Everybody in the Northeast (who isn’t from Jersey) thinks of the state as the armpit of the region; a land mainly comprised of highways, landfills, and factory fumes. Also, as the state that raised the cast of Jersey Shore.
But aside from being the region’s favorite running joke, New Jersey has plenty of lovely places to live. Just not the places you’ll be seeing on this list.
We’ve looked at the numbers to finally determine which cities in New Jersey contribute the most to the state’s bad name (which, incidentally, may be the best places to visit if you want to see why so many in the Northeast ride on the NJ hate-train).
The following cities are the bottom of the barrel in New Jersey:
What? Where are these places you wonder? And before you get all riled up and say we’re picking on small town America, that’s not the case.
We understand there’s a lot of good in every place.
However, according to data (which doesn’t measure things like beauty and ‘friendly people’), there are far better options in the state for making a place home. And the worst place to live in New Jersey? That would be Newark.
Read on below to see how we crunched the numbers and see how your city fared in 2019.
For more New Jersey reading, check out:
- 10 Best Places To Live In New Jersey
- 10 Cheapest Places To Live In New Jersey
- 10 Most Dangerous Cities In New Jersey
The 10 Worst Places To Live In New Jersey For 2019
As the largest city in New Jersey, Newark proves that old adage that bigger isn’t always better (in this case, it’s the 1st worst im New Jersey).
The median household income in Newark is the 4th lowest on this list at $34,826.
Add that to a crime index in the worst 5% of all places in New Jersey and an unemployment rate that’s nearly double the national average, and it’s not a stretch to say Newark truly is part of the armpit of America.
With the 3rd lowest median income, the 8th worst crime index, AND the 10th worst unemployment rate on this list, it’s not surprising that Bridgeton is the highest on this list.
Being in the top 35% in New Jersey as far as commute times goes helps, but one wonders if commuting further away from the worst place in New Jersey might actually make a Bridgeton resident’s day a bit better.
Located on your way to somewhere else you’d want to be, Lindenwold has few options for some sort of entertainment.
The main issues here are economic and education. The unemployment rate is also sky high here (9.7%) and homes are the 5th cheapest in the state ($121,900).
Say what you want about ‘cheap living’, the fact is, homes are priced by demand, and there’s absolutely no demand to live in Lindenwold.
Vineland, NJ needs a big hug right now. Residents here are underpaid, underemployed and possibly lonely.
Additionally, crime is 10th worst in the state, which is very high considering Vineland is so far removed from the rest of New Jersey.
If you know anyone in Vineland, dm them on Facebook and tell them you love them. They can probably use it right about now.
Millville is in a bad place. Again, the household incomes here are really, really low, and the average home value is $156,900. That means it ranks as the 9th lowest in New Jersey.
You can make a case that based on the fact that Millville has no real indoor entertainment, and crime is the 3rd worst in the state, it’s one of the worst places you can live in New Jersey.
When you’re looking at the worst places you could live in New Jersey, Plainfield ranks 6th worst. Let’s see why.
Here in Plainfield, crime is the 27th highest in the state, and 1 out of 48.4 residents was robbed here according to the latest FBI numbers.
That’s not the first place you think of making home, is it?
Additionally, you have a 1 in 159 chance of being the victim of a violent crime, which includes rapes, attacks or murders. That’s really high.
When you look at adult education in New Jersey, the folks in Plainfield have the 10th highest drop out rate. And other factors that make Plainfield undesirable are the low median incomes and home prices.
The unemployment rate is the 36th highest in New Jersey, at 8.6%. That’s actually on par with the national average, which means New Jersey has some hard workers.
When you’re looking at science and data, the city of Long Branch is the 7th worst place you can live in the state of New Jersey. Let’s see why.
You may be surprised to hear that the crime here is the 19th-highest in the state per capita, according to the FBI data base.
Residents in Long Branch had a 1 in 36.7 chance of being robbed in 2018. To put things into perspective, since the average person has 300 friends on Facebook, if everyone you friended lived in Long Branch, statistically, 25 of them would have been the victim of a property crime, meaning a home robbery, car break in or a stolen wallet.
Long Branch’s other issues are a very high unemployment rate (8.6%) and income levels of its residents ($54,398).
you’re looking to live in New Jersey, Camden might not be the best choice as it places 8th in our ranking of the worst places to live for 2019.
Camden doesn’t have the worst crime in the state, but it’s sure up there. And when you factor in one of the lowest household incomes in the state and a sky high unemployment rate, Camden may not be your first choice for a vacation.
When you’re looking at things from purely a scientific standpoint, East Orange is the 9th worst place in the state of New Jersey.
The U.S. defines the poverty line at $24,600 a year for a family of four. East Orange is right on the verge of that when you look at what the average citizen there earns a year. And the home values are eye-opening low. On average, the home value in East Orange are the 24th lowest in the entire state.
And when you factor in high crime and a high tax rate, it really can’t get much worse in New Jersey.
You can sure expect that Pine Hill is going to be a pretty rough place to live, it comes in 10th in our analysis. It is. In fact, Pine Hill has the 30th-highest crime rate in the state. Probably no surprises there.
There were 32 violent crimes here in 2019, and residents have a 1 in 42.2 chance of being the victim of a property crime. That means, most likely, if you live in Pine Hill, either you or someone on your block had their home or car broken into last year.
You can also imagine that the economy here is in the pits — the unemployment rate sits at 9.5% which is the 22nd worst in New Jersey.
How we determined the worst places to live in New Jersey 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 don’t think it’s a stretch to assume that people like the following things:
- Good education
- Lots of jobs
- Low crime
- Low poverty
- Nice homes
- High incomes
- High population density (Lots of things to do)
- Short work commutes
- Health insurance
We broke crime down into violent crime and property crime to give violent crime a larger weight — if you did a simple calculation of all crimes per capita, property crimes are normally 7x more common and really bias that ranking.
Furthermore, only cities with at least 5,000 people were considered — leaving 175 cities.
We then ranked each city from 1 to 175 for all the criteria with a #1 ranking being the worst for the particular criteria.
Next, we averaged the rankings into one “Worst Place To Live Score”.
Finally, we ranked every city on the “Worst Place To Live Score” with the lowest score being the worst city in New Jersey — Newark. Read on for a detailed look at the 10 worst cities in New Jersey.
This list is a scientific analysis based on real data and is completely unbiased.
Wrapping Up The Worst In New Jersey
If you’re looking at areas in New Jersey with the worst economic situations, where there’s higher than average crime, and not a lot to do, this is an accurate list.
And in the end, Newark ranks as the worst city to live in New Jersey for 2019.
If you’re curious enough, here are the best cities to live in New Jersey:
- Fair Haven (Pop. 6,015)
- North Caldwell (Pop. 6,637)
- Woodcliff Lake (Pop. 5,868)
For more New Jersey reading, check out: