Writer: Joey Garrand
2 min read June 2022— Investment, location and health are just a few characteristics of North and Central Jersey that make it a great place to live, work and play.
While the state is known for its relatively unfriendly tax environment, various counties and cities within the North and Central Jersey region rank among the best in the nation for various measures of quality of life. Somerset County and Morris County ranked 26 and 49 respectively in Niche’s 2022 Best Counties to Live in America. Morris County and Hunterdon County ranked among the top 25 in the Healthiest Communities Rankings 2021 by U.S. News & World Report. With Invest:, county leaders shared their insights into what specifically makes the region’s quality of life and economic environment so exceptional.
Ronald Rios, Commissioner Director, Middlesex County
Middlesex county is central New Jersey. To go anywhere you have to go through us, and we are flourishing with a lot of activity in terms of construction and redevelopment. The investment the county has made into its strategic vision, Destination 2040, a 20-year plan that relates to what we do every year leading up to 2040, is also unique. That is an advantage that serves as the foundation to the relationships and initiatives that drive the economic growth of the area and surrounding counties. This master economic roadmap ensures that Middlesex County is the best place to live, work and play both now and for future generations.
James Tedesco, County Executive, Bergen County
There are great quality-of-life aspects in the county beyond business. We have great transportation and are in the middle of major regional corridors. The county has also invested almost $20 million in our parks to enhance these experiences for people. We have over 9,000 acres of parkland that enables families to get out and enjoy the outdoors across all four seasons. For example, you can ski in January at Campgaw Mountain and then play golf right across the street at Darlington Golf Course by April.
Marc Saluk, Director of Economic Development & Tourism, Hunterdon County
The sheer education and skill level of the workforce absolutely stands out here. The other strength is the location. The world class metro-markets of New York and Philadelphia are easily accessible from Hunterdon, and yet the county itself allows you to live in a beautiful, less-congested environment that gets high marks for quality-of-life. Additionally, the Jersey Shore and the mountains are all within an hour, so really anything needed for an individual’s business and personal needs is at your fingertips. And because of our size, we have a team ready to work with businesses to get that focus you might not get in larger markets. For New Jersey, housing here also is still comparatively affordable, especially apartment rates.
Tayfun Selen, Commissioner Director, Morris County
Morris County is in demand and the pandemic hasn’t stopped it from being one of the best places in the country to live, work and raise a family. Last year, we ranked in the Top 5% of America’s healthiest communities, which is so important these days for young professionals and businesses. We have also reaffirmed our AAA credit rating and have done so for four decades in a row. Morris County Chamber of Commerce, in a partnership with the county, launched a marketing campaign in 2021 underscoring the county’s highlights and enticing businesses to relocate here based on our quality of life and business-friendly policies. Because our ratables grow every year, Morris County is able to meet its budget obligations as well as expand on some of the crucial services we provide to our residents without a tax rate increase. We have kept our tax rate stable for three years in a row.