A Land of Contrasts (and Italians)

The ancestral homeland is once again the richest state in the union, according to statistics put out by the U.S. Census Bureau. Half of New Jersey’s households make more than $61,672 per year, placing it just ahead of Connecticut. New Jersey’s poverty rate is 8.7 percent, fourth lowest in the nation.

The Garden State is a land of contrasts. The commuter suburbs of my youth–Hunterdon, Somerset, and Morris counties–are among the richest in the nation. Only the elite Washington, D.C. suburbs of Loudon and Fairfax counties in Virginia, for example, are richer than Hunterdon county. But on the other hand, Camden is the poorest city of more than 65,000 persons and Newark is the 7th poorest city of more than 250,000. Camden’s median income of $18,007 is lowest in the nation, and a stark contrast to Hunterdon’s $93,342.

New Jersey’s stunning wealth is negated somewhat by its cost-of-living index, which is also among the highest in the nation. Therefore, for the moment anyway, my plan is the same as Less than Jake‘s.

For the interested Hoosiers, Indiana ranked in the middle of the pack. The median income in Indiana was $43,993.


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