| Things to think
most years, the percentage of blacks and Latinos living in poverty
is at least double the percentage of other New Jerseyans living
Many of us are among the
"working poor" who are employed but living below the poverty
threshold. The percent of working poor in New Jersey was 3.7
An increase in the number of part-time
and low-skill service industry jobs that do not provide a "living
wage" is one reason why some working people are unable to make
Jersey has the second-highest per capita income in the nation.
The amount of money earned by the average New Jerseyan has risen
impressively for many years, even at a time when people in many
other places struggle to get by. However, our rise in per capita
income has not eliminated all of our economic problems. The
gap between the richest and poorest of us remains significant
in New Jersey, as it does nationally.
poverty rates impose costs on the state welfare system and can
slow economic growth, particularly in impoverished communities.
Poverty is correlated with poor health, reduced training of
workers, decreased opportunity, higher crime rates, and other
factors that inhibit economic growth.
concern for the natural environment is often secondary to basic
survival needs for those of us who live below the poverty threshold.
Poverty hinders us from participating in conservation efforts,
even though our future depends on healthy surroundings.
be very destructive to our social fabric. Inequities between
races and social classes deepen social divisions and create
tensions that undermine a healthy society. The success of our
state depends on our ability to move forward and react to problems
as a unified society. Poverty works against our ability to do
poverty rate is considered by many to be based on antiquated
calculations of the cost of living. Many people who are above
the formal poverty line are struggling economically.
Each year’s data point is a two year rolling average value.
Source: US Bureau of the Census, And National Center for Children