New data from Monmouth University’s Quality of Life Index shows that six out of 10 New Jerseyans are happy with living in the state, a bounce back from the index’s record low earlier this year.
Fifteen percent of residents rated the state as excellent and another 46 percent as a good place to live, according to the data released Monday from the Monmouth University Polling Institute.
Monmouth started its quality of life index in the state in 2012. The rating can go between 100 and negative 100. The first rating was 31 in April 2012, while the rating this February was at 13.
“This is a huge warning sign for the state’s political leadership,” Pat Murray, the polling institute’s director, said in the February analyses. “If New Jerseyans aren’t confident that the situation will turn around, they will start voting with their feet.”
Today’s numbers peg the rating at 24 points.
“[T]hose numbers have certainly bounced back, at least for now,” Murray said in the analyses released Monday. “Ratings of local safety, schools, and the environment have remained relatively stable. The increase in the overall quality of life index has come mainly from a more positive outlook about New Jersey as a whole,” he added.
Half of the index score comes from respondent’s overall opinion of the state, and the rest from opinion of one’s hometown, performance of local schools, the quality of the local environment and the sense of local public safety.
The quality of life index increased for every demographic for which the report was broken down: male and female; white and black/Hispanic; age groups 18 to 34, 35 to 54, and above 55 years old; and for income ranges of below $50,000, between $50,000 and $100,000, and above $100,000.
Women and those who make under $50,000 a year reported the biggest jump in their opinion of life in New Jersey.
Monmouth interviewed 713 adults between Sept. 12 and 16; the study has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.7 percentage points.