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Top 10 Richest Towns in New Jersey: Affluent NJ Neighborhoods Rated
Have you ever wondered which are the top 10 wealthiest towns in New Jersey? Well, wonder no more. This page will explore various interesting facts and comparative statistics about The Garden State’s most moneyed areas. We will also examine why the affluent neighborhoods in NJ are not necessarily the most profitable. Below you will find the wealthiest towns in New Jersey shortlisted:
|Town||Median Household Income||County|
|Short Hills||$250,000+||Essex County|
|Upper Montclair||$235,637||Essex County|
|Upper Saddle River||$220,068||Bergen County|
|Blackwells Mills||$209,855||Somerset County|
|Ridgewood Village||$194,256||Bergen County|
|Franklin Lakes||$188,272||Bergen County|
|Westfield Town||$185,319||Union County|
|Glen Rock||$182,292||Bergen County|
🗺️ Map of the Wealthiest Towns in NJ
🏙️ Top 10 Richest Towns in New Jersey
Each of the entries on this list has an average median household income, a bachelor-educated population, and health insurance coverage well above the national average. So, without any more chatter, let’s get into the list of the wealthiest towns in NJ rated in ascending order.
New Jersey and Its Richest Towns – Facts and Highlights
Here are some interesting facts regarding the wealthiest towns in New Jersey:
- The median household income of the ten richest towns is $207,535, while the state median is $89,703;
- The total population of the ten richest areas in NJ is just 150,000 people;
- Approximately 10% of New Jersey residents live in poverty;
- The typical employment rate for the wealthiest households in NJ hovers around the state average of 65.8%, but the number of degree holders is much higher;
- Each of the ten richest zip codes in New Jersey is over 100 miles from Atlantic City, where the median household income is around eight times lower.
Note: We pulled information for this piece from two US government census sources: the 2020 Decennial Census and the 2021 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates. These official data sources use Census Designated Places (CDPs), which help provide data for unincorporated communities that don’t have the status of a town or city but operate as independent communities.
🏘️ 10. Glen Rock
|Median Household Income||$182,292|
|Bachelor’s Degree or Higher||75.6%|
|Without Health Care Coverage||2.4%|
|Distance to Atlantic City||~138 miles|
Glen Rock is the first of four entries on this list from Bergen County, close to being the wealthiest county in NJ, only topped by Somerset, Morris, and Hunterdon overall. The borough is home to an Olympic-sized public pool, various parks and recreation, and a mix of green spaces and areas for sports and entertainment. The borough was formed in 1894 and got its name from a large boulder the community first settled around.
🏘️ 9. Westfield Town
|Median Household Income||$185,319|
|Bachelor’s Degree or Higher||76.4%|
|Without Health Care Coverage||2.5%|
|Distance to Atlantic City||~111 miles|
Westfield Town, Union County, has the highest population of the top ten wealthiest towns in New Jersey, at 31,032. First settled in 1699, Westfield was established as a town in 1794 while still part of Essex County.
Westfield’s downtown is home to over 200 shopping locations, including national stores, marking the town as a regional attraction for shopping and tourism. The town has multiple parks, including a 450-acre wildlife reserve, a large memorial pool, and is home to plenty of community events, such as the annual Tour de Westfield bike ride.
🏘️ 8. Franklin Lakes
|Median Household Income||$188,272|
|Bachelor’s Degree or Higher||75.4%|
|Without Health Care Coverage||0.9%|
|Distance to Atlantic City||~144 miles|
At number eight, Franklin Lakes of Bergen County boasts the highest healthcare coverage on this list, with just 0.9% uninsured residents. It also has the lowest level of employment at 58%. These are conflicting numbers, though, as over 49% of Americans are insured through their employer.
The borough, founded in 1897, has eight public schools, a library, and various parks, fields, playgrounds, and recreational areas for public use. It’s also had time in the limelight, with several popular reality television shows filmed here, including The Real Housewives of New Jersey and My Super Sweet 16.
🏘️ 7. Ridgewood Village
|Median Household Income||$194,256|
|Bachelor’s Degree or Higher||78.3%|
|Without Health Care Coverage||2.7%|
|Distance to Atlantic City||~139 miles|
Ridgewood Village, part of Bergen County, saw its first home constructed in 1700 and gained village status in 1894. Ridgewood has a selection of four parks, including a duck pond, and 13 locations on the National Register of Historic Places. The town hosts community-driven events, such as the International Film Festival, Music in the Night, and Oktoberfest, which are put together by the Ridgewood Guild, a charity dedicated to revitalizing Ridgewood Village’s community spirit.
🏘️ 6. Bernardsville
|Median Household Income||$200,375|
|Bachelor’s Degree or Higher||70.2%|
|Without Health Care Coverage||9.2%|
|Distance to Atlantic City||~131 miles|
Bernardsville, a borough in Somerset County, has the lowest population, the lowest number of bachelor-level educated residents, and the highest number of residents without healthcare coverage of the top ten richest NJ towns. Despite this, it still ranks as the sixth richest town in New Jersey, with an average median household income of $200,375.
Named in 1840 after Sir Francis Bernard, the governor of New Jersey from 1758 to 1760, Bernardsville is full of colonial-style architecture and interesting places, for which there are many tours available. The borough has excellent transport links with multiple rail lines and bus links across New Jersey and New York City.
🏘️ 5. Chatham
|Median Household Income||$209,283|
|Bachelor’s Degree or Higher||79%|
|Without Health Care Coverage||1.1%|
|Distance to Atlantic City||~123 miles|
Being governed by the Dutch since 1614, the area was named Chatham in 1773 and became a borough in 1897. Chatham is home to the popular Fishawack Festival, first celebrated in 1971. The festival, which can see up to 20,000 attendees, offers a range of local products, including food, clothes, and toys. The event is sponsored by local organizations, and money raised goes towards funding various community groups.
🏘️ 4. Blackwells Mills, a section of Franklin Township
|Median Household Income||$209,855|
|Bachelor’s Degree or Higher||80.6%|
|Without Health Care Coverage||Unavailable|
|Distance to Atlantic City||~110 miles|
A hair above Chatham on the household income scale, Blackwells Mills is a CDP of Franklin Township in Somerset County. This CDP is most notably home to the historic Blackwells Mills Canal House, built in the 1830s around the same time as the canal, to accommodate the canal swing bridge operator. The Canal House now serves as a community center, library, and museum and has been under the care of the Blackwells Mills Canal House Association since 1971.
🏘️ 3. Upper Saddle River
|Median Household Income||$220,068|
|Bachelor’s Degree or Higher||71.3%|
|Without Health Care Coverage||3.8%|
|Distance to Atlantic City||~145 miles|
Colonized by the Dutch and granted borough status in 1894, Upper Saddle River is a high-income borough based along Saddle River, which supposedly takes its name from a visually similar river in Argyll, Scotland. The borough has three elementary schools, various parks, and several recreation areas. Those with a sweet tooth may enjoy making the journey for the Strawberry Festival, held annually every June at the Highlands Methodist Church, where locals sell a variety of strawberry-themed goods and produce, such as fresh fruits and preserves.
🏘️ 2. Upper Montclair, a section of Montclair
|Median Household Income||$235,637|
|Bachelor’s Degree or Higher||82.9%|
|Without Health Care Coverage||1.5%|
|Distance to Atlantic City||~126 miles|
Upper Montclair is a CDP located in Montclair, Essex County. Notably, it has the highest employment rate on this list, at 66.1%. The childhood home to famous astronaut Buzz Aldrin, Upper Montclair was originally named Speertown after Dutch settler John Speer. The town is well connected by public transport to New York City and the rest of Essex County, with a railway station and bus links.
🏘️ 1. Short Hills, a section of Millburn Township
|Median Household Income||$250,000+|
|Bachelor’s Degree or Higher||85.2%|
|Without Health Care Coverage||2.2%|
|Distance to Atlantic City||~128 miles|
Short Hills is a CDP located in Millburn Township that is considered the richest town in NJ, with an average median household income of $250,000+. In addition, Short Hills has the highest number of residents with a bachelor’s degree or higher, at 85.2%.
Short Hills was initially developed in the mid-1800s by Stewart Hartshorn with the purpose of creating a community for like-minded residents who appreciate nature. The area is home to The Mall at Short Hills, one of the ten largest shopping malls in the Garden State, along with a park that accommodates golf, baseball, and swimming.
🎰 Do Casinos Stimulate the Local Economy?
It’s no surprise that most of the richest neighborhoods in New Jersey are located near New York City, as it is the finance capital of the world. Given that Atlantic City is quite far geographically from other major cities such as Philadelphia and the Big Apple, Atlantic City casinos are a welcome economic boon for the area.
In total, AC’s land-based casinos directly employ around 20,000 people, from cleaners, bar workers, and servicepeople to high-level executives. In addition, these jobs are provided in an area where the median household income is substantially less than the state average, at $29,773 versus a whopping $89,703.
While fewer people have been enjoying a trip to their local casino since the COVID pandemic, it’s still clear that many New Jersey casinos continue to find profit and success in an industry that is heavily taxed and in the middle of disruption from NJ online casinos and a global pandemic.
The industry, which regularly campaigns for and receives various tax breaks that can amount to millions of dollars, does pay a higher percentage of taxes on revenues in general. Collected tax revenue typically goes to support the residents of the local community and the state in general.
💰 What is the Discrepancy Between Being Profitable and Rich in Towns?
Being profitable and rich do not necessarily go hand-in-hand. Although all of the top 10 wealthiest towns on this page can be considered affluent areas with an average income around three times that of the rest of the country, even low-income areas such as Atlantic City can be more profitable. For example, the casino industry, which pays millions of dollars in taxes each year to benefit local communities, is based in one of the poorest parts of the state.
Which NJ county has the richest zip codes?
Bergen County is the most represented county on the list, with four of the ten richest towns in New Jersey located within its borders, making it one of the richest counties in NJ. However, the state with the single richest zip code is Essex County.
What is the average household income of NJ’s 10 wealthiest towns?
The average household income of the ten richest towns in NJ is $207,535, while the state average is $89,703, and the national average sits at $70,784. That means households in the richest towns in New Jersey have an income around three times higher than the average American.
What percentage of the residents of NJ’s richest towns have a bachelor’s degree?
The average number of Bachelor-educated residents across the ten richest cities in New Jersey is 71.2%, with the state average being 41.5% and the national average standing at around 35%. That means that residents of New Jersey’s richest areas have around twice as many residents with bachelor’s degrees as the rest of the country.
Where are NJ’s richest towns?
Many of the richest zip codes in NJ are located closer to New York City than Trenton, the capital of New Jersey, likely due to the prosperity of New York City. However, other affluent towns can be found closer to Philadelphia, another out-of-state major city that attracts residents of New Jersey.
What are the richest counties in New Jersey?
Some of the wealthiest counties in New Jersey include Somerset County, Morris County, and Hunterdon County, while Cumberland County and Salem County are often named some of the poorest in the state.