These Are The 10 Worst New York City Suburbs For 2018


We used science and data to determine which New York suburbs are the real pits.

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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:

  1. Morristown
  2. Greenville
  3. Newark (Photos)
  4. Plainfield
  5. New Brunswick
  6. Elizabeth
  7. Long Branch
  8. Moonachie
  9. Roselle
  10. Paterson

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.

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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.

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1. Morristown


Population: 29,395
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.

2. Greenville


Population: 12,979
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.

3. Newark

Newark, New York

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 280,139
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.

4. Plainfield

Source: Public Domain

Population: 50,578
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

Source: Public Domain

Population: 56,427
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.

6. Elizabeth

Source: Public Domain

Population: 128,042
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

Source: Public Domain

Population: 30,705
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%).

8. Moonachie

Source: Public Domain

Population: 2,756
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.

9. Roselle

Source: Public Domain

Population: 21,507
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.

10. Paterson

Source: Public Domain

Population: 146,894
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:

Detailed List Of The Worst New York City Suburbs

City Rank Population Unemployment Rate Median Home Price Median Income
Morristown 1 29,395 9.7% $109,000 $31,259
Greenville 2 12,979 10.2% $87,600 $35,471
Newark 3 280,139 17.2% $222,100 $33,025
Plainfield 4 50,578 10.0% $235,800 $55,657
New Brunswick 5 56,427 9.7% $253,300 $40,428
Elizabeth 6 128,042 10.2% $262,300 $43,831
Long Branch 7 30,705 9.8% $318,600 $51,435
Moonachie 8 2,756 6.4% $341,700 $53,462
Roselle 9 21,507 13.8% $204,800 $46,118
Paterson 10 146,894 8.1% $236,000 $34,042
South River 11 16,305 11.6% $276,500 $65,254
East Orange 12 64,621 16.9% $209,500 $38,403
Linden 13 41,595 9.7% $264,900 $64,471
Carteret 14 23,966 11.2% $259,900 $67,776
Kearny 15 42,029 9.1% $314,000 $61,558
Passaic 16 70,536 7.7% $303,600 $33,859
West New York 17 52,407 10.1% $324,000 $50,334
Keansburg 18 9,904 12.1% $183,000 $44,808
Union Beach 19 5,770 12.6% $254,100 $66,596
Guttenberg 20 11,628 9.4% $279,600 $54,368
Harrison 21 15,007 10.1% $318,600 $58,047
Fairview 22 14,314 9.0% $352,800 $54,177
Fairview 23 14,314 9.0% $352,800 $54,177
Haledon 24 8,399 12.5% $259,100 $67,872
Prospect Park 25 5,919 7.4% $249,800 $54,009
Hempstead 26 55,454 7.1% $306,900 $56,239
Keyport 27 7,136 6.1% $257,300 $51,652
Little Ferry 28 10,868 9.6% $325,700 $62,543
Garfield 29 31,456 7.6% $329,900 $48,254
Red Bank 30 12,218 7.2% $358,200 $69,778
Mount Vernon 31 68,217 10.8% $357,800 $51,886
Lodi 32 24,654 8.1% $353,000 $53,807
Perth Amboy 33 52,265 4.0% $246,500 $49,155
Highlands 34 4,900 8.2% $244,700 $61,487
Freeport 35 43,217 6.7% $311,100 $68,963
Port Chester 36 29,417 7.5% $435,100 $56,524
Bayonne 37 65,772 6.9% $312,900 $54,862
Yonkers 38 199,725 8.6% $379,500 $61,272
Sayreville 39 44,260 7.6% $292,200 $76,844
North Plainfield 40 22,106 6.3% $269,900 $72,139
East Newark 41 2,717 5.2% $260,500 $59,038
South Amboy 42 8,762 7.2% $277,600 $66,294
Rahway 43 28,884 8.9% $265,300 $66,457
Hackensack 44 44,271 5.0% $291,500 $56,222
Woodland Park 45 12,358 7.2% $371,000 $70,473
Dunellen 46 7,355 6.5% $285,200 $76,333
Elmsford 47 4,814 5.2% $413,300 $83,520
Bogota 48 8,348 7.8% $313,400 $78,059
Ridgefield 49 11,294 7.3% $457,200 $70,461
Tinton Falls 50 17,910 6.9% $300,300 $75,584
Roselle Park 51 13,560 10.0% $269,300 $66,168
South Plainfield 52 23,963 8.4% $322,600 $91,957
East Rutherford 53 9,236 5.6% $383,300 $76,771
Union 54 6,569 5.6% $91,400 $64,608
Carlstadt 55 6,238 7.7% $386,200 $84,268
New Rochelle 56 79,299 7.5% $545,700 $73,178
White Plains 57 57,925 6.7% $513,300 $82,460
Glen Cove 58 27,246 4.7% $479,800 $73,673
Clifton 59 85,578 5.4% $330,300 $71,830
Cliffside Park 60 24,661 5.9% $415,800 $60,616
Ridgefield Park 61 12,976 5.3% $324,300 $64,980
Totowa 62 10,900 7.4% $369,600 $96,573
Northvale 63 4,801 7.8% $448,900 $88,438
North Arlington 64 15,788 6.5% $348,500 $76,698
Englewood 65 28,184 5.3% $379,900 $77,272
Pompton Lakes 66 11,163 6.5% $294,800 $91,604
Wallington 67 11,618 4.8% $359,700 $57,813
Matawan 68 8,894 6.7% $316,100 $83,146
Mamaroneck 69 19,263 6.8% $591,700 $80,099
Spotswood 70 8,418 6.2% $286,100 $74,668
Palisades Park 71 20,499 4.6% $506,000 $63,266
Amityville 72 9,484 5.3% $378,500 $88,102
Elmwood Park 73 20,135 4.8% $346,500 $73,837
Secaucus 74 18,737 5.0% $399,300 $94,160
Nyack 75 6,788 4.9% $444,800 $63,596
Valley Stream 76 37,626 9.5% $371,500 $94,681
West Long Branch 77 7,947 6.2% $393,900 $85,640
New Milford 78 16,682 7.1% $394,200 $80,709
Bergenfield 79 27,513 5.7% $332,700 $81,042
Middlesex 80 13,811 4.3% $302,800 $82,663
Leonia 81 9,137 5.7% $473,200 $88,401
Lindenhurst 82 27,234 5.6% $345,700 $83,594
Oceanport 83 5,763 8.7% $447,700 $106,648
Chestnut Ridge 84 8,096 5.7% $433,200 $96,146
Fort Lee 85 36,607 5.6% $326,500 $75,449
Rye Brook 86 9,513 9.4% $737,100 $120,758
North Haledon 87 8,490 9.3% $436,000 $100,724
Hawthorne 88 18,950 6.6% $368,300 $89,472
Island Park 89 4,718 5.3% $366,000 $85,679
Atlantic Highlands 90 4,318 10.3% $366,300 $91,579
Boonton 91 8,405 5.3% $367,900 $90,082
Hasbrouck Heights 92 12,124 6.6% $400,700 $82,870
Emerson 93 7,621 8.6% $465,000 $109,613
Highland Park 94 14,245 5.2% $353,000 $67,829
Kenilworth 95 8,129 4.6% $346,100 $101,250
Westbury 96 15,319 4.0% $416,800 $89,385
Lincoln Park 97 10,488 3.9% $334,100 $83,750
Harrison 98 28,082 7.4% $803,200 $107,344
Maywood 99 9,726 6.7% $373,500 $86,155
Long Beach 100 33,670 7.0% $455,800 $84,256

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