10 Pros and Cons of Living in New Jersey

Updated On November 29, 2023
New Jersey

According to the United States Census Bureau, the state of New Jersey has approximately 8.885 million residents.

A relatively small population in comparison to California, New York, Texas, or Florida.

This beautiful state is known for its amazing food, beautiful beaches, diverse culture, busy highways, byways, and main roads, as well as politics.

If you are considering a move to The Garden State, you may want to take a few things into consideration.

As with any big move, you may want to weigh out the positives and negatives of moving to this scenic state.

Jersey City, New Jersey
Jersey City, New Jersey

Pros of Living in New Jersey

There are a plethora of benefits to living in the Garden State.

However, for this article, we will focus on the top five.

These include factors that may motivate or hinder your decision to move to the Garden State.

1. Good weather

New Jersey is known for having a moderate climate with cold winters and warm, humid summers.

Unlike some northern states, only three out of the twelve months are really cold.

However, there is a distinct difference in winter temperatures between the north and south of the state.

The south of Jersey can be described as subtropical, while the north has more of a continental climate.

The average temperature in July is 23°C (74°F), while the average temperature in January, the coldest month, is -1°C (30°F).

Spring lasts from March through May and is a relatively cool period. Summer runs from June through August and is warm and humid.

Temperatures start to drop during fall from September through November, while the coldest months of the year are from December through February.

2. Location, location, location

New Jersey is a relatively small state.

This means that most attractions are located relatively close to each other.

In addition, you have the Atlantic Ocean to the east of the state, which boasts some of the most scenic beaches.

In addition, New York is located to the north and northeast of the state, while Delaware and Pennsylvania are located to the west of the state.

And, thanks to an excellent public transportation system that utilizes road, rail, air, and water, residents can easily move from one part of the state to another, or even to a neighboring state.

During the 2021 period, $4.359 billion was funded for the upkeep and development of public transportation infrastructure.

The state has one of the best public transportation systems. So getting around is quite a breeze.

3. Good health care

According to US News Week, New Jersey ranks in the top five positions nationally for its healthcare system.

You can expect world-class healthcare from this state.

Take, for example, some of the state’s top healthcare facilities, such as the Morristown Medical Center, Robert Wood Johnson, Saint Barnabas, as well as Hackensack University Medical Center.

In addition, qualifying residents, regardless of age, are able to get either free or low-cost health insurance that is publicly funded by the health insurance program, and known as New Jersey Family Care.

4. A lot of things to do and see

Apart from being a beautiful state with many scenic places to visit, there are plenty of family-friendly, fun things to do and see in this state.

Many of these activities are free to the public.

Some great attractions include the State Fair in Meadowlands, various flea markets, festivals, amusement parks, and historical sites to visit, such as Six Flags Great Adventure and Safari, Cape May Brewing Company, and Crystal Springs Family Waterpark, Delaware River Railroad Excursions, and much more.

Whether you are into outdoor activities or indoor activities, the state caters to everyone.

In addition, the state boasts some of the most beautiful National Parks where visitors bask in the natural beauty of the park and even spend the night camping.

5. Family-friendly

New Jersey is considered to be a great place to raise a family.

The state and its residents have strong family values with somewhat of a small-town approach to looking out for each other.

And, for the most part, the state is very safe.

There are attractions, events, and activities that cater to families, adults, children, and even seniors, and the state has a good education system that offers local and international programs.

In addition, and as previously mentioned, the state has an excellent healthcare system as well.

Everything you need to raise a family.

Cons of Living in New Jersey

As with any state, there are pros AND cons to relocating.

This section will focus on some of the biggest disadvantages of living in New Jersey.

1. High tax burden

Sadly, the state is known for imposing high tax rates on its residents.

One example is the income tax rate, which sits between 1.4% and 8.97%, as well as the sales tax, which is 6.6%.

In fact, according to one report, New Jersey residents are expected to pay the most taxes over their lifetime.

The report goes on to explain, that on average, New Jersey residents will spend $931,698 over their lifetime on taxes.

New Jersey ranks in the top five nationally in relation to the tax burden on its residents.

One of the main reasons for such a high tax burden is the cost of government in the state.

2. High property taxes

This brings us to our next disadvantage, which is closely related to a high tax burden and that is high property tax rates.

In fact, the reason that the tax burden is so high in New Jersey is due to high property tax rates.

There are a total of 21 counties in the state of New Jersey, with 600 school districts, and approximately 564 municipalities.

All of these entities are funded by property taxes, which is why property taxes are so high.

The average property tax paid by residents across the state amounts to $9,284.

It is estimated that during the 2021 period, homeowners in New Jersey paid the highest property taxes in the country.

3. High cost of living

With high sales taxes, high-income taxes, and high property taxes, it is no surprise that the cost of living in the Garden State is also considered to be very high.

One of the things that push the cost of living up, substantially, apart from groceries and utilities, is the cost of renting or buying. And, as previously discussed, property taxes are exponentially high in relation to the rest of the country.

In addition, according to 2022 reports, the price per gallon in the Garden State is $4.27, which is much higher than the national average.

In addition, if you own a car, you may expect to pay around $1,319 per year for auto insurance.

Furthermore, food costs also drive up the total cost of living, with food prices being above the national average in this state.

4. Congested traffic

This may not be an accomplishment, but New Jersey has been identified as having the worst traffic congestion in the country and the worst bottleneck in the US as well.

NJ.com states that during the first eleven months of the 2021 period, the George Washington Bridge experienced an increase of 17% in traffic from 89.5 million to 106.2 million vehicles.

You could opt to make use of the public transportation system, which is, as previously mentioned, very well structured.

This may allow you to save money and time on your commute and may be friendlier towards the environment.

But, if you insist on driving yourself to work and other venues, you have to be prepared to deal with some of the worst traffic jams in the US.

5. High density of residents

New Jersey is considered to be one of the most densely populated states in the US, as well as one of the most diversified.

This means that there are usually large crowds with a lot of people wherever you decide to go.

If you feel uncomfortable with that concept, this may not be the state for you.

In addition, the towns are located quite close to each other in proximity.

It is not unusual to be driving through one town only to find that you’ve already entered the next.

One of the major contributors to why this state is so densely populated is the many job opportunities that are available here.

New Jersey is home to some of the biggest pharmaceutical industries in the country, which, along with its related jobs, offer a plethora of opportunities to residents of the state.

Furthermore, due to its proximity to New York City, many residents work in the Big Apple but live in New Jersey as the cost of living in New Jersey is lower than that of New York.

Hence, many residents simply commute to their jobs in New York.

Cape May, New Jersey
Cape May, New Jersey

Pros and Cons of Living in New Jersey – Summary Table

Pros of Living in New JerseyCons of Living in New Jersey
1. Good weather1. High tax burden
2. Location, location, location2. High property taxes
3. Good health care3. High cost of living
4. A lot of things to do and see4. Congested traffic
5. Family-friendly5. High density of residents

New Jersey Safety Overview

READ THE FULL REPORT: New Jersey Safety Review

Safety Index:
New Jersey

Frequently Asked Questions

How safe is it in the state of New Jersey?

You will be pleasantly surprised to learn that, according to USA Today, the state of New Jersey ranks fifth nationally, in terms of overall safety.

Which is remarkably good.

The state experiences, on average, 2.0 violent crime incidents per 1,000 residents, and roughly 13 incidents of property crime per 1,000 residents, as of 2021.

Keep in mind, though, that there are certain areas in the state that do experience higher than normal crime rates.

What is the most common type of crime in New Jersey?

Simple assault is rather high in the state.

Property crime, such as theft, is also another big culprit in terms of common crimes committed in this state.

Where is the most dangerous part of New Jersey?

The most dangerous city in New Jersey is Camden.

In fact, it has a violent crime rate that is four times higher than the national average.

What is the main attraction in New Jersey?

This answer depends on who you ask, as there are a few attractions that could be considered the top attraction in New Jersey, such as Grounds for Sculpture, Atlantic City and Boardwalk, Atlantic City and Boardwalk, Ocean City, Cape May, or even Steel peer.

What type of food is the state of New Jersey most known for?

There are a few dishes that truly describe New Jersey, including the hoagie roll, sloppy joe, fat sandwich, Trenton Tomato Pie, and chicken savoy being dubbed the unofficial state dish.

6 Comments on 10 Pros and Cons of Living in New Jersey

  1. A
    Anonymous says:

    The only good thing in New Jersey is quality healthcare

    1. God forbid you don’t carry coverage either at any point in time, they bang you over the head in fines, stay as far away from this state as possible, it’s literally a trap

  2. J
    JAMES BOND says:

    SORRY FOLKS. NJ IS THE ARMPIT OF THE COUNTRY. People are getting smart and leaving the huge tax burden behind.. weather is usually cold. Those of you that choose to stay will be paying more taxes of those that have left.

  3. A
    Anonymous says:

    Tomato pies are a Philly thing no serious new Jerseyan would ever order a pizza that way, it’s actually a crime

  4. N
    NJ resident says:

    I’ve been an NJ resident all my life and cannot wait to leave this state for good! It gets worse every year. This state is entirely way to strict with its laws that seem to protect the criminals much more than the law biding citizens. but its all thanks to its growing percentage of new residents migrating in due to being a sanctuary state that I doubt most residents agree with. Every year more public access get closed off, we lose vital farmland to the state (NJDEP) that ends up destroying the lands for the wildlife and becoming dumping grounds for the local tourists for land use management not for the residents as they claim its for. Politics are terrible as always. The “beautiful places” I promise you are not that beautiful and these places are becoming harder to find, access, and not to mention usually littered with trash. If you pick the wrong beach or boardwalk you can be in some pretty serious danger. They claim the beaches are the best but that’s far from the truth. Its so crowded with very undesirable and nasty people that are 9 times out of 10 very rude and ignorant. I would leave today if I wasn’t trapped in a career until retirement that I am seriously about to abandon just to get out of NJ. I feel like NJ is a lot like Florida it seems like a good idea until its to late to get away. Please do your research and be careful making the decision to move to NJ. It absolutely breaks my heart to watch NJ deteriorate the way it is all while they promote more people to come claiming its a great place to raise a family. Don’t get me wrong there are nice places to live and raise a family, But it would be like hitting the lottery if not only you can find this place but you’ll still have to afford it. They tax your taxes taxes here and while they are still a lot of good people left I wouldn’t be surprised if that changes drastically in the next 5 years. O yeah and If you decide you want to move out of state you’ll have to pay an exit tax. It’s almost like you have to buy your personal freedom back from the state.

  5. P
    P. Krell says:

    I live in central NJ and love it. Yes, property taxes are high but living here offers so many advantages so it’s worth it to my husband and me.

Leave a Comment

Facebook Pinterest Comment Comment