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Poverty Rate Spikes Again in NJ

An estimated 57,000 more New Jersey residents entered the ranks of the impoverished between 2010 and 2011, according to new data released today by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Spencer Platt, Getty Images

The report finds 988,000 (11.4%) people in the Garden State living below the poverty level – $22,811 for a family of four. The latest report provides New Jersey with its third straight year of an extremely high increase.

“For the financially disadvantaged in our state, the economic recovery has meant little. They are hurting,” said Melville D. Miller, Jr., president of Legal Services of New Jersey.

While a lag is normal from the start of a recession to the start of a worsening poverty rate, Miller said the length of New Jersey’s lull is “new and disturbing.”

LSNJ contributes the trend to New Jersey’s still-struggling employment picture, as well as high living costs.

Nationwide, the rate was almost unchanged, from 15.1% in 2010 to 15% in 2011.

The real median household income in New Jersey dropped very slightly from $62,968 to $62,338. It also fell on a national level by 1.5%.

Meanwhile, the state and nation each experienced a drop in the number of people without health insurance coverage.


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