These Are The 10 Worst Newark Suburbs For 2018


We used science and data to determine which Newark 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 Newark.

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 Newark ‘burbs need a little tender loving care – the sore thumbs of the Newark area if you will. Realistically, you can’t expect all the suburbs to live up to Newark proper, although Scarsdale certainly tries.

Of course, not all suburbs of Newark are created equally, which is precisely why we set out to find the best ones. So without further ado…

We examined the 178 biggest suburbs of Newark to find out the worst places to live. And while you won’t necessarily find them on the worst places to live in New Jersey lists, these ten places are a little too far downwind of Newark in terms of quality of life.

Here are the 10 worst suburbs around Newark for 2018:

  1. Morristown
  2. Greenville
  3. New Brunswick (Photos)
  4. Plainfield (Photos)
  5. Elizabeth (Photos)
  6. Spring Valley (Photos)
  7. Roselle (Photos)
  8. Paterson (Photos)
  9. East Orange (Photos)
  10. South River (Photos)

Read on to see how we determined the places around Newark that need a pick-me-up. And remember, don’t blame the messenger.

Or, if you’re thinking of moving to elsewhere in New Jersey check out the best places in New Jersey overall or the worst.

And remember, there are some good places to live around Newark 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.

For more New Jersey reading, check out:

Determining The Worst Suburbs Around Newark 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 Newark.

Additionally, we limited the analysis to places that have over 5,000 people. This left us with a grand total of 178 suburbs to evaluate around Newark.

We ranked each place with scores from 1 to 178 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 Newark.” 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.

1. Morristown


Population: 29,395
Unemployment Rate: 9.7%
Median Home Price: $109,000
Median Income: $31,259
More on Morristown: Data | Jobs

We’ll get the ball rolling with Morristown, the absolute worst place to live around Newark 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 3rd worst in the Newark 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
More on Greenville: Jobs

Welcome to Greenville. Home to KMart, Big Lots, and a lot of gas stations.

This city is 26.5 miles to Newark. Income levels here are the 6th 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. New Brunswick

New Brunswick, New Jersey

Population: 56,427
Unemployment Rate: 9.7%
Median Home Price: $253,300
Median Income: $40,428
More on New Brunswick: Data | Jobs

Back up the highway we go for the third worst Newark suburb you can live in. You might have expected to see New Brunswick 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 Newark suburbs.

But at least there are nice parks to bring the kids during the day.

4. Plainfield

Plainfield, New Jersey

Population: 50,578
Unemployment Rate: 10.0%
Median Home Price: $235,800
Median Income: $55,657
More on Plainfield: Data | Jobs

If you live in Plainfield, most likely you struggle to make ends meet every month. It ranks as the 25th lowest Newark 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 Newark. Remember, we looked at 178 cities for this study.

Plainfield is about 14.8 miles to downtown.

5. Elizabeth

Elizabeth, New Jersey

Population: 128,042
Unemployment Rate: 10.2%
Median Home Price: $262,300
Median Income: $43,831
More on Elizabeth: Data | Jobs

Elizabeth has the distinction of being a Newark suburb. Which means that’s about all it has going for it.

All snarkiness aside, Elizabeth has the 18th lowest home values in the metro Newark area, where the median price is $262,300. To put that into perspective, in Scarsdale, the median income is $250,000, which is the best in the area.

Elizabeth has an unemployment rate of 10.2% which ranks 11th worst.

6. Spring Valley

Spring Valley, New Jersey

Population: 32,415
Unemployment Rate: 11.8%
Median Home Price: $255,300
Median Income: $45,355
More on Spring Valley: Data | Jobs

Spring Valley has 32,415 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 26.4%.

7. Roselle

Roselle, New Jersey

Population: 21,507
Unemployment Rate: 13.8%
Median Home Price: $204,800
Median Income: $46,118
More on Roselle: Data | Jobs

Ah, Roselle. You rank as the 7th worst place to live around Newark.

It’s the place with the 2nd most out of work residents in the Newark metro area (13.8%).

8. Paterson

Paterson, New Jersey

Population: 146,894
Unemployment Rate: 8.1%
Median Home Price: $236,000
Median Income: $34,042
More on Paterson: Data | Jobs

Paterson is a city about 13.2 miles from Newark, but Newark 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. Paterson has the 18th most uninsured people, 5th worst incomes, and has the 39th highest unemployment rate (8.1%) in the entire Newark metro area.

Homes only cost $236,000 for a reason. That’s cheap for Newark standards.

9. East Orange

East Orange, New Jersey

Source: Public domain

Population: 64,621
Unemployment Rate: 16.9%
Median Home Price: $209,500
Median Income: $38,403
More on East Orange: Data | Jobs

If you absolutely have to live near Newark, then East Orange might be a place for you to consider as it’s only the 9th worst Newark suburb.

About 16.9% of residents are out of work.

10. South River

South River, New Jersey

Source: Public domain

Population: 16,305
Unemployment Rate: 11.6%
Median Home Price: $276,500
Median Income: $65,254
More on South River: Data | Jobs

Rounding out the ten worst Newark suburbs to call home is South River.

Located 22.1 miles outside the city, South Rivers is a real pit when you look at the data. Its residents have the 8th highest unemployment rate (11.6%), and poverty is far above the area average.

The areas around Newark where the dream is more of a nightmare for 2018

Well there you have it — the worst of the ‘burbs surrounding Newark with Morristown casting itself ahead of the pack.

As we mentioned earlier, the suburbs around Newark aren’t all bad. Scarsdale takes the cake as the best place to live around Newark.

For more New Jersey reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Worst Newark Suburbs

Rank City Population Unemployment Rate Median Home Price Median Income
1 Morristown 29,395 9.7% $109,000 $31,259
2 Greenville 12,979 10.2% $87,600 $35,471
3 New Brunswick 56,427 9.7% $253,300 $40,428
4 Plainfield 50,578 10.0% $235,800 $55,657
5 Elizabeth 128,042 10.2% $262,300 $43,831
6 Spring Valley 32,415 11.8% $255,300 $45,355
7 Roselle 21,507 13.8% $204,800 $46,118
8 Paterson 146,894 8.1% $236,000 $34,042
9 East Orange 64,621 16.9% $209,500 $38,403
10 South River 16,305 11.6% $276,500 $65,254
11 Linden 41,595 9.7% $264,900 $64,471
12 Kearny 42,029 9.1% $314,000 $61,558
13 Carteret 23,966 11.2% $259,900 $67,776
14 Passaic 70,536 7.7% $303,600 $33,859
15 Keansburg 9,904 12.1% $183,000 $44,808
16 West New York 52,407 10.1% $324,000 $50,334
17 Union Beach 5,770 12.6% $254,100 $66,596
18 Guttenberg 11,628 9.4% $279,600 $54,368
19 Harrison 15,007 10.1% $318,600 $58,047
20 Manville 10,448 8.4% $248,900 $65,163
21 Haledon 8,399 12.5% $259,100 $67,872
22 Prospect Park 5,919 7.4% $249,800 $54,009
23 Fairview 14,314 9.0% $352,800 $54,177
24 Fairview 14,314 9.0% $352,800 $54,177
25 Keyport 7,136 6.1% $257,300 $51,652
26 Little Ferry 10,868 9.6% $325,700 $62,543
27 Hempstead 55,454 7.1% $306,900 $56,239
28 Wharton 6,586 8.4% $279,900 $66,284
29 Garfield 31,456 7.6% $329,900 $48,254
30 Bloomingdale 7,995 8.8% $306,800 $77,049
31 Jamesburg 6,001 7.8% $266,100 $66,221
32 Red Bank 12,218 7.2% $358,200 $69,778
33 Perth Amboy 52,265 4.0% $246,500 $49,155
34 Mount Vernon 68,217 10.8% $357,800 $51,886
35 Lodi 24,654 8.1% $353,000 $53,807
36 Dover 18,317 5.3% $262,900 $64,310
37 Yonkers 199,725 8.6% $379,500 $61,272
38 Bayonne 65,772 6.9% $312,900 $54,862
39 North Plainfield 22,106 6.3% $269,900 $72,139
40 Bound Brook 10,512 4.3% $275,700 $66,300
41 New Square 7,804 11.7% $339,000 $21,773
42 Rahway 28,884 8.9% $265,300 $66,457
43 Sayreville 44,260 7.6% $292,200 $76,844
44 South Amboy 8,762 7.2% $277,600 $66,294
45 New York 8,461,961 8.6% $508,900 $55,191
46 Hackensack 44,271 5.0% $291,500 $56,222
47 Dunellen 7,355 6.5% $285,200 $76,333
48 Roselle Park 13,560 10.0% $269,300 $66,168
49 Bogota 8,348 7.8% $313,400 $78,059
50 Ridgefield 11,294 7.3% $457,200 $70,461
51 Woodland Park 12,358 7.2% $371,000 $70,473
52 Union 6,569 5.6% $91,400 $64,608
53 South Plainfield 23,963 8.4% $322,600 $91,957
54 Wanaque 11,636 6.7% $295,900 $81,267
55 Somerville 12,207 6.1% $286,200 $68,393
56 East Rutherford 9,236 5.6% $383,300 $76,771
57 New Rochelle 79,299 7.5% $545,700 $73,178
58 Carlstadt 6,238 7.7% $386,200 $84,268
59 Glen Cove 27,246 4.7% $479,800 $73,673
60 Cliffside Park 24,661 5.9% $415,800 $60,616
61 Clifton 85,578 5.4% $330,300 $71,830
62 Ridgefield Park 12,976 5.3% $324,300 $64,980
63 Totowa 10,900 7.4% $369,600 $96,573
64 Englewood 28,184 5.3% $379,900 $77,272
65 Wallington 11,618 4.8% $359,700 $57,813
66 North Arlington 15,788 6.5% $348,500 $76,698
67 Pompton Lakes 11,163 6.5% $294,800 $91,604
68 Palisades Park 20,499 4.6% $506,000 $63,266
69 Mamaroneck 19,263 6.8% $591,700 $80,099
70 Spotswood 8,418 6.2% $286,100 $74,668
71 Matawan 8,894 6.7% $316,100 $83,146
72 Nyack 6,788 4.9% $444,800 $63,596
73 Raritan 7,539 4.0% $334,900 $72,981
74 New Hempstead 5,311 8.9% $471,200 $110,156
75 Valley Stream 37,626 9.5% $371,500 $94,681
76 Secaucus 18,737 5.0% $399,300 $94,160
77 Suffern 10,936 5.9% $309,200 $85,395
78 Elmwood Park 20,135 4.8% $346,500 $73,837
79 Kaser 5,082 5.7% $568,200 $18,538
80 New Milford 16,682 7.1% $394,200 $80,709
81 Leonia 9,137 5.7% $473,200 $88,401
82 Middlesex 13,811 4.3% $302,800 $82,663
83 Butler 7,773 5.5% $345,100 $96,647
84 Bergenfield 27,513 5.7% $332,700 $81,042
85 Oceanport 5,763 8.7% $447,700 $106,648
86 Fort Lee 36,607 5.6% $326,500 $75,449
87 North Haledon 8,490 9.3% $436,000 $100,724
88 Chestnut Ridge 8,096 5.7% $433,200 $96,146
89 Emerson 7,621 8.6% $465,000 $109,613
90 Hawthorne 18,950 6.6% $368,300 $89,472
91 Boonton 8,405 5.3% $367,900 $90,082
92 Hasbrouck Heights 12,124 6.6% $400,700 $82,870
93 Highland Park 14,245 5.2% $353,000 $67,829
94 Kenilworth 8,129 4.6% $346,100 $101,250
95 Mount Arlington 5,251 7.5% $289,300 $85,282
96 Lincoln Park 10,488 3.9% $334,100 $83,750
97 Maywood 9,726 6.7% $373,500 $86,155
98 Airmont 8,833 4.1% $460,100 $89,743
99 Montvale 8,285 7.2% $600,500 $111,436
100 Long Beach 33,670 7.0% $455,800 $84,256

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