Best Neighborhoods in Passaic County, New Jersey
Passaic (pronounced pa-SAY-ic) County is in northeastern New Jersey, north of Newark. New York State sits to the north of the County, the Pequannock and Pompton Rivers lie to the south, and the Passaic River winds its way through the southeastern part of the county, providing both a southern and eastern boundary. Passaic County was a thriving river port until the Morris Canal was built in 1831.
Most of the county’s population live in the southern part, and the northern part is covered in lakes and wetlands. There are over 40 lakes in the county and nine reservoirs.
Lou Costello called Passaic County home, and there is still a park in his honor in Paterson, NJ. Loretta Swit (“Hotlips” on the it TV show, “M*A*S*H”) also lived here, as did director David Chase, Actor Paul Rudd, author Mitch Albom, musician Donald Fagan of Steely Dan, The Shirelles, Gerry Polci of the Four Seasons, and many other creative people.
But is Passaic County a good place to live? We looked at the information, including demographics, crime rate, house prices, and compiled a list of some of the best neighborhoods in Passaic County in alphabetical order.
Niche.com gives Haledon an A+ in diversity, an A for outdoor activities and an A- for nightlife. It ranks 46th out of 415 neighborhoods in New Jersey for the most diverse suburb and 63 out of 647 for the most diverse place to live in New Jersey.
Haledon is the home of the Pietro and Maria Botto House, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and the location of the American Labour Museum, where a huge rally in support of the Great Paterson Silk Strike of 1913 took place.
Almost half (42%) of the residents in Haledon finished high school, and 22% have some college or university, with 19% holding at least a bachelor’s degree. According to Niche, the average annual household income is just over $70,000, and the median housing price, according to Niche, is $271,700, but 51% rent rather than own. The median rent is $1,408.
AreaVibes.com states Haledon’s crime rate is 17% less than the national average, and violent crime is 1% less.
Paterson is the county seat of Passaic County and was once the textile hubs of the northeastern U.S.. When Passaic County lost the river traffic, it pivoted and became a center for textile manufacturing.
In 1790, Alexander Hamilton teamed with New Jersey Governor William Paterson to create the “Society for Establishing Useful Manufactures.” Hamilton’s goal was to increase domestic manufacturing and built the first industrial district in Paterson, at the base of the Great Falls.
It operated until after World War II and made Paterson one of the textile hubs of the U.S., including cotton and silk.
The Great Falls of the Passaic River spurred Hamilton’s industrial plan. The Falls are the second-largest waterfalls in the USA (Niagara Falls is larger). The Falls provided power to the watermills of the early industrial factories in Paterson through a series of canals known as raceways. The first hydro-powered cotton mill was located in Paterson.
The Great Falls also starred in the pilot episode of “The Sopranos” television series and a subsequent episode that saw a drug dealer take an “unfortunate” fall from the bridge to his death.
Hinchcliffe Stadium, located in Great Falls National Park, is one of the few remaining locations where the Negro League baseball was played, which included greats such as Jackie Robinson, Satchell Paige, Willie Mays and Elston Howard. Perhaps it inspired Lou Costello to create the “Who’s on First'' sketch.
Niche gives Paterson an A+ for nightlife, an A for outdoor activities and diversity. It is home to large Hispanic, African-American and Asian populations.
Most residents rent in Paterson, and the median rent is $1,193. Only 28% own their homes, and the median housing price is $244,200. The median income is $41,360.
If you’re headed to Paterson to make a new life and need the extra space, check out our Haledon self-storage location, linked in the last section of this article.
Wayne Township is in the southeast at the mouth of the Hudson River, less than 20 miles from NYC. Ranked as the top neighborhood to live in Passaic County, Wayne Township earns top marks from Niche for good for families, public schools, nightlife, diversity and health and fitness.
The median age of residents in Wayne Township is 42.9 years. The median household income is $123, 204, 56% are married. According to Niche, 79% of residents own their homes, and the average house value is $468,500. It’s a well-educated bunch, with 22% holding a master’s degree or better and 31% holding a bachelor’s.
Dey Mansion, constructed in 1740, was used by George Washington as a military headquarters during the Revolutionary War. Terhune Memorial Park has many pre-Revolutionary oak trees standing.
High Mountain Park Preserve, now a protected area home to endangered plants, served as a lookout area during the Revolutionary War since the summit provided clear views of New York City. There are areas of the park where archaeologists have found evidence of prehistoric human settlements.
If you are commuting from Wayne to Manhattan, expect to spend 40 minutes by bus, 30 minutes by car or taxi.
If you’re moving to Passaic County and need extra storage, check out Storage Post’s Haledon location. WIth a wide variety of self-storage units and amenities like high security, elevators and moving supplies, we’ve got you covered.