It’s startling that New Jersey ranks only sixth in the country in terms of state debt per capita, since each New Jerseyan theoretically owes $24,134 due to the state debt burden, according to State Budget Solutions' fourth annual state debt study.
The biggest problem highlighted for New Jersey is its overall outstanding debt -- which is ranked third in the country behind California and New York. Another problem is its unfunded post-employment benefits for state employee retirees, like health benefits, in which the state also ranks third. These benefits, which are in addition to pensions, are known as Other Post-Employment Benefits for Employees (OPEB.)
The Garden State fared slightly better when it considered state debt as a percentage of Gross State Product. In that, it only ranked 10th.