Pros and cons of living in Paterson, New Jersey

Are you planning to move to Paterson? Then you should know the kind of life to expect when you get there in terms of its good and bad sides. So, what’re the pros and cons of living in Paterson?

Living in Paterson can be a great experience for you. The pros of living here include affordability, diversity, walkability, and closeness to New York City. However, Paterson is nothing close to utopia. There are cons such as crimes, poor economy, limited job opportunities, and high housing prices.

Despite its cons, you might find this suburb of New York City to be ideal for you. We discuss the pros and cons of living in Paterson.

Pros of Living in Paterson

There are several pros of living in Paterson to make a separate article on its own. But here are the most important pros of living in the city.

1. Relatively Inexpensive City

It’s rare to find an urban population close to New York City where things don’t cost an arm and a leg. Yet, the cost of living here is merely 13.8% above the national average. Before you start complaining, you should know that the New Jersey average is 20.4% higher, and New York City’s is 87.2% above the national average.

With the high cost of everything in neighboring cities, Paterson offers you the chance to live close to a major city without paying through your throat to survive.

2. Ethnic and Economic Diversity

Another positive attribute about this city is its population. We are talking about incredible diversity in all strata of life. gives it an A rating for economic and ethnic diversity. The diversity also extends to age groups. In Paterson, the age group is almost evenly distributed, and you’ll find everyone from young families to retirees in this city.

The benefits of this diversity for new residents are numerous. First, it makes it easy to quickly settle down and find people with whom you have things in common. Second, the diversity also influences the food in this city. You’ll get all kinds of food and exotic delicacies you want here.

3. Walkability

Transportation is generally complicated in most urban centers, but not here. Although its transit score isn’t exactly the best, with WalkScore rating it 48/100, it’s efficient. There are few mass transport options in the city, and 10.7% of the residents take mass transit to work.

However, if you choose to go in your car, you have nothing to worry about. The average commute time here is 23.9 minutes, making it lower than the 26.4 minutes that’s the national average.

You can also complete many errands on foot here. Paterson has a walk score of 78, which is excellent. But there is minimal bike infrastructure which means bikes might not be the best way to get around.

4. New York is Nearby

Paterson is a blend of urban and suburban with proximity to major cities. The most important city close to it is New York City which is less than 40 minutes away. This means that residents of Paterson have access to all the goodies of NYC without the problems. The museums, galleries, theatres, Broadway, sporting arenas, and lots more are here. It’s not only the entertainment and cultural scene of New York City that is accessible. The jobs and economic opportunities are too. Other cities close to Paterson are Newark, Newark, Philadelphia, etc.

Cons of Living in Paterson

If you thought Paterson was a perfect place, you couldn’t be more wrong. This town has certain features that are disadvantageous to the residents. They include

1. Crimes

The major issue residents have to contend with when living in this city is safety. The crime rate is slightly higher than it ought to be, which doesn’t reflect well on the city’s image. The total crime rate is 21% above the national average. Property crime is less prevalent as it’s only 2% higher. The real issue comes up when you check the rate of violent crimes. At 122% higher than the national average, there’s a good reason to be concerned. The chance of being a victim here is 1 in 34.

However, things aren’t completely bad here. Paterson is still safer than 9% of cities in the US, and crime has decreased over the past few years. You’ll find several safe neighborhoods in the city.

2. Limited Job Opportunities

The economy in Paterson isn’t exactly booming. You can’t compare this town with major cities around it. The unemployment rate is 15.4% which is more than double the national average. So, if you’re not moving here because you already have a job, you might struggle to get one. However, it’s close to New York City, and other major cities mean you could get a job in other cities.

3. Poor Economy

The state of the economy here leaves much to be desired. Beyond the limited job opportunities, even those that have jobs earn less. The median household income in Paterson was $41,360 in 2019. This is far below the national median household income of $62,843 for the same year.

Unsurprisingly, the poverty rate in the city is also high. 25.5% of the residents in Paterson earned income below the poverty line. This is high compared with most cities, where the poverty rate usually ranges from 10% to 15%.

4. Unaffordable Housing

For a city where wages are so low, the houses are quite expensive. The average cost of homes here is $370,145. For people living in California, this is relatively cheap. But if you live in New Jersey, you’re paying a lot, especially when you consider that the national average isn’t up to $300k. However, if you’re moving from New York, buying a home here is a bargain as homes in NYC cost over $600,000 on average.

Rents here are also higher than the New Jersey average. So, in the end, what’s affordable or not will depend on how much you’re earning.

In Conclusion

As a city, Paterson is a blend of both positive and negative qualities. You’ll find many attributes that make this town a lovely place to live, but there are issues too. It’s up to you to decide if you can ignore the cons.