October 25, 2018 | Number of The Day
Percentage of NJ residents earning less than $20,000 who spent more than half their income on rent last year

The cost of renting a home in New Jersey isn’t a trifling matter for those in the middle class. For residents on low wages, it can be one of the dominant challenges. Last year, almost two-thirds of New Jerseyans (62 percent) earning less than $20,000 spent more than half their income on rent. And well more than half of households (58 percent) earning up to $35,000 were in the same boat.

These sore points are among the findings of the latest New Jersey Poverty Snapshot, released by the Anti-Poverty Network and the Coalition on Human Needs (using data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey).

The report’s bright spot? Because New Jersey has expanded its Medicaid program, the proportion of New Jerseyans without health insurance was 7.7 percent in 2017, down 5.5 percentage points since 2013. New Jersey has made far more progress in that regard, the report notes, than states that did not expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act; those states average more than 12 percent uninsured.