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Not Everything Is Rosy In The Garden State, Study Finds

A new study shows that while most residents give high marks to the Garden State, many don't think things are headed in the right direction.
A new study shows that while most residents give high marks to the Garden State, many don't think things are headed in the right direction. Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons/"Downtown-paterson-nj2" by BJT11091

While a new poll shows most New Jerseyans are satisfied with life in the Garden State, New Jersey isn't seen as a good place to do business, and reviews are mixed about prospects for the future.

Almost six in 10 New Jersey residents say it is a good or great place to live, according to a new Rutgers-Eagleton Poll. Yet a whopping 79 percent said it is fair to poor when it comes to retirement.

Seventy percent of respondents said New Jersey is a good or excellent place for education and recreation yet 63 percent say job prospects are fair to poor. Fifty-five percent of those questioned said New Jersey is a fair to poor place to have a business.

Overall, 41 percent said New Jersey has become a worse place to live while 37 percent said it hasn't changed in the last 10 years. Only 17 percent said it's gotten better during this period, according to the poll.

“Residents nowadays have very mixed feelings about their home – socially and culturally," said Ashley Koning, assistant director of the Eagleton Center for Public Interest Polling at Rutgers University. "New Jerseyans give the state solid ratings, but they take a much dimmer view of the state on issues dealing with employment, the economy and finances.”

Results were compiled after a statewide poll of 843 adults contacted by live callers on both landlines and cell phones from Nov. 30 to Dec. 6. The sample has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.8 percentage points, and interviews were done in English or Spanish.

Rutgers officials said this pattern was first seen in December 2010, switching from rosier outlooks in previous decades. Yet residents remain somewhat optimistic about the future, just as they have in previous decades.

A majority of people polled said they think things will improve or stay the same, while 20 percent said life in New Jersey will become worse. Perhaps even more worrisome is 58 percent say the state is off to the wrong track.

Visit the Rutgers website for more details.

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