Every two years, New Jersey Monthly compiles a list of the “Best Places to Live in New Jersey”. In Westfield news, our city made the top 100 on that list. In fact, Westfield ranked #34 on the magazine’s 2017 list, a big jump from #62 two years ago.
What Determines Ranking on Best Places to Live List?
First, New Jersey Monthly eliminated any city with less than 1500 people due to lack of any significant data. With the remaining 513 New Jersey towns, they looked at the following factors:
- home values (median sale price and its change from 2014, average days on the market)
- property taxes (change in average tax bill, effective tax rate)
- crime rate (total as well as violent crime by itself)
- school performance (student proficiency on standardized tests for grades 4 and 8, high school ranking for the state)
- lifestyle factor (amount of acute-care hospitals, number of live performing art centers, total full-service restaurants and commute times)
Extra weight was given to the high school ranking, as it came from New Jersey Monthly’s own Top Public High Schools Chart published in September 2016. Median sale prices and property tax changes compared 2014 statistics with 2016 stats. Crime rates were determined from the New Jersey Division of State Police’s 2014 Uniform Crime Report (the most recent data available). All other information came from 2016 data collected.
Out of all the Union County cities on the list, Westfield’s population was the highest (30,548 as of 2015). Our average property tax rate in 2016 was $16,281, 5.8% higher than 2014. The median sale price for a Westfield home in 2016 was $689,000, second only to Summit in Union County. That was 3.6% higher than two years prior. Our 4th graders ranked in the 97th percentile for state-mandated tests while 8th graders ranked in the 90th percentile. Westfield High School was highest in Union County on New Jersey Monthly’s Top Public High Schools Chart (#8). For a complete rundown of all cities and their rankings, you can download a copy from New Jersey Monthly magazine’s Best Places to Live in New Jersey page here.