment Rate: 9.7%
Median Home Price: $109,000
Median Income: $31,259
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 1st 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.
Unemployment Rate: 10.2%
Median Home Price: $87,600
Median Income: $35,471
Welcome to Greenville. Home to KMart, Big Lots, and a lot of gas stations.
This city is 23.9 miles to New York. Income levels here are the 5th lowest in the metro area, where families bring in about $35,471 a year, which doesn’t go a long ways even on a shoestring budget.
But on the bright side, there are a lot of fast food joints in the area.
Unemployment Rate: 17.2%
Median Home Price: $222,100
Median Income: $33,025
Back up the highway we go for the third worst New York suburb you can live in. You might have expected to see Newark 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 drop out rate is poor compared to other New York suburbs.
But at least there are nice parks to bring the kids during the day.
Unemployment Rate: 10.0%
Median Home Price: $235,800
Median Income: $55,657
If you live in Plainfield, most likely you struggle to make ends meet every month. It ranks as the 24th lowest New York suburb when it comes to residents making money.
Not only that, but this is the 15th worst unemployed suburb you can live in if you choose to live near New York. Remember, we looked at 202 cities for this study.
Plainfield is about 25.2 miles to downtown.
5. New Brunswick
Unemployment Rate: 9.7%
Median Home Price: $253,300
Median Income: $40,428
New Brunswick has the distinction of being a New York suburb. Which means that’s about all it has going for it.
All snarkiness aside, New Brunswick has the 14th lowest home values in the metro New York area, where the median price is $253,300. To put that into perspective, in Scarsdale, the median income is $250,000, which is the best in the area.
New Brunswick has an unemployment rate of 9.7% which ranks 19th worst.
Unemployment Rate: 10.2%
Median Home Price: $262,300
Median Income: $43,831
Elizabeth has 128,042 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 19.0%.
7. Long Branch
Unemployment Rate: 9.8%
Median Home Price: $318,600
Median Income: $51,435
Ah, Long Branch. You rank as the 7th worst place to live around New York.
It’s the place with the 17th most out of work residents in the New York metro area (9.8%).
Unemployment Rate: 6.4%
Median Home Price: $341,700
Median Income: $53,462
Moonachie is a city about 13.7 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. Moonachie has the 30th most uninsured people, 17th worst incomes, and has the 87th highest unemployment rate (6.4%) in the entire New York metro area.
Homes only cost $341,700 for a reason. That’s cheap for New York standards.
Unemployment Rate: 13.8%
Median Home Price: $204,800
Median Income: $46,118
If you absolutely have to live near New York, then Roselle might be a place for you to consider as it’s only the 9th worst New York suburb.
About 13.8% of residents are out of work.
Unemployment Rate: 8.1%
Median Home Price: $236,000
Median Income: $34,042
Rounding out the ten worst New York suburbs to call home is Paterson.
Located 20.9 miles outside the city, Patersons is a real pit when you look at the data. Its residents have the 38th highest unemployment rate (8.1%), and poverty is far above the area average.
The areas around New York City where the dream is more of a nightmare for 2018
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. Scarsdale takes the cake as the best place to live around New York.
For more New York reading , check out:
- These Are The 10 Most Boring Places In New York
- These Are The 10 Safest Places In New York According To Science
- These Are The 10 Dumbest Cities In New York
Detailed List Of The Worst New York City Suburbs
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