New Jerseyans have decidedly mixed feelings about their home state, according today’s Rutgers-Eagleton poll and newly released “2018 State of the Garden State” report.
Nothing upsets residents more than the way their state government has handled taxes: 82 percent of residents say they are dissatisfied — 60 percent consider themselves “very” dissatisfied — with how the government has managed the issue. Three quarters say the same about cost of living and government spending.
Residents’ itch to move out of New Jersey has grown in the past decade — from 22 percent in March 2010 to 30 percent. Forty-six percent want to stay exactly where they are and continue living in their current neighborhood, a double-digit drop from when the question was last asked almost eight years ago. Six percent now say they want to move somewhere else in their current town, and 15 percent want to move elsewhere within the Garden State. Millennials are one of the biggest flight risks for New Jersey, with more than a third wanting to move out of the state entirely.
Yet despite an increase in those who want to leave the state, residents continue a longtime pattern of being more positive than negative about New Jersey as a place to live – 61 percent (“excellent”/”good”) to 39 percent (“fair”/”poor”). Yet this is a notable drop-off from how residents rated quality of life at the turn of the 21st century and for decades before that, with ratings frequently surpassing the 70 percent mark for most of the poll’s history.