For the second year in a row, the number of New Jersey children living in poverty decreased according to new U.S. Census data released yesterday.
In 2015, roughly 308,000 of children lived in poverty, a 2 percent decrease from the 2014 figure of 315,000. Children living in low-income families, or those below 200 percent of the federal poverty level, decreased as well from 641,000 to 633,000. In 2015 the federal poverty level was defined as $24,250 for a family of four.
Income inequality for the state as a whole rose—indicating an increasing gap between the state’s neediest and most affluent residents. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, income inequality is the gap between the lowest and the highest earners.
The new data also indicated that New Jersey has the nation’s highest percentage of 18 to 34 year olds living in their parents’ households at 46.9 percent. Connecticut and New York had the second and third highest percentage of young adults residing with their parents at 41.6 percent and 40.6 percent. All three states were well above the national average of 34.1 percent.
The census data from the American Community Survey also indicated a drop in the number of uninsured children living in New Jersey, consistent with trends over the last few years. Currently there are roughly 75,000 children in the state living without health insurance, this translates to 3.8 percent of New Jersey’s children. Children living in low-income families also saw their numbers of uninsured shrink as well, dropping from 51,000 in 2014 to 45,000 in 2015.
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