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The Best Places To Live in New Jersey

December 19, 2023 at 6:04 PM PST

If you want to live in a major city with hundreds of entertainment options, finding one in New Jersey is easy. What about settling in a small town with coffee shops and cool architecture? New Jersey has those as well. While cost of living, entertainment options and salary play a role in deciding where to live, having a place that feels like home is important. Voted as the 2023 Best State for Business, New Jersey’s economy and housing market are steadily improving and should not be ignored.

In close proximity to both New York and Philadelphia, people who work in these cities often live in New Jersey because of the lower cost of living. Accessibility isn’t the only perk of living in New Jersey, as there are so many cities in this state with much to offer for adventurers, explorers and those just wanting a calm and cozy place to settle.

For Black families, factors like cost of living and amenities aren’t the only things to consider when choosing a place to live. Diversity of also a factor that heavily impacts Black families and residents, especially considering the barriers that Black homeowners face. Some of New Jersey’s cities have a high population of Black citizens, making this a great state for raising Black families.

Known as one of the best places to live for both families and singles, New Jersey offers great schools, safety, diversity, quality housing and a lot of fun amenities. Offering a unique mix of suburbia, nice beaches, city skylines and gorgeous lakes, some may even argue that this East Coast state is the best one up north.

Narrow down your search with this list of the best places to live in New Jersey.

Jersey City: The Best Place to Live for City Life

Jersey City is the one of the best places to live in New Jersey because of how large the city is and its close proximity to other major cities. Picture: The Jersey City skyline

  • Population: 286,670
  • Public School Rating: B
  • Average Home Price: $591,988
  • Walkability: High

Just across the water from Manhattan, New York is Jersey City. This part of New Jersey sits along the Hudson River. Lots of people who work in New York live in Jersey City because of its slower pace and access to the city. From suburban neighborhoods to high-rise apartments with a view of the Hudson River and Manhattan, Jersey City has a place to call home for everyone. Transportation in the city is super convenient with transit options to New York and Philadelphia, along with access to Uber, Lyft and taxis. The average price for a one-bedroom apartment here is $2,990 while the average home price is $591,988. This pricing is considered higher because of the city’s large population of 286,670. 

For Black Families: Black residents make up over 23 percent of Jersey City and with incredible residential neighborhoods, it’s easy to call this place home. As the most racially diverse city in New Jersey, the Black community has played an integral role in the development of the city.

For Young Professionals: With technology, finance and healthcare being the major industries and employment opportunities in Jersey City, young professionals in these areas thrive. For those not working in these industries, access to The Big Apple and Philadelphia make it easy to work in whatever industry you want while still living in Jersey City.

Princeton: The Best Place for Small-Town Living

For small town living, Princeton is one of the best places to live in New Jersey. Pictured: Architecture at Princeton University.

  • Population: 30,377
  • Public School Rating: A+
  • Average Home Price: $848,522
  • Walkability: Moderate to High

Princeton isn’t just known for its Ivy League university. This small town features incredible gothic architecture and unique charm. For the fashionista, this town offers stores from major brands like Hermes, Ralph Lauren and Urban Outfitters. Locally-owned boutiques, restaurants and coffee shops fill the streets of Princeton, offering amenities on a local level. With close access to visit New York and Philadelphia, residents can visit these cities whenever they want to.

For Black Families: While the cost of living is higher in Princeton, this city is one of the best places to live in New Jersey because of the small town feel with access to larger amenities. While less diverse than Jersey City with a six percent Black population, the city does have a lot to offer for families looking for a smaller area to live in.

For Young Professionals: For the professional looking to work in higher education, pharmaceuticals, production and technology, Princeton is a great place to look for in your job search. The average starting salary in Princeton is around $73,000, but of course this depends on your position and industry.

Ocean City: The Best Place for Beachfront Relaxation

For beachfront living and relaxation, Oceanfront is one of the best places to live in New Jersey. Pictured: A ferris wheel in Ocean City

  • Population: 11,303
  • Public School Rating: B
  • Average Home Price: $1.2M
  • Walkability: High

Ocean City, with its fitting name, is one of the best places to experience beachfront resort-style living. With over eight miles of sand, surf and waves, Ocean City has some of the state’s best beaches, along with activities like golfing, amusement parks, boating, water sports and more. The beachfront city has over 11,303 full-time residents and is perfect for families wanting to take a vacation every time they step outside their front door. 

For Black Families: While this town isn’t as diverse as New Jersey’s bigger cities, it is a great place for relaxation. Many residents even purchase homes and rent them out during peak vacation season. 

For Young Professionals: Nothing is better than having a high-rise apartment view of the beach. For young professionals, it’s easy to make this happen if you’re pursuing job opportunities in retail or hospitality and tourism. 

Camden: The Best Place for Diversity

If you're still looking to live in a major city with diversity, Camden is one of the best places to live in New Jersey. Pictured: The waterfront of Camden, New Jersey.
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  • Population: 71,791
  • Public School Rating: A
  • Average Home Price: $112,693
  • Walkability: Low to Moderate, depending on the area

Diversity is always an important factor when researching anywhere you want to move. Camden is one of the best places to live in New Jersey for diversity. With over 71,791 residents, Black residents make up 31,323 of that number (43 percent). Because Camden is a larger city, there are many activities and sights to see. From family-friendly amusement parks to bars and nightclubs, the city has something to offer for all age groups. 

For Black Families: Camden has a large Black population, so there are lots of Black families in the area. The city is filled with family-friendly activities like arcades, mini golf, aquariums, children’s gardens and more. Camden offers a lower cost of living, with the average home priced at $112,693

For Young Professionals: Camden is an electric and vibrant place for young professionals looking for a city to settle down in. The average rent is around $1300, making it an affordable city for young people. On top of a lower cost of living, nightclubs, bars, breweries and brunch spots are everywhere in the city for young professionals to enjoy.

Atlantic City: The Best Place for Glamorous Adventure

For beachfront living and incredible nightlife, Atlantic City is one of the best places to live in New Jersey. Pictured: An aerial view of Atlantic City.

  • Population: 38,501
  • Public School Rating: A
  • Average Home Price: $189,928
  • Walkability: Moderate to High

If you’re always looking for some glam and adventure in your life, Atlantic City is one of the best places to live in New Jersey. This Atlantic coast city is known for its incredible beaches, electric casinos, its iconic boardwalk, and entertainment and food options. But gambling and swimming aren’t the only activities residents enjoy. There’s also plenty of places to shop, amusement parks, museums and more. Because Atlantic City is known as a great vacation destination, average home pricing is a bit lower at a little less than $200,000. 

For Black Families: 32 percent of Black residents live in Atlantic City, making it a great place to raise Black families. Delve into the history of Black people living in Atlantic City at the African American Heritage Museum or the Civil Rights Garden. There are also plenty of Black-owned businesses in the area to support. The family-friendly neighborhoods and activities make this city a great place to settle down.

For Young Professionals: For the young person who loves to go out every weekend, Atlantic City is for you. With tons of casinos, nightclubs, bars and activities, the nightlife scene here is incredible. 


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