UNION, NJ — Union came in at No. 43 on Money magazine’s annual list of Best Places to Live 2018, the publication announced Monday, Sept. 17.
Citing characteristics from economy to diversity, Union was one of two New Jersey towns chosen, and Parsippany-Troy Hills in Morris County was the other.
Among nine major criteria, Union was praised for its diversity.
According to the article in Money, “A majority-minority community, Union counts among its tongues Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and French Creole. The cultural mix manifests in the town’s lineup of holiday activities which include a performance of ‘It’s a Wonderful Life,’ a Kwanzaa celebration, and a discounted dinner at Gusta Rosso, an Italian restaurant.”
It listed the township’s vital statistics, such as a population of 55,558; 205 clear days a year; a median family income of $91,298; a high school graduation rate of 91 percent; a median home price of $298,500, and an average commute time of 26 minutes.
Frisco, Texas, which houses the home stadium of the FC Dallas Major League Soccer team, topped the list of Best Places to Live, followed by Ashburn, Va.; Carmel, Ind.; Elliott City, Md.; and Cary, N.C. Money magazine considered only places with populations of 50,000 or more, eliminated any with more than double the national crime risk, less than 85 percent of its state’s median household income or “a lack of ethnic diversity.”
The 583 municipalities that fit that description were ranked based on information collected by Witlytic, a New York City research and consulting firm.
Money limited its list to no more than two communities per state and one per county, and judged them according to their economy by evaluating the following factors: local unemployment rate; historical and projected job growth, and number of employment opportunities available; cost of living, based on tax burden, insurance costs, commuting costs, medical spending, utility and home expenses; diversity, based on racial makeup and integration, and economic diversity within the population; education, based on math and reading test scores and high school graduation rates; income, based on historical median household income, projected household income, a comparison between local and state median household income and change between current and historical household income; housing, based on realtor.com Housing Affordability Index and Housing Growth Index at city level; crime, based on property and violent crime risk as well as homicide and drug overdose rates; amenities, based on number of doctors and hospitals in the area as well as number of leisure activities in the town and surrounding area, including bars, restaurants, museums, sports complexes, and green spaces; and ease of living, based on commute times and weather.