This past winter was long and brutal, but spring has sprung and that has New Jersey residents feeling positive about life in the Garden State. A new Monmouth University Quality of Life Index has been released that shows a slight uptick in people's attitudes.

(Spencer Platt, Getty Images)

"What seems to be really driving this is an increase in the feeling about the environment," said Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute. "Right now, 76 percent of New Jerseyans give the quality of their local environment a positive rating. That's up from 69 percent in December. We don't usually see these kinds of seasonal shifts in how New Jerseyans rate their environment, but I think because we had such a harsh winter that the advent of spring here has given a new overall sense of well being."

The current Garden State Quality of Life Index stands at +25 which is just a bit higher than the +23 index score in February. The index is based on five separate poll questions including overall opinion of the state as a place to live which makes half the score. The index can potentially range from -100 to +100.

"Two-in-three New Jerseyans rate the state as a good or excellent place to live," Murray said. "Seventy-one percent of New Jerseyans rate their own town or city positively and 63 percent give a positive rating to their local schools. Sixty-six percent say that the safety in their neighborhoods is positive."

The Quality of Life Index score has increased among women and young adults in the past two months while it has decreased slightly among men.