17 Reasons Not to Move to Jersey City, New Jersey (Voted by the locals!)

Jersey City is right on the side of the Hudson River and directly across from New York City. It is a bustling metropolis akin to the famous city it shares a river with and is often seen as a big step up for those who have the opportunity to move out for a job or for new life experiences.

Jersey City isn’t a utopia though and anyone with a brain should research an area they might move into before they commit to it. Jersey City has a multitude of problems that might end up being the tipping point between choosing to go for it or finding another option.

17. Crimes

The crime ratesOpens in a new tab. of Jersey City are pretty high. In an area that is much more city than most other places, it makes for a wide variety of people from all walks of life. Unfortunately, all walks of life include the bad ones as well. There’s a plethora of people who resort to petty crimes and other things to make do, additionally, the violent crimes in areas are pretty bad.

It’s common to anticipate things being broken into and even the potentiality of being mugged on the streets. There are preventive measures that can be taken, but in all honesty, none of that should have to happen. Someone should be able to feel safe in their city and Jersey City is not one of those areas.

New Jersey residents consider Jersey City to be a ghetto. More so than other areas of the state and this contributes heavily to the safety of the neighborhoods and the city itself. With a lot of other unsafe practices, the crime rate is only the tip of the iceberg for Jersey City.

16. Drugs

The drug problemOpens in a new tab. in Jersey City is just as prevalent as the crimes are. While it’s not something that’s really seen on the streets, no deals in broad daylight, the presence of drug houses and the impact of these substances in the community are extremely negative and long-lasting. It’s not something to bring a family into and it doesn’t necessarily make for a very safe environment for a single, solo person who wants a taste of the city.

It is reported by some Jersey City residents that despite the common knowledge of a house being a drug house, nothing is done about it solely due to the fact that it isn’t one of the big fish in the drug dealing scene. This continues to be a damaging aspect of the community and not something they can change readily.

15. Overpopulated

Jersey City faces a crisis that a lot of places across the United States currently face. Because of job opportunities, people move to the cities and add themselves to the populace. Well, there’s not always the physical space for that many people in an area and it makes things more and more difficult for lifelong residents and new residents alike.

Overpopulation makes things difficult in a number of ways, such as the housing market, pricing on apartments and amenities, parking spaces and how expensive those are, traffic, and so many more ways. It isn’t sustainable to move into an environment that struggles with accurately pricing things according to the wage of the people there and their circumstances as well as the volume of people there.

The population of Jersey City was recorded at 256,747 in 2022. All jam-packed into a small place that really has no other way to grow or go but up. The adding to that population still continues and while it does seem to have a good rate for employment, the rates at which they are paid aren’t sustainable for the pricing of everything else.

14. Traffic is Horrendous

traffic jam with row of cars on expressway during rush hour

More people means more traffic and traffic can get pretty bad in that area, to the point that it is somewhat infamous for its pressure on the residents and the city itself. There isn’t space to expand roads or anything that can be done that isn’t done already to mitigate the problem as it gets worse.

It probably doesn’t help that the place credited with some of the worst traffic nationwide is right next door. A lot of the commutes are painfully inaccurate as to how or when someone might get to their job and finding housing close to their job to minimize this is never a guarantee.

13. Expensive Housing

Speaking of housingOpens in a new tab., it’s not a guarantee at all but an eternal fight between pricing, locations, as well as quality. Residents of Jersey City rarely get what they pay for when it comes to an apartment and usually just have to settle for the fact that it is an apartment rather than being homeless.

The housing market in Jersey City is brutal and things are too far out of the price range of most people in the area, which can create a divide between the newer move-ins who could afford the house and those who wanted to buy a house but cannot and could not afford it.

The housing situation is no joke and it still continually frustrates all those who ever have to interact with it in Jersey City. The prices are often far more outrageous than is appreciated or can fully be maintained with the types of jobs in the area. It’s just not sustainable and ends in a huge letdown for people looking for better housing or even affordable housing.

12. Schools Aren’t Great

The schools in Jersey City are not credited with being the greatest that the state has to offer. This predictably contributes to the community at large and since the community includes the next generation, having a lower standard for the schooling system perpetuates the issues that exist already in the community.

There’s not any school that’s recommended more than another, but if someone is looking for a place to potentially raise a family or gain a good education, Jersey City isn’t the place for it.

11. High Gas Prices

It’s true. Gas prices are high everywhere, but that doesn’t exempt the state of New Jersey or even Jersey City from this. In fact, even if it’s a couple of cents cheaper than a lot of the North-Western states at more than $4.19 a $5.19 to a gallon of gasoline, this is quickly made up for in the time that residents spend with their car idling in traffic.

There’s no getting around it. If someone owns a car, they have to buy gas and it’s just extremely expensive to the point that walking seems like a better option. Which, in some instances is much better both for the environment and for the wallet, but in Jersey City, where crime is popular and safety isn’t part of the general admission, it’s less of a good idea.

10. Public Transportation Sucks

And on that note, public transportation does not work well in Jersey City at all. New York City has a good deal of public transportation and the residents there take advantage of it, but in Jersey City, there are not the proper adjustments made for the volume of people who use the public transportation systems rather than their own private vehicles or any sort of taxi.

Additionally, there are cancellations quite frequently, which makes for an extremely unreliable way to work. As anyone with a job knows, being late is highly frowned upon, and blaming it on the bus being late time and time again will do no more than get some poor called a liar and getting fired.

9. Places Aren’t Open Late

The places to go shopping and get essentials aren’t always open late. Usually for good reason as there’s not a lot they can do to mitigate whether or not their business might be vandalized or robbed beyond closing before the hooligans and delinquents get up to any trouble.

The places that are open later are dive bars, arcade bars, and just straight-up bars and clubs. These places aren’t the ones that someone would want to spend a romantic dinner at, and unfortunately, usually come with the side effect of inebriating and lessening the judgment-making capacity of the visitor due to the alcohol content. Not everyone has the best judgment before alcohol, and they’re more prone to do stupid things after the alcohol as well.

8. Still Expanding

Crowd of people walking on the busy city street.

Jersey City hasn’t stopped growing. The city could and probably will continue to grow as long as there are people who are interested in coming to the area, and due to the usual factors that bring new residents to the area, that’s not bound to stop anytime soon. Jersey City doesn’t actually have the best space to expand, and there’s not really a lot anyone can do about it continuing to expand beyond learning to live with another part of the city that changes.

7. Heavy Income Tax Burden

The income tax in Jersey City is a heavy burden. This is extremely annoying as the income that the residents do get isn’t that great, to begin with, but the tax just adds to that and creates a burden that every Jersey City resident feels as they try to make ends meet. They do their best, and then have a sizable chunk of each of their paychecks pulled out.

6. High Property Taxes

Now if some lucky person does happen to own property in Jersey City, they won’t be particularly happy with their ownership of said land. Just as the income tax is pretty steep, so are the property taxes. Having anything in Jersey City is difficult and requires a lot more sacrifice of time and money to maintain. Oftentimes the property won’t even be worth what is being paid for it or the taxes that are allotted to it.

5. Potential Hurricanes

The weather in Jersey City is fairly good, and for the most part, storms and flooding and other issues that a lot of places deal with aren’t really that big of a deal. It might get windy from time to time, but nothing like a tornado ever blows through. What might come through is hurricanes. Hurricane Sandy was one of the most notable to hit New York City and Jersey City, causing thousands of dollars in damages and costing many lives.

4. Roaches are a Constant Pest

The pest that is seen the most often is roaches. Most anywhere can get them, but Jersey City has older apartments and older buildings that aren’t that great, to begin with, and attract the roaches. Roaches like to feed off of decaying things, and if there’s wood and other things that are decaying, that’s where they’ll go.

3. Owning a Car is Impractical

Owning a car in Jersey City is largely impractical for a number of reasons. The traffic is awful, the gas prices are sky high, and the price tag on simply finding a place to park the car is outrageous. It can cost upwards of $300 a month to park a car in some places in Jersey City. It’s not worth that much effort and lost money on something if a resident plans to spend most of their time in the city. However, not having a car makes things more difficult in getting groceries and commuting to work on time.

2. Considered an Extension of New York City

In most Reddit threadsOpens in a new tab., the residents of Jersey City will point out to anyone who is looking to come to Jersey City that they need to come with the perspective that Jersey City is an extension of New York City with a similar feel and a hopefully lower rent charge. If someone doesn’t want the feel of New York City, they’ll dislike Jersey City and it’s best to know early on whether or not that’s something they want to be a part of and live in.

1. Having a Washer/Dryer in an Apartment is Rare

As mentioned before, the housing crisis is major and the money paid for the apartments and other housing is rather lame in comparison to what the residents get. A very significant and specific perk of this unfortunate arrangement is that laundromats are rather popular due to the fact that an in-unit washer and dryer are rare to come by and probably cost a fortune.

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Nathan Aydelotte

Hello! I'm Nathan, the lead editor for Suggested by locals. I grew up in the Boise, Idaho area and have lived here most of my life. I enjoy being close to the mountains where I can go hiking, camping, and mountain biking.

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