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Living In Elizabeth NJ Ultimate Guide 🏙️ | Why You’ll Love Moving to Elizabeth, New Jersey!

There's lots to love about living in Elizabeth NJ. Incorporated in 1855, the city's rich history, from the Revolutionary War sites, the invention of the first ice cream soda, to housing IKEA's first flagship store, is imbued in the historic buildings and statues scattering the sidewalks. The city's population enjoys a diverse range of activities, from recreational endeavors in the beautiful parks to more cultural-inspired events and a vibrant nightlife. With proximity to other major cities and Atlantic beaches, the location is hard to beat.

What was the first capital of New Jersey, often referred to as Eastwick or E-town, is now a thriving city full of potential, with plentiful career opportunities at some of the leading companies and one of the busiest ports in the U.S. This complete guide will take you through the very streets of Elizabeth, New Jersey, as we explore the incredible restaurants, real estate market, top schools, jobs, and more! 

Where Is Elizabeth NJ?

You know of New York and other cities in New Jersey near New York, but where is Elizabeth NJ, and what county is Elizabeth NJ in?

Elizabeth, New Jersey, is the county seat of Union County, located in the northeastern part of the state and a proud part of the New York-Newark-Jersey City Metropolitan Statistical Area. It lies approximately 12 miles southwest of New York City and 80 miles from Philadelphia. 

Newark borders north Elizabeth, while other New Jersey cities, including Linden, HillSide, and Union (not to be mistaken for Union City a touch further north), encompass the west and south sides. The meandering Elizabeth River makes up the eastern border. 

Key landmarks in Elizabeth include the historic Union County Courthouse and the Elizabeth Seaport. The city also serves as a gateway to its close neighbor, Staten Island, New York, via the nearby Goethals Bridge to the east, as well as close proximity to Long Island. 

For directions to Elizabeth New Jersey, a handful of common queries include: 

While public transportation allows for accessibility to all via the NJ Transit system.

Elizabeth New Jersey Information

  • Elizabeth NJ County: Union
  • Elizabeth Area: 13.64 square miles
  • Elizabeth NJ Zip code: 07201-07202, 07206-07208
  • Elizabeth NJ Area code: 908
  • Elizabeth New Jersey Elevation: 16ft
  • Elizabeth NJ Time zone: Eastern Standard Time (UTC-4 and -5)
  • Elizabeth City Council: Visit the City Council website
  • Closest airport to Elizabeth NJ: The Newark (EWR) airport, 4.2 miles

Elizabeth NJ Population & Demographics

According to the 2020 census, 137,298 people live in Elizabeth, NJ, making it the fourth largest city in the state. The Elizabeth NJ population has grown 3.7% since 2010, while the population density remains at 11,145.2 people per square mile. This is a pretty compact city, considering the population of those living in Newark is over double but close to the same density at 12,903.8 per square mile.

25.4% of people living in Elizabeth New Jersey are under 18, while 11.4% are over 65, offering a mix of young and wise and a median age of 35.7 years old where 49.8% is female. The median household income is $59,939, below the $97,126 New Jersey median but above Newark.

The population of Elizabeth New Jersey is very diverse, broken down into: 28.1% White alone (13.0% White, non-Hispanic), 17.8% Black/African American, 0.8% American Indian/Alaska Native, 2.2% Asian, and 65.6% Hispanic/Latino. The foreign born Elizabeth NJ population makes up 49.2% of the total, hugely contributing to the city culture. Overall, the area is well educated, with 74.3% of residents having a high school diploma and 14.1% a bachelor's degree, and the population contributes to the exciting nature of the increasingly alluring New Jersey Elizabeth. 

Transportation

As transportation facilities grow, there's easy access to the many amenities and other major cities, be it by bus, ferry, or train. The city of Elizabeth NJ is circular in nature, with the sprawling railroad system at its center, while remaining well-connected through a network of major highways and robust public transportation.

The city is served by several key roadways, including the New Jersey Turnpike / Interstate 95, which provides direct access to major cities like New York and Philadelphia, and Interstate 278, which includes the Goethals Bridge connecting to Staten Island. Other important routes include U.S. Route 1/9, Route 27, Route 28, and Route 439, all of which enhance local and regional travel.

Public transportation in Elizabeth is among the most utilized in the U.S., with two New Jersey Transit train stations—Elizabeth Station in Midtown and North Elizabeth Station—on the North Jersey Coast Line and the Northeast Corridor Line offering extensive rail connectivity. Additionally, NJ Transit buses provide numerous routes that connect Elizabeth to New York City, Newark, and other local destinations.

The nearest major airport is the Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR), a typical 15-minute drive away, which is easily accessible and connects Elizabeth to global destinations. 

Cost of Living in Elizabeth

The cost of living in Elizabeth reflects that of the Newark-Elizabeth NJ metro, 123.8, or 23.8% more than the national average and slightly above the state of New Jersey COLI at 19.8%. To compare, the cost of living in Jersey City is 44% higher.

Estimates from the Economic Policy Institute Family Budget Calculator estimate that $119,509 is required for a family of four to comfortably meet the expenses required for Union County and living in Elizabeth NJ. To break these expenses down, you can expect to spend:

  • Loaf of bread: $4.06
  • Gallon of milk: $2.54
  • Hamburger: $5.37
  • Doctors visit: $116.20
  • Gas: $3.81/gallon
  • Elizabeth NJ utilities: $199.10/month average energy bill
  • Phone bill: $214.19
  • Vet visit: $65.66

Data sourced from Payscale

With no local tax to worry about, you only need to pay the New Jersey state tax rate of 6.63% when buying goods. That said, the property taxes in Elizabeth are some of the highest in New Jersey, and according to the state of New Jersey Treasury, the general tax rate is 30.579%.

In addition to property taxes, the Elizabeth NJ real estate market is competitive, and slightly higher than the surrounding zones like Newark, a major reason for the subtly higher cost of living in Elizabeth NJ. Let's look closer at where rentals and houses for sale in Elizabeth NJ stand. 

Elizabeth NJ Real Estate | Average Rent & Home Prices

The median sale price of homes for sale in Elizabeth NJ is $572,500 ($325 per square foot), above the national median of $420,321. This showcases a 11.2% increase since last year and the desirability of living in Elizabeth. If you're on the search for properties with a view, take a look at the southeastern part of the city along the River.

If buying one of the historic or new homes for sale in Elizabeth NJ is out of your range, renting is more affordable. The average rent in Elizabeth NJ is $1,748, right in line with the U.S. median. Apartments for rent in Elizabeth NJ, feature average sizes of 702 square feet, and you can find a variety of choices located close to top destinations like the historic section of the city or a complex like Centurion Elizabeth.

Tons of new housing development projects are popping up in the area, maintaining the city's rich history in many buildings while helping to sustain affordability in the city. For better tax rates on owning a home with more space, you can always think of searching somewhere outside city limits like the best suburbs in Newark

Elizabeth NJ Neighborhoods | Where to Live in Elizabeth

Discover the vibrant blend of the most inviting neighborhoods in Elizabeth, NJ, each offering its own unique charm and character. From historic districts brimming with American Revolution landmarks to tranquil residential areas with modern amenities, let's explore the best places to live in the city!

Elmora: Elizabeth’s Residential Retreat with Academic Appeal

Elmora offers a tranquil residential ambiance and spacious homes, sought after for its reputable schools like the Blue Ribbon-winning Victor Mravlag Elementary and the convenience of Elmora Avenue’s quaint shops. This neighborhood is a gem for families valuing community and educational excellence within the vibrant city of Elizabeth.

Peterstown, A Slice of Small-Town Charm in Elizabeth

Nestled in the southeastern corner of Elizabeth, Peterstown offers a quaint, small-town ambiance while boasting the historic Union Square—a vibrant marketplace filled with food stands, meat markets, and poultry stores that give it a unique, community-focused vibe. With a strong Italian heritage and cultural events to reflect, this is one of the best neighborhoods in Elizabeth NJ.

The Point: Elizabeth's Emerging Residential Gem

Once known as the Crossroads, The Point is rapidly transforming and is situated near Midtown Elizabeth. A part of the larger Elizabeth Port, his neighborhood is on the rise, characterized by the development of new two-family homes that cater to a growing community seeking suburban comforts near urban conveniences.

Midtown/Uptown: Elizabeth's Historic Heart

Midtown/Uptown stands as Elizabeth's central commercial hub and a treasure trove of the city's rich history, home to the First Presbyterian Church. It's also a notable Revolutionary War site! This district charms with its numerous gardens, adding a touch of pastoral elegance to the urban landscape.

Quality Hill: Elizabeth's Tranquil Residential Retreat

Quality Hill, historically Elizabeth's most fashionable address, now exudes an idealistic residential charm, enhanced by the emergence of modern condos. This neighborhood gracefully balances its illustrious past with contemporary living, offering a peaceful enclave within the city.

Elizabeth NJ Weather & Climate

A sunny day in Elizabeth New Jersey.

Elizabeth, New Jersey, enjoys a humid continental climate characterized by four seasons, each offering its unique weather patterns. The Elizabeth NJ weather experiences hot, humid summers, with a July high averaging 86 degrees, and cold winters, with January lows around 23 degrees. Rainfall is fairly distributed throughout the year, totaling about 48 inches, while snowfall averages 26 inches annually. 

The best times to visit Elizabeth are the mild and pleasant months of September, June, and May. With 206 sunny days per year and a variety of weather conditions ranging from sunny skies to moderate snowfall, the weather in Elizabeth NJ is ideal for those who appreciate seasonal changes.

Restaurants in Elizabeth NJ

The varied Elizabeth NJ restaurants contribute to the inviting scene in the city, curating a wide range of experiences suited to any taste or style. Whatever you're in the mood for, these are just some of the best restaurants in Elizabeth NJ that are sure to satisfy:

Santillo's Pizza Elizabeth NJ

Santillo's Brick Oven Pizza in Elizabeth NJ is a stand out among Italian restaurants in Elizabeth NJ, serving up authentic, award-winning pizzas baked in a family tradition since 1918. Featuring a 100 year old brick oven and a third generation pizza maker, these pies are to die for. 

639 S Broad St, Elizabeth, NJ 07202 (908-354-1887)

The Lobby Elizabeth NJ

The Lobby in Elizabeth NJ is a sophisticated blend of a restaurant, club, and sports bar where one can enjoy live sports, music, fine dining, and a vibrant ambiance, perfect for any social gathering. With expansive LED screens and a diverse menu, it's a premier spot for those looking to dine, dance, and connect, doubling as one of the clubs in Elizabeth NJ.

821 Spring St, Elizabeth, NJ 07201 (908-469-8088)

Valenca Elizabeth NJ

Valenca Restaurant in Elizabeth NJ invites patrons to savor the traditional flavors of Portugal, served with a touch of the warmth and hospitality found in the city's historic heart. With a spacious setting, including dining rooms and a banquet hall, it's a local favorite for both casual dining and special events.

665 Monroe Ave, Elizabeth, NJ 07201 (908-354-4024)

Things to Do in Elizabeth NJ

One thing is for sure: it's not hard to stay busy in E-town. It's a large city, and with that, you'll find endless fun things to do in Elizabeth NJ, and within a minute's drive to surrounding areas in Union County. With enticing shopping opportunities in its main commercial district, a variety of clubs in Elizabeth NJ, and other outdoor attractions and events, let's dig into some of what makes this place so enjoyable.

Top Elizabeth Attractions

Warinanco Park Elizabeth NJ

The 205 acre Warinanco Park in Elizabeth is a sprawling haven of natural beauty, featuring sports facilities, a skating rink, and picturesque trails, ideal for family outings and recreational activities year-round.

Chivas Bus Tour

Dive into Elizabeth's festive spirit with the Chivas Bus Tour, offering customizable, Latin-inspired tours that promise a lively and personalized adventure around the city's highlights. Enjoy themed tours that fit your schedule, whether it's happy hour vibes or nightlife thrills.

Pump it Up Elizabeth NJ

Pump It Up is an inflatable haven perfect for family fun, where kids can leap and bound in a safe, vibrant playground, ideal for parties or playful outings in Roselle near Elizabeth.

Elizabeth NJ Historic Walking Tour

Explore Elizabeth's storied past with the Historic Heartline Walking Tour, a 3.5-mile journey through time, from its 1664 roots to its evolution as a transportation nexus, with stops at landmarks like the Belcher-Ogden Mansion and Boxwood Hall. This self-guided tour is a window into the city’s rich tapestry, where history meets the steps of George Washington and Hamilton, and one of the best free things to do in Elizabeth NJ!

Elizabeth Museums, Entertainment & Arts

Liberty Hall Museum Union NJ

Liberty Hall at Kean University invites visitors to step back into America's founding era with its exquisite collection of antiques and sprawling, picturesque gardens- a captivating retreat for history buffs and nature lovers alike.

The Ritz Theatre Elizabeth NJ

The Ritz Theatre, a beacon of culture in Elizabeth, offers a diverse array of live entertainment, from concerts to plays, within its historically rich and acoustically superior venue.

Barcode Club Elizabeth NJ

Club Barcode is a high-energy destination among clubs in Elizabeth, NJ, offering an electrifying nightlife experience with live DJs, themed events, and a vibrant dance floor to keep the party going all night long.

Elizabeth Parks & Outdoors

Mattano Park Elizabeth NJ

Mattano Park in Elizabeth is one of the beautiful parks in Elizabeth NJ with great recreational activities, including a dynamic skatepark that's a hit with local skaters, set against a backdrop of lush green spaces.

Kellogg Park Elizabeth NJ

Kellogg Park stands as a serene oasis in Elizabeth, featuring ample space for outdoor activities and providing a picturesque setting for relaxation and community gatherings.

The Elizabeth River Trail

The Elizabeth River Trail offers an inviting pathway for walkers, runners, and cyclists, winding through Elizabeth’s scenic landscapes and providing a peaceful retreat from the urban hustle.

Shopping in Elizabeth New Jersey

The hugely popular Mills at Jersey Gardens, Elizabeth's premier shopping destination, offers a vast selection of retail stores, dining options, and entertainment venues, making it a top spot for a comprehensive shopping experience.

The Mills at Jersey Gardens

The hugely popular Mills at Jersey Gardens, Elizabeth's premier shopping destination, offers a vast selection of retail stores, dining options, and entertainment venues, making it a top spot for a comprehensive shopping experience.

IKEA Elizabeth NJ

IKEA Elizabeth, the site of the first IKEA in the US, merges shopping with family leisure, offering summer deals, a kids’ play area, and Swedish delicacies against the backdrop of Newark airport's bustling runways.

Map of Elizabeth Things to Do

Explore the many fun things to do in Elizabeth NJ, and excellent Elizabeth NJ parks with this interactive map!

Sports

Elizabeth, NJ, doesn't host its own major professional sports teams but sits at the crossroads of sports fanatics, with easy access to teams in Philadelphia, New York, and New Jersey. Local enthusiasts can cheer on NFL giants like the New York Giants and Jets at MetLife Stadium, catch thrilling soccer matches at Red Bull Arena with the MLS's New York Red Bulls, or cheer on the New Jersey Devils on ice. This unique geographical advantage allows sports fans to pick and choose from a diverse array of high-level games, making it an ideal spot for diverse sporting excitement​. 

Elizabeth New Jersey Crime Rate

Before moving to the area, many ponder, is Elizabeth NJ safe?

With the dedicated Elizabeth NJ Police Department and a vigilant community, Elizabeth is actively addressing its crime rates. The total Elizabeth NJ crime rate is 109.3% higher than the state average but only 20.8% higher than the national average, and when you delve deeper, you find a community resilient and committed to safety

The violent crime rate in Elizabeth NJ is 206% higher than the state and property crime is 93.1% higher, with a strong police presence of 350 officers determined to foster a secure environment. To compare the total crime rate in Elizabeth to other cities that share similar concerns, it is:

  • 29.8% higher than New York City, NY
  • 216% lower than Memphis, TN
  • 29.3% lower than Atlantic City, NJ
  • 31.3% lower than Jacksonville, FL

And the community is always working towards improvement, with Elizabeth united in betterment. 

Jobs in Elizabeth NJ

Elizabeth, NJ, with its rich history and strategic location, has a diversified economy anchored by significant industries such as transportation, warehousing, healthcare, and manufacturing. With entities like the Port Newark container terminal, Trinitas Regional Medical Center, and bustling retail hubs like Jersey Gardens Mall, the city is a nexus of employment opportunities. Jobs in Elizabeth NJ tend to create a household median income of $59,939 annually, somewhat lower than the U.S. average.

As the city's Elizabeth NJ jobs are projected to grow, opportunities across various sectors like construction and education also present themselves. Elizabeth's strategic location offers residents the flexibility of local employment or commuting to nearby urban centers such as Newark and New York City for additional opportunities, too!

For those interested in the local job market or considering moving to Elizabeth NJ, explore Indeed jobs Elizabeth NJ, and the city of Elizabeth NJ jobs to start exploring the opportunity!

Schools in Elizabeth NJ

Elizabeth Public Schools is the second largest district in the state, which prides itself on a comprehensive education system with a total of 37 school communities. The district's commitment to helming excellent Elizabeth NJ schools is evidenced by the accolades received by those such as William F Halloran Alternative School and Victor Mravlag Elementary School, both recognized with the prestigious Blue Ribbon School Award. D. 

Elizabeth NJ schools feature great facilities, like Elizabeth High School, home to the Dunn Sports Center.

A few private schools in Elizabeth NJ worth mentioning include Harmony Christian Academy and St Genevieve's School.

For higher education, take a look at Union County College for opportunities right in the city, or explore options at neighboring Rutgers University.

The city also hosts the Elizabeth NJ Public Library, a hub for learning and community engagement. 

Whether it's the amazing schools, enticing job scene, or thriving nightlife that makes moving to Elizabeth New Jersey a possibility, when it becomes your reality, rest assured the best New Jersey movers are a call away. Contact the team at Harrington Movers by calling us at 973-313-2246 to discuss your moving needs in or out of the city of Elizabeth NJ, and receive a free quote today. 

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