Poverty Benchmarks 2013



  • In 2011, poverty in New Jersey reached a record high not seen for the past 50 years.
  • Children were the most likely to be living in poverty in 2011.
  • Child poverty rates were highest in Camden, Passaic, Lakewood, Paterson, Trenton, Newark, and Union City.
  • Food insecurity reached another all-time high for the fifth consecutive year.
  • 51.5 percent of Hispanic men earned less than $35,000 in 2011, compared to 14.4 percent non-Hispanic White men.
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The annual Poverty Benchmarks report is an ongoing project of LSNJ’s Poverty Research Institute. Poverty Benchmarks 2013 is the seventh in the series. LSNJ traditionally issues Benchmarks between early spring and late summer, depending upon developments with the various data sources and the timing of major external studies and reports. The 2013 version comes out just nine days before the Census Bureau publishes its annual compilations of the Current Population Survey (CPS) and American Community Survey (ACS) 2012 poverty data, and thus provides an important platform from which to consider the significance of new federal data.

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The stories included in Poverty Benchmarks 2013 illustrate the day‐to‐day struggles of four low‐income people, living in urban and rural, northern and southern New Jersey. They vary by race, gender, education and skill level, physical abilities, and physical environment, but they have all faced the ever-present threat of hunger and homelessness. Securing affordable housing has been a challenge in every case, and in several, the process of accessing necessary health care has also been wrought with stumbling blocks. In areas of concentrated poverty, such as Trenton, there is the additional stress of living in fear on a daily basis. Behind every statistic is another story.

Ms. Hersey, Mercer County

Mr. Karecky, Hudson County

Mr. Dylutra, Hunterdon County

Ms. Sanchez, Cumberland County