Is life in New Jersey getting better? Yes, if you believe the respondents to the recently released Monmouth University poll on the quality of life in the Garden State. The poll tracks residents' satisfaction on a quarterly basis, and the most recent poll shows a jump of 3 points from 21 to 24, on its quality of life index over less than a year ago.
The index is based on five opinion questions about satisfaction with the state (which contributes half the score), including what they think of local towns, schools, environment, and neighborhood safety. The overall rating can range from -100 to +100.
The happiest New Jerseyans are white, over 55 years of age, with an income of more than $100,000. These groups all gave ratings that resulted between 29 and 31 on the poll’s index. The unhappiest age cohort are those between 35-54 , with a 21. Blacks and Hispanics are not nearly as satisfied, and have dropped their index score of last December from a 13 to a 7. Northern and central suburbs are much happier than urban cities and the Delaware Valley. Those living in the Central Hills region of the state and the Northern shore, gave scores of 45 and 35 -- the Northern shore region having changed its opinion dramatically, from a 23 to a 35, in less than a year.