The 10 Worst Newark Suburbs For 2022


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 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 215 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 2022:

  1. Morristown
  2. Plainfield
  3. New Brunswick
  4. Perth Amboy
  5. Paterson
  6. Passaic
  7. Spring Valley
  8. South River
  9. East Orange
  10. Elizabeth

What's the worst suburb of Newark? Morristown ranks as the worst suburb of Newark for 2022 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 2022

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.

Overall SnackAbility

2
/10

Population: 29,887
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Income: $33,511 (3rd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 9.0% (11th highest)
Median Home Value: $119,500 (3rd lowest)
More on Morristown:  Data | Photos

Morristown, NJ

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

This city is 14.8 miles to Newark. Income levels here are the 15th lowest in the metro area, where families bring in about $58,400 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.

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 50,252
Rank Last Year: 3 (Up 1)
Median Income: $58,400 (15th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 8.5% (13th highest)
Median Home Value: $268,000 (13th lowest)
More on Plainfield:  Data | Photos

Plainfield, NJ

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.

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 55,992
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 1)
Median Income: $43,930 (5th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 6.9% (30th highest)
Median Home Value: $267,200 (11th lowest)
More on New Brunswick:  Data | Photos

New Brunswick, NJ

If you live in Perth Amboy, most likely you struggle to make ends meet every month. It ranks as the 12th lowest Newark suburb when it comes to residents making money.

Not only that, but this is the 33rd worst unemployed suburb you can live in if you choose to live near Newark. Remember, we looked at 215 cities for this study.

Perth Amboy is about 15.0 miles to downtown.

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 51,589
Rank Last Year: 22 (Up 18)
Median Income: $54,188 (12th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 6.7% (33rd highest)
Median Home Value: $270,500 (14th lowest)
More on Perth Amboy:  Data | Photos

Perth Amboy, NJ

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

All snarkiness aside, Paterson has the 9th lowest home values in the metro Newark area, where the median price is $257,700. To put that into perspective, in East Hills, the median income is $250,001, which is the best in the area.

Paterson has an unemployment rate of 7.44% which ranks 20th worst.

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 145,484
Rank Last Year: 15 (Up 10)
Median Income: $45,141 (7th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 7.4% (20th highest)
Median Home Value: $257,700 (9th lowest)
More on Paterson:  Data | Photos

Paterson, NJ

Passaic has 69,789 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 27.063870215491804%.

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 69,789
Rank Last Year: 12 (Up 6)
Median Income: $44,779 (6th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 10.1% (7th highest)
Median Home Value: $348,000 (55th lowest)
More on Passaic:  Data | Photos

Passaic, NJ

Source: Public domain

7. Spring Valley

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

It's the place with the 32nd most out of work residents in the Newark metro area (6.81%).

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 32,295
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 2)
Median Income: $45,646 (8th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 6.8% (32nd highest)
Median Home Value: $312,100 (36th lowest)
More on Spring Valley:

Spring Valley, NY

South River is a city about 22.1 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. South River has the 28th most uninsured people, 48th worst incomes, and has the highest unemployment rate (13.1%) in the entire Newark metro area.

Homes only cost $312,000 for a reason. That's cheap for Newark standards.

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 15,874
Rank Last Year: 17 (Up 9)
Median Income: $77,382 (48th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 13.1% (highest)
Median Home Value: $312,000 (35th lowest)
More on South River:  Data | Photos

South River, NJ

Source: Public domain

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 11.97% of residents are out of work.

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 64,650
Rank Last Year: 7 (Down 2)
Median Income: $50,990 (11th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 12.0% (3rd highest)
Median Home Value: $226,000 (5th lowest)
More on East Orange:  Data | Photos

East Orange, NJ

Source: Public domain

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

Located 4.1 miles outside the city, Elizabeths is a real pit when you look at the data. Its residents have the 57th highest unemployment rate (5.99%), and poverty is far above the area average.

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 128,484
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 4)
Median Income: $50,647 (10th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 6.0% (57th highest)
Median Home Value: $291,300 (26th lowest)
More on Elizabeth:  Data | Photos

Elizabeth, NJ

Methodology: Determining The Worst Suburbs Around Newark for 2022

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 2016-2020, 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 215 suburbs to evaluate around Newark.

We ranked each place with scores from 1 to 215 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.

Summary: The areas around Newark where the dream is more of a nightmare for 2022

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
  • East Williston
  • Scarsdale

For more New Jersey reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Worst Newark Suburbs

Rank City Population Median Income Median Home Values
1 Morristown 29,887 $33,511 $119,500
2 Plainfield 50,252 $58,400 $268,000
3 New Brunswick 55,992 $43,930 $267,200
4 Perth Amboy 51,589 $54,188 $270,500
5 Paterson 145,484 $45,141 $257,700
6 Passaic 69,789 $44,779 $348,000
7 Spring Valley 32,295 $45,646 $312,100
8 South River 15,874 $77,382 $312,000
9 East Orange 64,650 $50,990 $226,000
10 Elizabeth 128,484 $50,647 $291,300
11 Greenville 12,743 $40,347 $99,700
12 Prospect Park 5,853 $48,838 $280,100
13 Linden 42,332 $75,084 $293,700
14 Carteret 23,501 $76,276 $281,000
15 Dover 17,866 $64,039 $266,600
16 North Plainfield 21,445 $77,160 $276,400
17 Wharton 6,458 $82,482 $291,700
18 West New York 52,778 $64,378 $340,800
19 Guttenberg 11,284 $63,189 $307,300
20 Roselle 21,699 $65,307 $230,600
21 Hempstead 55,153 $68,946 $339,500
22 Kearny 41,190 $73,554 $354,700
23 Kenilworth 8,182 $95,590 $356,800
24 Keyport 7,005 $61,838 $284,300
25 Spotswood 8,255 $85,703 $307,800
26 Keansburg 9,697 $74,208 $197,200
27 Haledon 8,298 $72,635 $274,500
28 East Newark 2,634 $60,833 $317,300
29 Fairview 14,218 $58,072 $426,700
30 Fairview 14,218 $58,072 $426,700
31 Fairview 14,218 $58,072 $426,700
32 Fairview 14,218 $58,072 $426,700
33 Hackensack 44,266 $71,079 $306,700
34 Rahway 29,691 $77,393 $276,500
35 Union 6,777 $63,657 $105,200
36 Bayonne 65,112 $69,511 $346,000
37 Elmsford 5,197 $102,601 $460,600
38 Woodland Park 12,608 $80,286 $381,100
39 Little Ferry 10,761 $69,224 $363,900
40 Yonkers 200,183 $69,825 $414,200
41 Bloomingdale 8,080 $97,386 $320,300
42 Harrison 18,313 $66,699 $338,500
43 Elmwood Park 20,019 $75,779 $369,500
44 Dunellen 7,215 $75,564 $283,000
45 Bound Brook 10,254 $70,605 $273,000
46 Mount Vernon 67,623 $59,291 $367,200
47 Manville 10,193 $72,615 $267,400
48 Moonachie 2,714 $72,000 $359,100
49 Lodi 24,389 $64,249 $389,400
50 Raritan 7,833 $82,471 $361,400
51 Middlesex 13,606 $84,216 $320,500
52 South Bound Brook 4,541 $86,667 $273,100
53 Ridgefield 11,209 $79,696 $471,400
54 New Rochelle 79,367 $81,735 $562,300
55 Wallington 11,553 $72,389 $386,600
56 Englewood 28,390 $86,485 $403,800
57 Clifton 85,201 $83,086 $354,700
58 Sayreville 44,243 $82,693 $312,500
59 Jersey City 262,652 $76,444 $406,200
60 Red Bank 12,039 $78,985 $403,100
61 South Amboy 8,868 $81,742 $321,800
62 Rockaway 6,345 $86,442 $347,900
63 New York 8,379,552 $67,046 $635,200
64 Garfield 31,722 $64,242 $357,000
65 Lincoln Park 10,220 $100,248 $344,400
66 Airmont 8,771 $100,712 $556,400
67 Chestnut Ridge 8,041 $93,125 $536,700
68 Ridgefield Park 12,928 $81,908 $367,500
69 New Square 8,589 $24,164 $561,700
70 Roselle Park 13,574 $80,842 $295,800
71 Palisades Park 20,693 $79,063 $577,900
72 East Rutherford 9,707 $76,777 $381,000
73 Glen Cove 27,172 $79,131 $509,500
74 Somerville 12,139 $86,842 $336,600
75 Boonton 8,510 $85,211 $406,300
76 Kaser 5,367 $23,030 $1,096,200
77 Pompton Lakes 10,998 $98,348 $324,700
78 Wanaque 11,719 $95,685 $318,400
79 Secaucus 20,667 $125,142 $473,600
80 Suffern 10,945 $86,383 $308,500
81 North Haledon 8,425 $101,867 $423,200
82 Jamesburg 5,876 $87,551 $276,100
83 Highlands 4,746 $76,263 $289,400
84 North Arlington 15,681 $87,589 $372,400
85 Helmetta 2,232 $94,116 $243,900
86 Cliffside Park 25,410 $83,989 $454,400
87 Highland Park 13,803 $83,980 $364,900
88 Manorhaven 6,725 $86,231 $530,200
89 Hasbrouck Heights 12,026 $95,784 $432,000
90 Ringwood 12,229 $123,559 $360,500
91 Bergenfield 27,375 $102,724 $369,500
92 Totowa 10,810 $96,750 $370,300
93 South Plainfield 23,961 $108,244 $352,200
94 Matawan 8,696 $108,247 $349,700
95 Carlstadt 6,158 $103,720 $403,200
96 Island Park 4,835 $95,574 $418,900
97 Maywood 9,626 $98,511 $396,000
98 Garwood 4,341 $90,732 $409,600
99 Mamaroneck 19,247 $106,828 $614,900
100 Butler 7,669 $99,519 $366,000

How Is Your Town In ?

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 2022. This is our ninth time ranking the worst suburbs around Newark.
 Worst