New Jersey is prominent for its diversified culture, rich history, and closeness to New York and Philadelphia. But what does it cost to live in the Garden State? What will healthcare, housing, and transportation cost? New Jersey’s cost-of-living index is 112.4 – a 12 percent increase on the national average.
This article examines the reasons behind the high costs and breaks down New Jersey’s primary cost of living considerations. In the end, you’ll learn if living in New Jersey fits your budget.
Healthcare Costs in New Jersey
New Jersey residents pay significant amounts for health care and premiums. That is due to factors such as hospital prices, insurance premiums, utilization rates, quality of care, policies, and the overall state of the US dollar.
The dollar’s strength against other currencies impacts the economy, which, in turn, impacts healthcare costs. The DXY chart shows the strength of the US dollar compared to a host of other currencies – the stronger the DXY value, the stronger the US dollar. A stronger dollar makes imported goods and services cheaper, which can lower the cost of medical supplies and equipment. It also influences the inflation rate, which affects the purchasing power and affordability of health care for consumers and employers.
Recent data published by World Population Review places New Jersey’s average annual healthcare spending per capita at $8,869, $843 higher than the national average of $8,026. Depending on your insurance plan, the average New Jersey single health insurance premium is around $495.
New Jersey residents pay some of the country’s highest rents and property prices, making housing a major cost. Recent reports on Zillow Rental Manager show the typical rent for an all-bedroom apartment in New Jersey to be $2,395, – $245 more than the national average of $2,150.
Also, the 2023 housing data published by Zillow places New Jersey’s median home price at $440,368 – 6 percent more than in 2022 and about $85,719 higher than the national average of $354,649. Looking at the state’s dense population, strong demand, limited supply, high taxes, and regulations contribute to sky-high home prices.
However, some low-cost options exist, like renting a shared flat or an apartment in a less expensive area. You could get more affordable options in places like Camden and Trenton.
If you are a car owner planning to move to New Jersey, get ready to spend on gas, and have lengthy commutes. The typical New Jersey commute is about 31.5 minutes – 4 minutes longer than the US Census Bureau’s national average of 27.6 minutes. This implies you will likely burn more gas driving to work or running around the city.
Recent AAA gas rates show that New Jersey’s average gas price is $3.2, below the national average of $3.5 per gallon. That’s still on the high side, yet it’s a plus compared to nearby states like New York, with an average of $3.4 per gallon.
Congestion, tolls, maintenance, and insurance raise transportation expenses. For non-car owners, New Jersey’s buses, trains, and light rail may be cheaper.
With their rich history and proximity to cities like New York, New Jersey is a natural pull for people looking to relocate. However, there are many things to look at to see if moving there fits your budget.
About the Author/s
The New Jersey Digest is a new jersey magazine that has chronicled daily life in the Garden State for over 10 years.