NJ doesn’t fare well on ‘best beach towns to live in’ list
Well, this isn’t going to go over well. There’s a new survey out ranking the best beach towns to live in in America, and while New Jersey was represented on the list of the top 145, our towns weren’t ranked particularly well.
First the methodology; WalletHub.com compared 191 cities across 63 key indicators of livability, including things like housing costs, share of for-sale waterfront homes, and quality of beach water in categories like weather, safety, economy, education & health, and quality of life.
So, where did New Jersey’s beach towns land? The highest ranked is Ocean City but it only comes in at #47. It scores low in affordability and weather, high in safety, and in the middle on economy. Two other Jersey shore towns made the cut; next is Ventnor at #110. In affordability it is 135th (not surprisingly, it is almost the worst for property taxes) and 120th in weather, while scoring well in safety. The final New Jersey entrant is Asbury Park, coming in at #142. It does poorly in the affordability category ranking 144th (out of 145) with the second highest housing costs. It also doesn’t fare well in economy, ranking dead last for median income, and is tied for last in violent crime.
Beach towns in only three states take up the Top 10: Florida, California, and Hawaii. Naples, Florida, is Wallet Hub’s top city with Boca Raton, Sarasota, and Vero Beach in the top 10. Lahaina, Hawaii is #2, joined by Kailua at #7. The California entrants are Newport Beach (#4), Santa Monica, Carlsbad, and Encinitas.
Apparently “quality of boardwalks” wasn’t included because I’ve been to some of the Florida beach towns, and they don’t offer nearly as much to do outside the water as New Jersey’s beach towns do. The Silverball Museum and Arcade alone should put Asbury Park in the top 10. Based on pizza, New Jersey should have more towns on the list. Where is Seaside Heights or Point Pleasant Beach, or Wildwood, or…well, you get the idea. You know, include beach towns where are things to do.
I think Wallet Hub needs to revise its criteria on what makes a great beach town, because New Jersey got robbed.
The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Doyle. Any opinions expressed are Bill Doyle's own.