TRENTON, N.J. (AP) -- The number of people living in poverty in New Jersey has grown by almost 250,000 over the last decade, bringing the total to nearly one million, according to 2014 Census figures released Thursday.

Poverty in the U.S. (Photo credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

The state's poverty rate has jumped from 8.7 percent to 11.1 percent over the last 10 years, according to the data. But the rate dropped slightly from 11.4 percent in 2013 to 11.1 percent in 2014, bringing the number of people living below the poverty line to about 973,000, NJ.com reported.

Experts said that drop-off from 2013 to 2014 is good news for the state. Melville Miller, president of Legal Services of New Jersey, called the 0.3 percent drop "not statistically significant," but said it signals a leveling-off, despite the fact that the poverty rates in New Jersey are still at record highs.

Jon Whiten, president of New Jersey Policy Perspective, said New Jersey has been in a "pseudo-recovery" for years, and the poverty rate shows how slow the economic recovery has been in the state.

"It's the latest in a long line of things that show how slow and painful the recovery has been for people living and working in New Jersey," Whiten said.

 

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