The quality of life index for New Jersey is at a record low, according to a new Monmouth University Poll released this morning.
Just half rated New Jersey as an excellent (11%) or good (39%) place to live, while 32% view it as just fair and 17% say poor.
That’s a drop from 54% in an April 2018 Monmouth poll. It’s also down nine points since 2017 and twelve since 2016.
“Yikes! The state rating has bounced around the last few years, but this latest result marks a precipitous drop from any prior reading. This is a huge warning sign for the state’s political leadership. If New Jerseyans aren’t confident that the situation will turn around, they will start voting with their feet,” said Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute.
The numbers took their greatest hit in the Philadelphia suburbs, dropping by seventeen point. The poll also showed an eight-point drop in Essex and Hudson counties and a seven-point drop in the Hunterdon/Morris/Somerset region.
“New Jerseyans seem to separate their views of the state as a whole from how they feel about their own neighborhoods. The question is how much longer this can go on before statewide problems override the benefits of living in their local community,” said Murray
Positive views of life in New Jersey has held steady among men (47%), but has dropped 9% among women to 51%. It has also dropped eleven points among New Jerseyans ages 18-34, and 7% among white non-Hispanic residents.
Among New Jerseyans who earn more than $100,000 annually, the number has dropped by twelve points. But among those making less than $50,000, the number has increased by ten points.
“Older low-income residents seem to be okay with the direction New Jersey is going. It’s the younger wealth generators who are increasingly unhappy with it. Policymakers have to ask themselves how the state will be able to serve the first group if the latter group flees the state,” said Murray.
Monmouth University Polling Institute created the Garden State Quality of Life Index in 2010 to serve as a resident-based indicator of the quality of life offered by the state of New Jersey.
The Monmouth University Poll was conducted from February 8-10 and has a margin of error of +/- 4%.Monmouth poll 2019 quality of life_Redacted