Moving to Newark: 12 Things to Know [2021 Guide]
Living in Newark, NJ
As the largest city in New Jersey, Newark in Essex County is known as one of the nation's biggest hubs for transportation. In addition to the nearby seaport, the community has access to railroads, airports, and major highways, making it a dream for any organization needing easy access for logistics operations, including shipping finished items and receiving parts for assembly. The city also benefits from its geographic position, as it's part of the huge metropolitan footprint of New York City and is located right at the mouth of the Passaic River.
Because of the historical legacy of the city, there are many attractions for history buffs. For example, Branch Brook Park is the oldest county park in the U.S. It's also the largest collection of cherry blossom trees, numbering more than 5,000. The community is also the home of several famous individuals.
But before moving to this community, it would be wise to conduct research. Keep reading for some things you should consider before relocating to Newark, New Jersey.
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Cost of Living in Newark
Despite being in the shadow of New York City, the cost of living in Newark is not as high as one might assume. In fact, on an index using the typical U.S. city as 100.00, Newark ranks 119.5, meaning it's only about 19.5% more expensive than the average city. Additionally, this ranking is not uniform across costs. Most new residents find some areas where they can save money and some where they spend more in the community.
The median home cost for the entire region is $265,000, which is a little more expensive than the national average of $231,000. In general, housing is about 14.7% more expensive in Newark than in the typical U.S. community. However, that price represents a wide range. For example, small condos or townhomes will be less expensive than luxury homes in Newark's best suburbs.
Renting a single-bedroom apartment in the community is about $1,058, which is more expensive than the national average of $930 a month. Two bedrooms can cost around $1,289, which is again more than the nationwide average at $1,148. Interestingly enough, home prices in Newark are usually more affordable than the average for the surrounding New York City metro area. For example, renting a three-bedroom in Newark is $1,644, much more affordable than the regional average of $2,410. That cost level can make the community attractive for those who want to live near the Big Apple without the associated expense.
Grocery costs within the community are about the same as the national numbers, at only 3.7% higher. Utility costs are generally about 14.1% higher than typical costs in other cities. Transportation costs are 56.1% higher in Newark, likely because of the number of commuters working outside the city. Miscellaneous costs like repairs and clothing are also a bit higher than normal, at 15.7%. Finally, health care is one area where new residents are likely to save money, at only 90.9% of the average costs.
More information about cost of living in Newark:
Newark Job Market
Understanding the layout of the local economy is a great way to research a new potential home. The largest employers and most powerful local industries all influence the culture and determine the opportunities within a community. Despite its relatively small size, Newark benefits from its age and presence in the NYC footprint. As a result, several businesses over the years started within the community and thrived.
Prudential Financial, one of the oldest and most successful insurance companies globally, was founded in Newark. Today, the company has revenues of more than $59.7 billion and more than 49,700 employees. Panasonic Corporation of North America is another major corporation with a current headquarters in the city. With more than 13,000 employees total, they produce a wide variety of products and reach revenues of about $7 billion annually.
Public Service Electric and Gas company, otherwise known as PSEG, is one of the largest utility companies in the world. More than a century old, they have almost 13,000 employees and make around $9.3 billion each year. Additionally, NJ Transit is a state-owned public service organization providing transportation assistance to New Jersey and parts of New York and Pennsylvania. Around 11,500 people keep the vehicles running and clean while administrating the $1.1 billion operation on behalf of the residents.
Newark Public Schools is another of the largest employers in the area. They employ about 5,530 people providing education services for grades K-12 and adult education. Founded in 1979, private security firm Gateway Group One earns about $175 million a year by providing physical security services to manufacturing companies and other venues. The company employs about 4,000 staff and provides training and certification services for personnel and organizations.
Popular Industries in the Area
The state's economy is driven by several industries, the largest of which are financial services, transportation and logistics, and life sciences. The financial services sector is powered in part by the proximity to NYC and provides assistance related to investments, accounting, and insurance. In 2018, around 222,060 employees worked within these areas in the state.
With access to nearly every form of transportation, New Jersey is a haven for transportation services. Wages in this area accounted for 13.1% of private employment in 2017.
In part due to the concentration of people, the life sciences sector in New Jersey grew by 14.7% between 2013 and 2018. In that last year, around 72,900 people worked in that area within the state, including scientists, engineers, and medical professionals.
More information about finding a job in Newark:
Things to Do in Newark
One of the reasons some people avoid small towns is the simple potential for boredom. However, Newark's connection with NYC, scenic views, and long history provide residents with plenty of fun activities. The Newark Museum is over a century old and promotes arts and natural sciences with various exhibits and collections. For festivals, shopping, and fine eateries, visit the Ironbound neighborhood. Take a stroll down the streets to find new favorite pastimes. Exploring Newark always reveals something new.
For many people, there is nothing quite as relaxing as outdoor activities. Fortunately, Newark commits to providing fresh air fun to its residents and visitors. Branch Brook Park is a 360-acre oasis away from the urban world. In addition to the beautiful cherry blossom trees, the park contains several walking paths, a garden, tennis courts, and more.
Riverfront Park is another beautiful outdoor property just begging for a romp in the fresh air. This park also offers green space and multiple sports fields and straddles the river for nine city blocks.
Restaurants, Breweries, and Bars
There is nothing quite like relaxing with good food and brews with friends when it comes to after-work and weekend freedom. Luckily, new residents of Newark will find a plethora of great places to create new memories. Fernandes Steak House serves high-quality steak, chicken, and seafood in a variety of unique recipes. They also have a great selection of wines, beers, and cocktails.
For the best in craft brews, visit Four City Brewing Company. With original flavors like Lemon Sour OG India Pale Ale and Cinco De Cuatro Lime Lager, each experience is as unforgettable as the first. Looking for a place to relax with food and drinks? Check out the Mompou Tapas Bar & Restaurant for sautéed pork cubes, clams, and potatoes in garlic sauce.
Who says the party has to end when the sun drops? Newark has late-night fun for the creatures of the evening. QXT'S Nightclub is a popular spot for DJs and dance. Focusing on alternative music, the facility offers three separate spaces to provide plenty of opportunities for patrons who don't embrace the norm. For something a little more laid back, try Rosie's Sport Bar to watch the game and relax.
The weather in Newark is remarkably average for the U.S. as a whole. The city gets about 48 inches of rain each year, which is about 10 more inches than the nation on average. Newark's average snowfall is 26, only two points shy of the U.S. average of 28. The community receives 206 days of sun in a typical year, literally one additional day over the nationwide equivalent.
The summer high occurs in July when temperatures reach around 86 ºF. On the opposite end, the coldest month of the year is January, with a low of 23 ºF. Travelers may want to visit Newark in May, June, and September for the best combination of mild temperatures and clear conditions.
More information about the climate in Newark:
Getting around a new community is one of those things many tend to underestimate. With all the apps and digital city maps available, it's easy to get from point A to point B with very little knowledge of a city. However, there are a few factors that can complicate these daily journeys. It's worth mentioning that the average commute time for Newark is 35.5 minutes, which is longer than the U.S. average of 26.4 minutes. That is likely because of the number of people living in Newark but working in nearby communities.
Traffic in Newark begins to pick up at about 6 a.m. and remains elevated much of the morning. Evening congestion can begin as early as 3 p.m. and continue through about 7 p.m. Like most communities, finding a parking space is part of the commute. Downtown Newark is filled with a variety of street, lot, and garage parking. Most spaces hold for two-hour slots for anywhere between $5 to $18.
Driving between Newark and Jersey City might take about 21 minutes in low traffic. Commuting to work in Manhattan, New York, may take about 34 minutes under the best conditions. However, it can take up to an hour during the morning rush and 15 minutes longer than that in the evening.
I-280 runs east to west through the northern end of Newark, and both Central Ave and Orange Street run parallel courses. NJ Route 21 runs north to south in the middle of the city. There are no surface streets running the entire way, but U.S. Route 9 and I-95 may be available as a backup.
I-78 runs east to west through the southern tip of the city. However, no connecting surface streets provide alternative paths.
More information about traffic in Newark:
Public Transportation in Newark
New Jersey Transit manages a statewide public system operating 260 bus routes, three light-rail trains, and 12 commuter rail lines. Fares are based on the location of origin and the distance to the destination. Distance is determined by zones, and the fare becomes more expensive as riders cross additional zones. For example, the #1 bus in Newark is $1.60 for the first zone, $2.55 for the second zone, and $3.15 to travel to the third zone. Out-of-state travel is often more expensive, with costs reaching as much as $10 more.
Several park-and-ride lots are located along the rail and bus lines, allowing commuters to abbreviate their journey or avoid parking in congested areas. Taxi services and online rideshare apps like Lyft are also available for those without vehicles.
Newark Public School District offers prekindergarten to 12th-grade education for more than 36,600 students within the district. That includes over 1,900 preschool-aged, around 23,000 between kindergarten and junior high, and about 8,500 high schoolers. The instruction happens through a total of 62 schools at all levels. There are also eight charter schools and four specialized schools. The overall student-to-teacher ratio is 14:1, and only 1.7% of teachers are in their first or second year of instruction.
There are also many private schools in the area. St. Benedict's Preparatory School has about 750 students from kindergarten through high school. St. Philip's Academy provides instruction for grades kindergarten through eighth, with 335 students.
As for higher education, adult students can find multiple opportunities for self-improvement and career advancement. The New Jersey Institute of Technology offers several programs related to engineering technologies at the bachelor's level. Essex County College provides associate degrees and professional certificates in a wide variety of programs. Finally, the world-famous Rutgers University has a campus in Newark with several bachelor's programs.
Welcome To Newark
With its lower cost of living, Newark is a great opportunity for people wanting access to the New York metropolitan area without the NYC cost. The housing stock and cost of living are all more affordable, with various city parks and public transportation. Newark is a great place to call home.
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