These Are The 10 Worst Newark Suburbs For 2019


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

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Editor’s Note: This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. Don’t freak out we updated this article for 2019. This is our fourth time ranking the worst suburbs around Newark.

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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 214 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 2019:

  1. Morristown (Photos)
  2. New Brunswick (Photos)
  3. Greenville
  4. Plainfield (Photos)
  5. Elizabeth (Photos)
  6. Spring Valley
  7. South River (Photos)
  8. Keansburg (Photos)
  9. East Orange (Photos)
  10. Paterson (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 2019

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 from 2013-2017, 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 2,000 people. This left us with a grand total of 214 suburbs to evaluate around Newark.

We ranked each place with scores from 1 to 214 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.

Morristown, NJ

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 29,446
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Income: $33,597 (3rd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 9.3% (16th highest)
Median Home Value: $111,200 (3rd lowest)
More on Morristown:  Data | Photos

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.

New Brunswick, NJ

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 56,792
Rank Last Year: 3 (Up 1)
Median Income: $38,413 (7th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 9.5% (15th highest)
Median Home Value: $257,100 (14th lowest)
More on New Brunswick:  Data | Photos

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

This city is 21.7 miles to Newark. Income levels here are the 7th lowest in the metro area, where families bring in about $38,413 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. Greenville

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 12,892
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 1)
Median Income: $37,595 (6th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 9.6% (14th highest)
Median Home Value: $86,500 (1st lowest)
More on Greenville:

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

Plainfield, NJ

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 51,097
Rank Last Year: 4 (No Change)
Median Income: $56,425 (21st lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 8.6% (25th highest)
Median Home Value: $236,400 (9th lowest)
More on Plainfield:  Data | Photos

If you live in Plainfield, most likely you struggle to make ends meet every month. It ranks as the 21st lowest Newark suburb when it comes to residents making money.

Not only that, but this is the 25th worst unemployed suburb you can live in if you choose to live near Newark. Remember, we looked at 214 cities for this study.

Plainfield is about 14.8 miles to downtown.

Elizabeth, NJ

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 129,363
Rank Last Year: 5 (No Change)
Median Income: $45,186 (10th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 8.7% (22nd highest)
Median Home Value: $268,700 (24th lowest)
More on Elizabeth:  Data | Photos

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 24th lowest home values in the metro Newark area, where the median price is $268,700. 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 8.7% which ranks 21st worst.

6. Spring Valley

Spring Valley, NY

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 32,538
Rank Last Year: 6 (No Change)
Median Income: $43,434 (9th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 10.0% (10th highest)
Median Home Value: $278,600 (30th lowest)
More on Spring Valley:

Spring Valley has 32,538 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 25.9%.

South River, NJ

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 16,345
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 4)
Median Income: $62,332 (33rd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 10.4% (8th highest)
Median Home Value: $289,300 (33rd lowest)
More on South River:  Data | Photos

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

It’s the place with the 8th most out of work residents in the Newark metro area (10.4%).

Keansburg, NJ

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 9,868
Rank Last Year: 15 (Up 7)
Median Income: $46,250 (11th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 12.3% (2nd highest)
Median Home Value: $185,100 (4th lowest)
More on Keansburg:  Data | Photos

Keansburg is a city about 19.1 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. Keansburg has the 77th most uninsured people, 11th worst incomes, and has the 2nd highest unemployment rate (12.3%) in the entire Newark metro area.

Homes only cost $185,100 for a reason. That’s cheap for Newark standards.

East Orange, NJ

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 65,151
Rank Last Year: 9 (No Change)
Median Income: $41,819 (8th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 15.1% (1st highest)
Median Home Value: $205,100 (6th lowest)
More on East Orange:  Data | Photos

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 15.1% of residents are out of work.

Paterson, NJ

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 147,890
Rank Last Year: 8 (Down 2)
Median Income: $36,106 (5th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 6.4% (59th highest)
Median Home Value: $235,500 (8th lowest)
More on Paterson:  Data | Photos

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

Located 13.2 miles outside the city, Patersons is a real pit when you look at the data. Its residents have the 59th highest unemployment rate (6.4%), and poverty is far above the area average.

The areas around Newark where the dream is more of a nightmare for 2019

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.

  • Scarsdale
  • East Hills
  • Woodcliff Lake

For more New Jersey reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Worst Newark Suburbs

Rank City Population Median Income Median Home Values
1 Morristown 29,446 $33,597 $111,200
2 New Brunswick 56,792 $38,413 $257,100
3 Greenville 12,892 $37,595 $86,500
4 Plainfield 51,097 $56,425 $236,400
5 Elizabeth 129,363 $45,186 $268,700
6 Spring Valley 32,538 $43,434 $278,600
7 South River 16,345 $62,332 $289,300
8 Keansburg 9,868 $46,250 $185,100
9 East Orange 65,151 $41,819 $205,100
10 Paterson 147,890 $36,106 $235,500
11 Linden 42,230 $66,538 $264,400
12 Roselle 21,746 $52,480 $206,700
13 West New York 53,345 $50,477 $316,200
14 Guttenberg 11,733 $54,471 $273,000
15 Kearny 42,487 $63,271 $318,700
16 Passaic 71,057 $34,920 $309,700
17 Carteret 24,040 $73,892 $267,500
18 Fairview 14,422 $56,057 $351,400
19 Fairview 14,422 $56,057 $351,400
20 Fairview 14,422 $56,057 $351,400
21 Fairview 14,422 $56,057 $351,400
22 Keyport 7,138 $56,935 $256,500
23 Harrison 15,898 $61,168 $309,000
24 Little Ferry 10,942 $61,341 $323,300
25 Dover 18,307 $65,538 $262,800
26 Haledon 8,440 $65,033 $264,100
27 Bloomingdale 8,139 $80,516 $298,700
28 Union Beach 5,634 $77,324 $259,800
29 Wharton 6,591 $68,265 $293,800
30 Moonachie 2,783 $59,700 $336,600
31 Hempstead 55,698 $58,476 $308,800
32 Prospect Park 5,955 $50,938 $259,800
33 Manville 10,436 $67,080 $251,900
34 Red Bank 12,220 $75,114 $369,400
35 Garfield 31,808 $54,063 $329,100
36 Perth Amboy 52,563 $50,883 $246,700
37 Lodi 24,805 $57,188 $369,800
38 Bayonne 66,719 $56,701 $314,800
39 South Amboy 8,811 $65,074 $278,900
40 Mount Vernon 68,671 $54,573 $355,600
41 North Plainfield 22,092 $71,895 $269,600
42 Jersey City 265,932 $62,739 $344,200
43 Rahway 29,443 $69,813 $263,200
44 Yonkers 200,999 $62,399 $380,100
45 Dunellen 7,392 $78,447 $279,800
46 Hackensack 44,673 $59,277 $292,600
47 Ridgefield 11,369 $66,690 $447,300
48 Elmsford 4,942 $86,066 $420,400
49 New Square 7,995 $23,924 $338,200
50 Carlstadt 6,268 $89,419 $380,700
51 New York 8,560,072 $57,782 $538,700
52 Sayreville 44,744 $79,620 $293,200
53 East Newark 2,725 $59,313 $300,000
54 Bound Brook 10,510 $65,199 $270,900
55 Bogota 8,437 $79,356 $316,100
56 Roselle Park 13,709 $67,300 $277,900
57 New Rochelle 79,877 $77,320 $552,700
58 Wanaque 11,782 $83,010 $302,700
59 South Plainfield 24,154 $91,889 $325,400
60 Woodland Park 12,542 $73,870 $369,300
61 Jamesburg 6,038 $83,095 $267,700
62 Englewood 28,509 $80,670 $374,200
63 Riverdale 4,238 $100,602 $331,200
64 Union 6,562 $67,468 $93,800
65 Clifton 86,207 $74,963 $331,800
66 Palisades Park 20,716 $64,589 $521,400
67 Highlands 4,880 $60,817 $276,200
68 North Arlington 15,877 $74,481 $347,800
69 Glen Cove 27,376 $74,767 $480,300
70 Somerville 12,234 $72,731 $293,700
71 Pompton Lakes 11,205 $92,952 $303,300
72 Middlesex 13,875 $73,196 $293,700
73 South Bound Brook 4,606 $81,545 $246,500
74 Leonia 9,191 $89,744 $481,200
75 East Rutherford 9,433 $77,400 $380,600
76 Spotswood 8,443 $75,226 $294,300
77 Chestnut Ridge 8,118 $94,464 $440,700
78 Suffern 10,984 $87,554 $311,000
79 Northvale 4,872 $92,650 $458,300
80 Cliffside Park 24,861 $67,799 $432,200
81 Elmwood Park 20,293 $76,907 $348,200
82 Totowa 10,829 $97,729 $370,200
83 Raritan 7,758 $78,974 $331,200
84 New Hempstead 5,359 $114,205 $485,200
85 Ridgefield Park 13,070 $72,191 $326,700
86 Fort Lee 37,058 $76,578 $332,500
87 North Haledon 8,564 $96,851 $424,100
88 Wallington 11,701 $62,648 $351,900
89 Secaucus 19,279 $99,883 $426,000
90 Kaser 5,138 $17,564 $812,500
91 Matawan 8,898 $86,149 $335,400
92 Nyack 7,057 $65,884 $463,600
93 Manorhaven 6,627 $86,237 $557,000
94 Mamaroneck 19,327 $91,161 $611,100
95 Helmetta 2,321 $79,702 $262,000
96 Boonton 8,390 $91,055 $367,700
97 Atlantic Highlands 4,322 $95,284 $376,500
98 Maywood 9,789 $86,100 $373,200
99 Emerson 7,668 $111,536 $465,600
100 Great Neck Plaza 6,964 $74,303 $338,900

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