New Jersey is great, but I want to leave — new poll shows burden of high costs
You may love the state where you live, but you could also want out.
That appears to be the sentiment among many Garden State residents, according to survey results released Monday by the Monmouth University Polling Institute.
As part of a list of questions to create Monmouth's exclusive Garden State Quality of Life Index for 2022, 64% of New Jersey adults rate the state as a good or excellent place to live. A strong majority give positive marks to their municipality, their local schools, and the quality of their local environment.
But close to 60% of Garden Staters in the same poll say they would like to move out of New Jersey at some point. And more than two-thirds claim it's very or somewhat likely that they will exit New Jersey for good in the future.
"It's a bit of a head-scratcher," said Patrick Murray, director of the polling institute. "One possible explanation is that residents appreciate the benefits that New Jersey has to offer, but the cost of living does not make it sustainable in the long run."
Among those who are likely to move out of New Jersey, residents blame property taxes more than anything else.
"Basically, people are saying that New Jersey is a great place to live, if you can afford it," Murray said.
Responses from New Jerseyans combined to form a Quality of Life Index score of +27, on a scale from -100 to +100. That's in line with last year's rating, and much higher than readings from 2019, 2018, July 2015, September 2014, and April 2013. Monmouth created the index in 2010.
"Other than the huge jump during the pandemic to +37, the +27 is pretty close to the prior historical high of +31," Murray said.
The index also divides responses by region of the state. Scores dropped since last year in the northeast and in the "urban core counties." Scores increased in the Central Hills, Northern Shore, Delaware Valley, Garden Core, and Route 1 Corridor regions.