Report: 9% of NJ Kids Living in High-poverty Neighborhoods
The share of New Jersey children living in areas plagued by poverty has shot up significantly since earlier this decade, according to a report released Tuesday by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.
Nearly 30 states saw a decrease in the share of children in concentrated poverty from 2008-12 to 2013-17, but New Jersey was not one of them, according to the foundation, which focuses on improving the well-being of American children.
Nine percent of Garden State children (177,000) are living in areas of concentrated poverty, where the poverty rate is 30% or more, the report finds. That represents a 29% jump from the state's '08-'12 numbers.
"When neighborhoods have quality schools, accessible job opportunities, reliable transportation and safe places for recreation, children are better positioned for success in adulthood," the report reads. "Yet millions of children live in high-poverty neighborhoods that lack these critical assets."
"The outcomes for kids living in concentrated poverty tend to be a bit more dire," the foundation's Scot Spencer told the Townsquare News Network.
Despite the sizable jump, New Jersey's rate is better than about two-thirds of the country.
The report makes several recommendations for elected leaders, businesses and philanthropic sectors that could help reduce the problem's scope, through increased housing options and expanded economic opportunities.