What’s the cost of living in New Jersey?

1 min readLast updated January 18, 2024by Charlie Barton

Wondering about the cost of living in New Jersey? This article summarizes everything you need to know, from tax rates to healthcare costs. 

When considering a move to a new state, understanding the cost of living is vital for effective budgeting and financial planning. If New Jersey is at the top of your list, here are some current statistics related to the cost of living in the state that could help you make up your mind.    

The average cost of living in New Jersey 

New Jersey is home to over 9.2 million people. 

According to research, the cost of living in New Jersey is 12% higher than the national average. 

While according to data gathered in 2022 from MERIC, the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center, the state ranks 37th in a list of states with the lowest to the highest cost of living. 

Housing costs in New Jersey 

As of March 2023, the average home value in New Jersey is estimated to be around $451,559, according to the Zillow Home Value Index as of March 2023.  

It’s important to note that housing prices can significantly differ across various regions within the state. Here are some examples of typical home prices based on Zillow's data:

CityAverage Home Value
Newark $399,050
Jersey City $555,847
Paterson $396,886
Elizabeth $450,143
Edison $494,870

The monthly rental price ranges across the state for those considering renting in New Jersey. For example, the average Fair Market Rent for a two-bedroom home in New Jersey is $1,552 per month. 

Utility costs in New Jersey 

Utility costs play a significant role in New Jersey's overall cost of living. According to Forbes, the average monthly cost is around $453.

UtilityAverage cost in New Jersey
Energy bill $112.39
Monthly water bill $72
Internet $40
Natural gas $66
Phone bill $114
Streaming $49.50

Grocery and food costs in New Jersey 

When it comes to groceries and food costs, New Jersey generally aligns with prices found elsewhere in the United States.   

According to Zippia, those in Newark pay $343 on average each month.   

According to 2021 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average spending on food at home is $5,259 annually, or about $438 per month for US households.   

Transportation costs in New Jersey 

Transportation costs, including gas prices and vehicle maintenance, impact New Jersey's overall cost of living.  

According to MIT, a single adult with no children can expect to pay upwards of $4,400. 

Gas prices in New Jersey are typically in and around the national average. New Jersey was lower than the national average at the time of writing. These prices fluctuate over time.   

It is also worth noting that prices can vary across different regions within the state.  

Healthcare costs in New Jersey 

Understanding healthcare expenses is crucial when considering the cost of living.  

The specific healthcare costs in New Jersey can vary depending on factors such as insurance coverage and individual circumstances. Therefore, it is advisable to research and consult with healthcare providers and insurance companies to obtain accurate cost estimates. 

MIT estimates:  

ScenarioAnnual healthcare expenditure
One adult, no children $3,238
One adult, one child $8,134
One adult, two children $8,144
Two adults (one working), no children $6,635
Two adults (one working), one child $8,144
Two adults (one working), two children $8,070
Two adults (two working), no children $6,635
Two adults (two working), one child $8,144
Two adults (two working), two children $8,070

Childcare costs in New Jersey 

Families in New Jersey currently pay around $14,095 per year for childcare for one child. This figure doubles for two children.   

However, it's important to note that this figure can vary across the state.  

Taxation in New Jersey 

New Jersey has a progressive state income tax system; it ranges between 1.4% and 10.75%. 

Here's a comparison of income tax rates among some neighboring states:  

StateIncome Tax Rates
New Jersey 1.4% to 10.75% (progressive tax rates)
New York 4% to 8.82% (progressive tax rates)
Pennsylvania Flat rate of 3.07%
Delaware No state income tax
Connecticut 3% to 6.99% (progressive tax rates)

The state sales tax rate in New Jersey is currently 6.625%. However, it's important to note that New Jersey allows local municipalities to impose an additional sales tax on top of the state rate. Therefore, the total sales tax rate in a specific location can vary depending on the local taxes imposed. 

The bottom line

The amount of money needed to live comfortably in New Jersey can vary depending on location, lifestyle, family size, and personal preferences. However, as the most expensive state in the US, you may need more than you first think. 

It's essential to consider these factors, along with personal circumstances and preferences, when evaluating the cost of living in New Jersey. In addition, consulting with a financial advisor can provide valuable insights and assistance in managing expenses and financial planning. 

Whether you’re retirement planning or considering relocating to chase a new career, Unbiased can assist you with your move's financial ins and outs. Find the right advisor for your needs today. 


Charlie Barton

Charlie Barton is a writer at Unbiased. He has been writing about personal finance and investing since 2017, with extensive knowledge of platforms and products. Charlie has a first-class degree from the London School of Economics.