If you live in a place long enough, you’re gonna find some things about it to hate and also to love.

So we who have lived in New Jersey for a long time have gone out of our way to see the bright side. The bounty of fruits and vegetables, the beautiful landscapes, the mountains that are a short drive away and the stunning sparkling shoreline that lines our coast.

What’s not to love?

Well, that depends on where you live. Some places in New Jersey have bad crime high poverty levels, poor job prospects and a terrible work-life balance. Moneyinc.com listed the 20 worst places to live in New Jersey. At first glance, I disagreed with so many of their choices.

For instance, Jersey City. I always thought that it was a paradise for millennials, yet Money listed that as one of the 20 worst. Buena? The tidy little South Jersey town? What did Buena ever do to anybody?

Google Earth
Google Earth

And Laurel Lake? I never even heard of Laurel Lake, but boy doesn’t it sound quaint? Look a little further, and you’ll discover why these made it to the list of the worst places in New Jersey.

Well, it turns out unemployment is high in the number 20 on the list, Buena, and the median income is some of the lowest in the state, so there goes Buena.

Jersey City, at number 17, for all of its improvement in recent years has the third lowest work-life balance in the country. People spend so much time commuting to work that their lives really suffer.

And as far as Laurel Lake? Low home values and income, high poverty and unemployment add up to a pretty poor quality of life in this little Cumberland County hamlet, which ranks at number 15 of the 20 worst places to live in NJ.

But the worst of all?

At number one, and probably no surprise to anyone, is Newark. With an unemployment rate, that’s almost double the country's average and an income of over 20,000 less than the US average, not to mention everything we know about automobile theft and other crimes, Newark is a must to avoid in New Jersey.

Small towns in New Jersey you didn't know existed

There are so many small towns in New Jersey that you may have heard of, especially in our listening area of Central and North Jersey. In the southern part of the state, where we have less reach and interaction, there are towns almost guaranteed, you've never heard of. Many of them in Atlantic, Cumberland and Salem Counties. Some are even in Burlington and Camden County. Here's a quick look at just of few of them.

Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Judi Franco only.

You can now listen to Dennis & Judi — On Demand! Hear New Jersey’s favorite best friends anytime, anywhere and any day of the week. Download the Dennis & Judi show wherever you get podcasts, on our free app, or listen right now.

Click here to contact an editor about feedback or a correction for this story.

Jersey City home transformation: From falling apart to full luxury

41 Bentley Ave. was basically falling apart. It was typical of many homes you see in the older sections of Jersey City, before the developers get to them, that is. Many of them are rundown, neglected with the population of the town not having the means to repair and update them.

More From Cat Country 107.3