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Life Index Favors NJ

A recent report from the Monmouth University Polling Institute indicates that New Jersey residents’ opinion of the quality of life in the state has rebounded from an all-time low recorded earlier this year. The current “Quality of Life” Index details that 6-in-10 residents give positive opinions to their state as a place to live.

The Garden State Quality of Life Index was created by the MU Polling Institute in 2010 to act as a resident-based indicator of the quality of life offered by the state of New Jersey.  Five separate poll questions act as the basis of the index: the feelings of safety in one’s own neighborhood, the quality of the local environment, the performance of local schools, the overall opinion of the state as a place to live – which makes up half the index score – and ratings of one’s hometown. The index can potentially range from -100 to +100.

Six-in-10 New Jersey residents consider the state to be either an excellent (15 percent) or good (46 percent) place to reside, while 26 percent say it is only fair and 12 percent rate the state as poor. The newly published positive rating of 61 percent is a large improvement from the 50 percent record low recorded earlier this year as well as the 54 percent result in April 2018. 

Patrick Murray, Director of the Independent Monmouth University Polling Institute, explained how New Jersey residents’ views of the state’s quality of life has been on a downward trend for three years before rising with the institute’s most recent poll.

“You have to remember that this index encompasses a whole host of factors that tap into how much one enjoys life in the Garden State – from the state’s overall economic outlook to people’s attachment to their own neighborhoods,” Murray said.

“It is a measurement of perception, though, there is a question of how much of this is real change in the world around them and how much of this is just adjusting to a new norm of how things are going to be.”

The percentage of New Jersey residents who feel very safe in their own neighborhoods at night (68 percent), is not far from polls earlier this year, which indicated 64 percent of residents felt safe. 27 percent say they feel somewhat safe, while 5 percent say they do not feel safe at all.

Ratings which indicate satisfaction with local schools sit at a positive 60 percent, with 34 percent of residents claiming the institutions to be good and 26 percent claiming to be excellent. 23 percent of schools are seen as only fair and 9 percent are considered poor.”

The poll also lists high ratings for environmental quality as an overall positive at 72 percent. 31 percent consider their environmental quality excellent and 41 percent good. However, 22 percent consider their local area to be only fair and another 6 percent consider it to be poor.

“We can never predict what the future will hold, but we need to look at a whole host of measures to get a complete picture of quality of life,” Murray said. “That includes data on economic gains as well as emigration from the state.”