Think cranberries, blueberries and tomatoes but there is so much more to the Garden State. Not only is the state coveted for its easy quality of life but also for its strong economy and the amiable family-friendly way of life. Living in the state of New Jersey is not a complicated decision and the information required to come to that conclusion would be available to you as you keep reading ahead. Here’s all you need to know before moving to New Jersey.

What Should I Know Before Moving To New Jersey?

The state is located in the Mid-Atlantic and North-eastern parts of the United States and is bordered by New York and the Atlantic Ocean. New Jersey is the fourth smallest state in the country with an area of 8722.58 square miles (22,591 km2) and 1368.36 square miles (3544.04 km2) of that is water. Despite this fact, New Jersey has the highest population density in the US, with an estimated population of 8,882,190 as per 2019.

Most of America derives its perception of New Jersey from Saturday Night Live and the Real Housewives of New Jersey. This has, unfortunately, resulted in a narrow viewpoint that dangers around stereotypical. Lucky that The Sopranos and Bruce Springsteen exists to salvage the image of the state. So, once a person gets over the popular view, they can get to enjoying the amazing beaches, sports and the diversity of the culture.

The food of New Jersey deserves its own hall of fame. You must have heard of the Taylor ham, which is quite the staple of New Jersey breakfast. Or a Sloppy Joe might interest you more, as the New Jersey one is somewhat different from that of the rest of the country. A Fat sandwich and the Trenton tomato pie are an integral part of the New Jersey experience and are famous for flipping the rules of traditional fast food to give a taste that is as unique as it is delicious. And despite what anyone says, it is New Jersey that is the hot-dog leader in the United States, with seven distinct varieties to choose from.

When it comes to nightlife, one cannot overlook the phenomenon that is Atlantic city. Make fun of New Jersey all you want, but Atlantic City is everybody’s favourite destination to have some fun. And it is not just bars and clubs that make it so irresistible. There’s the beautiful skyline, the scenic walks and the 24/7 eats that will make you feel like you are living in a movie. Life in New Jersey is truly all that and it is something you will very easily start loving once you get into it.

Crime Rate In New Jersey

The rate of crime in New Jersey, per 1000 people is 2.07 which means that the chances of being a victim of a violent crime are 1 in 483. This is literally half of the crime rate of the United States as a whole.

In terms of property crime, the rate per 1000 residents is 13.36 meaning that the chances of being a victim are 1 in 75. Even this statistic is a lot lower than that of the whole country’s average. These facts imply that the state of New Jersey is high on safety and one may rest assured comparatively in regards to that.

Weather In New Jersey

The climate of New Jersey has been divided into two categories – ‘humid subtropical’ and ‘humid continental’. The former is more seen in south, central and northeast parts of the state while the latter is more prevalent in the area of higher elevation like the northwest.

Summers are hot with ample humidity. The average temperature of the state ranges in between 82-870 F (28-310 C). The nights tend to be colder, with temperatures around 60-690 F (16-210 C).

Winters tend to be pretty cold with the temperatures being 34 to 430 F (1 to 60 C) but they can dip further down to 16 to 280 F (-9 to -20 C). Average snowfall varies across the state. It would be 10 to 15 inches (25 to 38 cm) near the sea and in the south with some 40 to 50 inches (1-1.3 metres). Mid-range snowfall is more common in the northeast and central parts, with some 15-30 inches (38-76 cm).

The temperatures in winter tend to be a lot lower in the northwest, going as far below as 00 F (-180C). Spring and autumn are somewhat similar in terms of weather. They tend to still be hot but with not as much humidity. As winter passes and the state starts seeing spring come into the picture, you might see some blizzards and flooding, especially in the northeast. Rainfall on the other hand is spread out a lot more evenly in the state, with the average being 43 to 51 inches (110 to 130 cm).

Climate change has started showing its head in New Jersey with it warming up a lot faster than the other states in the US. Measures are actively being taken by the state to combat it and reverse the effects.

Is New Jersey Expensive To Live In?

Moving to a new place always brings with it a major question of money. What would the finance situation be, in terms of everyday life and long-term planning if one chooses to live in a particular place? Let’s take a look at one of the most noticeable expenses – taxes.

The New Jersey income tax rate ranges from 3.5% to 6.37%, depending upon the income of the individual. On the contrary, the state has a flat sales tax rate, that being 6.625% with no additional local taxes. The property tax rate in New Jersey is 2.19%, the second highest in the country.

Cost Of Living In New Jersey

New Jersey has a very high population density and this is a major deciding factor of the price people pay for things in the state. The cost-of-living index is 120.4. To give you perspective, this was calculated against the cost of living for the US national average being 100. The amount of money a family of four would require, on average for their expenses per month is about $4,003. A single person on the other hand, would make do with a quarter of that sum at $1080. Both these amounts are what one requires minus the rent.

Shopping for groceries here means spending $1.10 on a litre of milk, $2.92 for a loaf of bread and a dozen eggs each, and $4.45 on a kilogram of potatoes. A meal for a single person or a takeout would probably cost about $15 and if you go with a friend, to maybe a mid-range restaurant, the bill would be $57.

Healthcare costs in New Jersey can be lower than a lot of other states. A major medical insurance for a single adult would probably cost $451. Of course, subject to the good health of the person, the prices and premiums may vary.

Buying A House In New Jersey

The median price of a house in New Jersey would be around $382,096. This number, according to Zillow is for standard homes and might vary by city and neighbourhood. The home prices have seen a rise of 11.5% in the last one year, making it a good time to invest in property in the state.

Renting A House In New Jersey

The rent for a regular two-bedroom house in New Jersey is $1,800, on average. Again, the price may vary by city and county and if you go for a bigger house, the rent would be higher.

Utility Bills In New Jersey

The utility bills in New Jersey, for an average-sized apartment are $87 on average. These include garbage, electricity, heating, cooling and water bills, all summed up. A basic internet connection, and by basic we mean an unlimited internet plan, would cost $67.

Transportation costs are pretty standard here. A one-way ticket on the public transport averages to $2.75 whereas a monthly pass costs $100. Someone who prefers taxis finds themselves paying $2.50 as the base fare and $1.53 per kilometre thereon. If you own a vehicle of your own, the cost of a litre of gas is $0.68.

Economy And Employment Opportunities In New Jersey

New Jersey is the state with the highest number of millionaires per capita, an estimated 9.76% of the households. The state’s per capita gross income is the third highest in the country and its gross state product in the last quarter of 2018 happened to be $639.8 billion. No wonder the median household income of the state is as high as $85,751.

While the economy of New Jersey is not lacking in diversity, the major sources of it lie in the pharmaceutical industry, biotechnology, information technology, finance, chemicals, food processing and tourism.

Agriculture wise, the state’s outputs are nursery stock, vegetables, fruits, nuts, dairy and seafood. And the state consistently ranks in the top five in the production of blueberries, cranberries, spinach, bell peppers, peaches, asparagus and lettuce. Vegetarians will love New Jersey.

The economy is strongly backed by science and is constituted of pharmaceutical and telecom firms, which employ from the highly-educated labour of the state. Services such as retail, education and real estate also thrive here.
Shipping employs a large number of people here due to the size of the industry which it owes to its location. It is the Port of New York and New Jersey and is the busiest on the East Coast. Also, the Newark-Elizabeth Marine Terminal is the largest in the world.

New Jersey is no stranger to businesses and headquarters 24 Fortune 500 companies. Counties like Somerset, Morris and Monmouth are the highest-income counties in the US. The state also has a huge base for sustainable energy. It has more than 10,000 solar power installations and uses nuclear power for its energy needs which results in it having very low greenhouse gas emissions for a state with its population.

New Jersey receives a record 111 million tourists each year and the tourism industry is evaluated at $44.7 billion. Directly, it employs 333,860 people while taking care of another 200,000 jobs by way of a tertiary impact. This industry also takes part in the gambling industry that was legalized in New Jersey and it now houses several casinos across the Atlantic City Boardwalk. Online gambling and sports betting were also legalized as early as 2013 and 2018 respectively. So, one can have fun and make money here.

Education In New Jersey

There are as many as 605 school districts in New Jersey. The state spends a fair amount of money when it comes to the education of its students and is behind only New York, Alaska and Connecticut. This ensures a very high quality of education with $18,235 being spent on every pupil. Its education system has been ranked second in the US News and World Report and the school systems were ranked fourth. The public schools scored the first rank in both 2019 and 2020. The students of the schools have registered scores of 2145 and 2100 in the SAT, which are some of the highest scores in the country. The state is also home to Princeton University and Rutgers University for higher education, schools which are ranked among the best in the world.

Getting Around New Jersey

Air Travel

Newark Liberty International Airport happens to be the busiest in the US. FedEx has a cargo terminal in place here. Atlantic City International Airport and the Trenton-Mercer Airport are two of the smaller airports that are placed in other parts of the state. Some other general aviation airports are the Millville Municipal Airport in Cumberland County and the Teterboro Airport in Bergen County that are popular due to their nearness to the Jersey Shore and New York City.

Rail Travel

Amtrak is the operator of the long-distance trains in the state, both within and outside of it. Metropark, Newark Penn Station and Trenton Transit Centre are some of the railway stations under Amtrak’s hood. The SEPTA or the South eastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority operates two commuter rail lines into the state.
NJ Transit has an extensive rail network which includes three light rail systems including the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail, River Line and the Newark Light Rail.

Road Travel

The NJ Transit operates as the state-run authority on bus travel and maintains an extensive bus network in New Jersey. There are also some private bus carriers like Coach USA that operate to New Jersey, New York, Philadelphia and Delaware.

New Jersey is also well-served by roads, interstate highways and bridges that connect the state to other cities and states, making it a very well-established system of transport.

Ferry Travel

Of course, a city bordered by the Atlantic Ocean would utilize that to its purpose by way of using it as a means of transport. The New York Waterway has terminals at Jersey City, Hoboken, Edgewater and others. The Liberty Water Taxi in Jersey city serves Paulus Hook, Liberty State Park and Battery Park City. There’s also the Delaware River and Bay Authority, Statue Cruises and SeaStreak that operate ferries out of New Jersey.

See Also: New Jersey DMV Change Of Address

Best Cities To Live In New Jersey

1. North Arlington

It makes sense to start the list with this city as it was listed in TIME Magazine’s best places to live in 2017. It’s 15 minutes from New York’s biggest financial district and still manages to carry a cozy small-town feel while offering more amenities than most big cities.

The price of a house here on average would be $437,292 and if that house were to be rented, the price would be $1,200.

2. Ridgewood

It’s a suburb constituted by Victorian homes and nostalgia-inducing farmhouses. Every sight can be a postcard here and considering its suburban nature, it is no surprise that it is popular with families and people quite covet the house in this place. It is also placed in Bergen County which happens to be the most populous part of the state, meaning that it is one of the neighbourhoods with a higher quality of life.

The average cost of a house here, according to Zillow, is $767,584 and the rent for the same would be $1,900.

Also See: Top States to live in America |Largest Cities of New Jersey

3. Princeton

Yes, it is the place that is home to Princeton University. Something interesting about this place is that it stands exactly in the middle of the distance between New York and Philadelphia, so anyone who commutes often between them would find this place quite ideal. There are few places in the United States that would give a more idyllic place of stay than Princeton.

The cost of a house, on average as per Zillow, is $673,565 and the rent for that house would be $2,000.

Is It A Good Idea To Move To New Jersey?

New Jersey is a place that offers a lot – a good quality of life, great avenues for employment with substantial scope of growth and a nightlife and food scene for when you want to relax and enjoy all the hard work you put in. So yes, it is a good idea to move to New Jersey. The conclusive decision would be reached upon by your evaluation of whether you like what is being offered, though how could anybody say no to that.

Read Also: Top-Rated Out of State Movers