New Jersey is still the butt of jokes for the late night comics, but the people who live here think the Garden State is a good place to call home according to a new Monmouth University-Asbury Park Press Quality of Life Index survey

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"Sixty-three percent say it's an 'excellent' or 'good' place to live as a state versus just 37 percent who say it's only 'fair' or 'poor,'" said Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute. "Seventy percent of New Jerseyans say their town or city is a good place to live. That's identical to the number we got back in December."

Local evaluations make up half of the Quality of Life Index score. In addition to being asked to grade their town, New Jersey residents were asked about safety, schools and the environment.

"Sixty-one percent give positive marks to their local schools, up by a point since December," Murray said. "Sixty-seven percent of New Jerseyans give positive ratings to safety in their own neighborhood and that's up seven points since December."

Opinions of local environmental quality are up four points to a 73 percent positive rating.

In the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, the index saw a significant jump, but Murray said that goodwill dried up in the April survey that revealed a big drop. He explained that people's perceptions of New Jersey appear to be stabilizing.