N.J. gets shafted in ‘Best Places to Live’ ranking by national website


New Jersey isn’t among the top-ranked “best places to live.” At least, according to the people who run things over at U.S. News & World Report.

The publication released its “Best Places to Live in the U.S.” list for 2022-2023, and the only New Jersey city to make the list was Trenton, which was No. 86 overall out of 150 metro areas ranked.

However, the list is not as simple as the “Best Places to Live” title implies at face value.

U.S. News & World Report’s methodology factors the job market, quality of life, value, net migration ratings and desirability.

Most notably, though, the publication only considers the 150 most populous regions of the country. And although New Jersey has more populated metropolitan areas than Trenton (Newark, Jersey City and Camden, for example), they are considered part of the New York City and Philadelphia metro areas for the sake of the ranking.

Thus, Trenton was the only New Jersey city among the top 150, according to this methodology, and the only one to be ranked.

Any true definition of a “best place to live” is subjective from person to person, and certainly New Jersey would have more than one city in the top 150 — especially if we weren’t lumped in with New York and Philadelphia.

Here is what U.S. News & World Report said about Trenton:

“The diverse, scenic Trenton metro area mixes the old and new,” the website reads. “With a history that predates the founding of the U.S., New Jersey’s capital city was the location of Revolutionary War battles and is home to a number of museums. Yet, it still has a variety of modern attractions and entertainment, and its proximity to the Delaware River means locals can participate in aquatic sports and enjoy an assortment of wildlife.”

Some other rankings Trenton was listed in:

  • No. 5 in Best Places to Live for Quality of Life.
  • No. 23 in Most Expensive Places to Live.
  • No. 37 in Best Places to Retire.

The best place to live in the U.S., according to U.S. News & World Report, was Huntsville, Alabama, followed by Colorado Springs, Colorado; Green Bay, Wisconsin; Boulder, Colorado; and San Jose, California.

Clearly U.S. News & World Report hasn’t been reading our series on why New Jersey is better than every other state.

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Katherine Rodriguez can be reached at [email protected]. Have a tip? Tell us at nj.com/tips.


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