WESTFIELD, NJ — In its September “Best Places to Live” issue, arriving in subscribers’ mailboxes this week, New Jersey Monthly magazine ranked Westfield No. 34 among its top 100 towns in New Jersey, up from No. 62 two years ago.

New Jersey Monthly determines the top towns by compiling research in five categories, including home values, property taxes, crime rate, school performance and a lifestyle factor.

According to the methodology, the 513 towns included were ranked based on the following indicators: average residential tax bill; change in average property tax bill; effective property tax rate; median home-sales price; change in median home-sales price over the last two years; total crime rate combined with a score for violent-crime rate; student proficiency on state-mandated standardized tests for students in grades 4, 8 and 11; and a lifestyle factor that considers the number of acute-care hospitals and live performing-arts theaters within 10 miles of the municipality’s main zip code, number of full-service restaurants within two miles of the municipality’s main zip code, and average commute time for those working away from home.

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The issue includes a chart showing the top 100 towns and factors a homebuyer would consider, including home prices, real estate taxes, school results, crime rates, and access to essentials and amenities such as hospitals, theaters and restaurants. 

“Residential real estate is booming in New Jersey,” New Jersey Monthly editor Ken Schlager said. “Our chart is a popular tool that helps potential homebuyers understand which towns are the most desirable.”

The 100 Top Towns chart is part of the “Best Places to Live” cover story in the September issue of New Jersey Monthly, available on newsstands on Aug. 29. A complete ranking of 513 New Jersey municipalities will be available starting Aug. 28 at njmonthly.com/top-towns.