Skip to main content
Monmouth University Polling Institute

New Jersey Quality of Life Sees Spring Uptick

Monday, April 21, 2014

In its regular tracking of residents' satisfaction with life in New Jersey, the Monmouth University Poll finds the current Garden State Quality of Life Index stands at +25.  This latest reading is slightly higher than the +23 index score in February.

A major factor is residents' overall rating of the state as a place to live.  Currently, nearly 2-in-3 say New Jersey is either an excellent (15%) or good (49%) place to call home, compared to just over 1-in-3 who rate it as only fair (26%) or poor (10%).  This 64% positive rating is up by a statistically insignificant single point since February.

A bigger impact on the overall Garden State Quality of Life index score comes from residents' views of the environment.  With the arrival of spring, 76% give the quality of their local environment a positive rating, which is up from 73% in February and 69% in December.

"We generally don't see such seasonal shifts in how New Jerseyans rate their environment, but this was a fairly harsh winter and that could have an impact on overall sense of well-being," said Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute.

Other ratings in the report include:  71% of New Jerseyans currently rate their town or city positively, which is up just one point from February.  Also, 63% of New Jerseyans give a positive rating to their local schools, which is up by two points since February.  Two-thirds (66%) of New Jerseyans give positive ratings to neighborhood safety, which is down one point since February.

Since February, the overall Garden State Quality of Life Index score has increased among women (+25 from +18) and decreased among men (+24 from +28).  It has also increased among younger adults age 18 to 34 (+31 from +23) but held steady among those age 35 to 54 (+20) and age 55 and older (+25).  Lower income residents, those earning under $50,000 a year, also showed an increase in the index score since February - to +17 from +8.  The score held steady, though, among those earning $50,000 to $99,000 (+24) and $100,000 or more (+33).

The Garden State Quality of Life Index was created by the Monmouth University Polling Institute to serve as a resident-based indicator of the quality of life offered by the state of New Jersey.  The index is based on five separate poll questions:  overall opinion of the state as a place to live - which contributes half the index score - and ratings of one's hometown, the performance of local schools, the quality of the local environment, and feelings of safety in one's own neighborhood.  The index can potentially range from -100 to +100.

GARDEN STATE QUALITY OF LIFE INDEX  

 

NJ TOTAL  

GENDER  

AGE  

RACE  

INCOME  

Male

Female

18-34

35-54

55+

White

Black/ Hispanic

<$50K

$50-100K

>$100K

April 2014

+25  

+24

+25

+31

+20

+25

+27

+16

+17

+24

+33

February 2014

+23  

+28

+18

+23

+21

+26

+27

+11

+8

+23

+35

December 2013

+24  

+25

+23

+24

+21

+27

+29

+10

+10

+24

+35

September 2013

+26  

+26

+26

+27

+23

+30

+33

+10

+17

+25

+42

April 2013

+21  

+19

+24

+19

+19

+27

+29

+3

+12

+19

+35

February 2013

+29  

+28

+30

+30

+27

+31

+36

+12

+20

+30

+36

December 2012

+30  

+31

+29

+30

+30

+30

+36

+14

+17

+33

+38

September 2012

+24  

+28

+20

+16

+21

+32

+30

+5

+10

+23

+37

July 2012

+27  

+26

+29

+21

+31

+30

+32

+16

+16

+31

+37

April 2012

+31  

+33

+28

+25

+30

+37

+36

+19

+24

+28

+42

February 2012

+25  

+20

+30

+25

+24

+26

+29

+13

+17

+23

+38

October 2011

+24  

+24

+24

+23

+21

+29

+31

+7

+15

+25

+31

August 2011

+22  

+25

+19

+27

+19

+21

+26

+9

+9

+22

+32

May 2011

+23  

+24

+22

+23

+22

+23

+26

+14

+15

+22

+32

December 2010

+21  

+20

+23

+23

+20

+23

+26

+13

+15

+21

+31

   


GARDEN STATE QUALITY OF LIFE INDEX  

 

REGION  

COMMUNITY TYPE  

North

east

Urban Core

Route 1 Corridor

Central Hills

Northern Shore

Delaware Valley

Garden Core

Urban

Stable Town

Growing

Suburb

April 2014

+24

+10

+22

+43

+29

+25

+23

+4

+26

+33

February 2014

+27

+16

+20

+37

+30

+14

+16

+6

+28

+28

December 2013

+31

+15

+26

+40

+25

+14

+17

+5

+29

+30

September 2013

+27

+8

+21

+52

+33

+27

+19

+1

+34

+32

April 2013

+31

+4

+19

+38

+22

+21

+21

-3

+30

+27

February 2013

+31

+17

+35

+37

+36

+25

+23

+11

+33

+36

December 2012

+36

+18

+26

+47

+40

+21

+31

+9

+37

+37

September 2012

+29

+14

+17

+45

+33

+26

+13

-1

+27

+31

July 2012

+37

+12

+30

+37

+34

+22

+18

+8

+34

+34

April 2012

+38

+26

+27

+44

+34

+22

+28

+20

+35

+36

February 2012

+33

+17

+27

+35

+29

+19

+22

+11

+31

+29

October 2011

+31

+6

+22

+45

+35

+18

+23

-1

+31

+34

August 2011

+24

+16

+21

+38

+27

+26

+6

+4

+29

+25

May 2011

+28

+17

+16

+41

+29

+22

+20

+6

+29

+28

December 2010

+26

+15

+22

+38

+23

+14

+17

+12

+23

+27

The latest Monmouth University Poll  was conducted by telephone with 803 New Jersey adults from March 30 to April 1, 2014.  This sample has a margin of error of ± 3.5 percent.  The poll was conducted by the Monmouth University Polling Institute in West Long Branch, New Jersey.

The questions referred to in this release are as follows:

1.     Overall, how would you rate New Jersey as a place  to live excellent, good, only fair, or poor?

2.     How would you rate your town or city as a place  to live excellent, good, only fair, or poor?

[QUESTIONS 3, 4 AND 5 WERE ROTATED]

3.     How would you rate the quality of the environment in the area where you live – excellent, good, only fair, or poor?

4.     How would you rate the job your local schools are doing – excellent, good, only fair, or poor?

5.     How safe do you feel in your neighborhood at night – very safe, somewhat safe, or not at all safe?

[Note:  All trend results prior to 2005 come from Rutgers University’s Eagleton Poll.]

The Monmouth University Poll was conducted by the Monmouth University Polling Institute from March 30 to April 1, 2014 with a statewide random sample of 803 adult residents, including 601 via live interview on a landline telephone and 202 via live interview on a cell phone.  Monmouth is responsible for all aspects of the survey questionnaire design, data weighting and analysis.  For results based on the total sample, one can say with 95% confidence that the error attributable to sampling has a maximum margin of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.  Sampling error increases as the sample size decreases, so statements based on various population subgroups, such as separate figures reported by gender or party identification, are subject to more error than are statements based on the total sample.  In addition to sampling error, one should bear in mind that question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of opinion polls.

Region is defined by county boundaries:  Northeast (Bergen, Passaic), Urban Core (Essex, Hudson), Route 1 Corridor (Mercer, Middlesex, Union), Central Hills (Hunterdon, Morris, Somerset), Northern Shore (Monmouth, Ocean), Delaware Valley (Burlington, Camden, Gloucester), and Garden Core (Atlantic, Cape May, Cumberland, Salem, Sussex, Warren).

It is the Monmouth University Polling Institute’s policy to conduct surveys of all adult New Jersey residents, including voters and non-voters, on issues that affect the state.  Specific voter surveys are conducted when appropriate during election cycles.

Click on pdf file link below for full methodology and results by key demographic groups.  

Download this Poll Report with all tables

Get Poll Reports in Your Inbox

If you would like to join our mailing list and receive the latest poll results the day they are released, please enter your contact information in the fields below.

Would you like to submit a question or comment?

Back

Any Questions?

Thank You!

Your email has been submitted to our mailing list. You will receive an email to receive future polls the day they are released.

- Monmouth University Polling Institute