New Jerseyans Ready for the Shore this Year as State’s Quality of Life Index Stabilizes

The public’s view of the quality of life in the Garden State has settled back to normal as the state’s adults get vaccinated, according to the Monmouth University Poll.

The poll found that the number of people planning to visit the Jersey Shore is returning to normal levels, even if some people are hesitant about spending a week or more in a beach rental.

Overall, the Garden State Quality of Life Index score stood at +25—down from the +37 reported in April 2020, but similar to the +24 in September 2019 and in line with scores reported over the past decade.

More than Half of Residents Plan to Visit Shore

The poll found 58% of New Jersey residents plan to visit the shore this Summer, and although the numbers are below the 60% to 70% range typically reported, it was higher than the 27% reported in April 2020.

The major dip in shore plans was linked to a lower number of people who plan to stay at least a week, with only 19% reporting so. This number was typically in the low- to mid-20s in previous polls.

However, daytrippers and weekenders should be out in full force, with 39% of the public saying they would do so. Families with children were less likely to be planning a trip this year.

“Jersey Shore crowds may be the most iconic indicator of whether the state is getting back to normal. There may be some vacancies in short-term rentals this Summer with fewer families making an extended trip, which makes sense since COVID vaccines aren’t available for most children,” said Monmouth University Poll Institute Director Patrick Murray in a press release. “However, most New Jersey adults are itching to get back on the beaches and boardwalks.”

Schools’ Reputation Drops

The poll asked a wide range of question when it comes to the happiness or dissatisfaction of Garden State residents besides traveling to the shore this Summer.

The number of respondents who felt very safe in their own neighborhoods stayed steady at 67%, with another 31% saying they felt somewhat safe and only 2% not feeling safe at all.

Schools saw a drop in the local quality of life index metrics, with ratings for local schools doing “great” only representing 24% of the population and 40% saying they did “good.”

This 64% positive rating was down from last year’s all-time high of 73%, with the prior high 68% in February 2012.

History of the Poll

The Garden State Quality of Life Index was first created by the Monmouth University Polling Institute in 2010 as a way to determine the quality of life offered in the state of New Jersey.

The poll features five separate poll questions, alongside ratings of one’s hometown, performance of local schools, quality of local environment, and feelings of safety.

The index can range between -100 and +100. The prior high was +31 in April 2012, and the prior low was +13 in February 2019, according to the Monmouth University Poll.

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