13 Pros and Cons of Living in Jersey City, NJ

Updated On November 15, 2023

Moving to a new city can create both excitement and anxiety.

You may wonder if you are making the right choice.

Even if you have done your research, you may still wonder if you are making the right decision.

This is particularly true if you are making the leap and moving your family to a new city.

Moving into a new home or apartment, getting to know a new neighborhood, and getting the kids enrolled in school, these things take time.

Pretty soon you’ll find your favorite coffee shop or little café for dinner.

Give it time.

In the meantime, let’s look at some of the pros and cons of moving to Jersey City, NJ.

The ups and downs may surprise you and help you make up your mind about whether you want to move there.

Jersey City, NJ
Jersey City, NJ

Pros of Living in Jersey City

1. The City Is Rich in Cultural Diversity

This might not be something that you would expect, but in fact, many immigrant families call this city home.

You will meet people from all over the world, making this city a unique experience.

There is a new friend and new experience around every corner.

According to the Diversity Index, there are 75 ethnic groups represented in the city.

That presents a lot of new opportunities to make friends and learn from others.

2. An Exceptional Array of Food Offerings

With such an ethnically diverse population, you’re going to also have a diverse food scene.

That means sometimes trying things that you may not be used to but end up loving.

There are Vietnamese, Korean, Mexican, Ethiopian, and so many other food cultures to try.

There is also Italian food that is ready to make your heart sing.

Need something beyond the hundreds of restaurants and cafés?

Try out the very active food truck scene that offers falafels, pizzas, burgers, and many other creations that you can grab and go.

Just as an interesting foodie fact, New Jersey was named the best pizza state in America by Food and Wine Magazine.

That gives them some pretty good credentials for foodies looking for the right sauce, cheese, and the perfect crust.

3. Great Location to Explore and Experience

Jersey City, NJ is very close to New York City, so it’s easy to explore your new neighborhood, and then also see what the Big Apple has to offer.

Though with the many options for food and entertainment in New Jersey City, it may take you a while to get to Manhattan.

Still, it is the perfect location to commute to and from Manhattan.

You’ll also have beautiful skylines of the Statue of Liberty and NYC to experience.

4. Explore New Activities and Adventures During Your Day

Jersey City is well known for having many fun activities for quiet moments during the day or during downtime.

This also attracts many visitors.

When you’ve eaten your fill at the cafés or lunch trucks, head to the several parks that provide everyone with some time and green space.

These include Lincoln Park, Newport Green Park, and One Liberty State Park.

You’ll enjoy some time in the sun and a place to relax.

While you gaze at the Statue of Liberty, you may not realize that it is actually located in New Jersey.

This is a common misconception for many people.

From Liberty State Park, you’ll have beautiful views of the majestic lady while surrounded by lush greenery and the perfect place to enjoy a picnic or just relax.

5. Easy Commuting

Jersey City public transportation is easy to use and reliable.

It connects throughout the city, as well as New York City and Manhattan.

Half of the city’s residents use public transportation as a primary means of getting around.

This lessens traffic jams and congestion.

If you do decide to drive, it’s fun to know that the Holland Tunnel was the first underwater tunnel that is mechanically ventilated in the world.

This tunnel connects you from Jersey City to Lower Manhattan.

6. Art to Explore

There are many museums and art galleries to explore in Jersey City.

One of the most popular is the Mana Contemporary.

7. Don’t Miss Shopping Experiences

There are many shopping experiences in the city.

Start with exploring Grove Street, then spread out to the many smaller shops for unique finds.

If that doesn’t satisfy your shopping needs, there are also many malls to explore.

8. The Late Night Experiences Await You!

Whether you like to have a drink with friends after work or really like to party, Jersey City has the experience that you are looking for.

There are neighborhood bars, fancy bars, and nightclubs that can get crazy.

There are also a number of rooftop bars where you can get amazing views of Manhattan.

For late-night munchies, the food trucks are a great place to grab something to eat and maybe even try a new food item.

Again, exploration is the way to find new things you love that you may have never tried before.

Cons of Living in Jersey City

1. Cost of Living

The high cost of living in Jersey City is often a shock for new residents.

Many associate the high costs of living with Manhattan, but Jersey City can still be expensive.

New York City is still much more expensive.

In fact, housing prices there are 79% higher than most other urban US cities.

This can be a major con for young people starting out or those with families they need to feed, house, and clothe.

2. Smaller Living Spaces

With the influx of new residents coming into the area in recent years, the need for housing has grown exponentially.

In order to accommodate the new residents, building owners and landlords have attempted to make more space by subdividing apartments or creating smaller spaces.

The result is that there are many small apartments to choose from.

Another issue affecting housing is that many areas in the city, including downtown, have limited building space.

Every part of the city has had to be developed intelligently to make the best use of the available land.

If you want to save money and still live in a large apartment, you may find that difficult to do.

However, many living in Jersey City find that the job opportunities, cultural offerings, and food scene are a worthy tradeoff when living in a smaller apartment.

3. Dealing With Traffic

While the city has a very efficient public transportation system, there are still people on the road in cars, trucks, and buses.

This creates traffic congestion which has grown in the city in recent years.

While it is still not as bad as some other urban areas in the United States, it is a real concern for the city.

As more people move into the area and the city grows, there are concerns about increased traffic issues.

Two of the biggest culprits are the New Jersey Turnpike and the Pulaski Skyway.

These contribute the most to traffic issues in the area.

It is reported that area drivers using these roadways spend about 50 hours in traffic congestion.

One way to avoid this if you are moving to the area is to leave your vehicle in storage until you see what your experience is like getting around the city.

Then you can make an educated decision about having a vehicle in the city.

4. Changeable Weather

The city is located on the water, so sometimes the weather can be unpredictable.

As a peninsula, the state of New Jersey itself experiences weather changes all year long.

This shouldn’t be a frightening thing.

It just means that you need to be prepared with appropriate clothing for a variety of weather conditions.

5. Noise Pollution Problems

Jersey City is very active even during the evening hours.

Constant traffic and new construction noise can add to the distractions during the daytime.

As most apartments are located on busy streets, street noise is a prominent complaint by residents.

As more people come to the city, this is an issue that might continue to grow over time.

Jersey City, NJ
Jersey City, NJ

Pros and Cons of Living in Jersey City, NJ – Summary Table

Pros of Living in Jersey CityCons of Living in Jersey City
1. The City Is Rich in Cultural Diversity1. Cost of Living
2. An Exceptional Array of Food Offerings2. Smaller Living Spaces
3. Great Location to Explore and Experience3. Dealing With Traffic
4. Explore New Activities and Adventures During Your Day4. Changeable Weather
5. Easy Commuting5. Noise Pollution Problems
6. Art to Explore
7. Don’t Miss Shopping Experiences
8. The Late Night Experiences Await You!

Jersey City Safety Overview

READ THE FULL REPORT: Jersey City Safety Review

Safety Index:
Jersey City

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Jersey City Safe?

Most of the city is very safe. In fact, the city’s crime rate is 17.3% lower than the national average.

The city’s crime rate is 43.3% higher than the rest of the state of New Jersey.

That last statistic may give you pause, but realize that the majority of the city is very safe.

This is common in large urban areas.

Just learn about the city and places that might not be the safest for you and your family.

Is it easy to get around the city and into Manhattan?


The public transportation system is excellent.

Half the population uses public transportation on a regular basis to get around.

This makes it easier to beat any traffic while getting to where you’re going.

Also, getting into Manhattan is not a problem either.

That gives you other options to explore.

Are there places to get outside in the city?


There are a number of parks and green spaces where you can relax and enjoy being outside.

Lincoln Park and Newport Green Park are popular places to soak up the sun and enjoy the grass.

Perhaps one of the best-known parks is One Liberty State Park with its view of the Statue of Liberty and Manhattan.

It’s worth spending some time in this park.

Is there a bar scene in Jersey City?


Everything from neighborhood bars to fancy high-end bars, in Jersey City you can find it.

From grabbing a drink with a friend after work to celebrating a special moment, there is a bar that suits the situation in the city.

Is there an active food scene in Jersey City?


There are a wide range of restaurants and cafes to choose from.

These can range from just walking down the street to a favorite pub or café to traveling to a high-end restaurant.

When just out and about, there are also a number of food trucks with an array of offerings to choose from.

Given the diversity of the city, this can be a great way to try a new food from an ethnic food truck, opening you up to new flavors and a new culture.

1 Comment on 13 Pros and Cons of Living in Jersey City, NJ

  1. Jersey City offers a rich cultural diversity, an exceptional food scene and easy commuting options but be prepared for high living costs, smaller apartments and noise pollution.

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