The 10 Worst Newark Suburbs For 2021


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 2021. This is our seventh time ranking the worst suburbs around Newark.

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 East Hills certainly tries.

Of course, not all suburbs of Newark are created equally, which is precisely why we set out to find the best ones..

We examined the 216 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 2021:

  1. Morristown
  2. Greenville
  3. Plainfield
  4. New Brunswick
  5. Spring Valley
  6. Elizabeth
  7. East Orange
  8. Wharton
  9. Linden
  10. Keyport

What's the worst suburb of Newark? Morristown ranks as the worst suburb of Newark for 2021 based on the most recent Census and FBI data.

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:

The 10 Worst Newark Suburbs To Live For 2021

Morristown, NJ

Overall SnackAbility

2
/10

Population: 29,782
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Income: $32,193 (3rd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 7.7% (8th highest)
Median Home Value: $115,900 (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.

2. Greenville

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 12,766
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Median Income: $41,647 (6th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 7.1% (13th highest)
Median Home Value: $98,800 (lowest)
More on Greenville:

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 $41,647 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.

Plainfield, NJ

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 50,362
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 1)
Median Income: $56,339 (14th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 7.9% (7th highest)
Median Home Value: $257,200 (12th lowest)
More on Plainfield:  Data | Photos

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

New Brunswick, NJ

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 55,960
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 1)
Median Income: $43,783 (7th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 5.8% (38th highest)
Median Home Value: $251,100 (10th lowest)
More on New Brunswick:  Data | Photos

If you live in New Brunswick, most likely you struggle to make ends meet every month. It ranks as the 7th lowest Newark suburb when it comes to residents making money.

Not only that, but this is the 38th worst unemployed suburb you can live in if you choose to live near Newark. Remember, we looked at 216 cities for this study.

New Brunswick is about 21.7 miles to downtown.

5. Spring Valley

Spring Valley, NY

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 32,295
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 1)
Median Income: $45,428 (8th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 7.4% (10th highest)
Median Home Value: $295,500 (3lowest)
More on Spring Valley:

Spring Valley has the distinction of being a Newark suburb. Which means that's about all it has going for it.

All snarkiness aside, Spring Valley has the 3lowest home values in the metro Newark area, where the median price is $295,500. To put that into perspective, in East Hills, the median income is $250,001, which is the best in the area.

Spring Valley has an unemployment rate of 7.4% which ranks 10th worst.

Elizabeth, NJ

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 128,333
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 1)
Median Income: $48,407 (10th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 5.8% (39th highest)
Median Home Value: $282,700 (26th lowest)
More on Elizabeth:  Data | Photos

Elizabeth has 128,333 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 17.63008522143343%.

East Orange, NJ

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 64,374
Rank Last Year: 7 (No Change)
Median Income: $48,072 (9th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 12.6% (highest)
Median Home Value: $219,300 (5th lowest)
More on East Orange:  Data | Photos

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

It's the place with the most out of work residents in the Newark metro area (12.64%).

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 6,474
Rank Last Year: 24 (Up 16)
Median Income: $80,000 (62nd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 8.6% (5th highest)
Median Home Value: $299,600 (34th lowest)
More on Wharton:  Data

Wharton is a city about 24.2 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. Wharton has the 33rd most uninsured people, 62nd worst incomes, and has the 5th highest unemployment rate (8.6%) in the entire Newark metro area.

Homes only cost $299,600 for a reason. That's cheap for Newark standards.

Linden, NJ

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 42,222
Rank Last Year: 9 (No Change)
Median Income: $73,386 (49th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 7.2% (12th highest)
Median Home Value: $281,800 (25th lowest)
More on Linden:  Data | Photos

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

About 7.17% of residents are out of work.

Keyport, NJ

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 7,034
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 1)
Median Income: $60,949 (20th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 6.4% (2highest)
Median Home Value: $264,200 (15th lowest)
More on Keyport:  Data | Photos

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

Located 20.2 miles outside the city, Keyports is a real pit when you look at the data. Its residents have the 2highest unemployment rate (6.37%), and poverty is far above the area average.

Determining The Worst Suburbs Around Newark for 2021

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 2015-2019, 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 216 suburbs to evaluate around Newark.

We ranked each place with scores from 1 to 216 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. You can download the data here.

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.

The areas around Newark where the dream is more of a nightmare for 2021

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. East Hills takes the cake as the best place to live around Newark.

  • East Hills
  • Scarsdale
  • North Hills

For more New Jersey reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Worst Newark Suburbs

Rank City Population Median Income Median Home Values
1 Morristown 29,782 $32,193 $115,900
2 Greenville 12,766 $41,647 $98,800
3 Plainfield 50,362 $56,339 $257,200
4 New Brunswick 55,960 $43,783 $251,100
5 Spring Valley 32,295 $45,428 $295,500
6 Elizabeth 128,333 $48,407 $282,700
7 East Orange 64,374 $48,072 $219,300
8 Wharton 6,474 $80,000 $299,600
9 Linden 42,222 $73,386 $281,800
10 Keyport 7,034 $60,949 $264,200
11 Keansburg 9,735 $52,321 $193,600
12 Passaic 70,019 $40,865 $332,700
13 Carteret 23,589 $73,347 $272,200
14 North Plainfield 21,501 $69,566 $272,900
15 Paterson 145,710 $41,360 $244,200
16 West New York 52,662 $56,436 $326,900
17 South River 16,001 $78,162 $299,600
18 Dover 17,977 $71,903 $268,000
19 Haledon 8,325 $70,167 $271,700
20 Guttenberg 11,317 $62,450 $323,100
21 Little Ferry 10,782 $66,098 $329,300
22 Roselle 21,637 $64,718 $225,100
23 Perth Amboy 51,678 $52,563 $261,800
24 Fairview 14,258 $57,698 $364,900
25 Fairview 14,258 $57,698 $364,900
26 Fairview 14,258 $57,698 $364,900
27 Fairview 14,258 $57,698 $364,900
28 Kearny 41,412 $70,702 $333,100
29 Hempstead 55,300 $62,569 $321,200
30 Harrison 17,213 $69,604 $333,700
31 Elmsford 5,085 $90,823 $433,300
32 Dunellen 7,252 $76,010 $282,700
33 Prospect Park 5,865 $48,497 $266,300
34 Bayonne 65,091 $63,947 $333,700
35 Manville 10,230 $69,625 $262,000
36 Yonkers 199,968 $63,849 $403,900
37 Red Bank 12,072 $74,181 $404,400
38 Bloomingdale 8,088 $93,603 $303,300
39 Englewood 28,353 $85,899 $388,300
40 Mount Vernon 67,896 $59,907 $362,200
41 Moonachie 2,716 $66,976 $360,100
42 South Amboy 8,772 $73,056 $294,500
43 Hackensack 44,339 $70,090 $296,300
44 Lodi 24,430 $66,595 $373,000
45 Jersey City 261,940 $70,752 $373,700
46 Ridgefield 11,227 $71,699 $442,500
47 East Newark 2,644 $63,750 $299,700
48 Chestnut Ridge 8,057 $94,904 $494,800
49 Bound Brook 10,288 $70,540 $273,700
50 New Rochelle 79,067 $81,311 $575,300
51 Suffern 10,943 $81,845 $310,900
52 Sayreville 44,292 $81,883 $302,800
53 Wanaque 11,709 $95,023 $318,000
54 New York 8,419,316 $63,998 $606,000
55 Somerville 12,085 $77,104 $322,000
56 Garfield 31,645 $62,939 $338,400
57 Jamesburg 5,921 $85,560 $267,000
58 Woodland Park 12,547 $77,250 $365,900
59 Middlesex 13,662 $75,460 $307,000
60 Spotswood 8,269 $80,074 $305,100
61 Union Beach 5,390 $87,571 $268,500
62 Clifton 85,204 $76,646 $345,400
63 Manorhaven 6,628 $86,484 $535,500
64 Rahway 29,543 $78,946 $272,700
65 Pompton Lakes 11,029 $102,371 $302,700
66 Wallington 11,540 $68,845 $375,800
67 Union 6,628 $70,360 $100,000
68 Raritan 7,865 $79,362 $343,600
69 Roselle Park 13,581 $75,000 $284,000
70 Highlands 4,768 $60,638 $291,000
71 Airmont 8,770 $89,784 $508,800
72 Kenilworth 8,161 $93,208 $345,500
73 Bogota 8,360 $91,232 $336,000
74 Palisades Park 20,604 $68,245 $558,400
75 New Square 8,373 $23,730 $493,300
76 South Bound Brook 4,534 $85,223 $248,800
77 Nyack 7,173 $66,413 $475,500
78 Riverdale 4,197 $110,664 $347,400
79 Carlstadt 6,178 $88,827 $408,600
80 East Rutherford 9,584 $80,896 $381,100
81 Glen Cove 27,232 $80,702 $508,300
82 North Arlington 15,677 $84,527 $363,400
83 South Plainfield 23,956 $101,565 $340,200
84 Elmwood Park 20,059 $77,334 $362,700
85 Northvale 4,862 $108,385 $463,100
86 Kaser 5,262 $21,541 $1,080,900
87 Highland Park 13,883 $81,402 $373,700
88 Cliffside Park 25,126 $72,633 $447,900
89 Rockaway 6,384 $96,602 $344,800
90 North Haledon 8,437 $103,056 $435,700
91 Helmetta 2,475 $93,056 $253,300
92 Lincoln Park 10,262 $97,003 $330,900
93 Mount Arlington 5,637 $77,043 $305,100
94 Butler 7,679 $95,446 $355,200
95 Ridgefield Park 12,922 $86,923 $349,100
96 Maywood 9,661 $94,317 $389,300
97 Totowa 10,828 $105,637 $371,200
98 Valley Stream 37,577 $110,189 $427,100
99 Fort Lee 37,430 $83,767 $324,600
100 Oceanport 5,725 $91,250 $520,200

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