A Wall Street 24/7 study reported by thecentersquare.com told us something that, unfortunately, is not a surprise to anyone who lives in NJ. Camden is a town in trouble and doesn’t appear to be anywhere near solving its problems.

In an analysis that studied towns in the United States with more than 25,000 residents, one of New Jersey’s ranked as the second poorest in the entire country; and it won’t be a surprise to any of you. Behind East Saint Louis, Illinois, Camden has that distinction.

Camden, NJ, Waterfront (Photo: Google Maps)
Camden, NJ, Waterfront (Photo: Google Maps)

In order to qualify to be included in this analysis, households had to have an income that is less than the nation’s median annual household income of $65,712.

With a population of 74,002, Camden recorded a median annual income of $27,015, according to the study.

East Saint Louis, Illinois, the one town that was lower than Camden in the country’s poverty ranking, according to this study, had a median household income of $24,343.

East Saint Louis, Illinois (Photo: Google Maps, Canva)
East Saint Louis, Illinois (Photo: Google Maps, Canva)

The analysis pegged Camden’s poverty rate at 36.4 percent, and its median home value came in at $84,000.

As a comparison, last year, although atypical because of the “Covid bonus,” the median home sale price in New Jersey was over $400,000.

Not surprisingly, one of the common denominators of the residents of these poorest cities is lower educational attainment. In fact, in many of 49 cities on the list, the number of residents who had earned bachelor's degrees was very low.

Even though the nationwide percentage of people with bachelor's degrees is 31.5%, many of the 49 cities had averages of less than 20%.

Camden suffers from many of the same social ills that cause grave problems in this country. Urban blight, high crime, low graduation rates, and poverty.

This study confirms that all of those ingredients combine to create a perfect storm for a situation that is difficult to recover from. And for many years, Camden has struggled to.
So far, it seems, there is no end in sight.

Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Judi Franco only.

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