NEW YORK vs NEW JERSEY – Which is Better?

NEW YORK vs NEW JERSEY – Which is Better?

A note about the comparisons: I lived in lower Westchester New York, and I live now in Central New Jersey. There are certainly cheaper parts of NJ and the difference between Westchester NY and upstate NY is night and day.

I’m comparing the two as a standard of living -obviously, you can find a really cheap house in the farmlands of upstate NY, but you are for sure in a totally different environment then you are in Westchester NY.

1-Alcohol is only sold in liquor stores in New Jersey, and many restaurants are BYOB (which saves you a lot of money). In New York, a restaurant that is BYOB is very rare, and you can buy alcohol at a bodega/convenience store and grocery stores also.

2-Parking is rarely free in NY- there are meters everywhere, in NJ it is rare to pay for parking it is free almost everywhere.

3-DMV in NY is like a prison where they hate you, in NJ they are super nice and helpful

4-Apartments in NJ are predominantly rental complexes with a cluster of small two story buildings. In NY, a building is more then two stories and the bulk are co-ops, not rentals.

5-Gas prices are cheaper in NJ and there is always an attendant to pump the gas for you, in NY prices are higher and you are often out in the rain or snow pumping the gas yourself- and if you’re lucky enough to get a full-service station with an attendant, you tip him.

Is it better to live in Texas or California?


NEW YORK vs NEW JERSEY – Which is Better?

6-Mass transit in NJ leaves a lot to be desired. Inland trains are cargo only, so only the coastline has regular train service. There are buses of course but they lack a truly user friendly interface and are behind on technology. NY- metro north. Five stars, from the perfectly punctual trains to the easy to use ticket buying app.

7-Malls are massive in NJ and it’s not uncommon to find stores you’ve never heard of before- because there are small businesses, not only corporate chains.

8-Folks in NJ are friendlier then in NY, there’s less outright rudeness, you are less likely to be cut off or have a door shut in your face. Customers that are considered difficult in NJ are nothing compared to their NY counterparts, which is interesting because everyone I’ve met over the age of 25 who lives in NJ is from NY.

9-Food is about 15–30% cheaper in NJ, on a lot of grocery store items like cheese and meat.

10-Housing is about 50% cheaper in NJ versus NY for the same product – as in a house in a nice suburban neighborhood with a comparable school system and proximity to shopping and mass transit will be about half the price of NY.

Some other Differences between New York vs New Jersey:

People in NJ don’t have to take driving tests. They can buy their licenses in Sears or Home Depot. No experience necessary.

In New Jersey the exit signs on the turnpike appear after the exits. Sorry, you missed another one.

In NJ there are no left turns allowed. You can make all the right turns you need to but god forbid you need to go left. You need to take a jug handle. (euphemism for jug head)

In NJ drivers are forbidden from filling their own gas tanks at the service station. An expert tank filler has to do that for you. If you are in a hurry, best off waiting to get to NY where you can do it yourself and save time. The tank fillers are never in a hurry.

Why does New York hate New Jersey?

NYC sits East across the Hudson River from Jersey City (JC), New Jersey. By contrast, NJ is a tiny state with a lot of its economy tied to what happens in NY. Many Wall Street firms have offices and IT Data Centres in NJ because it’s cheaper. Several hundred thousand workers commute to NYC for work every single day.

A lot of people misconstrue disdain for hate. New York City (NYC) has a reputation for being a more culturally vibrant, diverse and active city. Since most of the action happens in NYC, NJ is more of a large suburb and seen as less remarkable.

It is often quoted about NYC, “If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere!” The residents of NYC are proud to have stuck it out in the city despite the struggles of daily life in NYC. The people who visit NYC on work or pleasure from the Jersey side are often made fun of by terming them “bridge and tunnel people”.

This term is even applied to the residents of Staten Island which happens to be a borough of NYC (the others being: The Bronx, Manhattan – the one you know and love, Queens and Brooklyn) since Staten Island is a separate island that sits West of Manhattan and just southeast of NJ and the only way in and out is the ferry or the Verrazano-Narrows bridge.

California vs Florida

Choosing not to fork over a significant portion of your paycheck to reside in NYC shouldn’t be held against you.

The fact that some New Yorkers (as they call themselves) take pleasure in alienating others doesn’t make them better.

It just means they need to rationalize living in what is a majority of cases – a shoebox apartment built close to a century ago.

The faux air of superiority is not something you really encounter. I spent two years living in NJ and working in Downtown Manhattan.

Friends, I worked with a lot of people who lived in NYC and never once felt they cared where I lived.

I recall my commute being less arduous than theirs. Some of them had to change more than two trains to get to work whereas I had to change one train and walk Downtown. So I’m not sure I got the raw side of the deal.

What is it like to live in New Jersey and work in New York City?

It actually feels normal. By normal I mean I get up in the morning at 630am, take a quick shower, get dressed for work, catch the NJ transit at 713am to Newark and get the PATH train to World Trade Center at 732am and arrive in downtown at 810am.

Of course, I take the subway to get to BKLYN where I’ve worked for the last four years but I still get to work on time before 9 am after taking the A or C train.

Going home is the same scenario only backward but then the upside is that you get to live a suburban life which in my case is good to raise a family. I used to live in Queens where commute to downtown is about 40 minutes via 1 subway ride.

NEW YORK vs NEW JERSEY – Which is Better?

Of course, I take multiple trains now but the commute time is almost Identical when you factor in the time ( maybe living in Queens has allowed me to leave the apartment at a little before 8 to make it to work at 9); however, living in New Jersey saves you tons of cash, gives you breathing space, and nothing beats the quiet simple home life.

I still live in New Jersey by the way, but instead of working in Bklyn, I work in downtown Manhattan now and so the commute is WAAY better since I just walk to work once I get off the brand spanking new downtown landmark the oculus. 

Now I get to work much, much earlier leaving around the same time—I get to the office at roughly 815 am from a roughly 10-minute walk from the path station at the oculus. It’s never been better living in NJ and working in Manhattan!

To sum up a few of my personal opinions of living in an NJ suburb:

New York vs New Jersey

Would you rather live in Florida or California and why?



  • A lot more room, both in your living quarters and in your neighborhood.
  • Unless you live in one of NJ’s cities, you won’t have to fight for a parking spot.
  • Lower rent. You can easily live a 45 min drive from NYC and have rent on a 2 bedroom apartment that is around $1200/month.
  • More varied scenery. Of course, NYC has some awesome parks, and it’s not too difficult to get outside the city for a day trip to see some trees and mountains, but in NJ it’s easier to take a 15-20 minute drive to a park or the beach.
  • Fresh air.


  • The commute. A recent spate of articles on the average commute of New York’s workforce (This is why New Yorkers work so hard – am New York ) showed that we tend to have about 6 hours of commuting each week. To be honest, I think that’s a conservative estimate. Door to the door I commute 3 hours each day (1.5/each way) walking, riding the bus, and taking the subway. It’s not all bad. I can sleep on the bus. But especially in the winter, it gets depressing to head to and from work in the dark. You can start to feel like your whole day is just work and the bus.
  • Not being able (or not having the energy) to participate in cool stuff in NYC. Once the weekend comes, I don’t really fancy heading back into NYC for events or exhibitions, even when they look super cool. I also find myself skipping evening events I’m invited to because I know it’ll mean I have to catch a super late bus back to NJ. Attending an 8 pm event means I certainly won’t get home until near midnight.
  • Not being able to bike or walk places. I love all the room I have, but I wish it were easier to get places by bike where I live in NJ. As it is, the roads don’t have sidewalks a lot of the time, and stores are too far spread out for shopping by bike to make any sense.

NEW YORK vs NEW JERSEY – Which is Better?

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