May 24, 2019 | 60° F

South Jersey doesn't get fair share of public goods, Rutgers study finds

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A new study by two Rutgers-Camden professors found cities in North and Central Jersey receive greater amounts of state aid than cities in the southern part of the state.

The Garden State is truly a "tale of two Jerseys"— at least according to a recent Rutgers study that found the Southern half of the N.J. is getting shortchanged. 

Led by two professors at Rutgers—Camden's Walter Rand Institute of Public Affairs, the study confirmed a long-held belief that South Jersey residents receive a smaller share of public goods compared to their North and Central Jersey counterparts. According to the study, North and Central Jersey receive double the state aid and state assumption.

"We found that this difference in resource allocation does in fact exist and is not explained by the lower population or incomes of residents of South Jersey counties," Assistant Professor of Political Science Shauna Shames, who co-authored the study with public affairs Ph.D student Spencer Clayton, told Rutgers—Camden News Now.

The study, which analyzed "a massive data collection," found that South Jersey has higher violent crime rates, fewer bus stops, lower levels of college education, significantly fewer hospital beds per 1,000 residents and higher proportion of children from low-income families eligible for government assistance.

β€œThe higher rates of these problems in South Jersey suggests a generally overall lower level of public health goods in these counties as compared to the north and central counties,” according to the study.

Additional polling data shows that North Jersey residents are more likely to believe state resources are allocated evenly, while a majority of South Jersey residents (56 percent) feel North Jersey receives more than its fair share.

Avalon Zoppo the managing editor for The Daily Targum. She is a School of Arts and Sciences junior majoring in political science.

Avalon Zoppo

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