Jersey City, NJ waterfront

2021 Top 100 Best Places to Live In America Sponsored by: See homes for sale on Movoto by OJO

liv score
How We Calculate Our Data
Civics 51
Demographics 72
Economy 74
Education 54
Health 36
Housing 37
Infrastructure 55

#48. Jersey City, NJ

Diverse and eclectic, Jersey City, NJ is an East Coast community with tons of character. Home to roughly 280,000 people and located just across the bay from New York City, Jersey City is a great place to live, work, start a business, grow your family — or do all of the above. This city is well-known for its breadth of entertainment offerings, historic areas, charming neighborhoods and business-friendly culture, not to mention the unparalleled views of the waterfront and the Manhattan skyline. But, of course, you can’t beat the location, either.

Top Colleges/Universities: Hudson County Community College & Saint Peter’s University

Top Industries & Employers: Finance, banking, shipping and logistics, packaging and health care are some of the leading industries.

Weekend Plans: Grab a latte from The Grind Shop, then meet up with friends at one of Jersey City’s many festivals and events, ranging from celebrations of African cultural arts to delicious foodie fests.

Favorite Place to Feast: Laico’s, a longstanding Italian restaurant in the West Side neighborhood.

Beloved Beverage: Milkshakes at Torico Ice Cream, which the Berrios family has run since 1968. 

Outdoorsy Activity: Play tennis or kick around a soccer ball at Lincoln Park, a large historical park featuring 150 acres of green space and recreational offerings. It’s also home to Skyway Golf Course and great birding.

Rooftop Bar: Iron Monkey, a laid-back, all-are-welcome bar and restaurant specializing in craft beer.

Why Your Pet Will Love It, Too: Even if you’re not quite ready to take on the responsibility of owning a pet, you can still test out what it’s like to be a pet parent and help support a good cause when you become a pet foster for Liberty Humane Society. The organization also offers low-cost veterinary care and humane education, plus they’re always looking for volunteers to help with everything from cleaning to dog walking.

Remote Work Perk: In addition to traditional coworking spaces, Jersey City has an impressive public library system. If you’re getting tired of working from your couch, hop on over to the Priscilla Gardner Main Library, one of the regional branches or one of the quaint neighborhood libraries for some fresh inspiration.

One More Thing … Diversity has always been part of Jersey City’s culture. Nearby Ellis Island was the first stop for more than 12 million immigrants from 1892 to 1954.

– Sarah Kuta

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