New Jersey’s child population has increased since 1990, and it is more diverse than ever before, with more than 50 percent being kids of color. Although New Jersey ranks fifth overall in child well-being, wide racial gaps in educational outcomes, economic well-being and maternal and infant mortality persist. With this multicultural boom in our youth population, greater investments must be made to expand opportunities for all of our state’s residents.
The 2019 KIDS COUNT® Data Book from the Annie E. Casey Foundation — the most comprehensive annual report on child well-being in the United States — notes measurable progress in New Jersey since the first Data Book, which was published in 1990. Nevertheless, more than 270,000 New Jersey children continue to live in poverty, a 27 percent increase since 1990. The Garden State has also seen other troubling trends in economic well-being, with a greater share of children living in families burdened with high housing costs.