What do you think of life in the great Garden State?

A new survey finds a lot of New Jerseyans are not happy with the direction the state is taking.

“Just 50 percent give it a positive rating. The 50 percent is a record low in polls going back to 1980,” said Patrick Murray, the director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute

He said back in the 1980s, “84 percent of New Jerseyans thought it was a good place to live."

Murray said his poll used what is called the Garden State Quality of Life index to determine residents' satisfaction.

The index can range between -100 and +100, and right now it stands at a record low of +13, down from +18 in April of 2018, and +25 back in July of 2017.

The Index is based on five questions -- the overall opinion of the state as a place to live, the rating of the respondent's hometown, the performance of local schools, the quality of the local environment and feelings of safety in one’s own neighborhood.

He said the poll finds the biggest drop in the index is in the suburbs surrounding Philadelphia -- in Burlington, Camden and Gloucester Counties.

“And there’s also been a drop in some of the more urban parts of the state, in Essex and Hudson County, and even in the wealthier parts of the state," he said.

Murray pointed out even though there is widespread dissatisfaction with the overall direction of the state, 67 percent give a positive rating to their own town as a place to live -- 30 percent excellent and 37 percent good.”

Just 21 percent rated their town as fair, and 11 percent said it was poor.

Last year, 71 percent gave the town where they lived a positive rating.

“We find that 64 percent say that they feel very safe in their neighborhood at night," Murray said. That's about the same as last year.

The poll finds 29 percent say they feel somewhat safe at night, and 7 percent don’t feel safe at all.

The poll also finds 59 percent say the schools are doing a good job -- again, about the same as last year. 71 percent give the local environment a positive rating.

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