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Monmouth University Polling Institute

Garden State Quality of Life Jumps

Monday, May 07, 2012

7-in-10 residents say New Jersey is good place to live

In its regular tracking of New Jerseyans' satisfaction with life in their state, the Monmouth University Poll found that the current Garden State Quality of Life Index has jumped to +31, from +25 in February.  This marks the third consecutive increase in the index and the highest score since the index debuted in December 2010 at +21.

"Upward movement in the Garden State Quality of Life Index seems to have accelerated in the past few months, with the biggest factor being more positive views of New Jersey as a whole," said Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute.

Currently, 7-in-10 residents rate the state of New Jersey as either an excellent (20%) or good (50%) place to live.  This 70% positive rating is the highest recorded since May 2003 when it stood at 72%, and a marked improvement over the 30-year low of 57% recorded less than one year ago in August 2011.

The state evaluation contributes half of the total Garden State Quality of Life Index score.  The other half is comprised of ratings of various local aspects of New Jersey life.  These ratings have remained fairly steady, including positive ratings of one's town as a place to live (76%), the local environment (75%), local schools (63%) and neighborhood safety (64%).

Compared to February, the Garden State Quality of Life Index has seen significant increases among New Jersey men - from +20 two months ago to +33 now.  The score among state women was more stable - from +30 to +28 now.

The index score among older residents also jumped.  New Jerseyans age 55 and over now score +37 on the index - up from +26 in February - and give higher ratings than those age 35 to 54 (+30) or 18 to 34 (+25).  The Garden State Quality of Life Index score among urban residents nearly doubled from +11 in February to +20 now, but still trails the score of suburban residents (+36).

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 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 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 804 New Jersey adults from April 11 to 15, 2012.  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 on April 11 to 15, 2012 with a statewide random sample of 804 adult residents, including 644 contacted on a landline telephone and 160 on a cell phone.  Live interviewing services were provided by Braun Research, Inc. and the telephone sample was obtained from Survey Sampling International.  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

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