27. Piscataway, N.J.

Population: 56,883
Census Region: Northeast
Median Family Income: $101,523
Median Home Price: $260,000
Average Property Taxes: $7,611
Projected Job Growth: 4%
Courtesy of The City of Piscataway

Founded in 1666, this small central New Jersey town prides itself on its rich history. Preservations include important 18th and 19th century structures like the Indian Queen Tavern, a popular gathering place for patriot meetings during the Revolutionary War. Today, it’s a diverse community that’s also home to Rutgers University—the eighth-oldest college in the nation—which provides more than 24,000 stable, high-paying jobs. Other local employers include Fortune 500 companies Colgate-Palmolive and Johnson and Johnson, headquartered in nearby New Brunswick.

The major knock on Piscataway: heavy traffic, especially on the Route 287 thruway. Commuters to New York City often opt to make the short drive to the New Jersey Transit train station in New Brunswick, which offers one-hour service to New York Pennsylvania Station. High property taxes also make homeownership challenging for a number of residents.

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