Every couple of years, New Jersey Monthly Magazine ranks New Jersey towns (with at least 1,500 residents), based on ten categories including “ home values, property taxes, crime rate, school performance and a lifestyle factor.” The lifestyle factor includes things such as hospitals, theaters, restaurants, and commute time. Extra emphasis is put on the effective tax rate and the quality of schools.

So, who’s number one? Well, if you read the headline you already know: it’s Madison in Morris County. NJ Monthly praises its low crime rate, good schools, and overall ambiance. Following Madison in the top ten are Summit, Bedminster, Bernards, Chatham (Township), Harding, Woodcliff Lake, Chatham (Borough), Mountainside, and Closter. The bottom five? Lindenwold, Bridgeton, Carney’s Point, Chesilhurst, and the City of Orange.

Since I live in Ocean County I was interested in which of our towns ranked near the top; Point Pleasant was the highest at #24, Island Heights is #37, and Point Pleasant Beach is #43. My town, Jackson, is #177. You can download the whole list on the New Jersey Monthly website.

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