Residents of ZIP code 07976 in New Vernon can expect to live for about 91 years. An hour's drive south, in ZIP code 08608 in Trenton, the life expectancy doesn't even crack 70.

An analysis released Thursday by the New Jersey Hospital Association finds the overall health of a community, and the vulnerability of its residents, can change drastically from ZIP to ZIP. Taking several measures into account, the association has determined the most and least vulnerable communities in the Garden State, and compiled all ZIP-code findings into a database you can access.

Communities in Camden take up four spots on the top-10 list of most vulnerable ZIP codes — 08103 is the worst off in the state, according to the report. The rest of the list is filled by zip codes in Trenton, Newark, Atlantic City and Paterson.

"As one would expect, the most vulnerable areas are those urbanized, inner city, low income areas," said Sean Hopkins, senior vice president of NJHA's Center for Health Analytics, Research and Transformation. "You certainly would expect that, but this bears that out."

Common threads among the most vulnerable ZIP codes include a median household income below $39,000; an unemployment rate of at least 14%; and a higher rate of mental health or substance use disorders.

The study looked at 20 measures overall — health-related factors such as chronic conditions and lack of prenatal care, along with social measures such as high school graduation rates and food access.

Among the "unexpected findings" were ZIP codes that share the same municipality but recorded significantly different results in health status. For example, ZIP code 07306 in Jersey City lands among the state's most vulnerable (451 out of 537). But 07310, also in Jersey City, has a better outlook than more than 80% of the state's zip codes.

ZIP codes in Short Hills (07078), New Vernon (07976) and Millington (07946) are the least vulnerable health-wise in the state, according to the report.

Most vulnerable:

  1. 08103 Camden
  2. 08608 Tretnon
  3. 08104 Camden
  4. 08102 Camden
  5. 07102 Newark
  6. 08401 Atlantic City
  7. 07505 Paterson
  8. 07114 Newark
  9. 08105 Camden
  10. 07108 Newark

Least vulnerable:

  1. 07078 Short Hills
  2. 07976 New Vernon
  3. 07946 Millington
  4. 07043 Montclair
  5. 08550 Princeton Junction
  6. 07021 Essex Fells
  7. 07090 Westfield
  8. 07704 Fair Haven
  9. 07928 Chatham
  10. Belle Mead

More from New Jersey 101.5:

Contact reporter Dino Flammia at

More From New Jersey 101.5 FM