Worst Small Towns In New Jersey For 2020


Using science and data, we can tell you which teeny specks in New Jersey are the 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 2020. This is our sixth time ranking the worst small places to live in New Jersey.

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Most Americans have never been to New Jersey. However, as the people who live there know, New Jersey is an awesome state.

But is it all roses? Definitely not. Just like any other state, New Jersey has its trouble spots. This article aims to determine, using science, the absolute worst small towns to live in the Garden State. Don't shoot the messenger, this is all using data.

After analyzing more than 190 of New Jersey's smallest cities, we came up with this list as the 10 worst small towns in New Jersey where you'd never want to live:

So what is the worst small town to call home in new jersey for 2020? According to the most recent census data, Egg Harbor City is the worst small town to live in New Jersey.

Of course, many of these cities would rank highly if they were in other states, since New Jersey has its stuff figured out.

Read on below to see how we crunched the numbers, or scroll to the bottom to see how your town ranked.

And if you already know about the small towns, check out the best places to live in New Jersey or the worst places to live in New Jersey.

If you're looking for something more national, check out the worst cities in America or the worst states in America.

The 10 Worst Small Towns In New Jersey For 2020

Egg Harbor City, NJ

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 4,153
Rank Last Year: 3 (Up 2)
Median Home Value: $139,200 (14th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 14.2% (11th worst)
More on Egg Harbor City:  Data | Photos

Woodbine, NJ

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 2,490
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 2)
Median Home Value: $161,100 (26th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 7.9% (49th worst)
More on Woodbine:  Data | Photos

Salem, NJ

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 4,811
Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $86,000 (4th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 19.1% (1st worst)
More on Salem:  Data | Photos

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 1,996
Rank Last Year: 19 (Up 14)
Median Home Value: $158,100 (25th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 5.6% (100th worst)
More on Seabrook Farms:  Data

Penns Grove, NJ

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 4,847
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $127,600 (10th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 18.5% (3rd worst)
More on Penns Grove:  Data | Photos

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 4,422
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $180,600 (49th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 14.8% (9th worst)
More on Buena:  Data

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 3,503
Rank Last Year: 12 (Up 4)
Median Home Value: $108,000 (8th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 5.7% (96th worst)
More on Laurel Lake:  Data

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 1,499
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 4)
Median Home Value: $153,700 (21st worst)
Unemployment Rate: 9.1% (35th worst)
More on Chesilhurst:  Data

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 1,284
Rank Last Year: 10 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $36,300 (1st worst)
Unemployment Rate: 6.4% (73rd worst)
More on Cedar Glen West:  Data

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 4,911
Rank Last Year: 16 (Up 4)
Median Home Value: $130,200 (11th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 7.0% (63rd worst)
More on Clementon:  Data

How do you decide if a place is lousy or not?

In order to rank the worst small towns to live in New Jersey, we had to determine what criteria people like or dislike about a place. It isn't a stretch to assume that people like low crime, solid education, things to do and a stable economy.

So we scraped the internet for those criteria, and it spit out the answer. Like magic.

How we determined the worst small towns to live in New Jersey for 2020

We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using FBI crime data and the Census's 2014-2018 American Community Survey, this is the criteria we used:

  • Population Density (The lower the worse)
  • Highest Unemployment Rates
  • Low housing costs (meaning there's no demand)
  • Adjusted Median Income (Median income adjusted for the cost of living)
  • Education (Number of high school dropouts)
  • High Crime

We looked at cities with populations between 1,000 and 5,000 people, of which, there were a lot - 190 to be exact.

Additional note: We get the crime numbers from the FBI, which gets its crime numbers from the cities themselves. Dropout numbers are based on the adult population, not just the current graduation rates of teenagers.

This list is a scientific analysis based on real data and is completely unbiased.

There You Have It - The Worst Small Towns In New Jersey

If you're analyzing teeny places in the Garden State with the worst economic situations, where there's high crime and there's not a lot to do, this is an accurate list.

If you're curious enough, here are the best small towns to live in New Jersey, according to science:

  1. Plainsboro Center (Pop. 2,752)
  2. Sea Girt (Pop. 1,732)
  3. Brielle (Pop. 4,709)

For more New Jersey reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Worst Small Towns In New Jersey

Rank Town Population Unemployment Rate Home Value
1 Egg Harbor City 4,153 14.2% $139,200
2 Woodbine 2,490 7.9% $161,100
3 Salem 4,811 19.1% $86,000
4 Seabrook Farms 1,996 5.6% $158,100
5 Penns Grove 4,847 18.5% $127,600
6 Buena 4,422 14.8% $180,600
7 Laurel Lake 3,503 5.7% $108,000
8 Chesilhurst 1,499 9.1% $153,700
9 Cedar Glen West 1,284 6.4% $36,300
10 Clementon 4,911 7.0% $130,200
11 Sussex 1,854 15.2% $221,500
12 Cedar Glen Lakes 1,543 7.8% $72,400
13 Leisure Village 4,355 14.5% $92,800
14 Woodlynne 2,915 5.8% $100,900
15 Rio Grande 3,078 16.8% $262,000
16 Brooklawn 2,023 12.7% $134,600
17 Rosenhayn 1,360 4.7% $170,400
18 Pine Ridge At Crestwood 2,255 11.4% $43,700
19 Silver Lake Cdp (Essex County) 3,998 11.9% $284,600
20 Victory Gardens 1,578 6.0% $171,500
21 Lawnside 2,897 15.4% $164,700
22 Seaside Heights 2,891 6.9% $270,500
23 Beverly 2,348 8.2% $142,300
24 South Toms River 3,748 6.2% $178,600
25 National Park 2,983 8.3% $148,700
26 Holiday City South 4,329 7.4% $158,000
27 Blackwood 4,702 7.7% $172,700
28 Manahawkin 2,140 6.4% $291,500
29 Flemington 4,624 6.6% $286,700
30 Gibbstown 3,735 7.0% $177,300
31 North Wildwood 3,849 10.7% $359,900
32 Magnolia 4,289 10.4% $155,300
33 Folsom 1,768 9.0% $186,200
34 Belvidere 2,601 11.7% $197,100
35 Cape May Court House 4,787 6.0% $259,600
36 Vernon Center 1,538 1.2% $141,600
37 Pemberton 1,416 6.2% $237,800
38 Lakehurst 2,683 6.7% $186,200
39 Ocean Gate 1,733 10.5% $253,300
40 Country Lake Estates 4,166 15.0% $176,500
41 Oxford 1,168 5.2% $174,600
42 Franklin 4,807 6.8% $180,100
43 West Cape May 1,103 4.3% $483,800
44 Mays Landing 2,408 7.8% $174,000
45 Westville 4,185 7.8% $148,700
46 Swedesboro 2,585 6.1% $207,400
47 Glendora 4,416 10.0% $164,800
48 Presidential Lakes Estates 1,836 13.9% $194,800
49 Frenc 1,297 2.6% $305,300
50 Hampton 1,219 6.8% $256,500
51 Mount Ephraim 4,607 9.2% $165,500
52 Ellisburg 4,048 7.7% $234,900
53 Farmingdale 1,398 5.2% $292,400
54 Leisure Village East 3,747 7.3% $176,300
55 Rossmoor 2,918 5.1% $103,200
56 Golden Triangle 4,602 3.8% $232,100
57 East Newark 2,665 4.2% $311,900
58 Elmer 1,445 3.6% $195,500
59 Netcong 3,209 4.7% $267,100
60 Newfield 1,572 5.6% $198,600
61 Moonachie 2,739 2.4% $356,700
62 Florence 4,423 4.0% $187,200
63 Tuckerton 3,380 5.2% $226,100
64 Upper Pohatcong 1,568 10.9% $197,700
65 Beattystown 4,451 8.0% $321,100
66 Voorhees 1,692 10.5% $370,000
67 Glen Gardner 1,590 7.1% $229,900
68 Ogdensburg 2,314 9.3% $217,800
69 Clearbrook Park 2,810 5.6% $164,400
70 Neptune City 4,702 9.7% $280,200
71 Bradley Beach 4,223 5.8% $507,600
72 Barnegat 2,657 2.8% $259,900
73 Wildwood Crest 3,131 11.6% $397,100
74 Groveville 2,234 9.3% $299,700
75 Leisure Knoll 2,386 4.5% $174,600
76 Highlands 4,818 4.2% $273,100
77 Silver Ridge 1,044 0.0% $138,700
78 Beach Haven West 3,860 6.1% $393,300
79 Leisuretowne 3,349 3.4% $156,700
80 Pemberton Heights 2,593 2.3% $162,700
81 Leisure Village West 3,260 4.3% $125,300
82 Alloway 1,410 6.1% $205,600
83 Alpha 2,100 4.9% $188,800
84 North Cape May 3,060 2.4% $219,400
85 Dover Beaches North 1,713 6.3% $535,600
86 Oak Valley 3,357 3.6% $165,100
87 Hamburg 3,152 4.7% $189,800
88 Port Republic 1,178 3.9% $277,200
89 Seaside Park 1,654 10.2% $699,600
90 North Middletown 3,230 6.0% $233,400
91 Woodbury Heights 2,993 5.3% $200,700
92 Oaklyn 3,954 7.6% $182,800
93 Singac 4,447 5.9% $276,500
94 Erma 1,953 7.2% $291,800
95 Sea Bright 1,378 9.1% $491,400
96 Milford 1,295 2.8% $253,400
97 Sea Isle City 1,955 9.0% $663,000
98 Estell Manor 1,752 3.4% $246,900
99 High Bridge 3,527 2.5% $257,800
100 Gibbsboro 2,223 4.0% $205,800

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