SCOTCH PLAINS/FANWOOD, NJ - Fanwood and Scotch Plains ranked No. 122 and 127, respectively, in the new list of "Best Towns for Families" 2015 List, published by njfamily.com.
 
Pennington -- a town in Mercer County with a population of just 2,587 -- topped the list, followed by no. 2 Oradell  (Bergen), no. 3 Mendham (Morris), no. 4 Frelinghuysen (Warren) no. 5 Closter (Bergen). Among towns in Union County, New Providence ranked highest at no. 8. (See full list of towns in Union County below).
 
 
"In my opinion, Scotch Plains and Fanwood should rank much higher on this list," said Paul Lamastra of ERA Suburb Realty. "The housing market is strong, the crime rate is very low, and the schools are quite good. These are things that families care about. We are getting multiple bids on listings in Fanwood and Scotch Plains. Families want to live here."
 
New Jersey Family rated 512 communities in New Jersey, eliminating towns with less than 1,500 residents. Towns in Bergen County and Morris County generally scored well. One eyebrow-raising rating: Hoboken, with its short commute and vast selection of restaurants, came in dead last -- far behind cities such as Camden (426), Paterson (411), Trenton (451), Jersey City (471), and Newark (495).

 
New Jersey Family compiled statistics on tax rates, average home sale price, public school ratings, crime rates, median household income, the percentage of families with children under the age of 18, average travel time to work, and the proximity of restaurants, hospitals and grocery/convenience stores.
 
Rank-Town-Population (Union County only)
8) New Providence 12,332
23) Cranford 23,293
49) Westfield 30,851
55) Clark 15,184
60) Summit 21,988
63) Berkeley Heights 13,466
122) Fanwood 7,510
127) Scotch Plains 23,975
166) Union 57,542
189) Mountainside 6,808
226) Springfield 16,824
227) Roselle Park 13,525
257) Garwood 4,296
366) Rahway 28,394
431) Linden 41,301
433) Elizabeth 127,558
436) Hillside 21,787
442) Kenilworth 8,090
443) Roselle 21,449
477) Plainfield 50,588