In a world where we're all trying to make our money stretch, there are some places in New Jersey that feel the financial squeeze more than others.

A report by 24/7 Wall Street recently listed the poorest towns in every state and it’s pretty bad news for one New Jersey town.

Salem was officially named the poorest town in the state, according to this study.

The report looked at places with populations between 1,000 and 25,000 people. It ranked them based on how much money the typical household makes.

In these towns, the median income is anywhere from $9,100 to $43,800 a year. To put that in perspective, most American households make over $69,000 annually.

With such low incomes, people in these places often rely on government help to pay for basics. In almost all of these towns, more people get SNAP benefits (food stamps) than the average for the whole state.

Google Maps / Canva
Google Maps / Canva

With a population of just over 5,000 people, Salem’s typical household makes only $26,667 a year.

Compare that to New Jersey's overall median income of $89,703, it's a big gap, and it shows how tough things are in Salem.

And another bit of sobering news: 35.2% of households in Salem get SNAP benefits, way more than the New Jersey average of 8.4%.

On top of that, the typical home in Salem is worth $59,100, while in New Jersey, it's $355,700. That's a massive difference.

Here's the thing, although we’ve seen a slight improvement lately, inflation rates are still high, nearly double what the experts say is ideal. And It's no surprise that this is hitting low-income families the hardest.


And even worse, is that it doesn't look like this inflation issue is going away anytime soon, not just for Salem but for the whole state and even the whole country.

So, Salem's story is a real eye-opener. It shows the big money gaps people in New Jersey are dealing with, and it's a reminder that we need to figure out how to help people having the biggest struggles, during these tough financial times.

But it’s also a reminder to appreciate what you’ve got. Because no matter how tough things may be for you, there’s always someone having a tougher time.

30 'poorest' neighborhoods in NJ

These ZIP codes in New Jersey have the highest percentage of households earning less than $25,000 in annual median income. The figures are based on 5-year data by the U.S. Census American Community Survey as of 2021.

Gallery Credit: New Jersey 101.5

NJ residents giving most money to Trump 2024 campaign

According to filings with the Federal Election Commission, these New Jersey residents have given the most money this year to former President Donald Trump's 2024 election campaign. These aggregate year-to-date totals are current as of June 30, 2023. These figures do not include donations to super PACs, which can raise and spend unlimited amounts.

Gallery Credit: New Jersey 101.5

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

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