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201309_BPL_BERKELEYHEIGHTS
Berkeley Heights, NJ Charlie Pratt

6. Berkeley Heights, NJ

May 30, 2014

Top 50 rank: 6

Population: 13,345

Home to Alcatel Lucent's U.S. headquarters, close to major pharmaceutical makers, and a 50-minute commute into New York City, Berkeley Heights offers easy access to a wide range of jobs.

The dining scene in town has flourished in the past couple of years, thanks to new additions like Strega Bistro and Nagoya Sushi. The 2,000-acre Watchung Reservation gives locals a place to picnic, canoe, and ride horses. And the community has a neighborly feel.

On the downside, there are few major retailers. Plus the housing market can be daunting, though not out of line with the area. --D.R.

Berkeley Heights, NJ

Town stats
Median family income (per year)$164,920
Job growth % (2010-2012)5.69%
Median home price (2012)$474,000
Reading test scores (% above/below average)32.1%
Math test scores (% above/below average)23.2%
Personal crime incidents (per 1,000)0
Property crime incidents (per 1,000)5

Financials

Median family income (per year)$164,920
Family purchasing power (annual, cost-of-living adjusted)$107,412
Sales tax (state)6.91%
State income tax rate (highest bracket)8.97%I
State income tax rate (lowest bracket)1.40%I
Auto insurance premiums (Average price quotes, for the state)$1,977
Job growth % (2010-2012)5.69%

Housing

Median home price (2012)$474,000
Average property taxes (2011)$10,959

Education

Colleges, universities and professional schools (within 30 miles)124
Reading test scores (% above/below state average)32.1%
Test scores math (% above/below average)23.2%
% students attending public/private schools (located within town limits)100.0/0.0

Quality of life

Air quality index* (% of days AQI ranked as good)83.8%
Personal crime incidents (per 1,000)0
Property crime incidents (per 1,000)5
Median commute time (in minutes)28.2
% population with commute 45 mins. or longer25.6%
% population walk or bike to work1.9%

Leisure and culture

Movie theaters (within 15 miles)53
Restaurants (within 15 miles)6,116
Bars (within 15 miles)483
Public golf courses (within 30 miles)272
Libraries (within 15 miles)130
Museums (accredited by AAM; within 30 miles)27
Ski resorts (within 100 miles)N.A.
Arts funding (Dollars per person of state funds spent on arts)1.6

Weather

Annual rainfall (inches)46.25
% clear days in the area56%
High temp in July ° F86.6°
Low temp in Jan ° F21.5°

Meet the neighbors

Median age43.0
Completed at least some college (% of residents)72.4%
Married %62.7%
Divorced %6.0%
Racial diversity index (100 is national average; higher numbers indicate greater diversity)61.2
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