Despite its weak economy, New Jersey is still considered one of the wealthiest states in the country. But that just means some people have very high incomes, because a new report by Legal Services of New Jersey estimates that there are more than 2.7 million people living in poverty, or 31.5 percent of New Jersey residents.
The report estimates that given the high cost of living in New Jersey, 250 percent of the federal poverty level is a conservative poverty line. There were 900,000 people living at the federal poverty level, and the number of those living in severe poverty — 50 percent of the federal poverty line — has grown to 438,665 in 2012. Young children, young adults, female-headed households and the very elderly are those that dominate the poverty-level population.