New Brunswick
  • $600   =  non-traditional average 1
  • $1414   =  average 2BR ÷ 2, or traditional roommate rent 2
  • $2170   =  average 1BR, rented solo 3
  • (traditional vs. non-traditional roommates)
  • (the rest of the  northeast US)

94% live within a 10-minute walk of a park. 4
Most errands can be accomplished on foot. 5
rush hour, pickpocketing at local bars
commutable to more expensive city, public transit 6

SO, roomiematch.com's New Brunswick roommate rundown:

Honestly, the only reason a "metro" or college town the wee size of New Brunswick with only around 55,000 residents gets its own mention on this list is because of the easy accessibility to larger metros.

(Also, the college in question is Rutgers, but Princeton's pretty close too.)

New Brunswick is along the New Jersey Transit line, meaning trains go from New Brunswick to NYC's Penn Station or Newark and it takes about an hour, or Philadelphia and it takes about an hour and a half.

Whether or not you and your roommates need a car depends on how often you leave Rutgers . . . to do anything other than depart to NYC or Philly or someplace else off the New Jersey Transit Line. If you do decide to drive in New Brunswick, you should know that downtown parking is expensive, and traffic gets jammed up around any football game.

Route 18 also features a rush hour that might be a few hours long. Avoid!

So what's the "culture" of New Brunswick . . . specifically? Either ONE or TWO, below, take your pick.

ONE: You can't go far without spotting a bar. The Rutgers campus area and surrounding is generally safe and features its own Rutgers University Police (RUPD), but locals advise against wandering around alone in the rest of the town after dark. Pickpocketing along with occasional muggings has happened at bus stops, so keep your obvious valuables safely stashed. Always best to travel in a group, especially after dark, especially if you've been drinking.

TWO: It doesn't exist, because everyone is constantly leaving on transit?

(But still excellent metro to roommate from, because proximity!)

The rest of the New Brunswick roommate lowdown:

  • 28 miles southwest of NYC, on the banks of the Raritan river, located approximately 30 miles southwest of Manhattan
  • an enthusiastic Hungarian and Hungarian-celebrating community, with up to 10% Hungarians of several generations, and several landmarks and memorials relating to all their revolutions plus a Hungarian Festival every June
  • up to 50% of New Brunswick's residents report an Hispanic background, and it's amazingly various
  • also known as "Healthcare City," after its abundance of medical facilities, including Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, Saint Peter's University Hospital, and Rutgers University's Robert Wood Johnson Medical Schools . . . plus New Brunswick is the international headquarters of Johnson & Johnson

After you're settled down, you and your roommates should experience New Brunswick's:

  • George Street: Home to George Street Playhouse and a number of other performing arts organizations and art galleries. Also a lot of casual dining and the college students partaking.
  • Zimmerli Art Museum: More than 60,000 works, with strengths in Art of the Americas, Soviet Nonconformist Art, and Original Illustrations for Children's Literature. Part of Rutgers, but open to the public and free to all.
  • Rutgers Gardens and Helyar Woods: "One of the few botanical gardens that does not charge an admission fee and is open year round." Hours change seasonally so be sure to doublecheck your info before going.

Here's the city of New Brunswick's official .org for new residents (including roommates).


1.   The non-traditional roommate rent average for this city we've experienced over the last 3 years. We can't predict future rental availability, because we're neither in control of any rental market nor psychic, sorry!

But in most cities most of the time, the recent and relatively recent past are the best predictors.

2.   This idea came from smartasset.com's ranking of what a roommate saves you in 50 cities. They ranked where roommates will save you the most money, based on the average cost of a 1BR as opposed to a 2BR ÷ 2. Unsurprisingly, the more expensive the city, the more you can save, but the savings are significant in all larger metros. So we got the data for the rest of our cities from Zumper too.

This is really the minimum you could save, as you could live with more than one roommate, split more services, share food or other supplies, etc. More sharing tends to lead to more savings too, as per our roommate roadmap.

As per the rest of the description at the top of this page, we're calling this "traditional" roommate rent.

3.   From zumper.com.

4.   Directly quoted from the Trust for Public Land's parkland rating system.

"The ParkScore index awards each city up to 100 points for acreage based on the average of two equally weighted measures: median park size and parkland as a percentage of city area. Factoring park acreage into each city’s ParkScore rating helps account for the importance of larger “destination parks” that serve many users who live farther than ten minutes’ walking distance."

While each city's rundown already includes their individual ParkScore, nature lovers might like to see all roommate cities ranked for parkland.

5.   Directly quoted from Walk Score's Cities and Neighborhoods Ranking. They've ranked "more than 2,800 cities and over 10,000 neighborhoods so you can find a walkable home or apartment."

While each city's rundown already includes their individual Walk Score, dedicated pedestrians might like to see all roommate cities ranked for walkability.

6.   From various lists here on our own best roommate cities.