Connecticut vs New Jersey (Which State is Better to Live in?)

If you’re moving to the east coast, Connecticut and New Jersey are two of the most popular states to live in. However, each one has its advantages and disadvantages.

In this article, I’ll walk you through the pros and cons of living in both New Jersey and Connecticut, including the cost of living, tax rates, weather, and entertainment. By the end, you should have a good picture of which state is better for you. Let’s dive in.

New Jersey vs Connecticut

Cost of Living: Connecticut vs New Jersy

As a whole, the cost of living in CT and NJ is roughly the same. Both states are roughly 10% to 20% higher than the national average and much lower than New York City. However, the wealth distribution seems to be more extreme in Connecticut than in New Jersey.

You’ll find some of the wealthiest towns in the United States in Connecticut (Greenwich) and some of the poorest (Bridgeport). New Jersey seems a bit more spread when it comes to income levels.

So, while the numbers indicate that the cost of living is roughly the same, you can certainly find exceptions to that rule depending on what city you live in.

Also, median home prices are cheaper in Connecticut than in New Jersey by comparison, however, the property tax situation is much worse.

Taxes: CT vs NJ

Taxes are a complicated issue in both New Jersey and Connecticut. On the surface, the CT state income tax is 3% to 6.99%, while NJ state income tax is 1.4% to 10.75%. This makes New Jersey look considerably worse for tax purposes.

However, when you incorporate all of the local taxes, which include things like real-estate taxes, vehicle taxes, and sales taxes, you’ll actually end up paying more in Connecticut.

In a recent study, it was determined that Connecticut’s effective tax rate is nearly 15%, while New Jersey’s is closer to 13%. This is largely due to the ridiculous property taxes in CT.

If you don’t own a home or you commute using public transportation, it’s possible that you’ll pay fewer taxes in CT. But if you do have property, like a house or car, New Jersey will likely be a cheaper place to live.

Weather: NJ vs CT

The weather in New Jersey and Connecticut is almost identical. You’ll get snow in the winter, the summers are hot, and the spring and fall seasons are both mild.

The one exception is if you live in the northern part of Connecticut. Northern CT (meaning north of Hartford) usually gets more snow than the southern part of the state. Southern Connecticut in New Jersey get a similar amount of snow.

And while this doesn’t necessarily affect the climate, Connecticut has a longer fall foliage season, making for a more beautiful Autumn.

Entertainment: New Jersy vs Connecticut

Both states are close to New York City, which provides plenty of entertainment. However, unless you live in Hoboken or Greenwich, expect at least an hour’s drive into the city.

Aside from the proximity to NYC, there are similar things to do in each state. You can ski, attend concerts, and go to the beach (although NJ beaches are better because CT beaches are shielded by Long Island).

New Jersey does have an advantage in nightlife since there are far fewer nightclubs in Connecticut than there are in New Jersey. But, Connecticut probably has the edge when it comes to wineries.

NJ also has more professional sports teams, but there are more hiking trails, lakes, and mountains in CT.

Other Differences

When comparing CT vs NJ, there are plenty of differences between the two states. But here are some of the more notable ones:

  • Connecticut is more rural and has a New England charm.
  • New Jersey is the only state in the country that doesn’t allow customers to pump their own gas.
  • New Jersey is in close proximity to several major airports while Connecticut only has one.

Which State is Better? – Final Thoughts

Connecticut vs New Jersey, who wins? If you’re commuting into NYC for work, Connecticut wins hands down. The traffic coming into the city from the north isn’t as bad, plus you can use the Metro-North Railroad, which will save you time.

Your housing taxes will be higher in CT, but you’ll likely have more land and your house will probably be bigger.

CT is also better if want to get out of the city since it has more rural areas where you can enjoy nature. The one case I will make for Jersey is that it has better entertainment. If you like going out and being around a ton of people, NJ may be a better option for you.

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