• $800   =  non-traditional average 1
  • $1132   =  average 2BR ÷ 2, or traditional roommate rent 2
  • $1696   =  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
political corruption
commutable to more expensive city 6

SO, roomiematch.com's Newark roommate rundown:

Newark is both a city in its own right, and a commuter community to NYC.

There are quite a few folks who commute to Newark from somewhere else. Most work in the downtown business district or one of the Universities.

But many more commute from Newark to NYC. Immediate proximity to NYC with so many public transportation options combined with lower rent make this option attractive to many.

Newark has had a dangerous reputation ever since a lot rioting took place back in the 1960s . . . which more or less led to most of their middle class leaving for New Jersey's farther flung suburbs. But since the 90s, this demographic has been gradually drifting back.

These days, especially compared to the rest of NYC, Newark's reputation as mostly dangerous is now mostly undeserved.

Well. It has been said you shouldn't leave your car out on the street overnight in Newark. That's fair. But how's that any different from the rest of NYC?

Some blocks downtown more or less empty out after traditional business hours, and depopulated blocks are more dangerous. But if those businesses are closed, you probably didn't need to be there anyway?

Be aware where you are, don't explore anywhere new after dark or when few other folks are around. Late at night, some train stations get scary dark and deserted too. So don't hang out there either.

Remain in well lit areas. After business hours and by yourself, if you stick with what you know and where you have some logical reason to be, Newark is about as safe as the rest of NYC.

In addition to its reputation for dangerous crime, Newark also has a dangerous history with political corruption. Most if not all of their mayors anyone alive can still remember other than Cory Booker have already been indicted for crimes committed while in office if not elsewhere as well. However, unless you and/or your roommates work for local government or law enforcement, this probably would not affect you directly.

The Jersey Shore is only a few hours away. This probably would affect you directly. This is harder to justify logically.

The rest of the Newark roommate lowdown:

  • New Jersey's largest city, about 310,000 in the city, then their greater metro is just NYC
  • in northern New Jersey near the lower Hudson River, immediately west of NYC, natural terrain is flat and marshy
  • summers are hot and muggy: winters are cold and wet: spring and fall are unstable but usually mild
  • say "Noo Wirk" instead of "New Ark" - locals sometimes shorten to "Nerk" or "Nork"
  • Too many public transportation options to list, Newark is a massive people and products distribution hub. It's pretty easy to go everywhere to and from Newark.
  • A huge number of nearby port and rail facilities have made Newark one of the largest shipping hubs on the East Coast.
  • third largest US hub for commercial insurance
  • hosts the NHL's New Jersey Devils
  • home to Bloomfield College, Caldwell College, Centenary College, College of Saint Elizabeth, College of New Jersey, Montclair State College, Drew University, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Rutgers University, Seton Hall University, and the University of Medicine and Dentistry

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

  • Branch Brook Park: Largest public park in Newark with > 4000 cherry blossom trees
  • Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart: French Gothic cathedral, over 200 stained glass windows and a dozen giant bells.
  • Newark Museum of Art: You and your roommates can visit as a group, but they prefer you reserve tickets in advance. No eating, drinking, or walking your dog inside! There's a mobile guide, a planetarium, a restored Victorian mansion, and a special focus on scientific phenomena.
  • Newark Public Library: In addition to eight locations and > 1,000,000 volumes, The James Brown African American Room and the Philip Roth Personal Library are inside this library. Also hosts ESL and yoga classes.
  • Institute of Jazz Studies: The world's largest jazz research library, with an archive of over 100,000 recordings and 30 instruments. It's at Rutgers.
  • New Jersey sound: Deep house infused with gospel, invented here in the 1980s, still popular! Any club with a DJ or any music festival hosted here should feature some.

Here's the city of Newark's official .gov for the Department of Water & Sewer Utilities. Newark has had problems with their water, you and your roommates may want to check here for current advice and instructions.


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.