These Are The 10 Worst Small Towns In New Jersey For 2019


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 . This is our fourth 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 188 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 2019? According to the most recent census data, Port Norris 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.

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 2019

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 2013-2017 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 – 188 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.

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 1,227
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $131,300 (14th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 9.6% (38th worst)
More on Port Norris:  Data

Egg Harbor City, NJ

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 4,222
Rank Last Year: 3 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $136,600 (17th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 12.9% (18th worst)
More on Egg Harbor City:  Data | Photos

Woodbine, NJ

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 2,454
Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $166,800 (37th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 9.4% (43rd worst)
More on Woodbine:  Data | Photos

Salem, NJ

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 4,877
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 3)
Median Home Value: $89,800 (5th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 15.9% (8th worst)
More on Salem:  Data | Photos

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 1,647
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 3)
Median Home Value: $160,300 (29th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 9.9% (34th worst)
More on Chesilhurst:  Data

Penns Grove, NJ

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 4,917
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 3)
Median Home Value: $120,800 (11th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 21.7% (2nd worst)
More on Penns Grove:  Data | Photos

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 4,510
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 4)
Median Home Value: $182,900 (51st worst)
Unemployment Rate: 17.1% (6th worst)
More on Buena:  Data

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 1,040
Rank Last Year: 38 (Up 28)
Median Home Value: $35,000 (1st worst)
Unemployment Rate: 13.2% (16th worst)
More on Cedar Glen West:  Data

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 3,322
Rank Last Year: 7 (Down 5)
Median Home Value: $103,200 (8th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 4.8% (141st worst)
More on Laurel Lake:  Data

Sussex, NJ

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 1,872
Rank Last Year: 12 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $209,900 (69th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 14.9% (9th worst)
More on Sussex:  Data | Photos

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. Shrewsbury (Pop. 4,051)
  2. Robbinsville (Pop. 3,141)
  3. Plainsboro Center (Pop. 2,943)

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 Port Norris 1,227 9.6% $131,300
2 Egg Harbor City 4,222 12.9% $136,600
3 Woodbine 2,454 9.4% $166,800
4 Salem 4,877 15.9% $89,800
5 Chesilhurst 1,647 9.9% $160,300
6 Penns Grove 4,917 21.7% $120,800
7 Buena 4,510 17.1% $182,900
8 Cedar Glen West 1,040 13.2% $35,000
9 Laurel Lake 3,322 4.8% $103,200
10 Sussex 1,872 14.9% $209,900
11 Leisure Village 4,400 14.7% $84,300
12 Fairton 1,007 6.3% $131,700
13 Clementon 4,933 8.2% $128,600
14 Rosenhayn 1,324 7.5% $166,000
15 Vernon Center 1,731 9.3% $155,300
16 Seabrook Farms 2,363 0.0% $152,000
17 Pine Ridge At Crestwood 2,296 14.3% $54,400
18 South Toms River 3,741 8.9% $186,700
19 Woodlynne 2,950 6.5% $99,900
20 Lawnside 2,917 19.6% $161,500
21 Brooklawn 2,006 11.2% $137,800
22 Rio Grande 2,841 11.4% $251,500
23 Victory Gardens 1,655 6.3% $172,100
24 Beverly 2,520 11.3% $146,600
25 Silver Lake Cdp (Essex County) 3,914 12.7% $309,000
26 Oxford 1,125 7.2% $159,600
27 North Wildwood 3,895 17.5% $349,400
28 Holiday City South 3,825 13.5% $147,600
29 Franklin 4,849 8.7% $189,100
30 Seaside Heights 2,894 6.3% $265,000
31 Magnolia 4,310 11.3% $154,600
32 Blackwood 4,790 7.9% $176,300
33 Flemington 4,650 6.9% $286,800
34 Lakehurst 2,687 9.8% $186,800
35 Rossmoor 3,157 9.3% $98,900
36 Folsom 1,804 8.8% $186,800
37 Golden Triangle 4,438 5.4% $212,100
38 Gibbstown 3,792 8.7% $178,800
39 Belvidere 2,619 10.2% $199,000
40 Leisure Village East 3,526 14.2% $173,100
41 Westville 4,223 9.4% $158,000
42 Moonachie 2,783 4.1% $336,600
43 Silver Ridge 1,287 4.9% $133,000
44 Hampton 1,286 7.6% $233,900
45 Manahawkin 2,375 5.7% $301,100
46 Presidential Lakes Estates 2,052 7.4% $189,000
47 National Park 2,998 7.0% $151,100
48 Newfield 1,626 7.7% $195,900
49 Tuckerton 3,371 5.2% $216,300
50 Ocean Gate 1,911 9.6% $250,800
51 Beattystown 4,353 11.6% $303,000
52 Pemberton 1,439 5.9% $239,200
53 Farmingdale 1,470 6.3% $282,100
54 Glendora 4,175 9.6% $172,500
55 Netcong 3,245 7.1% $265,500
56 Country Lake Estates 3,760 13.2% $182,000
57 Mount Ephraim 4,641 8.9% $162,600
58 Neptune City 4,749 10.5% $271,000
59 Mays Landing 2,088 8.1% $176,600
60 East Newark 2,725 4.0% $300,000
61 Ellisburg 4,118 8.5% $228,500
62 West Cape May 1,051 4.0% $468,700
63 Bradley Beach 4,262 7.7% $479,100
64 Leisuretowne 3,623 1.6% $154,800
65 Swedesboro 2,609 5.0% $200,900
66 Alpha 2,225 6.0% $187,500
67 Groveville 2,255 8.5% $293,800
68 North Cape May 2,772 5.8% $223,300
69 Singac 4,479 6.9% $304,500
70 Elmer 1,394 2.8% $198,700
71 Merchantville 3,769 8.4% $213,900
72 Upper Pohatcong 1,586 8.6% $195,700
73 Estell Manor 1,742 5.8% $234,900
74 Beach Haven West 3,857 5.6% $379,300
75 Frenc 1,421 2.7% $311,600
76 Clearbrook Park 3,144 6.2% $158,300
77 Erma 2,161 10.0% $288,200
78 Ogdensburg 2,433 8.6% $221,300
79 Voorhees 1,413 9.7% $465,200
80 Woodbury Heights 3,008 8.3% $203,800
81 Glen Gardner 1,587 6.1% $199,400
82 Hamburg 3,172 5.1% $185,100
83 Leisure Knoll 2,399 2.4% $162,800
84 Pemberton Heights 2,545 2.1% $164,700
85 Gibbsboro 2,183 6.3% $199,300
86 Highlands 4,880 4.6% $276,200
87 Lake Como 1,518 5.0% $408,500
88 Oaklyn 4,009 8.3% $183,600
89 New Egypt 2,421 2.4% $253,700
90 Wildwood Crest 3,176 12.4% $398,400
91 Oak Valley 3,294 5.2% $164,000
92 Dover Beaches North 1,540 6.2% $528,700
93 Concordia 3,272 7.2% $171,000
94 Forked River 4,789 6.4% $279,800
95 North Middletown 3,069 7.0% $228,200
96 Wood 3,501 4.5% $237,100
97 Riverdale 4,238 6.0% $331,200
98 Barnegat 2,728 5.5% $304,400
99 Kenvil 3,121 3.6% $301,100
100 East Freehold 4,943 8.6% $446,500

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