Three NJ Towns Make ‘The 50 Worst Cities To Live In’ List
24/7 Wall Street just released their list of "The 50 Worst Cities To Live In", and New Jersey lays claim to three places on the list.
Obviously this is a totally subjective thing, so in order to bring some objectivity to the findings, the website used data like Affordability, Economy, Quality of Life, and Community to rank cities.
Coming in at #46: Asbury Park. AP is probably my favorite shore town, although I admit there is a big divide between the spots that line Cookman & Ocean Avenues versus the rest of the town. Here's what they have to say about Asbury:
- Population: 15,830
- Poverty rate: 30.4% (top 10%)
- 2017 violent crimes per 100,000 people: 1,361 (top 10%)
- Median home value: $335,500 (top 25%)
- Asbury Park is a relatively poor city along the New Jersey coast. The typical household in the city earns just $39,324 a year, about $18,000 less than the typical American household. Low income residents are strained further by the area’s high cost of living. Asbury Park is located within the broader New York City metro area, one of the most expensive regions of the country, and goods and services in the city are 22.4% more expensive than average.
- The city’s low incomes and a high cost of living likely contribute to widespread food insecurity in Asbury Park. Additionally, more than one in every three city residents have limited access to a grocery story or large supermarket.
The 29th Worst City is our capital, Trenton.
- Population: 84,867
- Poverty rate: 27.3% (top 10%)
- 2017 violent crimes per 100,000 people: 1,286 (top 10%)
- Median home value: $95,900 (bottom 25%)
- Employment in Trenton, New Jersey, has been largely stagnant over the past five years. The number of people in the city with jobs has increased by just 0.4% in that time period compared to 6.1% employment growth nationwide. The city’s five-year unemployment rate is also relatively high at 7.8% — nearly double the comparable U.S. rate.
- This lack of employment opportunities likely contributes to Trenton’s relatively low median annual household income of $35,524 — more than $22,000 below the U.S. median. A dollar does not go nearly as far in Trenton as it would in the typical American city. The city’s cost of living is more than 17% higher than the average U.S. cost of living.
I would've expected a place like Camden or Newark to come in ahead of Trenton, but the highest-ranked NJ city on the list is Bridgeton, in Cumberland County, coming in at #13.
- Population: 24,948
- Poverty rate: 32.3% (top 10%)
- 2017 violent crimes per 100,000 people: 1,091 (top 10%)
- Median home value: $103,400 (bottom 25%)
- Bridgeton, a small city in southern New Jersey, is the worst city to live in in the state and one of the worst in the country. The typical household earns just $34,135 a year, less than half the median annual household income of $76,475 across the state as a whole. Lower-income residents are further burdened by the city’s high cost of living. Goods and services are 9.3% more expensive in Bridgeton than they are nationwide, on average.
- Like many cities on this list, Bridgeton is losing residents. Over the last five years, the city’s population declined by 1.2%, even as the U.S. population grew by 3.8%.
Well, that was depressing. I guess the silver lining is that we only have three towns, not four? In case you're wondering, the Worst City on the list is Mendota, California, with a population of just over 11,000, and almost 50% of them living in poverty.