Most Affordable Places to Live in New Jersey

New Jersey is a state situated in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern regions of the United States. It is bordered by Pennsylvania to the west, Delaware to the southwest, and the Atlantic Ocean to the southeast. New Jersey is the fourth-smallest state by area but is the 11th-most populous, with almost 9 million residents as of 2020. New Jersey is named after the island of Jersey in the English Channel. The capital city is Trenton, while the largest city is Newark. New Jersey has a diverse economy that includes agriculture, manufacturing, financial services, and tourism. The state is also home to several major pharmaceutical and telecommunications companies. New Jersey has a long history of racial and ethnic diversity, reflected in its cuisine, art, music, and literature.

If you’re looking for a place to live in New Jersey that is affordable and has plenty of amenities, you’ll want to check out the following locations. While there are certainly cheaper places to live in the state, these towns offer a great mix of affordability and convenience. So whether you’re looking for a place to raise a family or just want a comfortable place to call home, you’ll find what you’re looking for here.

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1. Hightstown

Hightstown offers a respite from the hustle and bustle of daily life. This small town is located in central New Jersey, just a short drive from New York City and Philadelphia. Despite its convenient location, Hightstown feels like a world away from the noise and pollution of the big city. The town is home to a variety of shops and restaurants and several parks and cultural attractions. One of the most popular destinations in Hightstown is the Thomas Paine Museum, which commemorates the life of the famous revolutionary. Residents can also explore the town’s rich history at the local historical society or take a stroll down Main Street to see some of the well-preserved Victorian homes. 

  • Population – 5,340
  • Median Value Of Home – $360,342
  • Median Rent – $1,200
  • Overall Cost of Living Compared to National Average 100 – 105
  • Employability Rate – 94.1
  • Crime Rate per 1000 residents – 6.44 ( 1.86 Violent and 4.58 Property)
  • Best Neighborhoods – Twin River, Princeton Junction
  • Top Employers – Walmart, Target, and Lockheed Martin Corporation are some of the top employers in the city.

Things to do in Hightstown

  1. Picture Show at East Windsor: For a classic movie-going experience, head to the Picture Show at East Windsor. This vintage theater offers all the charm of a bygone era, complete with old-fashioned concessions stand. Plus, ticket prices are highly affordable, making it an excellent option for a date night or family outing.
  • Old Hights Brewing Company: If you’re looking for a more relaxed evening out, pay a visit to Old Hights Brewing Company. This local brewery offers a rotating selection of handcrafted beers, and the laid-back atmosphere is perfect for enjoying a pint or two with friends. The brewery also hosts occasional live music performances, so be sure to check their calendar before you go.

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2. New Brunswick

New Brunswick is a city located in Middlesex County, New Jersey. The city is located on the Raritan River and its namesake, the Raritan Bay. New Brunswick is also known as “the Hub City” due to its central location in New Jersey. Today, New Brunswick is a vibrant and diverse city with a population of over 55,000 people. The city is home to Rutgers University and several hospitals and medical research facilities. New Brunswick is also a major transportation hub, with Amtrak and NJ Transit trains stopping at its famed New Brunswick Station. The city is served by two major highways, the New Jersey Turnpike and the Garden State Parkway. In addition, Newark Liberty International Airport is just a short drive away. New Brunswick is a great place to live, work, and raise a family. 

  • Population – 55,070
  • Median Value Of Home – $352,053
  • Median Rent – $1,572
  • Overall Cost of Living Compared to National Average 100 – 112.3
  • Employability Rate – 91.3
  • Crime Rate per 1000 residents – 25.17 ( 5.30 Violent and 19.87 Property)
  • Best Neighborhoods – Princeton Meadows, Tottenville
  • Top Employers – Johnson & Johnson, Saint Peter’s University Hospital, Rutgers University-New Brunswick, and Vistakon are some of the top employers in the city.

Things to do in New Brunswick

  1. Rutgers Gardens: Located in New Brunswick, Rutgers Gardens is a 50-acre public garden that is open year-round. Visitors can stroll through the gardens, take a class, or attend one of the many events held throughout the year.
  2. State Theatre: The State Theatre is a 1,850-seat performing arts venue that hosts various shows and events. From Broadway musicals to stand-up comedy, there is something for everyone at the State Theatre.

3. Phillipsburg

Phillipsburg is a town in Warren County, New Jersey, United States. The town is home to Phillipsburg High School, which serves Phillipsburg and Lopatcong Township, students. The town’s only hospital is St. Luke’s Warren Hospital, home to a cancer center and trauma center. Phillipsburg is also home to various businesses, including several manufacturing companies. In recent years, the town has become a shopping destination, with several outlet stores and malls nearby. Phillipsburg is an ideal place to live for those who appreciate small-town charm while still being close to city amenities.

  • Population – 14,038
  • Median Value Of Home – $250,888
  • Median Rent – $1,000
  • Overall Cost of Living Compared to National Average 100 – 84.6
  • Employability Rate – 93
  • Crime Rate per 1000 residents – 17.84 ( 2.49 Violent and 15.35 Property)
  • Best Neighborhoods– Brass Castle, Still Valley
  • Top Employers – Florio Perrucci, Steinhardt Cappelli Tipton & Taylor, Norwescap, Infinitt North America, and Lopatcong Township School District are some of the top employers in the city.

Things to do in Phillipsburg

  1. Black Rose Antique Mall: For a unique shopping experience, head to the Black Rose Antique Mall. This three-story mall is packed with an eclectic mix of items, including furniture, jewelry, collectibles, and more. With over 50 booths to explore, you’re sure to find something to take home with you.
  2. Delaware River Railroad Excursions: All aboard for a scenic ride through the countryside! The Delaware River Railroad offers a variety of excursions, from 1-hour trips to full-day adventures. Sit back and relax as you take in the stunning views of the river and surrounding countryside. Whether you’re a railfan or just looking for a fun day out, the Delaware River Railroad is sure to please.

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4. Pompton Lakes

For people who are moving to Pompton Lakes, there are a few things they should know about the town. First, Pompton Lakes is a great place to raise a family. The schools are top-notch, and there are plenty of activities for kids. The town is also very safe, and there is a low crime rate. Additionally, Pompton Lakes is an excellent place to retire. Many communities offer a wide variety of amenities and activities. Finally, Pompton Lakes is a great place to live for people who love the outdoors. There are many parks and trails, and the town is located close to both the mountains and the beach. Whether you’re looking for a place to raise a family or a place to retire, Pompton Lakes is sure to meet your needs.

  • Population – 11,097
  • Median Value Of Home – $430,867
  • Median Rent – $1,613
  • Overall Cost of Living Compared to National Average 100 – 119.2
  • Employability Rate – 90
  • Crime Rate per 1000 residents – 3.86 ( 0.72 Violent and 2.14 Property)
  • Best Neighborhoods– Pompton Junction, Towaco
  • Top Employers – Bethesda Lutheran Homes and Services, Hand and Stone Massage and Facial Spa, and Pompton Lakes Board of Education are some of the top employers in the city.

Things to do in Pompton Lakes

  1. Rhino Theatre Group – For those who enjoy live theater, the Rhino Theatre Group offers a variety of shows throughout the year. The theater is also home to a children’s theater program, which provides a great opportunity for kids to get involved in the arts.
  2. Escape Room NJ – Escape Room NJ is a great option for those looking for an adrenaline-pumping activity. Each room has its own unique theme and challenges, and teams must work together to solve the puzzles and escape before time runs out.

5. Rahway

Rahway is a lovely town in New Jersey, and it’s a great place to live for many reasons. For starters, the town is quite close to New York City, making it easy to commute into the city for work or play. What’s more, Rahway offers a variety of housing options to suit any budget, from affordable apartments to luxurious single-family homes. The town is also home to several schools and parks and a variety of shops and restaurants. Rahway’s proximity to the shore makes it a great place to enjoy the sun and sand. In short, there’s something for everyone in Rahway, making it an ideal place to call home.

Population – 30,174

Median Value Of Home – $414,570

Median Rent – $1,256

Overall Cost of Living Compared to National Average 100 – 118.1

Employability Rate – 91.8

Crime Rate per 1000 residents – 8.36 ( 1.49 Violent and 6.87 Property)

Best Neighborhoods– Fords, Avenel, Colonia

SDI Technologies, Global Recycling Technologies, and J. F. Hillebrand USA are some of the top employers in the city.

Things to do in Rahway:

1. Union County Performing Art Center: The Union County Performing Art Center is a 1,500-seat theater that features a variety of live entertainment. From Broadway musicals to comedy shows, there is something for everyone at the Union County Performing Art Center.

2. Rahway Public Library: The Rahway Public Library is one of the largest libraries in New Jersey. With over 1 million items in its collection, the Rahway Public Library has something for everyone. Whether you are looking for a new book to read or research material for a school project, the Rahway Public Library is sure to have what you need.

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Toms River

Toms River is a township in Ocean County, New Jersey, United States. For people moving to Toms River, it is important to know that the town is located on the Barnegat Peninsula, a long, narrow strip of land that separates Barnegat Bay from the Atlantic Ocean. The township offers a variety of schools and has a diverse economy. For people who are moving to Toms River with children, the township offers a variety of schools, including public, private, and parochial options. For people looking for employment in Toms River, the township’s economy is quite diverse. The town is home to various businesses, including restaurants, retail stores, banks, and medical offices. The town also has several parks and recreational facilities.

  • Population – 89,254
  • Median Value Of Home – $371,019
  • Median Rent – $1,406
  • Overall Cost of Living Compared to National Average 100 – 105.8
  • Employability Rate – 92.5
  • Crime Rate per 1000 residents – 10.60 ( 0.85 Violent and 9.75 Property)
  • Best Neighborhoods– Manahawkin, Ortley Beach, Forked River
  • Top Employers – Ocean First Bank, Family First Funding, and Heyco Products are some of the top employers in the city.

Things to do in Toms River

  1. Cattus Island County Park: This gorgeous park offers something for everyone, from hiking and biking trails to fishing and picnicking. There’s even a playground for the kids.
  2. Ocean County Library: The library offers a wide range of books, magazines, and other resources, making it a great place to spend an afternoon. They also offer events and programs for all ages.

6. Trenton

Trenton is the capital city of New Jersey, and it is a great place to live for many reasons. The city offers a variety of housing options, from affordable apartments to luxurious single-family homes. Trenton is home to several schools and parks and a variety of shops and restaurants. Plus, Trenton’s cost of living is quite low compared to other cities in the state. The city is located on the Delaware River and is also home to many historical landmarks, including the State House and the Old Barracks Museum. Trenton is also a major cultural center, with several museums and theaters. The city’s proximity to Philadelphia and New York City makes it a great place to live for people who want easy access to two of America’s largest cities. Trenton’s diverse population and vibrant culture make it an exciting and welcoming place to call home.

  • Population – 83,203
  • Median Value Of Home – $264,356
  • Median Rent – $1,234
  • Overall Cost of Living Compared to National Average 100 – 80.2
  • Employability Rate – 96.3
  • Crime Rate per 1000 residents – 30.14 ( 10.78 Violent and 19.36 Property)
  • Best Neighborhoods– Mill Hill, Top Road, South Trenton
  • Top Employers – Breyut Convalescent Center, CharterX, NJM Insurance Group, and Capital Health are some of the top employers in the city.

Things to do in Trenton

  1. Old Barracks Museum – The Old Barracks Museum is a great place to learn about the history of Trenton and the American Revolution. The museum offers a variety of tours and exhibits that tell the story of the Battle of Trenton and Trenton’s role in the war.
  2. Trenton Thunder Ballpark – The Trenton Thunder Ballpark is the perfect place to catch a game during the summer months. The ballpark is home to the minor league baseball team, the Trenton Thunder, and offers a variety of food and drink options for fans. The stadium also hosts various special events throughout the year, making it a great place to visit no matter what time of year it is.

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7. Clayton

Clayton, New Jersey, is a great place to live for people who want easy access to Philadelphia and New York City. The town is located in Gloucester County and is about 30 minutes from Philadelphia and 1.5 hours from New York City. There are a variety of housing options available in Clayton, from apartments to single-family homes. The town also has a number of parks and recreation areas, making it a great place to live for people who enjoy being outdoors. In addition, Clayton is home to a number of excellent schools, making it a great place to raise a family. If you’re looking for a safe, family-friendly town with easy access to two of the biggest cities in the Northeast, Clayton, New Jersey, is the perfect place for you.

Population – 8,903

Median Value Of Home – $230,910

Median Rent – $1,358

Overall Cost of Living Compared to National Average 100 – 94.5

Employability Rate – 92.7

Crime Rate per 1000 residents – 10.11 ( 2.27 Violent and 7.83 Property)

Best Neighborhoods– College Hills, Countryside / Greenbriar

Top Employers – ALDI and FedEx General are some of the top employers in the city.

Things to do in Clayton:

  • Scotland Run Park – If you’re looking for a beautiful place to take a walk or have a picnic, Scotland Run Park is the perfect spot. With its 10 miles of trails and scenic views of the river, the park is a great place to get some fresh air and exercise. 

See Also: Moving To New Jersey

8. Franklin Park 

Franklin Park is the ideal location for city residents seeking to settle down. It’s a close-knit community with a strong sense of identity, and it offers residents plenty of opportunities to get involved in their neighborhood. There are plenty of things to do in Franklin Park, from exploring the local shops and restaurants to taking advantage of the city’s parks and recreation facilities. And, thanks to its convenient location, it’s easy to get around town without relying on a car. Whether you’re looking for an urban oasis or a small-town feel, Franklin Park has something to offer everyone.

Population – 13,977

Median Value Of Home – $320,495

Median Rent – $1,755

Overall Cost of Living Compared to National Average 100 – 120

Employability Rate – 93.2

Crime Rate per 1000 residents – 5.29 (0.22 Violent and 5.07 Property)

Best Neighborhoods– Middlebush, Somerset

Top Employers – Deloitte, ShopRite, Hackensack Meridian Health, and RWJBarnabas Health are some of the top employers in the city.

Things to do in Franklin Park

  • Franklin Park Natural Area: The Franklin Park Natural Area is a 1,100-acre nature preserve that offers hiking, fishing, and camping opportunities. The preserve is home to a variety of plant and animal life, including deer, bobcats, and eagles. Visitors can also enjoy picnicking and birdwatching in the park.

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9. Pitman 

Pitman is a small borough located in Gloucester County, New Jersey. The town is home to a number of historic buildings and sites and a variety of shops and restaurants. Pitman is also home to a number of parks and recreation areas, making it a great place to live for people who enjoy being outdoors. In addition, the town is home to a number of excellent schools, making it a great place to raise a family. If you’re looking for a safe, family-friendly town with plenty of things to see and do, Pitman is the perfect place for you.

  • Population – 8.648
  • Median Value Of Home – $268,149
  • Median Rent – $1,551
  • Overall Cost of Living Compared to National Average 100 – 96.2
  • Employability Rate – 92.7
  • Crime Rate per 1000 residents – 5.81 ( 0.80 Violent and 5.01 Property)
  • Best Neighborhoods– Richwood, Blackwood, Oak valley
  • Top Employers – United Methodist Communities, Comfort Keepers, and Merry Maids are some of the top employers in the city.

Things to do in Pitman

  • Human Village Brewing Co: This locally owned brewing company is dedicated to creating small-batch, high-quality beers. The taproom is open Wednesday-Sunday, and visitors can tour the brewery on Saturdays.
  • The Broadway Theatre: This historic theatre first opened its doors in 1927 and has since been restored to its original glory. The theatre hosts a variety of live performances, ranging from musicals to stand-up comedy. Guided tours are available on Saturdays.

Conclusion

If you’re looking for a safe, affordable place to live in New Jersey, consider one of the cities on our list. These towns offer residents a great quality of life at a fraction of the cost of living in larger metropolitan areas. Each place has its own unique attractions and amenities, so be sure to do your research to find the perfect fit for you and your family. Moving can be a stressful experience, but we hope this list has made the decision-making process a little easier for you. Thank you for reading!

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Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost to live in New Jersey?

The cost of living in New Jersey varies depending on the city you choose to live in. However, overall, the state is more expensive than the national average. The cost of living index is 120.4.

What are the safest places to live in New Jersey?

The safest places to live in New Jersey are typically its smaller towns and cities. Places like Franklin Park and Pitman have low crime rates and offer residents a great quality of life.

Is it worth moving to New Jersey?

Whether or not moving to New Jersey is worth it depends on your individual circumstances. The state offers a high quality of life, but it is also more expensive than other states. You’ll need to decide if the cost of living is worth the amenities and opportunities the state has to offer.

How is the climate in New Jersey?

The climate in New Jersey is temperate, with hot summers and cold winters. The state typically sees a lot of precipitation, so be prepared for rain and snow throughout the year.

See Also: Best Out of State Moving Companies in the USA

Written by


Rostislav Shetman is the founder of 9Kilo Moving. He has been in the moving and relocation industry for more than 25 years, making him an expert in his field. Rostislav started as a helper, dispatcher and driver and has worked his way up to owning his own company. He takes great pride in his work and enjoys helping people relocate across the United States of America. When he's not working, Rostislav enjoys spending time with his family and friends. They are the light of his life and bring him happiness every day.