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Is Paterson NJ a Good Place to Live? 🏡 | Complete Guide to Moving to Paterson

Paterson NJ is a northern New Jersey city-suburb that overlaps New York. It’s arguably the closest you can get to living in New York without taking on the high cost of living, which is part of Paterson’s appeal. Paterson was named for William Paterson, a statesman, governor, Supreme Court Justice, and signer of the Constitution. It’s also nicknamed “Silk City” for its dominant role in silk production towards the last half of the 19th century.

Of course, Paterson is more famously known as the birthplace and home of Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, the American-Canadian middleweight boxer with an impressive 27-12-1 scorecard — and his life story. Overall, there’s a lot to be said about this city. Paterson is a melting pot of culture and lifestyles in a mostly urban setting. Its real estate market is appreciating and attracting investors, making the city suburb an up-and-coming hot spot.

Where Is Paterson?

The city suburb of Paterson is located in Passaic County, in the northeastern region of New Jersey. This location makes it part of the New York Metropolitan area, which is why it’s often referred to as a New York suburb as well as a New Jersey suburb. It’s also partially home to the Passaic River, which eventually drops over the Great Falls at 77 feet!

There is more than one Paterson New Jersey zip code (14 to be exact), making it the largest city in Passaic County. Many people that live in Paterson NJ commute to New York City for work, which is roughly 21.6 miles depending on the route taken. Paterson is also served publicly by NJ Transit, which includes the commuter rail, 18 local bus routes, and three interstate bus routes. It is very common for people to take the train from Paterson to New York as it offers a shorter commute compared to driving.

Paterson Population & Demographics

According to the 2020 US Census, the Paterson NJ population reached 159,732 residents. Since 2010, Paterson has seen its population grow by 13,533 people, which is a positive 9.3% growth. Overall, Paterson has the largest population of all the Passaic County cities. It also ranks third out of 297 New Jersey cities and suburbs with the largest population for having a population density of 18,754.2 people per square mile.

The racial and ethnic makeup of Paterson, NJ is 22.9% White (non-Hispanic or Latino), 24.7% Black or African American, 4.4% Asian, 62.6% Latino or Hispanic, and 11.9% that are of two or more races. Paterson is also well known for being home to the largest Turkish-American immigrant community and the second-largest Arab-American community in the United States.

Is Paterson NJ safe? The Paterson New Jersey crime rate is 83.1% higher than the rest of the state and 5.7% higher than the rest of the country. According to the FBI, general crimes occur for every 2,479 out of 100,000 people. Violent crimes occur in every 989 per 100,000 people, and property crimes take place every 1,490 per 100,000 people. Despite crime being present as it is in any city, there are safe places to live in Paterson NJ.

Paterson is served and protected by the Paterson Police Department. The PPD enlists a total of 403 active officers, which means there are at least three officers per every 1,000 residents.

Additional Paterson demographics:

  • Median age: 33.6
  • Female population: 50%
  • Male population: 50%
  • Median household income: $46,451
  • Educational acquirement: 75.8% high school graduates or higher and 14% bachelor’s degree or higher

Cost of Living in Paterson

The Paterson, NJ cost of living is 17% higher compared to the national average. The median home price in Paterson is 30% higher than the national average, and utilities are 8% higher.  According to the Economic Policy Institute for the Bergen and Passaic metro areas, a family of four would need to earn approximately $106,433 annually to live comfortably in Paterson. That’s a monthly cost of $8,869.

Typical Paterson Living Expenses

Here’s a breakdown of the typical monthly expenses you can expect to have when living in Paterson:

  • Housing: $1,768
  • Food: $949
  • Child care: $1,757
  • Transportation: $1,066
  • Health care: $1,197
  • Other necessities: $984
  • Taxes: $1,148

Other monthly expenses to consider when moving to Paterson include:

  • Average utilities in Paterson per month: $178
  • Auto insurance: $189
  • Auto loan: $474
  • Life insurance: $92
  • Cable & satellite: $91
  • Mobile phone: $91

Everyday items while living in Paterson:

  • Meals at inexpensive restaurants: $15
  • 12 oz Coke or Pepsi: $1.50
  • Milk (1 gallon): $4.74
  • Loaf of bread: $1.00
  • Rice (1 lb): $1.43
  • Eggs (dozen): $2.29
  • Bananas (1 lb): $0.59
  • Bottle of wine (mid-range): $12
  • Cigarettes (20 pack): $10.25

Source: Numbeo

The Paterson median home price is $415,000, which is a 3.1% increase from the previous year. So, if you’re looking for Paterson, NJ homes for sale, this is the pricing you can expect.

Fortunately, if homeownership isn’t in the cards, there are plenty of houses for rent in Paterson NJ as well as condos. There are also plenty of apartments for rent in Paterson. According to RentCafe, you can expect to pay an average rent of $1,537 for 724 square feet.

Paterson Neighborhoods | Where to Live in Paterson

When moving to Paterson, it’s important to know that the areas are divided up into a total of six wards, some of which have enclaves such as Little Lima, Little Istanbul, Little Ramallah, and Little Italy. Here’s an overview of some of the neighborhoods.

Eastside Park Historic District

Eastside Park has roughly 1,000 homes, all with varying architectural styles. This area is situated just east of downtown, and it’s both a state and nationally registered historic place. It’s located in Paterson’s 3rd Ward, and here you’ll find a range of homes from mansions to historical houses –  many of which are undergoing restoration.


Lakeview is located in the city’s 6th Ward in southern Paterson and is considered a middle class neighborhood. It also sits parallel to Interstate 80 and is home to the Paterson Farmers Market, where residents from all over northern New Jersey come for fresh produce.


Hillcrest is one of Paterson’s most desirable neighborhoods as it’s largely residential with a mixture of upper and middle class homes. This neighborhood is located in the city’s 2nd Ward near Totowa Avenue, West Side Park, and the Passaic River.

Paterson NJ Weather & Climate

The climate in New Jersey is classified as humid/subtropical, which means moderately cold and often snowy winters, as well as hot and humid summers. The weather in Paterson follows suit, with average daily highs of 85°F in the summer and 47°F in the winter. The average winter low in the winter can range from 24°F and 28°F.

Paterson also receives an annual average rainfall of 49 inches and sees around 25 inches of snowfall each year, and the best time to visit Paterson is during autumn and late spring/early summer.

Things to Do in Paterson

You won’t have a hard time finding things to do in Paterson NJ, which includes local places to eat and shop. Some of the most popular shopping centers include Center City Mall and the Street Corner. Of course, there’s more to do than just shop and eat in Paterson. Here are our suggestions.

Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park

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The Great Falls and its surrounding area are protected as a natural and historic park as it’s where Alexander Hamilton visited George Washington during the American Revolution. It also has a 77-foot-high waterfall and is a beautiful place to spend time with loved ones or alone.

Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park 72 McBride Ave Ext, Paterson, NJ 07501 (973) 523-0370

Paterson Museum

The Paterson Museum is home to the industrial history of the city. If you’re looking for family-friendly things to do in Paterson, NJ that are unique and educational, making a stop here with your kids is an excellent idea, as each exhibit comes with an educational emphasis on mineralogy, history, and local archaeology.

Paterson Museum 2 Market St, Paterson, NJ 07501 (973) 321-1260

Lambert Castle

Once a private residence, Lambert Castle, also referred to as “The Castle” is a Northern New Jersey landmark. It’s located right on Garret Mountain and overlooks the entire city of Paterson, and inside it hosts several self-guided exhibits. Tours of the first floor are also offered every half hour if enough people are interested, which is part of what makes Lambert Castle one of the top attractions in Paterson NJ.

Lambert Castle 3 Valley Rd, Paterson, NJ 07503 (973) 706-6640

Other fun things to do in Paterson NJ

For public events in Paterson, check with the Paterson Recreation Department and the city’s public events calendar.

Paterson Restaurants

If you’re hungry and looking for Paterson restaurants, you won’t be disappointed in what you find. Paterson is a melting pot of common and exotic cultures, meaning there’s something for everyone. These are our suggestions.

Toros Restaurant

Toros is one of the best restaurants in Paterson NJ for Turkish cuisine. It’s a family-owned establishment with a rich menu of traditional — and homemade — Turkish and Mediterranean dishes in a very ambient atmosphere. It’s also BYOB, which is convenient if you’re dining out with friends!

Toros Restaurant 1083 Main ST #1, Paterson, NJ 07503 (973) 742-6877

Amore Ristorante

Amore Ristorante is another family-owned place serving the best southern Italian cuisine. Amore is also BYOB; however, it’s still considered fine dining, making it an excellent place for a date!

Amore Ristorante 140 Rifle Camp Rd, Woodland Park, NJ (973) 925-5600

Somos Tu Perú II

If you’re wondering which Peruvian restaurant in Paterson NJ is the best, look no further. Fresh Peruvian plates, including ceviche, in generous portions, plus the perfect ambiance. You can’t go wrong with dining in or ordering out from Somos!

Somos Tu Perú II 94 Market St, Paterson, NJ 07505 (862) 264-6555

Jobs in Paterson

The city has seen a 5.3% increase in growth over the past decade. Future job growth is projected to increase by 17.9% over the next ten years, and according to ZipRecruiter, the average income in Paterson NJ is $56,990.

Some of the top employers in Paterson include:

Some of the most in-demand jobs in Paterson NJ are:

  • Registered nurse
  • Care associate
  • Physician
  • Tutor
  • Teacher
  • Physical therapist
  • Residential assistance

Paterson Schools

For education, Paterson is served by the Paterson Public School District — home to 50 Paterson public schools and nine private schools. It’s also home to the Paterson Free Public Library and Passaic County Community College. It’s also within very close proximity to William Paterson University — a popular state university.

Paterson Statistics & Information

  • County: Passaic County
  • Area: 8.704 square miles
  • Paterson Zip Codes: 07501, 07502, 07503, 07504, 07505, 07509, 07510, 07513, 07514, 07522, 07524, 07533, 07543, 07544
  • Paterson Area Codes: 201, 551, 973, 862
  • Paterson Elevation: 112 feet
  • Paterson Time Zone: Eastern Standard Time (EST)
  • Closest major airport: Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR), 22 miles (32 minutes).

Paterson NJ Map

If you want to learn more about what Paterson has to offer, including additional restaurants and things to do, check out this map.

Paterson NJ is attracting a lot of attention, which means there are some exciting changes on the horizon. Living in Paterson means getting to be a part of those changes; it also means being close to one of the greatest cities in the world (NYC). If you’re thinking about moving to Paterson, we’ve got the support and solutions you need.

Harrington Movers have been around since 1932. In fact, we were issued the 5th official moving license in the state of New Jersey, so we know a thing or two about making relocations stress-free. Give us a call today at (201)-653-1808 to learn more about our moving services!

Harrington Movers
As one of the leaders in the New Jersey and New York moving and storage industry, we strive to ensure the satisfaction of our customers. Our goal is to move, or store, your things efficiently and effectively with the utmost professionalism. In fact, Harrington Moving & Storage has been one of the top movers in the New Jersey moving and storage industry since 1996.
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