Moving to Newark
Affordability 4 out of 5
Safety 3 out of 5
Healthcare 3 out of 5
Traffic Flow 3 out of 5
Property affordability 5 out of 5
Climate 4 out of 5
Environment quality 5 out of 5
In the past, hard-working Newark has had a reputation as nearby New York’s tougher sibling. But with money being poured into development and housing, a vibrant cultural scene and a healthy employment outlook, more newcomers are choosing to live in this lively, bustling city every year.
With a population of nearly 300,000 and growing, Newark is the largest urban centre in New Jersey. It’s known as the Gateway City because it’s powered by unrivalled transport links; a major airport, seaport, rail and road hubs provide access to the rest of the continent and form a major part of the local economy.
Moving to Newark offers a multitude of employment opportunities. Its business district hosts the headquarters of many international companies, while a slew of legal firms and government organisations also attract professionals.
Culturally, Newark is diverse and exciting. From ballet and rock concerts at the New Jersey Performing Arts Centre to catching the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Centre, there’s something for all tastes, and the city itself is a melting pot of music, street art and vibrant cuisine. Plus, at only eight miles from the Big Apple, you’re never far from the sights and sounds of New York.
Newark is the biggest employment centre in the state of New Jersey, with a hundred thousand commuters pouring into the city from the suburbs and further afield every day. Many professionals also choose to live in Newark and commute to Manhattan.
Newark has always been defined by its trade and transport links, and this sector still dominates, providing 217,100 jobs. Port Newark is a major container shipping hub that fuels trade in the area, while Newark Liberty International Airport is one of the busiest in the US.
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The economy is also heavily reliant on by service industries. As the location of several large courts, Newark is home to many law firms. Insurance is also a key sector; the city is the third largest centre for insurance in the US and home of the headquarters of Prudential Financial, one of the world’s largest insurers.
Other corporates with headquarters in the city include Corporation of North America, Panasonic and Public Service Enterprise Group. Audio book producer and Amazon subsidiary Audible are also headquartered in the city. Professional and business services as a whole provide 162,300 jobs while financial activities including banking and insurance generate 81,200 jobs.
Jobs in education
With a student population of 40,000, education also provides substantial employment, while five hospitals including a teaching hospital are also key employers. Education, health and medical research provide 137,900 jobs in total.
Manufacturing was once Newark’s main industry, and although today it has been overtaken by white collar and service industries, it is still an important sector, providing 93,300 jobs2, with factories concentrated in the south section of the Ironbound neighbourhood.
As a multi-cultural city, Newark welcomes immigrants and expats, and with one of the largest Portuguese speaking communities in the US, a large Latino population and many international companies, bilingual employees are welcome.
In 2013 the cost of living index for Newark was 119.1, higher than the US average of 100, but there are plenty of cheap options for eating out and entertainment. Accommodation costs can be kept down if you choose your area carefully. The average monthly disposable salary is $2,801.
Eating out is a big deal in Newark, with restaurants and fast food joints offering everything from all-American steaks to Portuguese and Latin cuisine. If you’re on a budget, a meal at an inexpensive restaurant will set you back between $10 and $25, while a three-course meal for two at a more expensive establishment might push the price up to $55 at the high end. A domestic beer will cost around $3.50, while a cappuccino will be around $3.83.
With its recent retail tax breaks, Newark is better served by supermarkets than ever before. A litre of milk comes in at around $1.31, a loaf of bread at $3 and a kilo of local cheese $7.67.5
Public transport is the most efficient way to get around the city. There’s a good bus system, a subway system and two light rail lines running from Penn Station to Manhattan and other New Jersey locations. A one-way ticket will cost you on average $1.50, or a monthly pass is between $67 and $115. Taxi fares start at $4, plus $3.73 a kilometre. Gas is priced between $0.60 and $0.79 a litre.
Accommodation costs depend on the area you’re looking at. A one-bed apartment in the city centre is likely to cost around $940 a month on average to rent, whereas the same apartment in the suburbs will be more like $775. A three-bed apartment in the centre will be around $1,750 or in the suburbs $1,500.5
Buying an apartment in the city centre might cost you around $1,399.31 per square metre, whereas prices outside the centre go down to around $979.17 per square metre.
Most people moving to Newark rent; 78% of them, in fact, well over the state average of 36%. This reflects Newark’s mixed and often transient population of blue and white collar workers.
Renting is also popular because proximity to New York means that house prices in Newark are relatively high, but there have been efforts in recent years to ease the pressure on the market by building new complexes of affordable townhouses. The mean price of a detached house was $206,581 in 2013, a townhouse $187,052, or an apartment in a block of five or more units, $212,672. Homes have appreciated in value by an average of 5% over the last year.
Newark residents describe their location in the city in terms of the ward and neighbourhood they live in. The five wards are East, South, North, Central and West. Residential areas are concentrated to the North, Central and West wards.
Family-Friendly: South Orange and West Orange – affluent, pleasant historic suburban areas just outside the city of Newark itself.Ivy Hill – part of the West Ward, a diverse area with many family homes. Also the location of Ivy Hill Park, New Jersey’s largest private apartment complex, is popular with students.Valisburg – a good mix of family homes in a suburb with a good reputation and strong local community.
Upmarket:Forest Hill – first developed in the 1870s between Branch Brook Park and the Passaic River, Forest Hill is packed with Beaux-Arts, Victorian and Gothic Revival mansions.
Hip & Trendy: Ironbound – an old metal-working area and home to a large Portuguese community, the Ironbound is packed with restaurants and nightlife and offers affordable apartments and rowhouses. Old industrial sites have been converted to housing in many places.
Up & Coming:Halsey Street – situated between the North Ironbound district and University Heights, Haley Street is slowly being gentrified by an influx of new businesses and residents, including a new building for Prudential.
Cost of moving
The average shipping cost of moving for a family of three from the following cities to Minneapolis will cost approximately:
Schools and education
There are 75 public schools in the Newark area. Science Park High School, with its emphasis on science and technology, is ranked 69th out of 322 state schools in New Jersey, while Technology High School was ranked 165th.
The area has several high-performing charter schools, including the Robert Treat Academy and the Grey Charter School, both of which have won National Blue Ribbon awards for performance.
Universities in Newark
Newark a major college town. University Heights is the student district, where most of the institutions are located. The largest is Rutgers-Newark, founded in 1766 with a current specialism in law, business and medical research. Rutgers-Newark is ranked 58th in the US and 255th in the world.
The New Jersey Institute of Technology has doubled its campus size over the last ten years. It offers programs in technical and liberal subjects, with money invested in new research facilities.
The Seaton Hall School of Law is the only private law school in New Jersey and is ranked 25 out of 200 law school across the US.
Other local institutions include Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences, Essex County College and a campus of Berkeley University.
Ranking against the world
Newark has had a reputation as a high crime city, but homicide and crime rates have improved in recent years and investment is being poured into reducing crime.
Newark is a very diverse city; Rutgers-Newark is officially the most diverse college campus in the US, ranked number one by BestColleges.com.
If you’re hankering for a proper American Halloween, personal finance tool WalletHub has names Newark as one of the best cities for Halloween nationwide, based on safety, activities and weather!
A day in the life
It’s a weekend in Newark. You start out by making the most of the sunny spring morning enjoying the world-famous pink and white cherry blossom in Branch Brook Park, then at lunchtime you grab an enormous deep-fried hot dog made with Italian bread at Dickie Dee’s – these dogs are so famous they’ve been on the US Cooking Channel.
Lunch has slowed you down a little, so you head to University Heights to grab a pew for Jazz Vespers at the Bethany Baptist Church in University Heights where world-class jazz musicians entertain the congregation.
In the evening you enjoy a fantastic Portuguese meal at one of the many restaurants crowding Ferry Street in the Ironbound, then head off to see the New Jersey Devils ice hockey team romp home at the Prudential Centre, or catch a comedian’s show at the New Jersey Performing Arts Centre, a venue that hosts a string of national-quality productions.