A study by the Legal Services of New Jersey Poverty Research Institute concluded that the more than 2 million people in the Garden State, or 25 percent of the population, are living in poverty, the Huffington Post reported.
The institute calculated its findings using households with incomes below 200-percent of the Federal Poverty Level, which it said was "a more adequate approximation of the income necessary to make ends meet."
Using the official poverty level, which was $17,346 for a family of three in 2010, there were nearly 885,000 residents living in homes with incomes below the poverty line.
The study also found that New Jersey followed a national trend of increasing income inequality during the last decade. Using U.S. Census data from 2000-09, the study shows the gap between the highest and lowest fifths of the state's population has widened.
In addition, more than than three-quarters of the additional income generated in the Garden State from 2000-09 went to the top 20-percent of households, according to the report.
The number of millionaires in New Jersey is also on the rise.
Millionaires accounted for 7.2 percent of households in the state in 2011, according to a CNBC report. The number of millionaires in the state rose from 6.15 percent of households in 2009, according to the report.
Only Hawaii and Maryland have higher rates of millionaires as a percentage of their population.
Essex County By The Numbers
Essex County has one of the highest poverty levels compared to other counties in the state and the real cost of living was much higher than federal benchmarks, according to the report.
There were 127,116 people below the official poverty line in 2010, according to the report, which made up 16.7 percent of Essex County's population that year.
While the federal poverty level for a single person was $11,702, the study found that the real cost of living was $23,688 for a single person.
The study found that people living below 200 percent of the poverty level accounted for 33.5 percent of the county's population, or 255,338 people. Only Cumberland, Hudson and Passaic counties had higher poverty levels using this calculation.
The study calculated the following real cost of living to meed basic needs in Essex County compared to federal benchmarks for poverty:
- The real cost of living for one adult and two school-aged children is $50,687, compared to the federal poverty level of $18,123
- The real cost of living for two adults and two school-aged children is $55,106, compared to the federal poverty level of $22,811.
- The real cost of living for two adults and two preschoolers is $62,924, compared to the federal poverty level of $22,811.