Study finds New Jersey is one of the best states for children to live
It may seem like every other week there is a new study released that ranks the 50 states by a variety of metrics -crime, taxes, traffic, quality of life. And often New Jersey ranks low in these studies.
But last month a study came out that did not get much attention – one that found that New Jersey is a great place to live for children.
The study by researchers at the University of Minnesota and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation ranked each state according to the percentage of children who have adverse childhood experiences (ACEs). These are things like a parent dying, abuse, addiction, violence in the home or a parent in prison. The study found that New Jersey ranked among the best states for kids.
The study found that New Jersey ranked second in the percentage of kids who did not have any ACEs, ranking right behind California at 65.6%.
When states were ranked based on the number of kids with two or more ACEs, New Jersey ranks the lowest at 13.2%.
“Nationally, about 18% had reported two or more adverse childhood experiences, so [New Jersey] is definitely doing well in that respect,” says University of Minnesota researcher Robert Hest. “We've seen a decrease in the number of children reporting adverse childhood experiences in New Jersey which mirrors a broader national trend."
New Jersey may have some of its own issues, but it is also the state where it is least likely that bad things will happen to children.
The data for the study came from 2019, the latest year available. Researchers do say that they are concerned that there may be an uptick in ACEs when they analyze data in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.