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Largest Cities in New Jersey 🏙️ – Explore Major Cities in New Jersey

New Jersey is home to several iconic regions, including the Hudson Waterfront (or Gold Coast), the affluent North Jersey region, and the Jersey Shore. The Gateway Region is the gateway to New York City and the Newark Liberty International Airport. It's home to six of the most populated cities in New Jersey and the best NJ commuter towns.

Whether you're visiting the Garden State, retiring in NJ, or considering a move to New Jersey, exploring the largest cities in New Jersey is a good place to start. Here are 10 major cities in New Jersey with population data from the 2020 census and what makes each one special.

New Jersey Population & Facts

  • New Jersey population: 9,288,994
  • Density: 1,263 people per square mile
  • Educational attainment: 43.5% bachelor’s degree or higher (U.S.: 35.7%)
  • Median household income: $96,346 (U.S. median: $74,755)
  • Median age: 40.4 years (U.S. median: 39 years)
  • Foreign-born population: 23.6% (U.S.: 13.9%)

New Jersey's Largest Cities

1. Newark

  • Population: 311,549
  • County: Essex
  • Area: 24.1 square miles
  • Median household income: $49,688
  • Median home value: $344,800
  • Newark, NJ map

Newark is the largest city in New Jersey and a major hub of cultural experiences, commerce, and transportation. Known for its vibrant arts scene, it's home to the New Jersey Performing Arts Center and the Newark Museum of Art. The city also boasts beautiful parks like Branch Brook Park, famous for its cherry blossoms. Newark Liberty International Airport and its strategic location near New York City make it a crucial transit point for international travel and commuting.

It's the only city in New Jersey with more than 300,000 residents.

2. Jersey City

  • Population: 292,449
  • County: Hudson
  • Area: 14.7 square miles
  • Median household income: $94,080
  • Median home value: $559,700
  • Jersey City, NJ map

Just across the Hudson River from Lower Manhattan, Jersey City offers stunning views of the New York City skyline and easy access to NYC. This amazingly diverse community is known for its rich history and iconic landmarks like Liberty State Park, which provides access to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. It's also the county seat of Hudson County, one of the most densely populated counties in the Garden State and part of the Gateway Region.

The revitalized downtown area is home to a thriving culinary scene, shopping, and cultural venues. The New Jersey Waterfront is one of the best neighborhoods in the city for young professionals with scenic views, new high-rise condos, and a walkable environment. It's become a major banking and finance center for the entire country.

Learn more about why you'll love living in Jersey City with our in-depth guide!

3. Paterson

  • Population: 159,732
  • County: Passaic
  • Area: 8.4 square miles
  • Median household income: $47,373
  • Median home value: $324,800
  • Paterson, NJ map

Paterson is one of the biggest cities in New Jersey and the largest in Passaic County. Paterson alone composes 30% of the entire population of Passaic County! Like Newark and Jersey City, it's located in North Jersey.

Paterson, often referred to as the "Silk City" due to its historical role in silk production, offers a unique blend of industrial history and natural beauty. The Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park is a must-see, featuring one of the largest waterfalls in the United States. The city is known for its cultural diversity with the country’s second-largest population of Muslim residents per capita. This diversity contributes to a vibrant dining scene and numerous cultural events throughout the year.

The Great Falls Historic District is one of the most iconic neighborhoods in Paterson and home to the Paterson Museum with exhibits exploring the city’s industrial past.

4. Elizabeth

  • Population: 137,298
  • County: Union
  • Area: 12.3 square miles
  • Median household income: $64,113
  • Median home value: $450,800
  • Elizabeth, NJ map

Elizabeth is known for its rich colonial history and as a major shipping and manufacturing center. The city's historic Midtown area features landmarks like the Ritz Theatre and Union County Courthouse. Elizabeth is also home to one of the largest outlet malls in the region, The Mills at Jersey Gardens, making it a shopping destination for residents and visitors alike.

Warinanco Park in neighboring Roselle is right on the edge of the city. It's a top attraction for outdoor recreation, with 205 acres to explore. The park features an ice rink, boat house, Chatfield Gardens, and miles of trails.

5. Lakewood Township

  • Population: 135,158
  • County: Ocean
  • Area: 24.7 square miles
  • Median household income: $63,730
  • Median home value: $495,100
  • Lakewood Township, NJ map

Lakewood Township is the largest municipality in Ocean County and filled with beautiful lakes, parks, and a charming and walkable Victorian downtown area. Lakewood is home to a large Orthodox Jewish community and a population that has skyrocketed in recent decades.

Ocean County Park, one of 27 parks and conservation areas managed by Ocean County Parks and Recreation, is one of the region’s crown jewels. The former site of the former Rockefeller family’s vacation estate, it’s today a sprawling destination for skiing, fishing, tennis, skiing, cycling, and more. There’s a free driving range, an 18-hole disc golf course, plus a picturesque lake with swimming, playgrounds, and beaches. Another gem is the Lake Shenandoah County Park & Sports Facility Complex surrounding the 48-acre stocked lake. The park offers freshwater fishing piers and 19 acres of open playing fields.

6. Edison Township

  • Population: 107,588
  • County: Middlesex
  • Area: 30.1 square miles
  • Median household income: $120,700
  • Median home value: $480,100
  • Edison Township, NJ map

Edison is the largest municipality in Middlesex County, the third most populous county in the state and part of Central Jersey in the Raritan Valley area. It’s a major New York City bedroom community and commercial hub of the region. Menlo Park Mall is a large regional shopping center with major anchors, over 165 specialty shops, restaurants, and entertainment.

The Township of Edison is named for inventor Thomas Edison whose “invention factory” or research lab built in 1876 brought global awareness to the community. The Thomas Edison Center at Menlo Park in Edison State Park is a memorial to Edison with a large assortment of inventions and artifacts on display.

Today, Edison offers residents a great school system, which makes it a popular destination for young families. It's also known for its vibrant Little India district with fantastic Pakistani and Indian restaurants. It's home to the New Jersey Convention and Exposition Center.

7. Woodbridge Township

  • Population: 103,639
  • County: Middlesex
  • Area: 23.3 square miles
  • Median household income: $97,783
  • Median home value: $409,200
  • Woodbridge Township, NJ map

Woodbridge Township is one of the oldest original townships in New Jersey and one of the largest Central Jersey cities with a mix of historic charm and modern amenities. It's nestled against the Raritan River and Arthur Kill which separates the state from Staten Island. A major regional economic and transportation hub, Woodbridge boasts historic landmarks of the Revolutionary War and an extensive park system.

Residents enjoy great amenities like the Woodbridge Community Center, picturesque William Warren Park, and the Woodbridge Center Mall.

8. Toms River

  • Population: 95,438
  • County: Ocean
  • Area: 39.0 square miles
  • Median household income: $92,300
  • Median home value: $389,100
  • Toms River, NJ map

Toms River is a thriving coastal town known for its family-friendly environment and beautiful Jersey Shore beaches, boardwalks, and water recreation. One of the most picturesque New Jersey towns on the Jersey Shore, Toms River offers residents a great quality of life with dozens of neighborhoods with diverse housing options, a fun nightlife, and endless opportunities for relaxation and entertainment. The annual Toms River Halloween Parade is one of the largest in the world, drawing thousands of participants and spectators each year.

9. Hamilton Township

  • Population: 92,297
  • County: Mercer
  • Area: 39.4 square miles
  • Median household income: $84,584
  • Median home value: $298,600
  • Hamilton Township, NJ map

Hamilton Township is one of the largest New Jersey cities. It’s the largest municipality in Mercer County and the largest suburb of Trenton, the state capital. Hamilton Township is bordered by Trenton to the west and the New Jersey – Pennsylvania state border.

The Township of Hamilton is known for its great school system and top-rated parks and recreational areas like Veterans Park, the Grounds for Sculpture, an outdoor sculpture park and museum, and Seven House and Gardens in the historic Hamilton Square.

10. Trenton

  • Population: 90,871
  • County: Mercer
  • Area: 7.6 square miles
  • Median household income: $52,508
  • Median home value: $169,500
  • Trenton, NJ map

Trenton rounds out this top-ten list of New Jersey cities by population. The state capital of New Jersey, Trenton offers easy access to Philadelphia and New York City. It’s also close to Princeton and Camden, where famous waterfront attractions on the Delaware River, such as the USS New Jersey and Adventure Aquarium, are located.

Trenton has a rich historical heritage and serves as the state’s political hub. Key attractions include the New Jersey State House, the Old Barracks Museum, and the Trenton Battle Monument. The Trenton Thunder baseball team offers family-friendly entertainment, while the downtown area is undergoing revitalization with new businesses and cultural venues.

Cities in New Jersey by Region

Prefer to explore cities and towns in New Jersey by region? Here’s a quick overview of the different regions and the biggest cities in New Jersey in each area.

North Jersey

  • Counties: Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Morris, Passaic, Sussex, and Warren
  • Major North Jersey cities: Jersey City, Paterson, Elizabeth, Newark, Clifton, Bayonne, Passaic, East Orange, and Union City

North Jersey is known for its affluent towns, forests, parks, scenic coastal areas, and New York City skyline views.

Central Jersey

  • Counties: Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Somerset, and Union
  • Major Central Jersey cities: Edison, Woodbridge, Hamilton, Trenton, Franklin, and Old Bridge

Central Jersey is home to two major universities and a center of art and culture. It’s a major transportation hub and popular vacation destination.

South Jersey

  • Counties: Burlington, Camden, Cumberland, Gloucester, and Salem
  • Major South Jersey cities: Cherry Hill, Camden, Gloucester, and Vineland

South Jersey is known for its Atlantic coast area with the Pine Barrens and popular attractions like the Ocean City Boardwalk. It’s part of the Delaware Valley metro area.

Jersey Shore

  • Counties: Atlantic, Cape May, Monmouth, and Ocean
  • Major Jersey Shore cities: Lakewood, Toms River, Brick, Middletown, and Jackson

The Jersey Shore is a 127-mile stretch of boardwalks, beaches, amusement parks, and water parks on the state’s Atlantic coast. It’s a major summer vacation destination.

Gateway Region

  • Counties: Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Passaic, Union, and Middlesex

The Gateway Region is home to the Statue of Liberty and is the gateway to New York City. It’s the most densely populated area of New Jersey. It’s home to the six largest municipalities in New Jersey.

New Jersey Skylands

  • Counties: Hunterdon, Morris, Somerset, Sussex, and Warren
  • Major New Jersey Skylands cities: Franklin, Parsippany-Troy Hills, Bridgewater, Hillsborough, Mount Olive, Bernards, Randolph, Rockaway, and Vernon

The Skylands Region is home to High Point State Park, the highest point in the state. It’s known for its outdoor recreation, which includes skiing, snowboarding, camping, hiking, and fishing. It’s home to many picturesque towns

New Jersey Cities FAQs

Which New Jersey Cities Have a View of the New York City Skyline?

There are dozens of cities in NJ along the Hudson River offering fantastic NYC views. Some of the best places to enjoy the NYC skyline include Eagle Rock Observation Deck in West Orange, the Waterfront Walkway in Hoboken, Liberty State Park in Jersey City, and Hamilton Park in Weehawken.

What Is the Largest City in New Jersey by Population?

Newark is the largest city in New Jersey by population with 311,500 residents. It’s the only New Jersey city with more than 300,000 people.

What Is the Biggest City in New Jersey by Area?

Hamilton Township is the largest municipality in New Jersey by area, with 110.9 square miles. The largest city by area is Vineland, which has 68.4 square miles of land.

Largest Cities in New Jersey Map

These ten cities highlight the diverse and dynamic nature of New Jersey. From the bustling urban environments of Newark and Jersey City to the cultural hubs of Paterson and Trenton, each city offers unique experiences and opportunities. Whether you're looking to explore, live, or invest, you'll find something great in each of New Jersey's largest cities.

Considering a move to or within the Garden State? Harrington Moving & Storage is standing by to give you the seamless moving experience you deserve. Call the best New Jersey movers today at (973) 313-2246 to get started with your free, personalized quote!

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