Residents of New Jersey have plenty to be happy about. We have beautiful beaches, stunning state parks, fantastic fall foliage, and so much more! There are also certain things that New Jerseyans are less happy about, like traffic and taxes. Still, we’re among the happier half of the nation, though just barely. According to a 2013 well-being survey by Gallup-Healthways, New Jersey is the 23rd happiest state in the country. Some areas of our state seem to know the secret to happiness, however. The National Bureau of Economic Research determined that Middlesex, Somerset and Hunterdon counties were among the top 10 happiest metropolitan areas in the USA.
All of this information got me wondering… Specifically, which cities and towns are the happiest in New Jersey? Though it can be difficult to measure happiness, I’ve done my best, using data from Zippia and CreditDonkey, who both recently did studies on the subject. Factors used to determine “happiness” in an area include employment and divorce rates, percentage of residents with bachelor’s degrees, commute time, cost of living, home ownership, crime rates, income, restaurants per capita and number of sunny days. That’s a lot of information to consider, hopefully providing an accurate picture. Still, some of the results surprised me. Here are the happiest places in New Jersey, in no particular order.
Did any of the towns on this list surprise you? What other towns do you think should have made the list? It was based on recent data, not personal opinion, and I’m a little surprised that spectacular shore towns like Manasquan, Spring Lake and Ocean City didn’t quite make the cut. Are you?