Best places to live in New Jersey

Written by:
March 31, 2021
realtor.com

Best places to live in New Jersey

What do you look for in an ideal town? Proximity to trails, lakes, and beaches? How about top-ranked schools for your children? Would you like a professional or college sports team nearby, or do you prefer museums and art walks?

Stacker compiled a list of the best places to live in New Jersey using data from Niche. Niche ranks places to live based on a variety of factors including cost of living, schools, health care, recreation, and weather. Cities, suburbs, and towns were included. Listings and images are from realtor.com.

On the list, there’s a robust mix of offerings from great schools and nightlife to high walkability and public parks. Some areas have enjoyed rapid growth thanks to new businesses moving to the area, while others offer glimpses into area history with well-preserved architecture and museums. Keep reading to see if your hometown made the list.

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#25. Fort Lee

- Population: 37,430
- Median home value: $324,600 (59% own)
- Median rent: $1,923 (41% rent)
- Median household income: $83,767
- Top public schools: Fort Lee School No. 1 (A), Fort Lee High School (A), Fort Lee School No. 2 (A)
- Top private schools: Christ the Teacher School (unavailable), Green House Preschool & Kindergarten (unavailable), Small World Montessori School (unavailable)

- Pictured: 1 Bridle Way, Fort Lee ($6.1 million, 7 bedrooms)
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#24. Closter

- Population: 8,565
- Median home value: $674,000 (82% own)
- Median rent: $2,188 (18% rent)
- Median household income: $140,357
- Top public schools: Northern Valley Regional High School Demarest (A+), Northern Valley Regional High School - Old Tappan (A+), Tenakill Middle School (A)
- Top private schools: Palisades Country Day School (unavailable), International Academy of Arts & Sciences (unavailable), Everbrook Academy of Closter (unavailable)

- Pictured: 256 Parsells Ln, Closter ($2.8 million, 6 bedrooms)
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#23. Metuchen

- Population: 14,048
- Median home value: $437,400 (76% own)
- Median rent: $1,541 (24% rent)
- Median household income: $128,619
- Top public schools: Metuchen High School (A), Edgar Middle School (A), James Monroe Elementary School (A)
- Top private schools: Saint Joseph A College Preparatory School (A+), St. Francis Cathedral School (unavailable), Metuchen Christian Academy (unavailable)

- Pictured: 25 Newman St, Metuchen ($850,000, 4 bedrooms)
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#22. Chatham Township

- Population: 10,299
- Median home value: $901,000 (87% own)
- Median rent: $2,204 (13% rent)
- Median household income: $189,297
- Top public schools: Chatham High School (A+), Lafayette Avenus School (A+), Chatham Middle School (A)
- Top private schools: Chatham Day School (A)

- Pictured: 38 Rolling Hill Dr, Chatham Township ($3.3 million, 7 bedrooms)
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#21. Berkeley Heights Township

- Population: 13,310
- Median home value: $617,500 (95% own)
- Median rent: $2,664 (5% rent)
- Median household income: $183,056
- Top public schools: Columbia Middle School (A+), Thomas P. Hughes Elementary School (A), Mountain Park Elementary School (A)
- Top private schools: Diamond Hill Montessori School (unavailable)

- Pictured: 361 Kerrigan Blvd, Newark ($399,900, 4 bedrooms)
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#20. River Edge

- Population: 11,500
- Median home value: $520,800 (76% own)
- Median rent: $1,676 (24% rent)
- Median household income: $124,598
- Top public schools: River Dell Regional High School (A), Cherry Hill School (A), River Dell Middle School (A)
- Top private schools: The Rosenbaum Yeshiva of North Jersey (unavailable), St. Peter Academy (unavailable), Stepping Stone Learning Center (unavailable)

- Pictured: 210 S Beech Dr, River Edge ($729,000, 3 bedrooms)
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#19. Robbinsville

- Population: 2,836
- Median home value: $430,100 (77% own)
- Median rent: $1,622 (23% rent)
- Median household income: $169,327
- Top public schools: Robbinsville High School (A), Pond Road Middle School (A), Sharon Elementary School (A-)

- Pictured: 235 Meadowbrook Rd, Robbinsville ($1.1 million, 5 bedrooms)
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#18. Allendale

- Population: 6,765
- Median home value: $757,000 (84% own)
- Median rent: $1,919 (16% rent)
- Median household income: $170,968
- Top public schools: Northern Highlands Regional High School (A+), Brookside School (A), Hillside School (A)

- Pictured: 20 Fairhaven Dr, Allendale ($1.7 million, 6 bedrooms)
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#17. Greentree

- Population: 11,262
- Median home value: $325,600 (86% own)
- Median rent: $2,004 (14% rent)
- Median household income: $137,346
- Top public schools: Cherry Hill High School East (A), Joseph D. Sharp Elementary School (A), Rosa International Middle School (A)
- Top private schools: The King's Christian School (A-), Cherry Hill Montessori School (unavailable), Kindercare Learning Center (unavailable)

- Pictured: 4 Collage Ct, Cherry Hill ($988,888, 6 bedrooms)
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#16. Haworth

- Population: 3,418
- Median home value: $691,500 (95% own)
- Median rent: $3,501 (5% rent)
- Median household income: $178,450
- Top public schools: Northern Valley Regional High School Demarest (A+), Haworth Public School (A+), County Road School (B+)

- Pictured: 317 Massachusetts Ave, Haworth ($2.5 million, 5 bedrooms)
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#15. Westfield

- Population: 29,877
- Median home value: $743,400 (82% own)
- Median rent: $1,608 (18% rent)
- Median household income: $170,798
- Top public schools: Westfield Senior High School (A+), Washington Elementary School (A+), Tamaques Elementary School (A)
- Top private schools: Holy Trinity School (unavailable), Presbyterian Nursery School & Kindergarten (unavailable), Temple Emanu-El Early Childhood Education Program (unavailable)

- Pictured: 8 Kimball Cir, Westfield ($5.0 million, 6 bedrooms)
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#14. Plainsboro Center

- Population: 2,771
- Median home value: $423,200 (33% own)
- Median rent: $1,636 (67% rent)
- Median household income: $102,833
- Top public schools: West Windsor-Plainsboro High School North (A+), Community Middle School (A+), Village Elementary School (A+)
- Top private schools: Lightbridge Academy of Plainsboro (unavailable)

- Pictured: 2 Mercer St, Plainsboro ($399,900, 2 bedrooms)
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#13. Springdale

- Population: 13,878
- Median home value: $364,900 (89% own)
- Median rent: $1,281 (11% rent)
- Median household income: $151,431
- Top public schools: Cherry Hill High School East (A), Joseph D. Sharp Elementary School (A), Rosa International Middle School (A)
- Top private schools: Preschool at Temple Emanuel (unavailable)

- Pictured: 1121 Winding Dr, Cherry Hill ($1.9 million, 4 bedrooms)
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#12. Summit

- Population: 21,913
- Median home value: $890,100 (70% own)
- Median rent: $1,880 (30% rent)
- Median household income: $157,835
- Top public schools: Summit Senior High School (A+), Millburn Middle School (A+), Hartshorn Elementary School (A+)
- Top private schools: Kent Place School (A+), Oratory Preparatory School (A+), Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child - Upper School (A+)

- Pictured: 91 Prospect St, Summit ($5.3 million, 6 bedrooms)
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#11. Short Hills

- Population: 13,428
- Median home value: $1,386,600 (90% own)
- Median rent: $2,798 (10% rent)
- Median household income: $250,001
- Top public schools: Millburn Senior High School (A+), Glenwood Elementary School (A+), Deerfield Elementary School (A+)
- Top private schools: Far Brook School (A+), The Montessori Children's Academy (unavailable), The Winston School of Short Hills (unavailable)

- Pictured: 2 Jefferson Ave, Millburn ($6.0 million, 7 bedrooms)
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#10. Monmouth Junction

- Population: 2,906
- Median home value: $433,800 (93% own)
- Median rent: $2,356 (7% rent)
- Median household income: $150,500
- Top public schools: South Brunswick High School (A+), Monmouth Junction Elementary School (A+), Brooks Crossing Elementary School (A)

- Pictured: 8 Essex Dr, Monmouth Junction ($899,000, 5 bedrooms)
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#9. Glen Rock

- Population: 11,780
- Median home value: $646,600 (95% own)
- Median rent: $1,840 (5% rent)
- Median household income: $187,000
- Top public schools: Glen Rock High School (A+), Glen Rock Middle School (A), Alexander Hamilton School (A)
- Top private schools: Academy of Our Lady (unavailable)

- Pictured: 750 Harristown Rd, Glen Rock ($1.5 million, 5 bedrooms)
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#8. New Providence

- Population: 13,049
- Median home value: $607,100 (76% own)
- Median rent: $1,733 (24% rent)
- Median household income: $143,672
- Top public schools: New Providence High School (A+), Salt Brook Elementary School (A), New Providence Middle School (A)
- Top private schools: Academy of Our Lady of Peace (A+), St. Andrew's Nursery School & Kindergarten (unavailable), Santa Fe Centers (unavailable)

- Pictured: 102 Livingston Ave, New Providence ($1.3 million, 5 bedrooms)
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#7. Ho-Ho-Kus

- Population: 4,094
- Median home value: $756,800 (92% own)
- Median rent: $2,453 (8% rent)
- Median household income: $216,875
- Top public schools: Ho-Ho-Kus Public School (A+)

- Pictured: 6 Saddle Ridge Rd, Ho Ho Kus ($3.7 million, 5 bedrooms)
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#6. Princeton Meadows

- Population: 13,717
- Median home value: $392,800 (38% own)
- Median rent: $1,653 (62% rent)
- Median household income: $104,245
- Top public schools: West Windsor-Plainsboro High School South (A+), West Windsor-Plainsboro High School North (A+), The Cranbury School (A+)

- Pictured: 1 Tanager Ln, Cranbury ($989,000, 5 bedrooms)
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#5. Upper Montclair

- Population: 11,589
- Median home value: $766,100 (83% own)
- Median rent: $2,008 (17% rent)
- Median household income: $211,221
- Top public schools: Montclair High School (A+), Watchung School (A), Charles H. Bullock School (A)
- Top private schools: Lacordaire Academy Upper School (A), St. Cassian Elementary School (unavailable), Lacordaire Academy Lower/Middle School (unavailable)

- Pictured: 27 Heller Dr, Montclair ($2.6 million, 6 bedrooms)
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#4. Mountain Lakes

- Population: 4,270
- Median home value: $867,200 (95% own)
- Median rent: $1,454 (5% rent)
- Median household income: $241,667
- Top public schools: Mountain Lakes High School (A+), Briarcliff Middle School (A+), Wildwood Elementary School (A+)
- Top private schools: The Craig School (unavailable), The Academy for Children (unavailable), Lightbridge Academy of Mountain Lakes (unavailable)

- Pictured: 336 Boulevard, Mountain Lakes ($2.7 million, 5 bedrooms)
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#3. Ridgewood

- Population: 25,179
- Median home value: $763,300 (78% own)
- Median rent: $2,026 (22% rent)
- Median household income: $184,355
- Top public schools: Ridgewood High School (A+), Hawes Elementary School (A+), Ridge Elementary School (A+)
- Top private schools: Holmstead School (unavailable), Windsor Bergen Academy (unavailable), Little Crane Montessori School (unavailable)

- Pictured: 158 Phelps Rd, Ridgewood ($4.5 million, 6 bedrooms)
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#2. Princeton

- Population: 31,000
- Median home value: $866,200 (60% own)
- Median rent: $1,532 (40% rent)
- Median household income: $137,672
- Top public schools: Princeton High School (A+), West Windsor-Plainsboro High School South (A+), Princeton Charter School (A+)
- Top private schools: Princeton International School of Math and Science (A+), Princeton Day School (A+), Stuart Country Day School (A+)

- Pictured: 286 Carter Rd, Princeton ($6.3 million, 6 bedrooms)
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#1. Princeton Junction

- Population: 2,336
- Median home value: $548,400 (82% own)
- Median rent: $1,048 (18% rent)
- Median household income: $231,094
- Top public schools: West Windsor-Plainsboro High School South (A+), West Windsor-Plainsboro High School North (A+), Community Middle School (A+)

- Pictured: 17 Cliffview Ct, Princeton Junction ($1.2 million, 5 bedrooms)

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