Despite a seemingly endless barrage of complaints about living in New Jersey, it seems a majority of Garden State residents are fairly satisfied with where they reside.

According to Patrick Murray, the director of the Monmouth University Poll, the just-released Garden State Quality of Life Index now stands at +24, slightly lower than last year’s +27 rating.

The index can range from –100 to +100.

He said the Index finds 63% of New Jerseyans give the Garden State a positive rating, with 18% of residents saying it’s an excellent place to live and 45% rate it as good.

Similar to last year

“That’s about the same as it was a year ago when it was 64%. It’s a little higher than 2 years ago right in the midst of the pandemic, when it was 59%,” he said.

A quarter of respondents give Jersey a fair rating, and 12% rate the state as a poor place to live.

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He said when people were asked about the town where they live “right now it’s a 77% positive rating which is slightly higher than in recent polls, it’s been between 73% and 76% .”

People like their home towns

Murray said when Jersey residents were asked what makes their area a good area, “one of the best ratings is for the quality of the local environment, which is at 78% positive, 30% excellent and 48% good.”

He noted school ratings stand at 60% positive, 19% excellent and 41% good, which is slightly lower than 63% in 2022 and 64% in 2021.

The survey finds the percentage of Garden State residents who currently feel very safe in their own neighborhoods at night stands at 64%, which is just slightly lower than 65% in 2022 and 67% in 2021.

He said when it comes to satisfaction about living in the Garden State “ratings among urban residents have dropped by 15 points since last year, while they have remained fairly stable among those in the suburban areas of the state.”

Since last year positive ratings for the state among those making less than $50,000 a year have dropped, from +18 to +7, those 55 and older, from +31 to +22, and Black and Hispanic residents, from +23 to +15.

GARDEN STATE QUALITY OF LIFE INDEX OVER THE PAST 5 YEARS


NJ TOTAL   GENDER            AGE                       RACE                          INCOME
Male Female  18-34 35-54 55+    White Black/ Hispanic   <$50K $50 >100K
1/23  +24  +21   +28         +29     +23 +22        +31         +15                   +7  +27   +31
4/22  +27 +24    +30         +24     +25 +31        +30         +23                   +18 +24  +35
4/21  +25 +20    +29         +24     +24 +27        +25         +20                   +17 +25  +31
4/20  +37 +34    +41         +34     +38 +40        +43         +26                   +29 +37  +44
9/19  +24 +21    +26         +21     +20 +32        +31         +13                   +18 +20  +33
2/19  +13 +14    +12         +10     +11 +18        +17          +4                     +2  +14  +20
4/18  +18 +16    +20         +22     +14 +20        +22          +5                     +8  +16  +27

The Monmouth University Poll was conducted by telephone from January 5 to 9, 2023 with 809 New Jersey adults. The question results in this release have a margin of error of +/- 4.7 percentage points.

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