The Pros and Cons of Raising a Family in New Jersey

If you’re considering the move to New Jersey, you’re probably wondering whether it’s the best place to raise your kids. If you ask anyone who grew up in New Jersey, they’ll tell you it’s a great place to raise a family. However, there are both pros and cons to raising a family in the Garden State. With that in mind, here are some factors to consider before making the move.

Pro: A safe, secure, and healthy childhood

In a recent study, Save the Children named New Jersey the state most likely to offer children a safe, secure, and healthy childhood. The international non-governmental organization ranked each state based on factors, including rates of child violence, malnutrition, adolescent births, high school dropouts, and infant mortality rates. New Jersey was the only state that ranked within the top 10 for each category.

New Jersey is also home to top doctors, dentists, orthodontists, and hospitals, so you can take security in knowing you won’t have to go far to get your family the help they need. Whether your family is in need of dental care in Scotch Plains, NJ or require speciality healthcare, there are a ton of options in neighboring cities.

Pro: Top schools and small towns

New Jersey’s public schools rank among the top in the nation year after year when it comes to reading and math. The state’s public high school graduation rate ranks second nationwide at 90.1%. The state has a diverse population that will allow your kids to meet and go to school with children from a multitude of backgrounds and nationalities. Your kids will get the opportunity to learn about different cultures and holidays from Chinese New Year to Rosh Hashanah.

New Jersey is filled with all-American small towns and offers some of the best beaches and boardwalks on the East Coast. If beaches aren’t your thing, the state is filled with a ton of lakes. There are a ton of ongoing new and used boat sales in New Jersey — this will ensure that your children never get bored! If you’re worried about storing it during the colder months, check out storage units near you with a location-specific search, like “self-storage in Clifton, NJ.

Con: High taxes

New Jersey had the seventh-highest individual income tax collection per capita during the 2016 fiscal here, ranking close to New York and California. The state’s highly progressive tax structure raises rates for higher income levels, so if you’re a member of a higher tax bracket, you might want to reconsider the move.

At 6.625%, the state sales tax is the eighth-highest in the United States. The state allows designated counties and municipalities to charge additional sales tax, resulting in a higher combined average state and local sales tax rate.

New Jersey has the highest property taxes in the United States. In 2017, the average tax bill was $8,690. The highest average tax bills, which exceed $11,000, can be found in the counties of Bergen, Essex, and Union.

Con: The real estate market

A recent survey by Wallet Hub listed the best and worst real estate markets in the country taking factors like housing cost, foreclosure rate, and home price as a percent of income into consideration. New Jersey is an expensive place to live and many areas are heavily populated, creating competition for homes on the market. Wallet Hub found that Newark had the second-highest mortgage delinquency rate, as well as the lowest median home price appreciation rate, in the country.

Although New Jersey is ranked one of the best places in the country to raise a family, it’s important to take the above factors into consideration before making your decision. While New Jersey has a lot to offer, it’s not for everyone.