Although New Jersey’s economy is improving, it’s not improving as much as other states’, according to the most recent census figures and New Jersey Policy Perspective. That’s because its 0.3 percent increase in median income — now $72,222 — was the smallest increase in all 50 states last year. According to NJPP, one in four New Jerseyans is struggling to get by, while one in 10 lives below the official and inadequate poverty line. One in 20 lives in absolutely desperate economic circumstances.
New Jerseyans of color have an even greater burden; 18.6 percent of African-Americans live in poverty, down from 19.7 percent. Hispanics have an even greater number in poverty — 20.2 percent, down from 21.2 percent. Only 8.2 percent of whites live in poverty. Asians saw their rate of poverty rise from 6.8 percent to 7.1 percent.