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Moving to Montclair, NJ? 🏘️ | What Living in Montclair Is Like?

Have you ever wanted to relocate to a peaceful suburban city with easy access to amenities? Then, you should consider moving to Montclair, NJ. Montclair is a township in northeastern New Jersey that boasts excellent schools, a quaint downtown area, and easy access to New York City.

The name Montclair comes from the French "mont clair," which means clear mountain or bright mountain. It was officially incorporated as a town in 1894 following a referendum of local citizens. Today, Montclair is known for its gorgeous architecture and views of the New York City skyline.

It's a good place to live for families and young professionals searching for a suburban sanctuary with access to amenities. So, if you're considering moving to this pleasant town, here is everything you need to know about living in Montclair.

Where Is Montclair?

Montclair is in Essex County, New Jersey, within the New York City metropolitan area. It's positioned atop the cliffs of the Watchung Mountains, offering spectacular views of the surrounding areas. Montclair itself is a township that contains other smaller communities such as Church Street, Frog Hollow, South End, Watchung Avenue Plaza, and Upper Montclair, NJ. 

Adjacent townships include Verona, Cedar Grove, Little Falls, Glen Ridge, Bloomfield, and Clifton. NJ Transit also offers trains to New York City, Jersey City, and other parts of the state.

Montclair is known for being one of the New Jersey towns close to New York City, and it's about 18 miles away, or a 40-minute drive into Midtown Manhattan.

Montclair Population & Demographics

The Montclair NJ population is 40,921 according to the 2020 census. It's known as a major commercial and cultural hub for New Jersey and features a dense, suburban-urban atmosphere with a population density of 6,560 residents per square mile. The Montclair population has increased by about 8.2% since 2010.

Montclair is an affluent area that is popular among families. The median household income is $158,765, which is more than 50% higher than the rest of New Jersey. About 26% of residents living in Montclair are under 18, while 28% are in their 30's and 40's. It's also very well-educated, and 97.7% of Montclair residents have a high school diploma, while 70.9% have a bachelor's degree.

The racial and ethnic breakdown is 61.7% white (58.3% non-Hispanic), 20.1% Black or African American, 5.9% Asian, and 10.3% two or more races.

NJ Montclair Demographics

  • The Montclair, New Jersey population is 52% female and 48% male
  • The median age is 40.7 years old
  • The foreign-born population is 13.6%

Living in Montclair, NJ is very safe. The total Montclair crime rate is only 790 incidents per 100,000 residents, which is 66.3% lower than the rest of the country and 41.7% lower than the New Jersey crime rate. Violent crime is also 74.78% lower than the national average, while the property crime rate is 64.7% lower than the rest of the country. Murder in Montclair is non-existent.

The Police Department of the Township of Montclair is responsible for handling crime and public safety, with the support of 107 sworn officers and 23 civilians.

Cost of Living in Montclair

The cost of living may be a concern if you're planning on moving to Montclair. A good way to assess the affordability of an area is to consider the cost of living index, which compares the average cost of consumer goods in an area to the rest of the US (represented by 100).

The cost of living index for Montclair is around 135, indicating it's about 35% more expensive than the rest of the United States. The Family Budget Calculator is another helpful resource for gauging the affordability of an area. It states that the average family of four with two adults and two kids needs to earn about $106,139 to afford the cost of living in Montclair. 

Standard Montclair living expenses

  • 1 gallon of regular milk: $4.99
  • Meal at a mid-range restaurant: $120
  • Loaf of white bread: $3.69
  • 12 oz bottle of water: $2.16
  • Cappuccino: $5.24
  • Average Montclair monthly utility bill: $183.18

Source: Numbeo

Montclair real estate is also quite expensive compared to the rest of the country. According to Redfin, the median price of houses for sale in Montclair, NJ is $1.162 million. That means Montclair, NJ, real estate is 66% more expensive than the statewide median and 95% more expensive than the average US home. The average price per square foot is $556.

The majority of residents living in Montclair are homeowners, and 60% of homes are owner-occupied, while 40% are rented out. However, tenants will also find plenty of options. Rentcafe shows that the average rent in Montclair, NJ is $2,632 per month. About 79% of rentals are small buildings with less than 50 units. Rent in Montclair, NJ, starts around $1750 for a studio and goes up to $4500 for a two-bedroom.

Montclair Neighborhoods | Where to Live in Montclair

Moving to Montclair, NJ offers tree-lined streets, low crime, and top-notch schools regardless of where you look. But, naturally, certain areas are more desirable than others. Here are a few of the best places to live in Montclair.

Upper Montclair | A Peaceful Enclave Near the University

Upper Montclair is a census-designated place and neighborhood that occupies the northern parts of Montclair township. It offers lush parks, spacious estates, and close proximity to Montclair State University.

Church Street | A Bustling Neighborhood with Easy Access to Amenities

Considered a section of Downtown Montclair, New Jersey, Church Street is a popular area full of shops, restaurants, and prime real estate in a range of architectural styles.

Frog Hollow | A Historic Neighborhood Full of Friendly Residents

Situated between Montclair High School and Bloomfield Avenue, Frog Hollow is a historic neighborhood offering a charming atmosphere and a tight-knit community.

Montclair Weather & Climate

Montclair has a humid continental climate, according to the Koppen classification system. That indicates it experiences warm, humid summers and cold, snowy winters. Temperatures usually range from about 23°F to 85°F, although in the winter, it can get down to 10°F and summers can be as hot as 92°F. If you're considering moving to Montclair, NJ the best time to visit is typically June through September.

However, you should pack an umbrella and snow boots because Montclair averages about 26 inches of snow and 28 inches of snow every year.

Things to Do in Montclair, NJ

For a peaceful suburban area, there is no shortage of fun things to do in Montclair, NJ. It's a thriving arts community known for organizations like the Montclair Orchestra and Montclair Operetta Company. If you're interested in doing some shopping, there are plenty of boutiques and retail centers along Bloomfield Ave, such as 2nd Street Montclair, Glenmont Square, and Culture Couture. If you're looking for more action, here are a few other fun things to do in Montclair, New Jersey.

The Wellmont Theater

The Wellmont Theater is a historic theater and concert venue that hosts a range of live entertainment acts, including musicians, comedians, and other special events.

5 Seymour St, Montclair, NJ 07042 (973) 783-9500

Van Vleck House & Gardens

The Van Vleck House in Garden is one of the best things to do in Montclair if you love nature. It's a former private estate turned into a botanical garden with many different species of plants, plus a center for music, art, and quiet contemplation.

21 Van Vleck St, Montclair, NJ 07042 (973) 744-4752

Edgemont Park

Edgemont Park is a gorgeous public park that shares its name with a local elementary school. It features a state-of-the-art playground, a WWI memorial, picnic tables, and a ball field.

Valley Rd, Montclair, NJ 07042 (973) 744-3278

Additional Montclair Attractions

If you're in search of more fun things to do in Montclair, New Jersey, the Parks and Recreation Department has a list of programs and events.

Montclair Restaurants

Montclair restaurants have a reputation for being among the best in New Jersey. Whether you're looking for Italian food or Peruvian cuisine, you'll find something you love. Here are a few of the best restaurants in Montclair, NJ.

Palazzo Pasta Company

The Palazzo Pasta Company is one of the best Italian restaurants in Montclair, NJ, serving classic dishes with a modern twist, such as calamari balsamico or eggplant rollatini.

33 Walnut St, Montclair, NJ 07042 (973) 746-6778

Don Alex Restaurant

Don Alex is an authentic Peruvian restaurant in Montclair, New Jersey, serving mouthwatering dishes like pollo entero and arroz amarillo.

338 Bloomfield Ave, Montclair, NJ 07042 (973) 707-5416

Faubourg Montclair Restaurant and Bar

Faubourg Montclair is a fine dining restaurant serving French cuisine and craft cocktails with a trendy atmosphere and outdoor seating.

544 Bloomfield Ave, Montclair, NJ 07042 (973) 542-7700

Jobs in Montclair

Moving to Montclair, NJ offers plenty of great job opportunities as it’s a major economic hub for New Jersey. Aside from being a popular bedroom community for those who work in New York, Montclair is also a hub for education, healthcare, retail, and light manufacturing. The city has six distinct commercial zones offering stable Montclair jobs, which include Montclair Center, Upper Montclair, Watchung Plaza, Walnut Street, South End, and Valley Road.

Some of the largest employers in Essex County include:

Payscale indicates that jobs in Montclair, NJ pay an average salary of $79,000 per year. Those who want to accelerate their careers will find tons of great Montclair NJ jobs, including veterinarian or brand manager.

Montclair Schools

If you're thinking about buying a home in Montclair, NJ, to raise your children, you'll have access to some of the best schools in the state. The Montclair School System serves students in kindergarten through high school with seven elementary schools, three middle schools, and one high school.

Hillside Elementary School is generally considered the best elementary school in Montclair. It enrolls just under 500 students with a student-teacher ratio of 10:1, and it ranks #152 out of all schools in New Jersey. Renaissance Middle School is very popular as well. Montclair High School is also well respected and features an AP participation rate of 60% and a graduation rate of 95%, making it the 120th-best high school in New Jersey. So Montclair's educational resources are quite apparent.

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Newark supervises several private high schools in Montclair, including Immaculate Conception and Lacordaire Academy. It's also home to Montclair University, which ranks among the top 500 colleges in New Jersey, and New York University is close by. The Montclair Public Library System also operates several branches throughout the city.

Montclair Statistics & Information

  • Montclair County: Essex County
  • Montclair Township: Montclair
  • Montclair area: 6.25 square miles
  • Montclair zip code: 07042, 07043
  • Montclair area code: 973
  • Montclair elevation: 299 ft
  • Montclair time zone: Eastern Time Zone (UTC -4 and 5)
  • Closest airport to Montclair: The Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) is 18 miles away.

Montclair, NJ Map

Explore more Montclair, NJ restaurants, attractions and activities with this map.

Ready to move to this quiet suburb? When the time comes to relocate, trust our exceptional Montclair NJ movers to make the journey smooth sailing. Call (973) 313-2246 for a free, custom moving quote.

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