This month, we're looking at the rapid rise of cities and urban areas in New Jersey, and we're starting in the center of it all: North Jersey.

As we all know, New York City’s cost of living is 120 percent higher than the rest of the country. With 8.3 million people and an average home price of $501,000 (average home price in the United States is roughly $181,000), prices have begun to push city dwellers from Brooklyn and Manhattan into less-expensive areas that remain within close proximity to the city. As a result, portions of New Jersey—specifically North Jersey—have turned into prime real estate markets.

Many of these locations have transformed from working class neighborhoods to gentrified destinations for young professionals. Economic realities and shifting demographics have fueled this migration. Millennials, with an interest in keeping their living space, work space, and social lives in close vicinity to one another, have rebooted places like Hoboken, Newark, and Jersey City.