Is Jersey City Safe? What You Need To Know Before Moving

Safety is always a top priority when looking for a home. The last thing you want is to end up in a neighborhood with high crime rates, putting yourself and your family at risk. 

Jersey City has its share of crime, like any other city, but it’s essential to know the facts and statistics before making any assumptions.

Let’s explore the safety of Jersey City and provide you with all the information you need to make an informed decision before moving.

Is Jersey City Safe To Live In?

Jersey City, nestled in New Jersey’s heart, has crime rates that differ slightly from the national and state averages. Let’s break it down for a better understanding. 

Nationally, the crime rate is 2,346 crimes per 100,000 people. The state’s crime rate is lower than the national average, at 1,354 crimes per 100,000 people.

Jersey City’s crime rate falls comfortably below the national average at 1,940 crimes per 100,000 people. That’s 17.3% less, painting a picture of a city that can hold its own when it comes to safety.

 It’s essential to realize that crime isn’t evenly distributed across the city. Most neighborhoods are peaceful retreats, with only a few areas skewed with a higher crime rate.

Understanding Crime In Jersey City

Now, let’s talk about the type of crimes. Although Jersey City’s property crime rate is higher than the state’s average, many of these crimes are petty thefts. 

These aren’t ideal, but they threaten your safety less than violent crimes. In Jersey City, the chance of being a victim of a violent crime is lower, with 195 violent crimes per 100,000 people, compared to the national average of 388.

On average, Jersey City residents have a 1 in 52 chance of becoming a victim of a crime.

While this may sound alarming, one must remember that this encompasses all crimes, not just violent offenses, and includes a significant proportion of petty thefts. The city’s concerted efforts to reduce crime rates and improve safety should also provide reassurance.

Violent Crime Rates In Jersey City

Let’s look deeper into the distribution of violent crime rates in Jersey City, comparing them with the national averages. 

Here are the figures for different types of violent crimes reported in Jersey City for every 100,000 residents:

  • Assault: The rate of assault in Jersey City stands at 285.3, slightly above the national average of 282.7. Remember, most assault cases are verbal and may not necessarily result in physical injuries.
  • Murder: Jersey City has a murder rate of 6.5, slightly higher than the national average of 6.1.
  • Rape: The rate of rape in Jersey City is 22.4, which is considerably lower than the national average of 40.7.
  • Robbery: Jersey City’s robbery rate is 129.1, also lower than the national average of 135.5.

Even though these individual rates may seem concerning, it’s essential to look at the overall trend. 

Over the past decade, Jersey City has seen a significant decline in violent crime rates, reflecting the city’s efforts toward improving public safety.

Property Crime Rates in Jersey City

Property crimes are also considered when evaluating a city’s safety. Below are the figures of different types of property crimes reported in Jersey City for every 100,000 residents:

  • Burglary: The burglary rate in Jersey City is 189.9, significantly below the national average of 500.1.
  • Theft: The theft rate in Jersey City is 1,141, considerably lower than the national average of 2,042.8.
  • Motor Vehicle Theft: Jersey City has a rate of motor vehicle theft of 165.6, which is well below the national average of 284.

The numbers tell a story, and while it isn’t one without its hiccups, it’s also far from being a horror tale. With its lower-than-average crime rate and its pockets of calm, safe neighborhoods, Jersey City makes a compelling case as a potential home.

It’s a city that can be a haven for those looking for a blend of urban living with a strong sense of community. The city’s vibrancy, diversity, and dynamic energy are unmatched, and for those who value these qualities, Jersey City is an excellent place to call home.

Avoiding Bad Neighborhoods In Jersey City

Avoiding bad neighborhoods is a crucial factor for anyone looking to relocate. While Jersey City, in general, is considered safe, there are certain areas where it’s best to exercise caution. Some of these neighborhoods, according to recent data, include:

Greenville

Located in the southernmost section of Jersey City, Greenville has a population of 48,963. While it carries the charm of historic architecture intertwined with modern developments, it is important to note that the area features a higher crime rate than the city average.

With an estimated 585 violent crimes per 100,000 people, Greenville reports 32% more crime than Jersey City as a whole.

Bergen-Lafayette

Bergen-Lafayette, home to 22,642 people, is another area within Jersey City that demands careful consideration. With a violent crime rate of 561 per 100,000 people, the neighborhood experiences around 27% more crime than the citywide average.

McGinley Square

McGinley Square, with a population of 20,749, is another neighborhood of focus within Jersey City’s landscape. While the area has its unique appeal, it faces a significant issue with violent crime.

The reported violent crime rate is 544 incidents per 100,000 people, making it another neighborhood where crime is higher than the Jersey City average.

With 23% more crime than the citywide average, those considering a move to McGinley Square should be aware of these figures and factor them into their decision-making process.

West Side

Home to 23,620 people, West Side is a vibrant neighborhood within Jersey City. It is bustling with activity and has an energetic community spirit, but paying attention to its violent crime rate is also important.

The area reports 516 violent crime incidents per 100,000 residents, 16% higher than the city’s average. This statistic is significant and worth considering for those contemplating a move to this dynamic part of Jersey City.

The Heights

The Heights, housing a population of 50,701, is one of the most populous neighborhoods in Jersey City’s expansive landscape. Despite its large population, the area is not immune to the city’s crime issues.

The Heights experiences a violent crime rate of 507 incidents per 100,000 people, a figure that rises 14% above the citywide average. This means that while the neighborhood offers plenty of amenities and character, it is also essential to consider its crime rates when planning to move here.

How To Choose A Safe Neighborhood In Jersey City

Choosing a safe neighborhood in Jersey City can be challenging, considering the city’s vast size and diverse neighborhoods. However, there are a few factors to consider that can help you narrow down your search for a safe area:

Use A Crime Mapping Service

One practical way to select a safe neighborhood in Jersey City is by utilizing crime mapping services. SpotCrime is a leading crime mapping service that collects crime data from police and reputable sources.

To use it, enter your prospective address and see a comprehensive list of local crimes. This list will include the type and date of each offense, providing a clear picture of the area’s crime landscape. 

By comparing neighborhoods using these tools, you’ll get a clear idea of where crime rates are highest, aiding your decision-making process.

Check The Number Of Homes On Sale Within An Area

Many homes for sale in your potential new area can reveal crucial insights about its safety. If many properties are vacant, it could indicate residents are leaving to escape rising crime. Unoccupied homes might also suggest the vicinity isn’t safe. 

Moreover, these empty dwellings often lure less desirable activities, like drug production or prostitution. Therefore, when choosing your Jersey City neighborhood, consider the number of homes on sale as a vital clue to the area’s safety.

Speak To Residents And Business Owners

To get a more accurate sense of crime in your potential neighborhood, you should speak to people who live there, including homeowners, renters, or business owners. 

They can give you an insight into the area’s safety profile and provide first-hand experiences that may not reflect on any database. While doing so, consider asking about common crimes in the neighborhood, like mugging incidents, theft, or more.

Visit The Prospective Neighborhood At Different Times

When you’re interested in moving to Jersey City, consider visiting your potential neighborhood during different times of the day. A quiet, peaceful neighborhood during the day can be a hotspot for illegal activities in the evening. 

By spending time around your prospective community, you can understand its dynamics better and see whether it matches your safety requirements.

Conclusion

Safety should be your utmost priority when considering moving to a new Jersey City neighborhood. Take your time and carefully evaluate the safety of each neighborhood you’re interested in before making a final decision. 

With the right tools, resources, and research, you can find a safe and welcoming community to call home in Jersey City. And if you need to discuss a specific neighborhood, contact an experienced real estate agent in Jersey City. They can often provide you with hands-on experience and anecdotes that accurately represent a neighborhood’s potential.