Elizabeth, New Jersey

Is Elizabeth NJ Safe?

Is Elizabeth NJ a Safe Place to Live?

Living in a new neighborhood is both exciting and daunting. On the one hand, the idea of a fresh start can be energizing, and there are many opportunities to meet new people and experience something different. On the other hand, adjusting to a new environment can lead to feelings of loneliness and anxiety. IF you’re looking to move to Elizabeth, you’re probably looking to know the answer to the question “Is Elizabeth, NJ safe?.”

When choosing a home, safety is crucial. You don’t want to move your family to a dangerous neighborhood. This article will cover the safest and most dangerous neighborhoods in Elizabeth, crime rates, employment rates, alongside pros and cons of living in Elizabeth, New Jersey.

Elizabeth, New Jersey Background

Elizabeth is a city in Union County, New Jersey, USA. According to www.census.gov, this place had a population of 137,298 as of April 1, 2020. Females make up the majority of Elizabeth’s population. 

Elizabeth is about 13 miles southwest of Manhattan and is part of the New York metro area. People from many different backgrounds live in the city, and it’s easy to get around. As the city is located only 15 minutes from New York, Elizabeth is a popular place to live for people who work in the Big Apple. This means there should always be employment opportunities available to you. No matter what field you work in, or want to work in.

The racial composition of Elizabeth, NJ, is:

  • White: 37.14%
  • Other race: 33.58%
  • Black or African American: 20.04%
  • Two or more races: 6.73%
  • Asian: 1.80%
  • Native American: 0.70%

Crime Rates in Elizabeth

As mentioned before, the overall crime rate and safety is one of the factors that you will need to know about when visiting or moving to a new area. In this case, we will find answers to the question “Is Elizabeth NJ safe?”.

Per 100k people, the total crime rate in Elizabeth is 2,834.4, which is 20.82% higher than the national rate of 2,346.0 and 109.40% higher than the New Jersey overall crime rate of 1,353.6.

As New Jersey’s fourth most populous city with an annual growth rate of 0.88%, Elizabeth has a higher crime rate than other cities in the state. It is a densely populated urban area, and crimes are more likely to happen due to a more significant concentration of people living and visiting there.

Elizabeth ranks 35th in safety, meaning 65% of cities are safer and 35% more hazardous. Mississippi is definitely a safer place to live. It is estimated that 33.32 crimes per 1,000 residents occur each year. Also, the core neighborhoods have 1 in 16 crime rates, while the northwest has 1 in 57.

Although there are lots of great universities in Elizabeth, NJ, there have been reports of bullying, harassment, and violence against women happening on campus. One case like this is Kean University, which has a history of criminal activity

Types of Crimes Committed in Elizabeth

The highest type of reported crime in Elizabeth is property crimes, which include arson, burglary, larceny-theft, and motor vehicle theft. The property crime rate in Elizabeth per 100k people is 2,236.8, which is 93.12% higher than New Jersey’s property crime rate of 1,158.2. There is a 1 in 44.7 chance of becoming a victim of property crimes in this city each year. This means if you’re looking to move to Elizabeth, you should consider installing security cameras for surveillance of your home.

The violent crime rate in Elizabeth per 100k people is 597.6, which is 205.89% higher than New Jersey’s violent crime rate of 195.4. Violent crimes include murder and non-negligent manslaughter, sexual assault, robbery, and aggravated assault. There is a 1 in 167.3 chance of becoming a victim of violent crimes in Elizabeth, NJ, each year.

However, it is quite important to acknowledge that the rate of crime/resident may appear inflated when people visit the area during the day, but do not live in Elizabeth, New Jersey. For example, many crimes are committed in retail establishments in the central part of the city. Hence, red areas on the crime rate map do not always indicate danger for Elizabeth residents who live there.

Initiatives to Improve safety in Elizabeth, NJ

The city of Elizabeth has been continuously working on improving safety in the area. Crime rates have decreased in the past few years because the city has implemented crime prevention programs and initiatives such as community policing and installing surveillance cameras in public areas.

New Jersey police departments have received funds from federal, state, and private grants. These funds were used to purchase police officers’ body armor, overtime pay for increased numbers of police patrolling specific locations, and incentives for ticket writing.

Elizabeth have also launched a Police Explorers program, which is for participants from 14 to 20 years old. They have hands-on police training while providing curriculum and experiences that help young people mature while establishing an awareness of the complexities of law enforcement. This helps young people in the area understand how to stay safe, and how to keep others safe.

The city also have the Law Enforcement Against Drugs program (L.E.A.D) where the program partners with the members of the community through conducting effective programs to deter youth and adults from drug use resulting in numerous drug related crimes and violence being prevented.

However, even with all of this in place, crime rates in Elizabeth are still high when compared to other surrounding cities.

The Safest Neighborhoods in Elizabeth

Crime rates vary depending on the neighborhood, so it’s essential to be aware of the crime rates in the area you’re considering for a short or long-term stay. Some areas in Elizabeth, such as Elmora West, Westfield Ave/Springfield Rd, Crane Square, and Quality Hill, have lower crime rates and are considered safe to live in. More crimes happen in places like retail areas, parks, and designated recreational areas where more people visit.

The Most Dangerous Neighborhoods in Elizabeth

The most dangerous neighborhoods appear to be Elmora Northwest, Bayway North and Elmora South. These areas typically have higher crime rates, so when looking for properties on the market in Elizabeth, avoid these areas.

Pros of Living in Elizabeth NJ

Lets take a look at the positive aspects of living in Elizabeth, New Jersey.

Low Cost of Living

This is a significant consideration when choosing a place to stay. The cost of living in Elizabeth is lower than in other cities in New Jersey. The overall cost of housing, food, utilities, services, and transportation is less expensive, which is vital if you’re looking for an affordable place to live. Whereas, cities like Glendale are a lot more expensive.

Easy access to public transportation

Easy access to transportation is another factor to consider when considering safety when traveling or roaming the city. Elizabeth is bound for different modes of transportation, including bus, rail, corridor lines, the coastline, the valley line, para-transit service, port services, and more. You can explore and travel around Elizabeth, NJ, in many possible ways. This means if you’re out at night, there’s multiple transportation services available to help you get home safely.

The city is served by several major highways, including the New Jersey Turnpike and Routes 1–9 and 22. The Elizabeth NJ Transit train station, which goes to Newark, New York City, and other places, and local bus service are ways to get around by public transportation. The city also has a seaport, which handles freight and passenger traffic. Overall, rush hour traffic in Elizabeth can be bad, but most people agree that the city’s transportation system is well-built and works well.

Lots of Amenities

Amenities are one of the most important parts of modern life, and Elizabeth is well-equipped to give its residents a high level of amenities. Some famous tourist attractions in Elizabeth, New Jersey, include:

  • Liberty Hall Museum, which is a historic house museum that was once the home of New Jersey’s first governor, William Livingston
  • The Elizabeth Public Library, which is the largest public library in Union County and features a variety of programs and events
  • The Elizabeth River Trail, which is a multi-use trail that runs along the Elizabeth River and offers views of the Manhattan skyline
  • Warinanco Park is a large park with a lake, a playground, a skating rink, and sports fields.
  • Midtown Elizabeth is a neighborhood in Elizabeth, New Jersey, a vibrant and diverse community with a mix of cultures and plenty of restaurants, shops, and markets to explore.


Elizabeth is home to many industries, such as transportation, retail, manufacturing, healthcare, and logistics. Whether you are looking for a big or small company for career opportunities, there’s a high chance you’ll find a place that needs your skill-sets.


The city’s combination of balanced qualities attract people of different backgrounds looking for a quiet urban residential area while indulging a rich culture and contemporary life. There is so much diversity in race, religion, occupation and industry in Elizabeth, which makes you feel safe regardless of where you’re coming from.

Cons of living in Elizabeth

Here are the issues you need to consider if you’re considering moving to Elizabeth, NJ.

High Crime Rates

A pretty obvious con that has been mentioned throughout this article is the high crime rates in Elizabeth. Staying safe is one of the top priorities when planning to relocate or visit Elizabeth. Elizabeth has higher crime rates than other cities in New Jersey, and they’re not projected to significantly decrease anytime soon.

Population Density

Elizabeth, NJ, ranks fourth as the largest city in New Jersey State and among the 230 largest cities in the United States. In every square kilometer, 535.3 people cover the population density. If there are more people residing in the city, the quality of life may be compromised,  potentially resulting in a lower employment and economical rate, a higher cost of living, gender inequalities, and a poor transportation and educational system in the future.

What do Residents say about Elizabeth NJ?

Most people who have experienced living in Elizabeth would say that with the city’s thriving diversity it would be a nice place to raise your family and expose your children to understanding different cultures. They also like having access to fantastic education for their children in a place where they feel safe, comfortable and at home.

However, opinions of current residents in Elizabeth may be biased as they live in the city, and will want others to think they live in the great place.

So if Elizabeth NJ Safe?

We cannot ignore the fact that Elizabeth, New Jersey’s rising crime rate is a cause for concern in response to the question of whether the city is safe. Although the cities’ police force is making every effort to keep its citizens safe, there is obviously still work to be done. Therefore, based on statistics, the city of Elizabeth is not yet considered safe.

If you’re looking for safer places to live in the USA, check out this article.

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